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Radiation Talk

When it comes to the likelihood of developing a serious illness such as cancer should you be concerned about the effects of electromagnetic radiation from devices such as mobile phones? The answer is not clear cut I’m afraid (see below) but, in the meantime, how about a handy little app that gives you information on how much radiation is being emitted by your handset? One that can also measure a plethora of factors, including your Specific Absorption Rate (the rate at which your body absorbs energy from a radio magnetic field) and give a warning when levels are deemed too high? When a call is made the application can give a series of tones increasing in pitch according to risk factors as well as a visual warning and advise on what action to take: such as moving to a ‘safer’ location or turning your phone around (yes, it seems that position is relevant)).

Such an app has been developed for the iPhone by a company called Tawkon using their RRI (Real-time Radiation Indication) patent pending technology but it has not been approved by Apple who are concerned that the information it gives might cause confusion for users. The whole question of whether or not there are any real risks from mobile devices is very much unanswered, for a lot of people, and I would imagine that any company whose existence depends on the sale or use of mobile devices is going to be very reluctant to approve something that would appear to answer in the affirmative.

Most studies to determine risk levels indicate that there aren’t any although results are hampered by the length of time that mobile phones in particular have been in use, especially given the induction time of some cancers, and that they are increasingly being used by younger children so we do not know conclusively if there are any risks through long term exposure from a young age.

If you are interested, Tawkon are hoping to produce the app for Blackberry and Android handsets and expect that Apple will approve the application soon. Until then, it seems the places most likely to be marked as risky by the application are rooms with thick concrete walls and basements and lifts so, if you do have concerns, you don’t have to wait to start taking evasive action.

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