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New study evaluates cell phone radiation

9:47 AM Wed, Sep 09, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko
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 How safe is your cell phone?

We all know about the very real danger of trying to talk or text while driving, but there is another potential health hazard — radio frequency radiation from the tiny transmitter inside that sends your voice or data to the nearest cell phone tower.

CTIA, the wireless industry’s lobbying group, offers this reassurance to consumers: “The scientific evidence and expert reviews from leading global heath organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, World Health Organization, and the United States Food and Drug Administration reflect a consensus based on published scientific research showing there is no reason for concern.”

The CTIA concedes that some studies have “suggested” that there is a connection between low-level radio frequency exposure and “negative biological effects,” but that additional research has been unable to substantiate those findings.

The wireless industry further points to the FCC radiation limits that all cell phones must meet before approval by the federal regulatory agency.

The Environmental Working Group has been looking at the issue and raised an alarm in a study released today.

“We would like to be able to say that cell phones are safe, but we can’t,” the organization’s senior scientist Olga Naidenko said in a news release.

She said the most recent science “raises serious issues about the cancer risk of cell phone use,” and urged consumers to reduce their exposure to radiation.

A ten-month EWG study of more than 200 studies, advisories and industry documents concluded that existing FCC radiation standards are outdated and “permit 20 times more radiation to penetrate the head than the rest of the body.”

EWG said part of their concern is based on the fact that cell phones are increasingly used by young people whose brains may be more susceptible to radiation.

The EWG study generated a database of more than 1,000 cell phones sold in the U.S., ranked by radiation. This report has generated a lot of online buzz, because I’ve been unable to access the data after a number of tries. It’s a problem that’s likely to be resolved in the days ahead (or perhaps even by the time you read this).

EWG’s top 10 list of phones with the lowest emissions includes five models from Samsung and two from Motorola. Motorola is also represented on the bottom ten list of phones with the highest radiation, with five models.

The BlackBerry Bold 9000 from AT&T; is said to be the worst of the bunch when it comes to radio frequency radiation.

Pending further studies, there are some common-sense ways to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation.

• Use a wired headset. This lets you keep the handset away from your head and the rest of your body. While cordless Bluetooth headsets operate with a much lower transmission power than a cell phone, they still do create some radiation.

• Use the speakerphone function. Many handsets have this capability, which lets you use the phone at arm’s length.

• Don’t use a cell phone for extended calls. Longer exposure creates bigger risk (think about what happens when your skin is exposed to the sun), so keep wireless calls brief and use a wired phone (or at least a wired headset) for those marathon chats.

E-mail askwalt@wfaa.com



8 Comments

With all the RF radiation that is out there in the air as it is, why worry about cell phones?

Again another useless study is giving people the wrong information. This comes up every year or so until it is proven wrong, and then another study comes up and provides a bunch of impossible lies to prove its self. Go away and find something else to talk about.

This article was not.

With all the people that I have seen using cell phones, me included, I havem’t seen anybodies’ head glowing in the dark yet ,Guess the government needed to waste some more of our hard earned money on another stupid study that hasan’t proven a thing, but thet will keep going til they do.

Brain, eye, ear or throat tumors don’t glow in the dark. Which wireless provider or manufacturer do you work for? Or is it the wireless industry lobbying group that pays your bills? Cause it sounds like you get paid to drink the “Koolade” and brag about how great it tastes. Use a headset at the very least people. Try the popcorn test for yourself or watch the video. This study was well worth the time and money. Low radiation mobile phones are the new black.

It is amazing, to me, how many people I still meet that will stubbornly maintain that cigarettes link to cancer and heart disease is not a proven fact, either. Remember the tobacco company execs..they swore on bibles, on tv in front of congress that they did not believe their product caused cancer or heart disease. The research that is published is from other countries because here the lobbies have had their lobbies successfully supress the info. every year there are people coming on the news to deny it but yet we are warned not to let kids use cell phones. hmmmmmm wake up !

It is amazing, to me, how many people I still meet that will stubbornly maintain that cigarettes link to cancer and heart disease is not a proven fact, either. Remember the tobacco company execs..they swore on bibles, on tv in front of congress that they did not believe their product caused cancer or heart disease. The research that is published is from other countries because here the lobbies have had their lobbies successfully supress the info. every year there are people coming on the news to deny it but yet we are warned not to let kids use cell phones. hmmmmmm wake up !


For the past several years theories and concerns have churned about the radiation levels in cell phones. There has been speculation that cell phones can cause radiation poisoning leading to brain or mouth tumors. People who have gotten brain or mouth tumors from unseen cell phone radiation give off have used their devices for a time period of ten years or more. However there are companies that have lobbyist whose sole purpose is to convince the general public that cell phone radiation is not a concern. “CTIA, the wireless industry lobbying association stated “scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose” a health hazard” (28.September.2009_usatoday.com). Although there is not concrete evidence whether or not cell phones are linked to cancer, some countries have taken preliminary precautions to be on the safe side. Six countries including France, Germany, and Israel limit the time a person is allowed on the phone, especially young kids with cell phones. If other countries are limiting the usage for cell phones because of possible radiation poisoning, obviously there is an indicator we are overlooking.
The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, sets the federal regulations for cell phones to come at or under 1.6 W/kg. “W/kg is the measure of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using that device” (29.September.2009_www.eweek.com). The best phone on the market that only puts out 0.35W/kg is the Samsung impression by AT&T.; The worst cell phone on the market is the Motorola Moto VU204 with 1.55W/kg which is almost at the federal limit at 1.6W/kg. Even though results of cell phone radiation are apparent on several different websites people tend to ignore the facts and side with the popular phone. My suitemate Kayla said, “I know cell phone radiation is a big deal and all, but I want a phone that is sleek, cool, and trendy. I understand that radiation poisoning can lead to cancer, but a phone is an accessory you’ll always have on you, you want to show your peers you have the latest and greatest.” Most teenagers and adults view their cell phones as an extended version of themselves; they’d be lost without their cell phone so they would rather risk the chances of cancer ten plus years from now. In the book “MindReal” the author Robert Ornstein says “So it’s immediately obvious that we don’t even see what is in front of our eyes when it’s there” (Ornstein, 57). Ornstein makes a point because even though we have our cell phones right in front of us we cannot see the radiation it gives off. Our senses do not have the capability to see the radiation waves because it is something our brain just can’t take in.
Cell phone radiation is an obstacle our generation must come to face so we don’t have a rise of cancer in years to come. One thing people can do to reduce the radiation they come in contact with is to use wireless devices. Certain wireless Bluetooth cuts down on the time you hold the cell phone to your head therefore slightly reducing radiation effects. If you do not like the idea of having a wireless Bluetooth the other option would be to switch to a cell phone with low radiation signals to better your chances of not getting cancer. In this era not having a cell phone is prehistoric, over four billion people worldwide own one, but even though there is a slight possibility of getting some sort of radiation poisoning at least you have the information to help make better decisions about your wireless needs.


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