Does This iPhone Come With or Without Cancer?


Success can be an interesting conundrum. The more that’s achieved, the more work that’s required to “fuel the fire”. If you’ve ever made a bonfire, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

With my recent regression in Alexa ranking and Daniel’s iPhone purchase, I’ve been considering the advantages of a smartphone myself, specifically for blogging purposes. If I want to keep this momentum going, I need to find a way to be connected and have access anytime, anywhere.

Many bloggers utilize smartphones to manage their sites remotely, from approving comments to retweeting articles. With the seemingly endless list of functions Blackberry and iPhone’s have, could there possibly be any downside?

Only if they were marketed as the iTumor or ChemoBerry.

The research on cell phone radiation has been developing a stronger relationship between cell usage and health affects like brain tumors. Yikes…

Scrolling through the updated 2010 listing, guess what phones top the radiation rating:

  • Blackberry Bold – 1.55 W/kg
  • Motorola Droid – 1.50 W/kg
  • HTC Nexus One – 1.39 W/kg
  • Apple iPhone 3G – 1.19 W/kg

I’ll give Apple credit for being at the bottom of that bracket, but nonetheless the findings are somewhat alarming. The phones we’ve come to depend on, particularly for “business” purposes, could have very adverse health affects that we don’t understand yet.

Given the profitable business of telecommunications, it may take many years to fully acknowledge or even reverse the issues similar to what was experienced with Big Tobacco, and currently the Automotive industry.

Earlier I wrote an article deriving Financial Lessons From Engineering. Purposely omitted was the actual list of greatest engineering achievements identified. Why? Because it included technologies like petrochemical and nuclear. Heralded at the time (and still should be) as incredible advancements propelling society to new heights, the technologies’ benefits are now being seriously questioned.

Engineering, along with finances, are not exacting sciences. You take the information readily available at the time along with whatever historical data and make the best possible decision.

No technology, nor financial investment, is infallible.

There will always be unintended consequences.

Remember index funds were an evolution of the mutual fund to combat high fees, and only developed within the last century (1970s) while ETFs were born from the indexes even more recently (1990s) and originally intended for institutional traders.

Therein lies the important connection to personal finance. There will always be unintended consequences of any investment vehicle developed, by private interests, government, or other. The most important aspect is the ability to accept the tides of change, reflect/learn from each experience, then adapt/evolve so you can move forward.

So, to close with a little anecdote. The next time someone’s blabbing away on their smartphone while you’re enjoying a cold one at the local watering hole and just tell them,

Hey buddy – you mind taking that second-hand radiation outside?”

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12 Responses
    1. Fin Engr

      @ Forest:

      Generally, not for being on the laptop, but probably with WiFi. If you check out the link, the concern over cell phones is the electro-juice during transmission.

      And since the outputs are relatively low, its also the proximity to your body. So unless you type with your head 3″ from the screen – should be fine.

      Of course, I’m no expert on the matter – just my take ;)

  1. I just counter the radiation with my tin-foil cap. ;-)

    Seriously though, you’re right. I often wonder what the long-term effects of many different products will be, particularly the kinds of products we use everyday. For example, my deodorant was beginning to irritate my skin, so I switched to a brand that didn’t contain aluminum. I didn’t even know my deodorant contained aluminum. Seems like a strange ingredient to include in a product that you rub on your skin everyday. Better to err on the side of caution, I guess.

    1. Fin Engr

      @ Keith:

      Believe it or not, they have already started producing “radiation shields” according to the info I was reading. Yup, I believe it is with antiperspirants (not sure the exact reason), and have known people who also experience a reaction.

      Just like how smoking was marketed to women as a way to lose weight or how viagra was “accidentally” discovered, it’s amazing how things can drastically change from our original intentions.

      By the way – can you send me your email?

      1. Fin Engr

        @ Dr. Dean:

        Haha – yup! Just like Daniel P. mentioned… If he wants mini-Sweating the Big Stuffs – he may want to keep that in mind! ;)

        So what’s your medical take on the matter? Is there validity to the claim or more research still needs to be done?

    1. Fin Engr

      @ Daniel:

      Let’s try and keep this blog PG ok? ;) I had a summer internship where we wore radiation badges on our waist. It was checked/measured regularly to see how much we’d been exposed to and if we’d be able to have kids.

  2. I get laughed at a bit, but I feel the same way! Why risk it, if you don’t have too… I have a crackberry, but whenever I get a chance to put it on the desk in the corner, I do so.

    The fear of ELFs is primary reasons I don’t get my son one as a present!

    It’s good to hear I’m not alone on matter like these!
    .-= Money Reasons´s last blog ..BP Oil Spill, Selling On Bad News =-.

    1. Fin Engr

      @ Money Reasons:

      Good call on the children – that’s where science has the LEAST data and with their developing bodies/minds/etc it’s definitely not worth the risk! Top Finance Blogs