Much controversy surrounds the use of cellphones. Studies analyzing brain tumors have been made as far back as 1974. Inconclusive results cloud the issue, but it is noteworthy that France, Israel, England, and Finland are currently recommending limiting exposure to cellphones–especially for children. Some states in the United States are considering legislation requiring cellphones to contain a radiation warning. Salt Lake City currently is not one of those cities, but may be on the list in the future.
SAR (specific absorption rate) is what we should look at when evaluating a phone. That’s the rate at which radiation is absorbed into nearby tissues from the phone (those tissues being the areas that cell phones are adjacent to when making a call–such as the ear, neck, head, etc.) Body weight affects the amount of absorption; that’s why children are more at risk.
You can find data that supports the claims that brain tumors are not on the rise due to cell phone use, and you can find equally compelling data from the opposite camp. We may need more studies covering longer lengths of time to have conclusive evidence. In the meantime, safe cellphone useage should include the following guidelines:
- Use a cellphone hands-free whenever possible.
- Talk less and for shorter lengths of time.
- Check the SAR ratings on the phone you’re planning to purchase. You should be looking for the lowest SAR number.
- Limit the time children spend on a cellphone. If necessary, install a landline in your home for them.
Cell phones are here to stay, for better or worse. It’s how we handle them that will determine the ultimate health of the users. Be smart; be informed and then use your cell phone responsibly.