The link between mobile phone usage and cancer has been a subject of intense debate for at least a decade.
Now, a major US government study conducted on hundreds of rats claims to have established a link between the two. However, 'it may raise more questions than it answers'.
Researchers at the US National Toxicology Program subjected the rats high doses of radiation, similar to ones that emit from mobile phone, for nine hours every day, seven days a week for two years and compared them with rats that did not receive radiation, reports CNN.
These were the findings:
- 2% to 3% of the male rats developed brain tumours. However, the occurrence was only 1% among the female rats.
- Meanwhile, 2% to 7% of male rats developed heart tumours, whereas it was evident in only 2% of female rats.
Though the study reveals only a tiny percentage of rats developing tumours, researchers believe it's a major finding.
"Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to Radio-Frequency Radiation (RFR) could have broad implications for public health," the study says.
Here's the interesting bit. The rats that developed tumours actually lived longer than the "control rats" that were not exposed to the radiation, reports NBC News.
One must also keep in mind that study conducted on rats is never directly linked to humans. However, it certainly gives researchers the much needed push to delve deeper into the findings, reports Time.
There have been several studies which haven't found any conclusive link between mobile phone usage and cancer, reports Wall Street Journal.
Salvatore Insinga, a neurosurgeon at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, New York speaking to CNN said, "As of now, there are not enough data to advise people to cut their cellphone use or to use earbuds."