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Your New Phone: Extra Radiation or Extra Features?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

By Leeann Brown, EWG Press Associate

Most of us want the latest and smartest phones - but not at the price of high cell phone radiation. This season's good news: a batch of smart-smart phones: lower-radiation choices with plenty of features.
 
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Environmental Working Group examined the radiation output (known as the Specific Absorption Rate or "SAR") and overall features of 80 new smart phones. Many higher-functioning phone emit no more radiofrequency radiation than old-school cell phones.
 
In fact, the "LG Quantum Windows Phone," a smart phone, tops our list of low-radiation mobile devices, both smart and not-so-smart.
 
EWG's Low-Radiation Smart Phone list for the 2010 Holiday Season:
LG Quantum
Samsung Fascinate
Samsung Mezmerize
Samsung Captivate
Samsung Continuum
 
The EWG analysis disproves wireless industry claims that newer technologies inevitably emit more radiation. 
 
More studies are needed to determine whether cell phone radiation causes brain tumors, but some recent long-term use studies have suggested a link. Juliet Eilperin, the Washington Posts's national environmental reporter, recently reviewed two books on cell phone radiation. Take a look - many people are probably in Eilperin's shoes: very attached to their phones, but new to the science and policy surrounding the possible health effects of cell phone radiation. Eilperin highlights one of the books, Disconnect by Devra Davis, for its straightforward presentation of the recent science of cell phone radiation while additionally providing the behind-the-scenes history of SAR regulation.
 
Picking a lower-radiation phone is just 1 way to talk safer
Ultimately, Eilperin concluded that while we still rely on our cell phones, both smart and conventional, we should use them differently to reduce our radiation exposure. EWG recommends that consumers act prudently by buying low-emission devices and taking other steps to reduce cell phone radiation exposure, like these:
  • Text more, talk less.
  • Use a headset.
  • Don't talk where reception is poor.
  • And, most important: Limit children's cell phone use. Young children's brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as those of adults.
Download our 1-page guide to safer cell use.

 

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