Before you head out to purchase your next mobile handset, it may be in your best interest to read some of the most recent cell phone radiation ratings. In addition to checking for the megapixel count on the integrated camera and the size of the touchscreen display, it is important to see how much of an effect the mobile phone may have on your health.
The Risk of Radiation
Several studies have indicated that prolonged exposure to cell phone radiation can lead to many adverse health effects. More specifically, it is possible that cell phones can cause tumors. However, not all mobile phones are built alike. They don't all use the same kind of cellular technology, they don't all use the same materials for the shell, and they don't all have the same kind of radiation shielding. For instance, it is possible that the technology behind one cellular network emits less radiation than another network.
To quantify the amount of radiation that is absorbed by the body when using a cellular phone, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) uses what is known as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The higher this number, the great quantify of radio frequency energy is being absorbed by the human body when using that particular product.
In order for a phone to be sold in the United States, it must pass a series of FCC regulations. Among these is the maximum SAR level allowance of 1.6 watts per kilogram. This is the same allowance level in Canada, but phones sold in Europe are capped at 2 watts per kilogram.
Cell Phone Radiation Ratings in the United States
The general population is bombarded with radiation of some sort on a daily basis. From satellite television to proximity to cell phone towers, there is radiation everywhere. Even so, it is important to be mindful of cell phone radiation ratings for specific handsets. Some phones have significantly higher SAR levels than others.
Top 10 Highest Radiation Phones
In the United States, the cell phones with the most radiation absorbed by the body seem to come largely from Motorola, though that does not mean that all Motorola phones are high on the radiation scale. It also does not necessarily mean that other manufacturers are "better" overall in any way.
The handsets with the highest cell phone radiation ratings are as follows with their respective SAR levels in parentheses:
- Motorola V195s (1.6)
- Motorola Zine ZN5 (1.59)
- Motorola Rival (1.59)
- Kyocera Jax S1300 (1.55)
- Motorola VU204 (1.55)
- BlackBerry Curve 8330 - Sprint (1.54)
- BlackBerry Curve 8330 - US Cellular (1.54)
- BlackBerry Curve 8330 - Verizon (1.54)
- Nokia E71x (1.53)
- Pantech Matrix (1.52)
You'll notice that the BlackBerry Curve 8330 appears three times in this list. Fundamentally, the same hardware is used by the three different carriers, but the software and network could have variations that affect the recorded SAR level.
Top 10 Lowest Radiation Phones
While Motorola seems to feature prominently in the highest cell phone radiation ratings, Samsung appears to have the handsets with some of the lowest recorded SAR levels:
- Beyond E-Tech Duet D8 (0.109)
- Samsung Eternity (0.194)
- Samsung Blue Earth (0.196)
- Samsung SGH-G800 (0.23)
- Samsung Soul (0.24)
- Samsung Impression (0.27)
- Samsung Innov8 (0.287)
- Beyond E-Tech Duet D888 (0.32)
- Samsung SGH-T229 (0.383)
- Samsung SGH-A167 (0.452)
To overcome cell phone radiation, one of the possible disadvantages of cell phones, it may be in your best interest to consider a handset with a lower SAR level.
Protect Yourself from Cell Phone Radiation
Even if you have a phone with some of the highest cell phone radiation ratings in the United States, you can still rest assured that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stringent restrictions in place to protect you. Even so, personal vigilance is your best protection. To minimize the effect of cell phone radiation, consider using the speakerphone feature or a hands-free device when using a call.