While your iPhone may be way ahead of rival devices in terms of technical specifications and software, it’s severely trailing behind others when it comes to radiation. A study by the Environmental Working Group found that Apple’s popular smartphone only gives off an “average” amount of radiation, whereas Motorola handsets come with significantly more.

This CNN report comes after the World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that there was sufficient evidence to categorize exposure to cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Despite previously maintaining that there was no link between cell phone use and adverse health conditions, WHO recommended further study into the issue after placing cell phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as chloroform, engine exhaust fumes and lead. However, the wireless industry promptly responded and noted that WHO “did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies.”

In its report, CNN cited information from the database compiled by the Environmental Working Group, “a lobbying group that advocates on behalf of public health and the environment,” lists the radiation levels for Apple’s iPhone and various other cell phones. In terms of Specific Absorption Rate – which is the measurement used to identify how much radiation enters our bodies – the iPhone sits in the middle of the other handsets, with the Motorola Bravo and Droid 2 Global at the top end of the scale, and the LG Quantum at the bottom end.

The FCC’s legal limit for SAR on a mobile phones is 1.6 watts per kilogram. The iPhone 4 measures in at 1.17 watts per kilogram with the iPhone 3GS at 1.19 watts per kilogram. The LG Quantum emits only 0.35 watts per kilogram, whereas the Motorola devices give off as much as 1.59 watts per kilogram – just under the FCC’s limit.

The CCN report does note, however, that these are only “ballpark figures” and that actual radiation fluctuates depending on use.

If you want to try and keep your brain free of radiation, the iPhone 4’s user manual suggests holding your device at least 15 millimeters away from your body when using it for calls or data transfer over a cellular network. However, if you fancy a bit more radiation, get yourself a Motorola smartphone.

[via AppleInsider, image courtesy of wZa HK on Flickr]

  • David

    And this is why I always plug my earphones into my iPhone when I’m on a call.

  • Anonymous

    This is an elaborate story that has dragged on for years, there has never been any sustained proof that phones give off any dangerous radiation. Its scare tactics used by companys for one thing. Money.

    • moimoimoimoi

      although I agree that there is a culture of fear being imposed upon us, I don’t think this radiation thing should be just tossed away because it lacks what you term as ‘proof’.
      lol there was a time when ‘scientists’ KNEW that Troy was a myth, the Earth was flat, there was almost no water in space, bacteria didn’t exist, non carbon based life wasn’t possible, space didn’t affect time, ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC

      why take the risk?????

    • Harrison

      yikes. not a whole lot of research?

  • Joe

    The radiation from cell phones is the same everyone is exposed to every day from wifi, cordless phones, and car sterios.

    • moimoimoimoi

      so that makes it okay??? lmao you kids today…. wow.

    • Harrison

      right. except we don’t hold those other devices up to our heads.

  • sOleFresh

    Good thing i rarely talk on the phone.text=ftw

  • If you want to try and keep your brain free of radiation, the iPhone 4′s user manual suggests holding your device at least 15 millimeters away from your body when using it for calls or data transfer over a cellular network. However, if you fancy a bit more radiation, get yourself a Motorola smartphone.

    That is too funny

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    I never liked Motorola cellphones anyway 😀

  • Darbados

    I don’t know why so many people are in denial about cell phone radiation and the cancer link. Same type of people who used to think smoking was okay, I guess!

  • Potamus

    Or if you fancy less radiation get yourself a LG smartphone. Why not seeing it the other way around….

  • Brandon.

    Yeah like Joe said, and plus my physics instructor was talking about radiation last week, and said specifically that cellphones are not potent enough to actually cause damage.

  • Jacksparrow

    The way I see it this stuff is blown way outta control and I believe I know who is behind this from a little bit of digging into the funding sources behind these “scientific studies”. Seems the cigarette companies are indirectly behind these stories perhaps to divert unwanted recent attention from their own wonder product the “cancer stick”.

  • johnny

    Everybody who is trying to say that the whole radiation isn’t really a threat or that it’s just overblown are just so f****n stupid. Seriously who are you? What qualifications do you have that will make us believe you over actual scientists. To the idiot asking for proof…really? It takes years for the cancer to kick in. So far cell phones haven’t been used long enough to show outward damage, but in an increasingly cell-phone dependent world, that is only a matter of time. These guys just want to go against everybody else just for the sake of it. Try being cocky 30 years from know when you have brain/testicular cancer.
    This stuff is serious, bee’s are dying by the thousands near cell phone towers; brain activity analysis has shown that brain activity increases and the fact that radiation (even low-level) can penetrate the human body and cause serious damage is just common sense. At least take a basic physics class before you try to be smarter than a neuroscientist…..seriously, people need to start paying attention before it’s too late!!!

    • Joe

      So are you throwing yours away or still using a cell phone? By your comment I would expect you to stop using cells completely.

      • Johnny

        Of course not, like I said, we are becoming more and more dependent on cell phones. I’m not a “fearmonger”. Im simply saying to exercise precaution. Use bluetooth, headphones, speakerphones, airplane mode. And when you aren’t using your phone keep it away from you or off as much a possible (like when you’re sleeping or when in class).

  • Jacksparrow

    Lol, the fear mongers shame on you. Beach goers will still go to the beach and expose their pale pastie flesh to receive 100x their yearly allotment of poison rays in one afternoon.

    • Johnny

      I also go to the beach. Everything that is bad for humans is also to good to give up. You just need to use precaution is all I’m saying. This apples to everything, not just cell phones. It’s not that hard, I don’t understand why everybody’s making lame excuses to live their lives the same way. I think not getting brain cancer is a pretty good deal…

  • Joe

    Just currious how Bluetooth connects to your cell phone. Oh wait the same radio waves your phone uses. Shove that in your ear and bake it.

    • Johnny

      The radio waves emitted from a bluetooth device are much lower than those emitted by your phone. Bluetooth devices emit 1MILLIWATT throughout space as opposed to a cell phone which can emit up to 3 WATTS in one single beam. Although constantly keeping even a low-radiation device in your ear around the clock can eventually do damage.

      If you don’t believe me then fine, at least use headphones, speakerphones, airplane mode etc. The point remains. I don’t even get what you’re trying to say…are you just trying to argue for the sake it?

  • Johnny

    The radio waves emitted from a bluetooth device are much lower than those emitted by your phone. Bluetooth devices emit 1MILLIWATT throughout space as opposed to a cell phone which can emit up to 3 WATTS in one single beam. Although constantly keeping even a low-radiation device in your ear around the clock can eventually do damage.

    If you don’t believe me then fine, at least use headphones, speakerphones, airplane mode etc. The point remains. I don’t even get what you’re trying to say…are you just trying to argue for the sake it?