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Surprising Science

Some Cell Phones Emit More Radiation

There is accumulating evidence that cellphones that operate on GSM networks emit significantly more radiation than do cellphones operating on CDMA networks.

What’s the Latest Development?

Last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, declared cellphone radiation “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Now, some scientists are claiming that certain types of cellphones could be more “possibly carcinogenic” than others. “Several recent studies have shown that CDMA phones normally emit a small fraction of their maximum radiation output, while GSM phones emit, on average, half the maximum, he explained. This comes down to the different radio frequency bands that the two networks operate on.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Do some mobile phone networks pose more of a health risk than others? “Though some researchers suspect so, it is too soon to say for sure. ‘Clearly more comparative studies are needed,’ says Joel Moskowitz, the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘My first recommendation is to keep a safe distance from your phone. Text instead of calling. Use the speakerphone. Use a headset.’ Radiation levels fall off rapidly with distance—so rapidly that you can decrease your brain’s exposure to a negligible level simply by keeping your phone antenna just a few inches away.”


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