Hands-Free Mobile Phones Cut

Radiation Risk More Than 90%

Hands-free mobile phone kits can reduce the effects of electromagnetic radiation from wireless phones by more than 90 percent, an Australian study released on Friday said.

The study, by the Australian Consumers Association, found a 92 percent drop in the rate at which radiation was absorbed into human tissue when hands-free earpieces and microphones were used.

Meanwhile, a neurologist in the United States this week filed an $800 million lawsuit against the world's No. 2 cellular phone maker Motorola Inc., as well as eight other telecommunications companies and organizations, claiming his use of cell phones caused a malignant brain tumor. The doctor claimed compensatory damages in excess of $100 million and punitive damages in excess of $700 million.

The Australian research, to be published in the consumer group's August CHOICE magazine, focused on the thermal effects, or specific absorption rate (SAR), of radio-frequency radiation for an Ericsson and a Nokia digital phone and one analog phone.

While radiation emissions remained below Australian standards, with or without the hands-free kits, the study showed a significant drop in radiation levels when the earpiece was used.

The British study, published in Which?, the magazine of the independent British Consumers Association, measured electromagnetic field intensity, not SAR, in a very specific area of the head.

Choice Magazine August 2000