How well do you know your cell phone? Sure, it serves as another appendage or a digital personal assistant. But take a closer look at it. Sleek. Shiny. Maybe a scratch or two on the screen from the time you – well, never mind. Now consider this: sometimes the things we hold so close… should be held a little further away. Cell phones transmit electromagnetic energy in order to make calls and browse the internet. Sounds a little complicated, but you know the concept by another name: radiation. With the holiday season upon us, and 43% of Americans owning smartphones as of October, the prediction that smartphones will become the majority by the end of 2011 is becoming more real. Three recommended ways to minimize your risk of exposure are to buy smart, keep informed, try a radiation-tracking mobile app. Start here: Buy smart. Like snowflakes, no two phones are the same: inherent radiation levels differ by phone make and model. Use Environmental Working Group’s interactive database to find wireless devices with the lowest emissions. Know your SAR’s. That’s not an acronym for Santa’s Arctic Reindeer. The specific absorption rate, or SAR, is a measurement for how much radiation your body is absorbing from the phone. The lower the number, the lower the radiation exposure. With great power comes… Every model sold in the U.S. is tested for a SAR of <1.6 watts per kilogram (2.2lbs). How much energy is absorbed on any given slice of tissue on your body? 1.6 watts is what’s used to light up a string of 36 LED Christmas lights. And your Aunt Barbara’s fruitcake weighs about a kilogram… by the slice. The c-word C is for… cell phone cancer. The World Health Organization classifies cell phones as a potential cancer risk much like exhaust from gasoline-powered vehicles and, yes, lead. There’s an app for that tawkon is a mobile app that tracks your phone’s radiation output in real-time, while alerting you with quick tips to lower your exposure levels. Lower your exposure by altering your phone’s position, its distance from your body, your location, and more.