The technology news site CNET has compiled two interesting lists showing which cellphones give off the most and the least radiation.
In publishing the information, CNET editors note the data aren’t meant to imply that cellphone radiation poses a risk, nor is it meant to say that the phones are safe. As I recently reported in my Well column last week, the data on cellphone safety is mixed, although a few recent international studies have suggested a link with three types of brain tumors. The Food and Drug Administration also says there’s not enough information to determine conclusively whether cellphones are safe or unsafe.
The charts focus on the specific absorption rate, or SAR, of a cellphone, which is a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency energy that is absorbed by the body, according to CNET.
For a phone to pass F.C.C. certification, that phone’s maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6 W/kg (watts per kilogram). In Europe, the level is capped at 2 W/kg, while Canada allows a maximum of 1.6 W/kg. The SAR level listed in our charts represents the highest SAR level with the phone next to the ear as tested by the F.C.C. Keep in mind that it is possible for the SAR level to vary between different transmission bands and that different testing bodies can obtain different results. Also, it’s possible for results to vary between different editions of the same phone (such as a handset that’s offered by multiple carriers).
Four Motorola phones top the list, with the V195s putting out the maximum 1.6 W/kg. The popular BlackBerry Curve 8330 rounds out the No. 5 spot. To see the full top 10 list, click here.
The list of lowest-radiation cellphones includes the LG KG800 and the Motorola Razr V3x, which put out 0.135 W/kg and 0.14 W/kg, respectively. To see all the lowest radiation phones, click here.
If you don’t see your phone on the list, the site includes lists of cellphones by brand name. My iPhone was listed under “other” brands, but I was interested to learn that its SAR number is 0.974.