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Hands-Free Devices Really Do Cut Mobile Phone Emissions

Because I'm interested in innovative technologies -- OK, I'm a "geek" -- I frequently write about the coolest, newest cellular phones on my Web site. But there are "Catch-22s" to owning a mobile phone. Namely, the radiation emitted from a mobile phone can damage your DNA and spur the growth of tumors.

Fortunately, the radiation decreases quite dramatically and exponentially the further the phone is away from your body which is why I use a headset to keep such harmful radiation away from my body. A new study proves the point: Using hands-free devices with your cellular phone cut the energy and radiation that goes to your head by almost half.

Researchers used probes to measure the electrical currents created by wires from hands-free kits in different positions. The emission level of a mobile phone is measured as a specific absorption rate (SAR), the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body per unit of body mass.

Using a "dummy" head containing liquid (configured to measure SARs) and seven mobile phones, scientists discovered the range of maximum emissions for those operating at 900Hz and 1,800Hz was significantly reduced by using hands-free devices. These tests put an end to any erroneous concerns by some that using earphones connected to a mobile phone could actually "increase" SARs. January 19, 2005

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