Fiorella Belpoggi, PhD

Scientific Director - The Ramazzini Institute (Italy)

Fiorella Belpoggi is the Scientific Director of the Ramazzini Institute where she has worked since 1981. Her research interests include short and long term toxicity studies on chemicals and physical agents: food additives, solvents, packaging plastics, pesticides, hormones and prescription drugs, vitamins, fuels constituents and additives, endocrine disruptors, asbestos and its substitutes, herbs, gamma radiation, electromagnetic fields from power lines (ELFEMF) and radio based stations RFR/MW. Dr. Belpoggi has authored more than 150 publications and she is an Invited Lecturer of Industrial and Environmental Carcinogenesis at different Public Health schools and universities in Italy. She was the 2007 recipient of the Ramazzini Award and she was selected for different honours in Italy in recognition for her work in defense of environmental and occupational health. She was invited as an expert in experimental in vivo studies at IARC/WHO for the IARC Monograph 120 on Benzene, Monograph 125 on different chemicals and she was among the experts who defined the IARC priorities 2019-2024. She also served as expert witness in different trials for cases concerning environmental and occupational diseases, both in Italy and the USA.

Abstract

Results of Carcinogenicity Bioassay on Rats Exposed to Mobile Phone Radiofrequency Radiation

Report of final results of a carcinogenicity bioassay performed on Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission

D. Mandrioli, L. Falcioni, L. Bua, E. Tibaldi, F. Gnudi, L. De Angelis, M. Iuliani, M. Manservigi,F. Manservisi, I. Manzoli, I. Menghetti, R. Montella, S. Panzacchi, D. Sgargi, V. Strollo, A. Vornoli, M. Soffritti, L. Giuliani, F. Belpoggi, Ramazzini Institute, Castello di Bentivoglio, via Saliceto 3, Bentivoglio, 40010 Bologna, Italy

Background: In 2011, IARC classified radiofrequency radiation (RFR) as possible human carcinogen (Group 2B). According to IARC, animal studies, as well as epidemiological ones, showed limited evidence of carcinogenicity. In 2016, the NTP published the first results of its long-term bioassays on near field RFR, reporting increased incidence of malignant glial tumours of the brain and heart Schwannoma in rats exposed to GSM – and CDMA – modulated cell phone RFR. The tumours observed in the NTP study are of the type similar to the ones observed in some epidemiological studies of cell phone users.

Objectives: The Ramazzini Institute (RI) performed a life-span carcinogenic study on Sprague-Dawley rats to evaluate the carcinogenic effects of RFR in the situation of far field, reproducing the environmental exposure to RFR generated by 1.8 GHz GSM antenna of the radio base stations of mobile phone. This is the largest long-term study ever performed in rats on the health effects of RFR, including 2448 animals. We report the final results regarding the observed tumours for all organs and tissues.

Methods: Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed from prenatal life until natural death to a 1.8 GHz GSM far field of 0, 5, 25, 50 V/m with a whole-body exposure for 19 h/day.

Results: We previously published preliminary results that showed: a statistically significant increase in the incidence of heart Schwannomas in treated male rats at the highest dose (50 V/m); an increase in the incidence of heart Schwann cells hyperplasia in treated male and female rats at the highest dose (50 V/m), although this was not statistically significant; an increase in the incidence of malignant glial tumours in treated female rats at the highest dose (50 V/m), although not statistically significant. All organs and tissues were then examined and the whole study results will be herewith reported.

Conclusions: The RI findings on far field exposure to RFR are consistent with and reinforce the results of the NTP study on near field exposure, as both reported an increase in the incidence of tumours of the brain and heart in RFR-exposed Sprague-Dawley rats. These tumours are of the same histotype of those observed in some epidemiological studies on cell phone users. These experimental studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the re-evaluation of IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans. RFR are included in the priorities of evaluation for IARC Monograph in 2020-2024.

10:00- 10:30 AM

Thursday 28 January 2021

Results of Carcinogenicity Bioassay on Rats Exposed to Mobile Phone Radiofrequency Radiation

CME