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Cellphone Radiation in the News

Perhaps my most important travel accessory (next to my car) is my cellphone. I have really come to rely on my cellphone when I travel. Not only can I call home with it, but I can check admission hours and prices while on the road for those traveling whims that we sometimes get. I keep a phone book and a stack of brochures packed in my car for this purpose– I can call a museum to see if they are open; I can call a library to get their hours so I can use their computers to check on local attractions; I can order pizza for the trip home when I know I will be too tired to cook later! I think the cellphone has revolutionized and streamlined travel.

I haven’t been too concerned with all the hooplah about “cellphone radiation” and cancer dangers, because I don’t use my cellphone all that much outside of our traveling times. But I still keep my eyes peeled for news reports about any new studies, because I know a lot of you use your cellphones constantly. Here’s the latest from usatoday.com/money/industries/telecom/2009-09-08-cellphone-radiation-safety_N.htm:

Some cellphones emit several times more radiation than others, the Environmental Working Group found in one of the most exhaustive studies of its kind. The government watchdog group on Wednesday releases a list ranking cellphones in terms of radiation.

…The highest: T-Mobile’s MyTouch 3G, Motorola Moto VU204 and Kyocera Jax S1300, all at 1.55 W/kg. The Apple iPhone, sold exclusively by AT&T in the USA, is in the middle of the pack at 1.19 W/kg.

The Federal Communications Commission, which sets standards for cellphone radiation, requires that all devices be rated at 1.6 W/kg or lower. The Environmental Working Group says the FCC’s standard is outmoded, noting that it was established 17 years ago, when cellphones and wireless usage patterns were much different. The group wants the government to take a “fresh look” at radiation standards.

The FCC currently doesn’t require handset makers to divulge radiation levels. As a result, radiation rankings for dozens of devices, including the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 and Motorola KRZR, aren’t on the group’s list.

Dangerous radiation or no, I am of the opinion that people probably should not walk around most of their day with their phones strapped to their heads or hips. Take the information for what it’s worth… I tend to believe that “environmental watchdog” groups sometimes have biased opinions about such things, and are slow to adapt to new technology and consumer desires.

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About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (1)

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  1. gandolph says:

    I wrote a blog that compares cell phone radiation to the radiation leaked from microwave ovens. Please check it out:

    http://www.peterdolph.com/2009/08/will-microwave-radiation-give-you_19.html