Brain Tumors Double, Prompt Warning on Cellphones

brain tumors cellphones

Story at-a-glance -

  • A recent study revealed a rise in glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, in England from 1995 to 2015
  • Incidence rates more than doubled from 2.4 to 5 per 100,000 people during the study period, an increase the study authors say cannot be fully explained by random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques and is “most likely” due to cellphones
  • Two government-funded studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) found “clear evidence” that exposure to cellphone radiation led to heart tumors in male rates, along with “some evidence” that it caused brain tumors in rats
  • Experts at Italy’s Ramazzini Institute say radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cellphones should probably be classified as a "probable" human carcinogen rather than a "possible" carcinogen

By Dr. Mercola

Worldwide, 5 billion people now have cellphones, which represents about two-thirds of the people on the planet.1 Since their inception, concerns have been raised that holding these radiation-emitting devices so close to our bodies, for so many hours a day, could cause health problems, including cancer. One of the latest studies to date, conducted in England and involving an analysis of more than 79,000 malignant brain tumors, has only added to the accumulating evidence that cellphones may be carcinogenic.

The study, published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, revealed a rise in glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, in England from 1995 to 2015.2 Incidence rates more than doubled from 2.4 to 5 per 100,000 people during the study period, an increase the study authors say cannot be fully explained by random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques.

“The percentage rise is similar across the age groups, which suggests widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible,” according to the researchers, with cellphones being a prime culprit. Other sources of radiation exposure, such as X-rays, CT scans and testing of atomic bombs, were also listed as potential causative factors, but Alasdair Philips, the study’s lead author and a trustee of Children with Cancer UK, told CNN, “ … cellphones seem like really they're the most likely cause.”3

$25 Million Cellphone Studies Yield ‘Clear’ Evidence of Cancer Link

The finding that glioblastoma multiforme cancers have more than doubled in England in the last two decades — a time when cellphone usage has skyrocketed — comes on the heels of evidence suggesting radiation from cellphones may cause tumors in rats. The findings stem from two government-funded studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency research program currently under the umbrella of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.4

The $25 million research involved both mice and rats, which were exposed to cellphone radiation for nine hours a day for two years — close to average life span for these rodents. Most concerning, male rats were more likely to develop tumors in their heart known as malignant schwannomas, which are, according to The New York Times, "similar to acoustic neuromas, a benign tumor in people involving the nerve that connects the ear to the brain, which some studies have linked to cellphone use."5

In making their conclusions, NTP uses the labels “clear evidence,” “some evidence,” “equivocal evidence” and “no evidence.” They found “clear evidence” that exposure to cellphone radiation led to heart tumors in the male rates, along with “some evidence” that it caused brain tumors in the rats.6 In addition, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release explained:7

“Researchers also noted increases in an unusual pattern of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in exposed male and female rats. … The reports also point out statistically significant increases in the number of rats and mice with tumors found in other organs at one or more of the exposure levels studied, including the brain, prostate gland, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, liver and pancreas.”

Despite this, they deemed the findings equivocal, which means they believed it was unclear whether the increases in tumors were due to the exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR), and noted that they used levels and duration of RFR exposure that were much greater than what people would typically be exposed to with cellphone use.

Yet, a lifetime exposure study published by the highly respected Ramazzini Institute in Italy duplicated NTP’s findings, showing a clear link between cellphone radiation and schwannomas — despite using power levels that were up to 1,000 times lower than those used in the NTP studies.8

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cellphones as a Group 2B "possible carcinogen," but the Ramazzini researchers are urging the IARC to re-evaluate this. According to Fiorella Belpoggi, director of research at the Ramazzini Institute and the study's lead author, radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cellphones should probably be classified as a "probable" human carcinogen rather than a "possible" carcinogen.9

Scientific Advisory Panel Concludes Cellphones May Cause Greater Risk Than Initially Acknowledged

When the NTP studies’ draft report was first released, it was largely downplayed by public health agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Cancer Society, which stated the results were inconclusive. A scientific advisory panel, which met to review the research, was expected to greenlight the largely whitewashed conclusions but ended up coming up with a much starker warning that cellphones can be clearly linked to cancer in rats.

One thing that caught the panel’s eye was the type of tumor that occurred in the rats; heart tissue tumors are not only rare in rats but also are the same form of cancer that’s previously been seen in some people who’ve used cellphones at high power settings for years, according to NTP senior scientist John Bucher.10

In addition to finding that exposure to RF from cellphones can cause heart tissue cancer in male rats, the panelists concluded that cellphone radiation may also be linked to brain cancer in rats. Ronald Melnick, a retired NTP scientist who was part of the team that created the study’s design nearly a decade ago, told The News & Observer the findings “should most likely lead to a reduction in exposure limits” and could prompt public officials “not to promote the use of some of these radio-frequency emitting devices for kids."11

Study After Study Indicating Real Danger of Cellphones

The ramifications of an increased risk of cancer from cellphone use are immense on a global scale. The primary origin of disease processes attributed to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation exposure is related to mitochondrial damage triggered by the reactive nitrogen species peroxynitrites. Devices that consistently emit EMF radiation at levels that damage your mitochondria include your cellphone, cellphone towers, Wi-Fi router and modems.

An increase in peroxynitrites in your body has been associated with an increased level of systemic inflammation and, most importantly, mitochondrial dysfunction. Please see my interview with Martin Pall, Ph.D., above, who discovered this mechanism of harm, for a more in-depth discussion of this vital leading-edge information. Pall published research12 showing that low-frequency microwave radiation activates voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) — channels in the outer membrane of your cells.13

Once activated, the VGCCs open up, allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions into the cell, which activates nitric oxide (NO). NO is the only molecule in your body produced at high enough concentrations to outcompete other molecules for superoxide and is a precursor for peroxynitrite.14 These potent oxidant stressors are thought to be a root cause for many of today's chronic diseases and may be an even bigger concern than brain tumors.

According to Pall's theory, the physical locations where VGCCs are the densest are indicative of the diseases you might expect from chronic excessive exposure to EMFs. As it turns out, the highest density of VGCCs are found in your nervous system, the pacemaker in your heart and in male testes. As a result, EMFs are likely to contribute to neurological and neuropsychiatric problems, heart and reproductive problems.

Does Coming 5G Raise More Concerns?

You may have heard about the 5G, or “5th Generation,” wireless network that the industry is rallying behind, touting it as a way to create faster internet and streaming services and provide better cellphone coverage. 5G relies primarily on the bandwidth of the millimeter wave (MMW), which has been linked to health problems from eye and heart problems to pain and immune system effects, and are known to penetrate 1 to 2 millimeters of human skin tissue.15

Unlike the “4th Generation” (4G) technology currently in use, which relies on huge 90-foot cell towers with about a dozen antenna ports on each, the 5G system uses “small cell” facilities or bases, each with about 100 antenna ports each.16

Once it’s installed in your neighborhood, you won’t have a choice to opt out of 5G exposure, which is concerning, since research compiled by EMF coach and author Lloyd Burrell17 shows the proliferation of 5G for the sake of faster internet could be a public health disaster. For instance, the frequencies utilized by 5G have been linked to:18

  • Lens opacity in rats, which is linked to the production of cataracts
  • Impacted heart rate variability, and indicator of stress, in rats
  • Heart rate changes (arrhythmias) in frogs
  • Immune system effects in healthy mice

While MMWs have not been widely used before, it’s already been suggested that sweat ducts in human skin act as antennae when they come in contact with MMWs.19 Further, in 2017, more than 180 doctors and scientists from 35 countries signed a petition to enact a moratorium on the rollout of 5G due to potential health risks, including increased cancer risk, cellular stress, genetic damages, reproductive problems and neurological disorders.20

Reducing Your Risk of Cellphone Radiation Damage

RF-EMF exposure is a significant health hazard of the 21st century, one that I believe each of us should take seriously. If you want to get involved in keeping 5G out of your community, please contact your legislators to voice your opinion. Parents for Safe Technology has compiled a list of U.S. agencies you can contact about this important issue for the health and safety of future generations. In the meantime, here are several suggestions that will help reduce your RF-EMF exposure starting today:

Connect your desktop computer to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection and be sure to put your desktop in airplane mode. Also avoid wireless keyboards, trackballs, mice, game systems, printers and portable house phones. Opt for the wired versions.

If you must use Wi-Fi, shut it off when not in use, especially at night when you are sleeping. Ideally, work toward hardwiring your house so you can eliminate Wi-Fi altogether. If you have a notebook without any Ethernet ports, a USB Ethernet adapter will allow you to connect to the internet with a wired connection.

Filter dirty electricity with appropriate filters using meters

Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light. I use a talking clock for the visually impaired.21

If you still use a microwave oven, consider replacing it with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food as quickly and far more safely.

Avoid using "smart" appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling. This would include all new "smart" TVs. They are called smart because they emit a Wi-Fi signal and, unlike your computer, you cannot shut the Wi-Fi signal off. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as they don't emit Wi-Fi.

Refuse smart meters as long as you can, or add a shield to an existing smart meter, some of which have been shown to reduce radiation by 98 to 99 percent.22

Consider moving your baby's bed into your room instead of using a wireless baby monitor. Alternatively, use a hard-wired monitor.

Replace CFL bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Ideally remove all fluorescent lights from your house. Not only do they emit unhealthy light, but more importantly, they will actually transfer current to your body just being close to the bulbs.

Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body unless in airplane mode and never sleep with it in your bedroom unless it is in airplane mode. Even in airplane mode it can emit signals, which is why I put my phone in a Faraday bag.23

When using your cellphone, use the speaker phone and hold the phone at least 3 feet away from you. Seek to radically decrease your time on the cellphone. I typically use my cellphone less than 30 minutes a month, and mostly when traveling. Instead, use VoIP software phones that you can use while connected to the internet via a wired connection.