Jun 1 2011
06:57 pm

So the WHO has given cell phones a "possibly carcinogenic" rating. The WaPo delves into this rating:

“Possibly carcinogenic” is the WHO’s third-highest rating, falling below “carcinogenic” and “probably carcinogenic” but above “not classifiable” and “probably not carcinogenic.” Other substances that the group has categorized as “possibly carcinogenic” include talcum powder, which has been possibly linked to ovarian cancer, and low-frequency magnetic fields, which are emitted by power lines and appliances and have been possibly associated with childhood leukemia.

Nonetheless, the cellphone classification marks a departure for the WHO, which previously said there were no risks from exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by the devices.

To know the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) of your cell phone, CNET has some charts for you. I noted that there are a few Droid phones listed on the 20 Highest Radiation Cell phones page. (Sorry Droid fans, don't mean to be a party-pooper!) While I noted that my Palm Pre minus (original pre) was fairly low on the radiation emitting scale, it wasn't low enough to make the 20 lowest radiation cell phones, either. Guess I'll be using the speaker phone more often.

For those of you that live by your cell phone -- meaning you spend a lot of time on it, particularly for business, you can read the 5 tips to limit your risk (h/t)

Pam Strickland's picture

Just want to note that the

Just want to note that the iPhone isn't in the top 20.

Pam Strickland's picture

Just want to note that the

Just want to note that the iPhone isn't in the top 20.

reform4's picture

The iPhone won't give you cancer...

...because you have to be able to MAKE OR RECEIVE A CALL for it to give you cancer.


Pam Strickland's picture

I make and receive calls

I make and receive calls without any problem, thank you very much. I truly believe that the biggest problem is people think it's cool to trash AT&T, so they do.

Good luck with you're radiation emitting phones.

CathyMcCaughan's picture


I thought the paperweight phone jokes were unfair until I experienced DC with an iPhone. After three separate visits with a phone that didn't work more than it did work, I would not use AT&T if I lived in DC.

smalc's picture

Based on my experience with 5

Based on my experience with 5 non-iphone AT&T phones and 2 iphones, I am disappointed the iphone's performance as a phone. If you stay near the interstates in Knox County you may never notice a problem, but just stray a little and the difference is huge.

Pam Strickland's picture

I use it all over the place,

I use it all over the place, no problem. Seriously. I don't make this up. I'm constantly amazed at the problems others say they experience.

smalc's picture

I guess it's possible I have

I guess it's possible I have had 2 bad iphones and 5 exceptional non-iphones. But, it just pisses me off that I can't get a call on my iphone in a many of the places I used the others, including parts of my house.

(BTW, my first iphone was a lemon, don't get a refurb from AT&T, kudos to the apple store for making it right)

bizgrrl's picture

Buying a phone with a lower

Buying a phone with a lower SAR may make you feel more comfortable, but there's no guarantee that it is inherently safer.

We don't use our cellphones very much at all. I wonder what the SAR ratings are when using a headset, bluetooth, or whatever (the little thing in your ear or on your head with an antenna instead of the actual phone next to your head).

redmondkr's picture

That's why Apple guarantees

That's why Apple guarantees that the iPod Touch will never drop a call.

CE Petro's picture

May not drop a call, but if

May not drop a call, but if there is an outage, via your service provider, for two days (will we be counting???) that's not much help either.

Pam Strickland's picture

Was able to use the phone on

Was able to use the phone on the edge system without any problem.

Min's picture


...this is why I like smoke signals as a form of communication. At least, on days that aren't windy.

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