BEST/WORST MOBILES

REPORTER: LAURA SPARKES

There is data mobile phone companies don't want you to know, but now there's a list compiling 1000 mobile phones from best to worst -- which ones emit the highest levels of electromagnetic radiation -- information to make it easier when you buy a mobile phone.

Professor Bruce Armstrong is the professor of public health at Sydney University. He's spent years researching mobile phones and radiation. "Manufacturers should be providing this information readily available and visible at the point of sale of mobile phones", Professor Armstrong said.

Mobile phone companies have never made the electromagnetic radiation levels of each phone readily available. Usually the information is buried somewhere in those complicated phone manuals, which are sometimes up to 100 pages thick. Critics suggest this is because the mobile phone companies simply don't want us to know. "It seems to me that this would be a bit of a positive if mobile phones companies were to make it readily available", Professor Armstrong said.

Now the secret's out thanks to the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC Here's the top five lowest radiation emitting phones:

The Samsung Impression, the Motorola RAZR V8, Samsung SGH-t229, the Samsung Rugby and Samsung Propel Pro are all at least three times under our maximum level of two watts per kg.

The five worst almost reached our maximum acceptable level:

The Motorola Moto VU204, the Tmobile Mytouch 3G, the Kyocera Jax S1300, the Blackberry Curve 8330 and the Motorla W385

Associate Professor of Bioelectromagnetics at Swinborne University, Vites Anderson, runs the Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bio-Effects Research -- a centre that in the past has received major funding from mobile phone companies. "I have a concern that this information can also be potentially quite misleading in that it really does misrepresent the level of real risk to the consumer", he said.

Vites is more worried about the anxiety information about mobile phones and electromagnetic radiation will cause. "I think sometimes we're flooded with information, I think we have too much information and we tend not see the wood for the trees", he added.

But now even some of Australia's top neurosurgeons are warning against mobile phones. "It is possible that mobile phone technology is the 21st century's tobacco", said Dr, Vini Khurana.

He has studied hundreds of research papers into the effects of mobile phones and as a neurosurgeon, he's seeing a rise in malignant brain tumours, particularly in younger people. "We certainly cannot say they are safe, nobody can say they are safe, our concern is that there is evidence that says they are unsafe", Dr. Khurana said.

Today Tonight has conducted its own tests on mobile phones, more recently the emissions from a phone in a pocket. We found the levels of electromagnetic radiation in three of the four phones tested failed our legal safety limit of two watts per kilogram of body tissue. One tested three times greater than our own safety limit.

Our tester Chris Zombolas said, "It's not always made clear that when you use a phone in your pocket for example the radiation levels are much higher than they ought to be. I think people might be shocked to hear the evidence seems to be coming more strongly in support of harmful effects".

But of course those defending mobile phones say the majority of research proves mobile phones are completely safe. "If you were asking me to bet my house on one way or the other, I'd certainly come down on the side saying there probably isn't any real significant risk", Professor Anderson said.

For further information visit the website at: http://www.ewg.org/cellphoneradiation/Get-a-Safer-Phone?allavailable=1