Radiation And Your Mobile
The type of radiation emitted from mobile phones is electromagnetic radiation. It’s present in mobiles because they use radio frequency waves to make and receive calls.
Mobile phone radiation doses are considered to be very small as the emissions are low power .
Nevertheless, there are ways in which you can reduce exposure to these waves.
Lawsuit Prompts Safety Studies
In 1993, the cell phone industry was pressured by Congress to invest $28 million into studying cell phone safety. The cause of this sudden concern was massive publicity about a lawsuit filed by Florida businessman David Reynard against cell phone manufacturer NEC. Reynards wife, Susan, died of a brain tumor, and he blamed cell phones for her death. Reynard revealed the suit to the public on the Larry King Live show, complete with dramatic x-rays showing the tumor close to where Susan held her cell phone to her head for hours each day.
The next day, telecommunications stocks took a big hit on Wall Street and the media had a field day. The industry trade association at the time, the Telecommunications Industry Association , went into crisis mode, claiming thousands of studies proved cell phones were safe and what Reynard and his attorney said was bunk. TIA reassured the public that the government had approved cell phones, so that meant they were safe. The media demanded to see the studies, but, says Dr. Carlo, The industry had lied. The only studies in existence then were on microwave ovens. At that time, 15 million people were using cell phones, a product that had never been tested for safety.
Smartphones With The Highest Levels Of Radiation Emissions
The Motorola Edge has the highest radiation emission with a SAR value of 1.79 watts of radiation per kilogram. Thats significantly higher than most other smartphone models in the market today and close to the limits set by the EU for cellphones.
Coming in second is the Axon 11 5G by ZTE with 1.59, followed by the OnePlus 6T at a close third with 1.55 W/kg. The Sony Experia AX2 Plus with 1.41 and the Google Pixel 3 XL and 3A XL at 1.39 round out the top five.
Here is a look at the 10 smartphones that emit the highest level of radiation:
Now that we have detailed the worst offenders lets look at the smartphones with the lowest levels of radiation emissions.
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The Hidden Dangers Of Cell Phone Radiation
While the communications industry insists that cell phones are safe, abundant evidence indicates that radiation from cell phones poses deadly health risks. Find out how to limit dangerous radiation.
Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in January 2021. Written by: Sue Kovach.
Every day, were swimming in a sea of electromagnetic radiation produced by electrical appliances, power lines, wiring in buildings, and a slew of other technologies that are part of modern life. From the dishwasher and microwave oven in the kitchen and the clock radio next to your bed, to the cellular phone you hold to your earsometimes for hours each dayexposure to EMR is growing and becoming a serious health threat.
But theres a huge public health crisis looming from one particular threat: EMR from cellular phonesboth the radiation from the handsets and from the tower-based antennas carrying the signalswhich studies have linked to development of brain tumors, genetic damage, and other exposure-related conditions.1-9 Yet the government and a well-funded cell phone industry media machine continue to mislead the unwary public about the dangers of a product used by billions of people. Most recently, a Danish epidemiological study announced to great fanfare the inaccurate conclusion that cell phone use is completely safe.10
Different Generations Of Wireless Technology And Future Plans
Q: How do the exposures relate to WiFi? A: NTP did not study the frequencies and modulations used for WiFi.
Q: Are there additional studies planned by NTP? A: NTP is collaborating with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on short-term exposure studies in smaller RFR exposure chambers. These studies will focus on further clarifying what NTP learned in the long-term studies and investigating the possibility of DNA damage in exposed tissues. Additionally, the new chambers have increased flexibility with respect to exposure scenarios and increased signal generating capabilities, which will allow NTP to test different modulations and frequencies. Follow-up studies will begin in Fall 2020.
Q: How else will the new chambers be used? A: After verifying that the new, smaller chambers are working properly, NTP scientists want to confirm the effect that they saw on DNA damage in their earlier studies is in these follow-up experiments and further characterize effects on DNA. This will give scientists more confidence in the results of the initial studies, as reproducibility is an important concept in any scientific study, especially one as complex as studying RFR.
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What Specifically Are Some Of The Health Effects Associated With Long
Many biologists and electromagnetic field scientists believe the modulation of wireless devices makes the energy more biologically active, which interferes with our cellular mechanisms, opening up calcium channels, for example, and allowing calcium to flow into the cell and into the mitochondria within the cell, interfering with our natural cellular processes and leading to the creation of stress proteins and free radicals and, possibly, DNA damage. And, in other cases, it may lead to cell death.
In 2001, based upon the biologic and human epidemiologic research, low-frequency fields were classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. In 2011, the IARC classified radiofrequency radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based upon studies of cellphone radiation and brain tumor risk in humans. Currently, we have considerably more evidence that would warrant a stronger classification.
Most recently, on March 1, 2021, a report was released by the former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which concluded that there is a high probability that radiofrequency radiation emitted by cellphones causes gliomas and acoustic neuromas, two types of brain tumors.
Harmful Effects Of Cell Phone Radiation
The FCC and the World Health Organization have a record of many studies that have been conducted on the effects of RF radiation on the human body and other living organisms. However, the results to date have been inconclusive and cannot definitively connect cell phone radiation with specific health problems.
In the past, many cases have shown that children that were exposed to high levels of RF radiation had an increased risk of leukemia or other cancers, but this is also not proven.
To see specific information on epidemiologic studies on cell phone radiation and its effects on humans, visit the National Cancer Institute website.
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Mechanisms Of Interaction With Matter Including Living Tissue
Near ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, microwave, radio waves, and low-frequency radio frequency are all examples of non-ionizing radiation. By contrast, far ultraviolet light, X-rays, gamma-rays, and all particle radiation from radioactive decay are ionizing. Visible and near ultraviolet electromagnetic radiation may induce , or accelerate radical reactions, such as photochemical aging of varnishes or the breakdown of flavoring compounds in beer to produce the “lightstruck flavor“. Near ultraviolet radiation, although technically non-ionizing, may still excite and cause photochemical reactions in some molecules. This happens because at ultraviolet photon energies, molecules may become electronically excited or promoted to free-radical form, even without ionization taking place.
Testing Your Phones Levels
You probably arent going to be able to replicate the SAR tests performed by cell phone companies and laboratories. However, you can still get a good idea of exactly how much radiation your phone produces using an EMF meter. If you dont already have one on hand, the TriField TF2 is a good place to start. This meter measures RF radiation in addition to electric and magnetic fields, which is crucial for measuring cell phone radiation. For more EMF meters, see The Best EMF Meters For Any Budget.
To measure the radiation coming from your cell phone, turn the meter on and hold it next to your phone. To get a baseline measurement, you can first take your measurement with the phone powered off. That will tell you how much environmental radiation is affecting your reading. Once you know that, turn your phone on and watch as the number on your meter changes.
You can take measurements in various states, including during an active call, in airplane mode, with a Bluetooth device connected, and with WiFi on and off. All of these readings give you some idea of how much radiation your phone produces during those different activities. Experiment with changing the distance of the meter to the phone and note how the levels drop as you begin to separate the two devices. Indeed, radiation levels are always higher closer to the source.
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Radiation In Relation To Mobile Phone Use
- ionising radiation which is capable of causing changes in atoms or molecules in the body that can result in tissue damage such as cancer. Examples of IR include x-rays and gamma rays
- non-ionising radiation which doesnt cause these changes, but can prompt molecules to vibrate. This can lead to rises in temperature, as well as other effects. Examples of NIR include ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, visible light, light bulbs, infrared radiation, microwave energy and radiofrequency energy.
What Do Expert Agencies Say
The American Cancer Society does not have any official position or statement on whether or not radiofrequency radiation from cell phones, cell phone towers, or other sources is a cause of cancer. ACS generally looks to other expert organizations to determine if something causes cancer , including:
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer , which is part of the World Health Organization
- The US National Toxicology Program , which is formed from parts of several different government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the Food and Drug Administration
Other major organizations also sometimes comment on the ability of certain exposures to cause cancer.
Based on a review of studies published up until 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified RF radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence of a possible increase in risk for brain tumors among cell phone users, and inadequate evidence for other types of cancer.
More recently, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a technical report based on studies published between 2008 and 2018, as well as national trends in cancer rates. The report concluded: Based on the studies that are described in detail in this report, there is insufficient evidence to support a causal association between radiofrequency radiation exposure and .
According to the US Federal Communications Commission :
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Use Airplane Mode As Often As Possible
This is similar to turning off data and Wi-Fi, but it actually goes a step further in protecting you from harmful radiation.
Airplane mode turns off pretty much all communication, so the only radiation that is being emitted is similar to that of any standard electronic device that isnt connected. This is also a useful trick for when you are running low on battery or simply want to be left alone for a certain period of time.
I know that I often turn my phone to airplane mode when I am trying to read, rest, or just have a conversation with someone nearby.
Airplane mode is convenient because it can usually be turned on with a simple motion or click of a button.
Instead of having to go through multiple menus to toggle between different settings, airplane mode will get the job done in just a few seconds.
If you need to toggle it back on to check for messages or updates, it is just as easy. This lets you stay productive while greatly reducing the level of radiation that you are being exposed to.
What Are Other Possible Health Effects From Cell Phone Use
The most consistent health risk associated with cell phone use is distracted driving and vehicle accidents . Several other potential health effects have been reported with cell phone use. Neurologic effects are of particular concern in young persons. However, studies of memory, learning, and cognitive function have generally produced inconsistent results .
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Is The Radiation From Cell Phones Harmful
Cell phones emit radiation in the radiofrequency region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Second-, third-, and fourth-generation cell phones emit radiofrequency in the frequency range of 0.72.7 GHz. Fifth-generation cell phones are anticipated to use the frequency spectrum up to 80 GHz.
These frequencies all fall in the nonionizing range of the spectrum, which is low frequency and low energy. The energy is too low to damage DNA. By contrast, ionizing radiation, which includes x-rays, radon, and cosmic rays, is high frequency and high energy. Energy from ionizing radiation can damage DNA. DNA damage can cause changes to genes that may increase the risk of cancer.
The human body does absorb energy from devices that emit radiofrequency radiation. The only consistently recognized biological effect of radiofrequency radiation absorption in humans that the general public might encounter is heating to the area of the body where a cell phone is held . However, that heating is not sufficient to measurably increase core body temperature. There are no other clearly established dangerous health effects on the human body from radiofrequency radiation.
New Studies Link Cell Phone Radiation With Cancer
Researchers call for greater caution, but skeptics say the evidence from rat studies is not convincing
Does cell phone radiation cause cancer? New studies show a correlation in lab rats, but the evidence may not resolve ongoing debates over causality or whether any effects arise in people.
The ionizing radiation given off by sources such as x-ray machines and the sun boosts cancer risk by shredding molecules in the body. But the non-ionizing radio-frequency radiation that cell phones and other wireless devices emit has just one known biological effect: an ability to heat tissue by exciting its molecules.
Still, evidence advanced by the studies shows prolonged exposure to even very low levels of RF radiation, perhaps by mechanisms other than heating that remain unknown, makes rats uniquely prone to a rare tumor called a schwannoma, which affects a type of neuron called a Schwann cell.
The studies are notable for their sizes. Researchers at the National Toxicology Program, a federal interagency group under the National Institutes of Health, tested 3,000 rats and mice of both sexes for two yearsthe largest investigation of RF radiation and cancer in rodents ever undertaken in the U.S. European investigators at the Ramazzini Institute in Italy were similarly ambitious in their recent study they investigated RF effects in nearly 2,500 rats from the fetal stage until death.
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How Is Cell Phone Radiation Measured
Before we dive into models, its helpful to have an understanding of how we determine which models are low EMF. We cover this in much greater detail in our guide to Cell Phones and SAR, so we wont spend too much time on it here. But essentially, cell phone radiation is measured and regulated based on the Specific Absorption Rate . This refers to the amount of radiation absorbed by living tissue.
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission limits a phones SAR output to 1.6W/kg. Now, SAR is far from a perfect measurement, and we go into some of its flaws in more depth in the guide referenced above. However, it does give us a starting point when comparing the radiation levels of different phones. We know they will be at or below the FCC limit, but some phones are actually much lower. And those are the phones were going to focus on today.
Cell Phone Specific Absorption Rate
The specific absorption rate is the amount of RF energy from the phone absorbed by the users body. Different cell phones have different SAR levels. Cell phone makers are required to report the maximum SAR level of their product to the US Federal Communications Commission . This information can often be found on the manufacturers website or in the user manual for the phone. The upper limit of SAR allowed in the United States according to FCC safety guidelines is 1.6 watts per kilogram of body weight.
But according to the FCC, comparing SAR values between phones can be misleading. The listed SAR value is based only on the phone operating at its highest power, not on what users would typically be exposed to with normal phone use. The actual SAR during use varies based on a number of factors, so its possible that a phone with a lower listed SAR value might sometimes expose a person to more energy from RF waves than one with a higher listed SAR value.
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Mobile Phones And Other Possible Health Effects
- Electronic equipment it is possible for RF radiation to interfere with medical electronic equipment if the equipment is vulnerable to the field. Handsets should be turned off in hospital buildings.
- Road accidentsstudies show that using a mobile phone while driving greatly increases the risk of traffic accidents. Talking on a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal in all states and territories of Australia.
Concern Behind The Cause
According to USAs National Cancer Institute, the two primary reasons why people connect any type of cancer to cell phones are because, first, cell phones emit radiation, in the form of radiofrequency radiation, or radio waves, and because cell phones are now widely used. Even if there is a slight spike in an increase in cancer due to cell phones, it will pose a serious threat.
People think that the two areas of concern are the brain and central nervous system, and the cancers associated with them. This is because phones are held close to the head. Another reason is that ionizing radiation has been found to be the cause of some brain cancers. However, this is a higher energy form of radiation than what cell phones emit. Naturally, several studies have been conducted to find whether cell phones pose a threat to human health.