Photo by yisris via Flickr CC
Think: Green Cell Phone. Typically the first things that come to mind are their energy efficiency, the elimination of toxins in their manufacturing, their recyclability, and so on. But what about their radiation emissions? The Environmental Working Group has released a website that sorts through cell phones and shows the emissions levels of over 1,000 cell phone models. While it's not necessarily time to strap on a tinfoil hat, it is a good idea to take a gander at some of the numbers.The group states:
Recent studies find significantly higher risks for brain and salivary gland tumors among people using cell phones for 10 years or longer. The state of the science is provocative and troubling, and much more research is essential. We at Environmental Working Group are still using our cell phones, but we also believe that until scientists know much more about cell phone radiation, it's smart for consumers to buy phones with the lowest emissions.
And so, they've today released their Cell Phone Radiation Guide. You can look up your model of phone, check out the phones with the least and most emissions, read through available research, and find out how to reduce your exposure levels.
Some of the results even from the same companies are interesting. For instance, a couple of the the Blackberry Storm models have some of the lowest emissions ratings, while a couple of the Blackberry Curve models have some of the highest. The Blackberry Storm 9500 Smartphone has a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 0.57 W/KG while the Blackberry Curve 8300 Smartphone has a SAR of 1.51 W/KG.
The best phone for low radiation on the Environmental Working Group's guide is the Nokia 9300i, and the worst is the Kyocera Jax S1300. My LG Dare ranks at 1.09 W/KG. A fair mid-range that doesn't make me want to run out of the room when I hit "send" on a text message.
The group also encourages users to take action on the issue, providing a form for people to fill out that encourages the FCC and FDA to require emissions information on phones, and do anything possible to reduce emissions in the first place.
While the debate about cell phone radiation emissions and their health impacts is still a hearty one, until we have more science around radiation emissions from cell phones, we might as well err on the side of caution. The Environmental Working Group's new database helps you do just that. Plus it's just interesting to sort through.