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New study takes a closer look at cell phone radiation, cancer

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WASHINGTON – It’s a debate that has gone on for years, but a new study is making researchers take a closer look at cell phone radiation.

Although the full report has not been released, the U.S. National Toxicology Program announced that it is releasing partial findings early.

Officials told NBC News that the male rats exposed to constant, heavy doses of certain types of cellphone radiation develop brain and heart tumors.

However, female rats didn’t, and even the rats who developed the tumors lived longer than the rats not exposed to radiation.

“We felt it was important to get that word out,” said John Bucher, associate director of the National Toxicology Program. ” Overall, we feel that the tumors are likely to be related to the exposures.”

The program is still analyzing the findings.

Bucher said 70 to 80 percent of experts who reviewed the report felt it did indicate there was an increased risk of cancer in the radiation-exposed rats.

However, others disagreed.

“I suspect that this experiment is substantially underpowered and that the few positive results found reflect false positive findings. The higher survival with RFR, along with the prior epidemiological literature, leaves me even more skeptical of the authors’ claims,” said Dr. Michael Lauer, with the National Institutes of Health.

Critics say that there has not been an increase in brain tumor rates since the 1990s, when cell phones really started to be used.