Many consumers are unaware that different cell phones emit different amounts of harmful radiation, particularly when used close to the ear and head. And, the debate as to whether radiation from these cell phones are directly linked to cancer has been circulating for years.
Recent reports from the watchdog agency, the Environmental Working Group, show that cell phone radiation levels may vary widely according to brands, and that some phones may be dangerously high. This comes as additional clarification on reports from the EWG showing that individuals using cell phones for over ten years may have higher cancer risk than those who have not been using phones.
On the other end of the fence is the CTIA, a cell phone industry lobbying group, which fully denies the link between radiation and harmful health effects, stating that "scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a risk."
Within these two ranges of differing opinions, what are we, the consumer, supposed to believe?
Perhaps the better questions is to ask ourselves, "Within the on-going debate and emerging research, is it helpful to know which cell phones are emitting high amounts of radiation?" The answer is an emphatic, "yes."
The Latest Cell Phone Radiation Study
While it has been challenging for scientific studies to make a direct connection between cancer and radiation emitted from phones, this recent study from the Environmental Working Group represents the single most exhaustive study on cell phone radiation levels to date.
Analyzing over 1,000 devices, the study reports that results "are showing an increased risk for brain and mouth tumors for people who have used cell phones for at least ten years." The study analyzed how much radiation is absorbed into the brain when the phone is close to the ear.
So compelling was the evidence from the working group, that governments from six countries have recently begun to issue limits on cell phone use, particularly in those who are most vulnerable: children.
The study also raises challenges to the current Federal Communications Commission's allowance for radiation levels. The EWG says that the current FCC allowance on phone radiation is too high, and does not reflect the current scientific evidence on radiation levels in the brain and mouth. The FCC's ratings were also instated on cell phones almost twenty years ago, a time when wireless cell phone use was very different as compared to today’s high-usage patterns. The EWG group does admit that despite strong evidence for the cancer-radiation link, there is no need for a public health scare, just an increased awareness of these dangerous possibilities.
With this knowledge, it may be a good idea to use a detached microphone and earpiece, as well as a lower-radiation cell phone, to counter-act these possible detrimental effects. Beyond a definitive proof that links brain cancer to cell phone radiation, the EWG's study is an invaluable resource for alerting consumers to the fact that some cell phones can emit several times more radiation than others. With this information, the consumer can then make an educated purchasing decision, based on the high possibility of the damaging effects of radiation on the human body.
To find out your cell phone's radiation level, visit the Environmental Working Group's website.
My Thoughts on Cell Phone Radiation
The potential detrimental effects that cell phones, cell phone towers and microwaves have on our health is no longer "potential" and far more obvious. If you're concerned about your health, check out this article on the best products to protect yourself from dangerous cell phone radiation.
- Environmental Working Group. EWG's Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use. Reports & Consumer Guides. 2012 June 15
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.