Some Cell Phones Emit More Radiation Than Others

We have long been writing about the links between a variety of ailments and cell phone use. According to a recent and extensive Environmental Working Group study, some cell phones release significantly more <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">radiation than others, reported USA Today.

The Environmental Working Group, a government watchdog group, released a listing yesterday on over 1,000 devices, ranking each by its radiation, said USA Today. The list can be accessed here. Of note, because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently has no mandates for the release of radiation levels for handset manufacturers—such as the popular BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 and Motorola KRZR—some phones are not included, said USA Today.

Although some study results have offered conflicting findings and have not definitively linked cell phone use to cancer, other recent studies, “are showing increased risk for brain and mouth tumors for people who have used cellphones for at least 10 years,” said Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research at the Environmental Working Group, quoted USA Today. Of no surprise, lobbying group CTIA does not agree, stating, “scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose” a health hazard,” reported USA Today.

Critics disagree and studies point to a variety of issues that include male infertility, sperm disorganization and dysfunction, and skin problems, to name just a few. Late last year, doctors began seeing increasing numbers of people complaining of unexplained rashes appearing on the ears, cheeks, and fingers. The rashes were found to be a skin allergy linked to too much mobile phone use, the British Association of Dermatologist said of the rash now known as “mobile phone dermatitis.”

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic warned that cell phone use, including hands-free devices—can affect male fertility and warned users to ensure the devices not be kept in proximity to their testicles. Because men who use hand-free cell phone devices tend to keep the phones in their pants pocket or clipped to the waist belts when the phones are in talk mode, they may be exposing their testicles to damaging radiofrequency electromagnetic waves, explained Ashok Agarwal, PhD, head of the andrology laboratory and the director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Glickman Urologoical and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Also, Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers, best known for making headlines last year when he issued a staff advisory on the potential risks of cell phone use, is looking to create a research project focusing on long-term cell phone users. “Recently I have become aware of the growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects, including cancer,” Herberman wrote in the memo.

Although Houlihan acknowledged that “the verdict is still out” on the cancer-cell phone ink, she noted, “there’s enough concern that the governments of six countries … have issued limits of usage of cellphones, particularly for children,” quoted USA Today. And, while FCC phone radiation standards are no higher than 1.6 W/kg, the Environmental Working Group argues that the standards—set nearly two decades ago—be reviewed by the government to consider current usage practices, said USA Today.

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