Currently, many leading companies, including Apple and Samsung, are working on developing 5G smartphones which will be functional on ‘next-generation mobile networks’, being developed by Verizon Communications, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.
Despite already being the largest sellers of the services, the companies gained a significant ‘indirect boost’ by a recent Food and Drug Administration’s announcement. After a decade long study about the effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure, the FDA posted a review, stating that “there is insufficient evidence to support a causal association between RFR exposure and tumorigenesis.”
Tumorigenesis refers to the gradual loss of cell of lineage identity and gain of characteristics of neural cells. In simpler words, the transformation of body cells into cancerous identities that might lead to tumor formation. Also known as carcinogenesis, the process is characterized by changes at the “cellular, genetic and epigenetic levels and abnormal cell division”.
FDA announced that the results have shown no correlation between the formation of tumors and exposure to cellphone radiation, i.e. the data does not support the hypothesis that excess cell phone user causes cancer.
The reviewed material included over 125 published research studies analyzing the “effects of RFR on animals”. FDA concluded that the material did not “adequately demonstrated that localized exposure of RFR at levels that would be encountered by cellphone users can lead to adverse effects.”
Majority of these studies considered an over-all (whole body) exposure to the radiation instead of just one specific area – since it’s easier, and the results showed that the intensity of radiation the animals were exposed to was far higher than the RFR levels from a cell phone.
Around 70 epidemiological studies were also considered and found that the formation of certain tumors, linked with heavy usage of the smartphones. FDA, however, negated the statement, saying that “there is no clear and consistent pattern that has emerged from these studies and these studies were subject to flaws and inaccuracies.”
Further, since it’s very difficult to accurately identify the amount of RFR a person is exposed to outside a laboratory, majority of the researchers based their findings on “self-reporting” by the subjects. This approach can be biased since it doesn’t consider the radiation exposure from other sources. “The FDA also noted that it isn’t clear whether frequency, duration, or intensity of exposure is the most important factor to measure.”
About Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
FDA is federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services – one of the US federal executive departments. The agency is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescriptions and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs.
According to its website “FDA is responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medical products more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medical products and foods to maintain and improve their health.”