Ronald L. Melnick, PhD

Former Senior Toxicologist - U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), NIEHS (USA)

Ronald Melnick, PhD, an independent consultant, was a senior toxicologist for 28+ years in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. At the NTP, he led the design and interpretation of numerous toxicity/carcinogenicity studies, including the design of the NTP studies on cell phone radiofrequency radiation (RFR). Dr. Melnick has served on numerous scientific review boards and advisory panels, including the US EPA and the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classified RFR as a possible human carcinogen. Dr. Melnick spent one year at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and is a fellow (emeritus) of the Collegium Ramazzini.


Carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation demonstrated in studies by the National Toxicology Program

Toxicity and carcinogenicity studies on cell phone radiofrequency radiation (RFR) were designed and conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) subsequent to the nomination of RFR from the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Device and Radiological Health. In their nomination, the FDA expressed concerned that existing exposure guidelines for RFR, which are based on protection from acute injury from thermal effects, may not be protective against any non-thermal effects from chronic exposures. The NTP studies in rats and mice were conducted in reverberation chambers at exposure levels in which body temperatures were maintained within 1OC of pre-exposure temperatures, and at tissue doses that were comparable to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) guideline limits for localized tissue exposures in the general population. Results from the NTP studies showed clear evidence of carcinogenic activity from exposure to cell phone radiation (GSM or CDMA modulations): there were significant increases in the incidences and/or trends for cancers in the heart (schwannoma) and brain (glioma). In addition, there were increased proliferative lesions in the prostate gland, DNA damage in brain cells of rats and mice, heart muscle disease, and reduced birth weights after in utero exposures. There was no indication of tissue damage in a 28-day study, and there were no differences in body weights between exposed and sham control rats and no exposure-related clinical observations in the 2-year study. Thus, the previous assumption that non-ionizing radiation cannot cause cancer or adverse health effects, other than by tissue heating, is wrong. The NTP data should impact the cancer classification of RFR by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and lead to the development of health-protective exposure standards.

9:00 - 9:30 AM

Thursday 28 January 2021

Carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation demonstrated in studies by the National Toxicology Program