Mark Lerner
Mark Lerner

September 5, 2012

Cellphone Radiation Insights [Infographic]

The first mobile phones were large, bulky and rarely worked - these ridiculous looking contraptions were toys for the rich. Fast forward 30 years and everywhere, from New York City to Africa, people all over the world are glued to their phones.

However, there are still many unknowns about health risks associated with cellphone use; namely the issue of exposure to radiation.

Here is what we do know:

Cellphones emit radio frequency energy. Some studies have demonstrated a slight increase in the risk, while other studies have not demonstrated any risk.

The World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields “as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).”

With so many people, in so many parts of the world, using smartphones in their everyday life the people from tawkon was able to collect a wealth of information on cellphone usage and behavior.

Using the data collected, tawkon conducted a study on the countries with the highest and lowest percentage of exposure time to radiation.

The results are quite jarring.  

Of all the countries included in the study, the UK ranked the highest with over 17% of talk time done so at high levels of radiation. Mexico, on the other hand, had the absolute lowest percentage of exposure at a shockingly low 2.9%.

What was the cause of the phenomenal difference in percentages? tawkon was able to identify a phenomenon in the UK wherein majority of cell phone conversations happen indoors. As you may or may not know, UK is infamous for its homes built of thick concrete walls. It is due to this fact that the phone needs to work harder to get signal, therefore emitting more radiation.

The research also included countries with the most time spent on phones as well as those countries who are most “aware” of radiation risk and therefore mitigate exposure by using accessories such as headsets. Topping the list of most “aware” countries is Denmark, and Japan ranks the least “aware” by a shocking margin - only 4% of Japanese talkers utilize hands free devices when on their cell phones. Mexico still remains in the top 5 in this list as well making it clearly the most shielded country from the possible dangers of cell phone radiation.

So Mexico comes out as the clear winner in terms of mitigating risks from cell phone radiation exposure, and the UK clearly has a long way to go, but what about how much people talk?

Which country has the most jabber mouths? According to the data collected by tawkon, the answer is Israel with 750 minutes average monthly talk time. While not in the top 5 listed, Israel also ranks quite high in the use of accessories to mitigate radiation risks.

Franklin Roosevelt once said “The only thing to fear is fear itself”. These powerful words still ring true today. Cell phones are part of our daily life, and that is not going to change anytime soon. While people can use various means to mitigate their exposure, the most powerful tool one can have is to know WHEN to use them. With tawkon you are able to see when your phone is putting out higher radiation levels, and you are given suggestions on what to do to minimize your exposure.

With tawkon, you can talk worry free.


Cellphone Radiation Insights
by tawkon.Browse more data visualization.
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