Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How To Avoid Cell Phone Radiation

Concerned about cell phone radiation?

There's plenty of concern—and debate—about cell phone radiation. Here's the story: all cell phones emit a miniscule amount of radiation with their cellular radios turned on. In any one, ten, or a hundred phone calls, the amounts are well within normally tolerated human limits. But radiation exposure has a cumulative effect over time. It's theoretically possible that heavy use of cell phones will put a small number of people at increased risk for certain brain and neck cancers. But nothing has ever been proven one way or another.

A few studies this year have raised exactly those concerns. For example, a recent analysis of 23 separate epidemiological studies found no connection between using cell phones and tumor development (either cancerous or benign), according to the Los Angeles Times. But a second look at eight of those studies found that there was a 10 percent to 30 percent increased risk of tumors next to people who don't use cell phones at all, and that the increased risk was proportionate to the amount of use.

In September, the Environmental Working Group released an online guide to cell phone radiation. "We think that based on current standards, there's increased risk of developing brain tumors in long term users—people who have used cellphones for more than 10 years—from radiation in cellphones," Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist at EWG, said in a Wired report last month.

All groups involved have said more research is needed. But there's also a logical fallacy in play. Many independent (i.e. not industry-funded) studies have been unable to link cell phone use to cancer. But a thousand studies could conclude the same thing; it wouldn't matter, because there will never be a study that says flat-out, "cell phone use is 100 percent safe." The effects of cell phone radiation may be unproven, but it's impossible to prove a negative.

That said, there's an easy way around the problem: hands-free use. If you want to completely protect yourself from radiation, take all the gadgets away from your face and use sound waves—specifically, the speakerphone. If you're scared but less paranoid, you can also use a wired or Bluetooth headset, both of which have lower levels of emissions than phones themselves. The phones we're featuring below are great for hands-free use because they all have powerful speakerphones and Bluetooth capability.

BlackBerry Curve 8520 (T-Mobile)
BlackBerry Storm2 9550 (Verizon)
Motorola Stature i9 (Boost Mobile/Sprint)
Motorola Tundra (AT&T)
Sanyo PRO 200 (Sprint)

News : PC Magazine

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