Cellphone radiation. Fact or fantasy? The jury is out as to whether cell phone radiation causes cancer. It may be because cancer tumors don’t just pop up overnight, but can take years of chromosomal damage to manifest. One Israeli researcher Dr. Sigal Sadetzki reported a link between a high use of cellphones and glandular cancer in the mouth. But other studies say balderdash. While we already know that smoking causes lung cancer, it may take years until health boards around the world make recommendations on the use of cell phones, but until then, stay safe.
A new app developed by an Israeli startup called Tawkon, helps us monitor the amount of radiation we are exposed to on our cell phones. The inexpensive application for the iPhone, ISRAEL21c reports, warns users when radiation levels are too high and provides advice on how to counter the potentially negative effects. The app also lets mobile phone users map their homes or offices to know where they’re exposed to significant levels of mobile phone radiation. But the rub? Apple has banned it.
“Apple says that Tawkon is a diagnostic tool that would create confusion for iPhone owners from a usability perspective. Tawkon believes that Apple doesn’t want its customers to install an app that appears to advise them to talk less – even though its stated aim is to make it safe for them to “talk on.”
Tawkon founder and CEO Gil Friedlander says he thinks their app won’t cause people to give up their phones, but it will let them use the phone more responsibly. Meanwhile, they are working on porting their device to the Blackberry and for Google’s Android.
How Tawkon works
Like infrared goggles, says Friedlander: “We give users the ability to see and feel non-ionizing radiation. Once you know whether you’re in a red, orange or green zone, you have the information you need to take action.”
What kind of actions to take?
Move to a different location where radiation levels are lower
Switch to a headset or speakerphone
Use phones in urban areas
Turn off when mobile (on the train, when driving)
Keep handset away from your body or phone
Limit the use of cell phones by children
Not able to actually measure the phone’s radiation, Tawkon processes an array of factors such as weather, location of your phone to cell phone tower, Bluetooth functioning, GPS, how close it is to your body, and the phone’s compass.
It causes the phone to vibrate when radiation levels are perceived as too high.
According to the article some of the worst places to use your phone are in rooms with thick concrete walls, including sealed bomb shelter rooms (yes, a crazy fact in the Middle East!), and in moving vehicles such as cars and trains where the phone needs to switch between towers to communicate.
In some cases, the locations where radiation is highest can be surprising. “In my apartment, radiation in the washroom is high,” Friedlander says, “while the rest of the house is decent.” In 80 to 85 percent of cases, there’s “good coverage and radiation is pretty low, especially in an urban area,” reassures Friedlander.
Meanwhile, Israel’s health ministry has recommended that children under the age of 18 shouldn’t use mobile phones at all – young people’s brain tissue is still developing. To stay on the safe side, if your child is spoiled enough to own an iPhone consider the $10 download which could also be educational.
We’re assuming you’ll need a program like Jailbreak to make it work on iPhone. It may invalidate your warranty, so be warned.