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2. Researchers conducted a large
battery of laboratory tests to assess
the effects of exposure to mobile
phone RF on genetic material. These
included tests for several kinds of ab-
normalities, including mutations,
chromosomal aberrations, DNA
strand breaks, and structural chang-
es in the genetic material of blood
cells called lymphocytes. None of
the tests showed any effect of the RF
except for the micronucleus assay,
which detects structural effects on
the genetic material. The cells in this
assay showed changes after expo-
sure to simulated cell phone radia-
tion, but only after 24 hours of expo-
sure. It is possible that exposing the
test cells to radiation for this long re-
sulted in heating. Since this assay is
known to be sensitive to heating,
heat alone could have caused the ab-
normalities to occur. The data al-
ready in the literature on the re-
sponse of the micronucleus assay to
RF are conflicting. Thus follow-up re-
search is necessary.
FDA is currently working with gov-
ernment, industry, and academic
groups to ensure the proper follow-
up to these industry-funded research
findings. Collaboration with the Cel-
lular Telecommunications Industry
Association (CTIA) in particular is ex-
pected to lead to FDA providing re-
search recommendations and scien-
tific oversight of new CTIA-funded
research based on such recommen-
Two other studies of interest have
been reported recently in the litera-
• Two groups of 18 people were ex-
posed to simulated mobile phone
signals under laboratory condi-
tions while they performed cogni-
tive function tests. There were no
changes in the subjects' ability to
recall words, numbers, or pic-
tures, or in their spatial memory,
but they were able to make choic-
es more quickly in one visual test
when they were exposed to simu-
lated mobile phone signals. This
was the only change noted among
more than 20 variables com-
• In a study of 209 brain tumor cas-
es and 425 matched controls,
there was no increased risk of
brain tumors associated with mo-
bile phone use. When tumors did
exist in certain locations, howev-
er, they were more likely to be on
the side of the head where the
mobile phone was used. Because
this occurred in only a small num-
ber of cases, the increased likeli-
hood was too small to be
statistically significant.
In summary, we do not have enough
information at this point to assure
the public that there are, or are not,
any low incident health problems as-
sociated with use of mobile phones.
FDA continues to work with all par-
ties, including other federal agencies


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