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Why did U.S. officials stop investigating radiation research?

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LA Post: Why did U.S. officials stop investigating radiation research?
March 13, 2024
Nahal Garakani - LA Post

Abruptly and without scientific justification, federal agencies have halted further research into potential health risks from cellphone radiation exposure. This stunning reversal comes despite decades of concerning animal studies indicating serious harms.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP), tasked with investigating toxins, recently announced it will no longer pursue evidence that cellphone radiation can harm animals or humans. This flies in the face of their own two-year rodent studies published in 2018, which found "clear evidence" linking cellphone radiation to brain and heart tumors in male rats.

"There's no scientific explanation or justification for this sudden reversal," said Devra Davis, a former senior advisor in Health and Human Services. Davis called the decision scientifically unjustified given millions of children's daily cellphone exposure.

While admitting to developing novel small-scale radiation exposure systems in 2019 to clarify earlier findings, the NTP has now canceled any further investigatory plans. Their reasoning that additional studies would be "technically challenging and resource-intensive" rings hollow to experts like Davis.

"Technical challenges are not a reason to avoid studying something that appears to cause cancer in animals," Davis noted. "Everything definitively shown to cause cancer in humans produced it in animal studies first when adequately researched."

Despite taking years to plan investigations, the NTP scrapped this latest project before even publishing the 2019 results. This leaves safety questions unresolved, especially regarding newer 4G and 5G technologies.

The FDA dismissed the NTP's original studies despite formerly requesting the research. In 2020, the FDA then anonymously produced an unreviewed document upholding outdated 1996 radiation exposure standards. This justified the FCC's contentious 2019 decision to affirm these outdated guidelines for new 5G tech.

A 2021 court ruling found the FCC illegally ignored evidence on radiation's health and environmental risks. The court ordered revised standards accounting for extensive data on harm to children and nature. Yet the NTP's latest move hinders clarifying research.

Since 2019, France has mandated cellphone radiation warnings for teens and pregnant women. The EU heavily funds studies on wireless harms. So why are U.S. agencies halting critical research when other nations take precautions?

"There's only one reason," Davis argued. "Because there's so much money involved." She pointed to carriers' accelerated retirement of landlines, leaving consumers reliant on wireless and unable to limit exposure.

Without federal guidance, people can still reduce radiation contact themselves:

  • Not carrying phones in pockets or bras
  • Using speakerphone and holding phones away from the head and body
  • Keeping devices away from reproductive organs
  • Using wired over WiFi internet
  • Not sleeping near phones
  • But lack of U.S. research now forces citizens to navigate safety blindly as wireless exposures increase.

Top scientists slam the abrupt research cancellation as reckless and unjustified. Dr. Joel Moskowitz of UC Berkeley said, "It's as if we discovered lead in gasoline caused health problems but chose not to ban it."

Dr. Moskowitz explained consequences of this federal failure: "Technologies emerged without testing for safety. Now evidence suggests harm, but officials halt research and retain outdated standards benefiting industry."

Experts demand renewed investigations with urgency and rigor. Leaving questions unexamined while exposing millions to untested radiation levels smacks of prior public health disasters.

"Once again profit-driven corporate interests override health concerns," said Norm Alster, lecturer at Yale University. "Americans, especially children, suffer the costs of unchecked wireless expansion. Independent science no longer directs policy."

Alster drew parallels to past tragedies: "Like Big Tobacco did for smoking, telecom influences agencies to bury evidence on cellphone risks. But discounting animal study results is denialism. If we ignore these warning signs, a cancer epidemic may be coming."

Pediatric neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert echoed Alster's sentiments: "Cellphones were never safety tested like other radiation emitting devices before blanket marketing for all ages. We're already seeing young people suffer measurable brain changes. Halting research now is reckless beyond belief."

Medical physicists have observed cellular DNA damage from cellphone radiation levels well below current FCC limits. "There are no proven safe SAR levels regarding theprotection of the young, the infirm, and the pregnant," said Dr. David O. Carpenter, Director of University at Albany's Institute for Health and the Environment.

While the NTP claims it takes all public comments into consideration, scientists allege otherwise. Dr. Anthony B. Miller, former Director of Canada's National Cancer Institute, says the NTP disregards reams of global research: "When human evidence is supported by animal research, denying problems is willful blindness."

In response to the research cancellation, pediatricians call for revised FCC standards accounting for children's developing cells. The American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly warned regulators that radiation absorption differs in immature brains and bone marrow.

"Children's skulls are thinner and their brain tissues are less myelinated into adulthood. These developmental differences make them more susceptible to harm," said Dr. Robert Sargis, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

"Autism, learning disabilities, cancers, immunologic disorders are rising in our kids," Dr. Sargis continued. "With animal studies showing DNA damage from cellphone radiation, shouldn't we urgently investigate instead of cease research? Don't our children's lives take priority over convenience and profit?"

As doctors demand transparency and accountability from officials, public health hangs in the balance. With regulatory agencies inexplicably abandoning cellphone radiation investigations despite data on threats, scrutiny falls heavily on telecom-beholden political leaders. Their inaction tacitly condones unchecked wireless expansion over pediatric health. The evidence warrants precautions, not halted research hampering safety. Until federal guidelines match global standards accounting for all scientific proof of risk from cellphone radiation, especially for vulnerable groups, public safety remains uncertain. Our children's futures hang in the balance.

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