Why You Don't Need To Worry About A New Study Linking Mobile Phones To Cancer

Unless you're a rat, that is.

The $41 million dollar study by the US National Toxicology Program took more than 10 years to complete and monitored rodents who were exposed to high levels of  radiation -- used in 2G and 3G mobiles -- for long periods of time.

The study found there to be a clear link between cancerous tumour growth in the brains, hearts and adrenal glandes of the male rats, but not in the female ones.

But here's the thing -- while the scientists did find a link between mobile phone radiation and cancer,  they're not advising us to put our iPhones down just yet.

Here's why:

During the study the animals were kept in special chambers where researchers could control how much radiation they received.

They were exposed to a total of nine hours of radiation each day, with the process beginning while they were still in their mother's womb. The lowest level of radiation the animals were exposed to is the maximum amount mobile phones are allowed to emit in the US.

According to the study's co-author and senior scientist,  John Bucher,  humans are in the clear: "The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cellphone."

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Curiously, the study also found that the male rats who were exposed to the radiation ended up living longer than the male rats were weren't exposed to it. According to the researchers that's probably because the male rats exposed to radiation were less likely to develop kidney problems -- a common cause of death among older rodents.

That said, the researchers were quick to stipulate that while the results don't apply to humans they do pose some interesting theories.

"They question the long-held assumption that radio frequency radiation is of no concern as long as the energy level is low and does not significantly heat the tissues".

More studies on the link are now planned with the researchers saying that they're hoping that if they can better understand the "biological changes in animals, then they will know more about what to look for in humans".

Feature Image: Getty