Feb 5, 2018

NTP Press Conference: Draft Technical Reports of the National Toxicology Program’s Radiofrequency Radiation Studies in Rodents

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced the release of two draft technical reports of the results of studies of the health effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation in rodents. The NTP held a telephone press conference on Friday, February 2, 2018 to summarize the findings in the reports and answer questions. A transcript of the press conference may be downloaded here.

The NTP investigations were conducted with reverberation chamber exposure systems designed, fabricated, and installed by the IT’IS Foundation. The levels of RF radiation exposure assessed in the studies were based on 2G technology, i.e., Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) signal modulations. The exposure modulation and levels were designed by the IT’IS Foundation in collaboration with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to mimic a cell phone user’s exposure in the environment for these two systems and to expose all of the animal tissues as uniformly as possible; the highest level of exposure investigated was at dosimetric levels as high as the thermal response of the animal permitted. As a result, local exposures were higher than the typical human exposure, yet the overall exposure remained within normal levels – a fact that was repeatedly reported wrongly in many news outlets. A partial report on the findings in rats released in May 2016 was updated just before the draft reports were issued. The detailed papers about the exposure systems and the dosimetry had recently been published. 

Peer review of the draft reports – one of which is on rats and the other on mice – by external experts is scheduled to be conducted March 26 – 28, 2018 at the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. Niels Kuster and Myles Capstick of IT'IS will be on hand to provide background information about the design and rationale of the exposure regime. Members of the public may register to attend and deliver oral comments or submit written comments. The drafts were released early to allow time for the experts and the public to prepare their comments.

The first news report on the press conference, published in Microwave News, highlights four important takeaways from the NTP press conference.

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