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Cellphones and cancer: Is the risk real? Investigative Report by WTHR on the National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Radiation Study

Nov 17, 2016


Please watch this WTHR investigative report featuring the story of Richard Farvar and Paul, Prischman. Dr. David McCormick, director of the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute, is also interviewed on the NTP’s cell phone radiation study.

PUBLISHED: 11/11/16 03:44 PM EST.
UPDATED: 11/11/16 05:48 PM EST.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Craig and Virginia Farver lost their 29-year-old son Richard to brain cancer.

“It’s just devastating,” Craig told Eyewitness News. “To watch the life of your son just leave his body, it’s something no parent should ever have to experience.”

Cristin Prischman lost her husband Paul to the same type of aggressive brain tumor.

“It’s called a glioblastoma. We found out on Easter it was cancer,” she said.

These two families believe the deadly tumors were both caused by the same thing: a cell phone.

“I’m 100% certain,” said Virginia Farver, holding a photo of her son. “He talked on his cell phone two to three hours a day, and the tumor was on the same side of his head where he held the phone.”

“I’m 99% sure it was cell phone radiation,” said Prischman. She showed 13 Investigates years of invoices, showing that Paul talked on his cell phone between 3,000 and 4,000 minutes each month.

Can radio frequency (RF) radiation from a cell phone really cause cancer? The science is mixed, with multiple studies showing contradictory results.

But a new research project – one of the largest and most expensive ever conducted – is getting lots of attention and raising more questions about the long term safety of cell phones.

“What we found here is fairly clear evidence of a signal,” said Dr. David McCormick, director of the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute, where the federal government’s National Institutes of Health commissioned a $30 million RF study.

During the 10-year research project, mice and rats were exposed to RF radiation. Some of the male rats developed a cancerous brain tumor, as well as a rare, malignant tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.

“What we are saying here is that based on the animal studies, there is a possible risk cellphone RF is potentially carcinogenic in humans,” McCormick explained.

“So you’re saying, in your lab you found cell phone radiation caused cancer?” 13 Investigates asked, making sure we heard correctly.

“That’s correct,” McCormick said. “This was, I think, a surprising finding to virtually all of us who were involved in the study.”

But the cell phone industry is skeptical and says consumers have nothing to worry about. At the same time, some medical and consumer groups are worried.

Read the full story here. Watch the full news piece here.