Cellphones don't cause cancer, FDA says

No evidence linking radio frequency radiation to cancer, report finds

Over the decades since cellphones were introduced, dubious health claims have followed them. Local planning board meetings and Facebook groups across the country have heard from people convinced that cell towers and mobile phones will cause cancer. But is it actually true?

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The answer is a scientifically cautious “no,” probably not, according to a new report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency reviewed 125 studies published over the past decade and found that none of them showed that localized radio frequency radiation exposure could lead to adverse effects.

In this April 8, 2019, file photo, a woman browses her smartphone in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WHAT IS 5G?

“Based on the FDA’s ongoing evaluation, the available epidemiological and cancer incidence data continues to support the agency’s determination that there are no quantifiable adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current cell phone exposure limits,” the report states.

But what about these new 5G cellphones? While 5G networks operate at a higher frequency than earlier cellular equipment, they’re still governed by the Federal Communications Commission’s limits for radio frequency energy. That means 5G is safe, according to the FDA.

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A group of kids playing video games on smart phones after school.

WHEN WILL THE US HAVE 5G TECHNOLOGY?

“While many of the specifics of 5G remain ill-defined, it is known that 5G cell phones will use frequencies covered by the current FCC exposure guidelines … and the conclusions reached based on the current body of scientific evidence covers these frequencies,” the FDA said in a note accompanying the report.

Still, the FDA said its doctors, scientists and engineers will continue to monitor scientific studies and public health data to keep an eye out for any evidence that radio frequency energy from cellphones could have negative health effects.

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