Cell Phone Radiation Debate Continues

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News Posted: Fri, Dec 25 2009 12:35 AM
We've heard numerous arguments to back up both sides of the cell phone radiation debate. Some research indicates they are safe, others disagree. Now, a new study is fueling the argument that cell phones could cause serious side effects. According to a 10-year study from the World Health Organization (WHO), there's a proven link between the long-term use of a cell phone and increased risks for brain cancer and tumors.

The study, headed by Dr. Elisabeth Cardis, shows an 18% increase in brain tumor development with long-term cell phone usage. The United States did not participate in the Interphone study but Senator Tom Harkin, the head of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has promised to look into the question of a link between cell phones and brain cancer.

In an attempt to help make cell phones safer, there are companies that offer what's known as a SAR Shield, which can attach to any cell phone and potentially reduces harmful radiation waves by upwards of 89%. The SAR Shield combines technology from the same material that's used to shield Stealth Bombers from radar detection and telecommunications fields into a flexible sticker that's no larger than the size of a nickel. This sticker absorbs the electromagnetic waves (radiation) emitted while your phone is in use. It's currently the only tested and FCC-approved device that's been proven to lessen the specific absorption rate by upwards of 89%.

SAR Shield pad next to BlackBerry, right

SAR Shields sell for as little as $15.  Based on tests from the ABC TV show 20/20, some of the country's most popular cell phones can exceed the radiation limit. According to reports from 20/20, the government-testing guidelines are so vague that a phone can pass the Federal Communications Commission's requirements when tested in one position and exceed those maximum levels when held in another position.

Left: Normal Thermographic
Right:  Thermographics after 15 minutes of cell phone use

The following is a list of the highest and lowest rated cell phones, in terms of the SAR radiation rating.  Values are measured in watts/kg.

statistics, credit:  CNet Reviews

And if you were wondering where your beloved iPhone ranks, though it didn't make the top 20 highest or lowest list, it all depends.  First gen iPhones are somewhere in the middle at a SAR of .974, while 3G iPhones are near the top at 1.38, though the new iPhone 3GS is more middle of the pack at .79.
Regardless of which argument you believe one thing is certain: the debate about cell phone safety will continue. Many experts say that it's hard to predict the long-term effects of cell phone radiation, especially since many people have only been using cell phones for the past five to ten years.
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3vi1 replied on Sat, Dec 26 2009 7:52 PM

Anyone got a link to the x-rays of the woman whose family was on 20/20 several years back? You know... the one where the tumor is in the exact shape of a cell-phone?

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:45 AM

wow.. that's crazy.. really? I hadn't seen that. What phone did she have?

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kid007 replied on Mon, Dec 28 2009 5:32 PM

good thing i only use my headset for my iphone :) (Radiation free) oh wait i just gave the whole answer for the debate :X

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realneil replied on Mon, Dec 28 2009 6:49 PM

I just rarely use mine,..............

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Oh crap, I use my phone quite a lot...though, I'd like to take a closer look at the research protocols of the study.

Good thing my Nokia isn't ranked in the top 20.

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Soupstyle replied on Thu, Jan 14 2010 5:56 PM

It won't be a nuclear war that turns everyone into hideous mutants, it will end up being too much time on cell phones!

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jan 14 2010 9:31 PM

I may be wrong, but isn't thermographic a mesurement of temperature?

So wouldn't that picture just show the temps of the guys face after being on a phone?

I'm sure anyones face would be warmer after holding a warm phone to their face for 15 minutes straight lol

Hell just doing a face palm for 15 minutes would have the same effect. I don't think that picture really proves anything.

And at the rate of usage that people user cell phones anyway, I would thing there would be a TON of cases of tumors and cancer.

Look how out in the open all the cancer cases from cigs are.

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Indeed, it's just the external temperatures, with no real bearing on the article. Nice catch.

However radiation is emitted from cell phones in the form of radiowaves and we do not know what the long term impact will be.


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