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Head care: Advice on purchasing cellphones

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A University of Washington study documented the effect on DNA in the brains of rats exposed for two hours to the Federal Communications Commission highest permissible level for cell phone radiation. Although the meaning of the DNA damage is not understood, researchers believe that point source heat can damage DNA and cell phones create point source heat. To avoid this heat, users should use headsets and hands-free devices. However, most of us tend to carry our phone in a pocket or purse and pull it out when it rings or vibrates and take the call.

We talk. A short call is probably not problematic. But all calls are not necessarily short. And many of us don’t use a headset.

Radiation is measured in terms of specific absorption rate (SAR) – with 1.6 Watts per kilogram the maximum allowable by the Federal Communications Commission. You can find the SAR rating of your particular phone by visiting CNET’s review site http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6602_7-5020355-1.html?tag=lnav

Now that cellphones are used not only for telephone calls but also emails, web browsing, music, etc. they tend to run with higher power – SAR levels. For example, the very popular Blackberry Curve operates at 1.54 watts per kilogram, the IPhone at .97, while the new Razr2 V-9 has a SAR rating of .52.

Our son used a Blackberry in his work and also as his primary phone. We gave him a Razr2 V9 as his voice phone, reducing the exposure to his head by two thirds, while arranging a second number with data services for the Blackberry.

By the way, the radiation form cellphones is associated with acoustic neuroma a non-malignant tumor wrapped around the auditory nerve.

If you use a Blackberry, IPhone or other phone with a high SAR rating, go to your provider and get a new lower rated handset to use as a phone and use the high powered device for email and web browsing.

This article was written by stanford