What many cell phone users may not know is that cell phones send electromagnetic waves into users’ brains. In fact, every cell phone model sold in the United States has a specific measurement of how much microwave energy from the phone can penetrate the brain. Depending on how close the cell phone antenna is to the head, as much as 60 percent of the microwave radiation is absorbed by and actually penetrates the area around the head, some reaching an inch to an inch-and-a-half into the brain.
To see the radiation emitted by your phone see our Cell phone radiation chart
“This is the first generation that has put relatively high-powered transmitters against the head, day after day,” says Dr. Ross Adey, who has worked for industry and government for decades studying microwave radiation, and is one of the most respected scientists in the field. Tests conducted by the ABC show 20/20 have found that some of the country’s most popular cell phones can – depending on how they’re held – exceed the radiation limit. 20/20 reported that government-testing guidelines are so vague that a phone can pass the Federal Communications Commission’s requirements when tested in one position and exceed those maximum levels when held in another position.
Experts say it’s particularly hard to predict the long-term impact of a product that’s just two decades old, especially since most of the 95 million Americans who now have cell phones began using them in the past five years.
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