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The iPhone: most dangerous cell phone ever? (No.)


Is the iPhone the most dangerous cell phone ever?

Dr. Joseph Mercola thinks so. He's concerned about that great modern boogeyman, cell phone radiation. But lucky for you, he's got a solution he can sell you: the Blue Tube headset.

The Blue Tube headset looks to be a 2.5 mm plug hooked into a tiny speakerbox at the other end. That speaker box then emits sound up a long, hollow tube (similar to how a stethoscope works) and into an earpiece similar to those found on higher-end headphones from Shure and Etymotic.

What exactly makes an iPhone more "dangerous" than other cell phones? Well, Dr. Mercola helpfully points out that the iPhone emits radiation way more often than other cell phones, mostly because of what he calls "data waves."

Hookay. Let's be real for a second: cellular phones do emit low-level electromagnetic (EM) radiation. I used to work as a radiological health physics technician, so I know a fair bit about radiation (which is why I used to be in that field. Not anymore). Without getting too science-lecturey about it, let's just say there's two basic types of radiation:

1. The scary kind that can turn you into a sewer mutant and/or kill you. This is called ionizing radiation. It comes from nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, nuclear medicine (I'm sensing a pattern here), x-rays, and Cleveland.

2. The not-so scary kind that doesn't do much of anything to you at all. This is called non-ionizing radiation. Sources include power lines, your computer's display, cell phones, and the North Korean government's secret mind control rays.

It seems like every other week we get to hear about how the microwave radiation from cell phones is going to cook all of our brains like popcorn, and yet over decades of cell phone use by hundreds of millions of people, it hasn't happened yet. In fact, the U.S. National Cancer Institute has said, "Studies have not shown any consistent link between cellular telephone use and cancer." If anybody should know, I think it'd be those guys.

At any rate, it's kind of unnecessary to shell out close to $30 for the Blue Tube anyway, since the iPhone comes with a perfectly decent set of headphones already; and unlike the Blue Tube, they have a built-in microphone as well. If you're really as scared of iPhone-induced brain cancer as Dr. Mercola seems to think you should be, just use the free pack-in headphones instead.

Thanks to reader Chuck Cooper for sending this in!

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