Apple, Motorola, Samsung, and RIM: combined estimated net worth of $530 billion.
Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile: combined estimated net worth of $321 billion.
Thats close to a trillion dollars worth of companies that do not want you to stop using your mobile phone, or even to be worried about your mobile phone. Compare that to the combined budgets of the FCC and the EPA, the government agencies responsible for protecting consumers from possible health risks, estimated this year to be $9.3 Billion.
It would be fair to expect that this imbalance might make it hard to regulate mobile companies, and it is. Despite all this, the health agencies did win one small concession. Open any mobile phone user manual be it the Samsung Galaxy S III, Blackberry Bold or the iPhone 5 and you all find an explicit health warning (albeit buried somewhere in the back) regarding radiation exposure. A distance they recommend should be between you and your phone. It varies from company to company, for example Blackberry says nearly an inch and Apple says 5/8 of an inch.
These recommended distances do not address the fact that most mobile phone users hold their phones directly against their head when speaking. Furthermore it is based on science and regulations from 1996. Considering how powerful this industry is, we should see this acknowledgement of potential health risks as the tip of the iceberg.
Big business has a track record of prioritizing profit over their consumer health and wellbeing. The Tobacco industry spent $13.8 billion on advertising this past year, trying to promote a product that has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be dangerous, and that just one example.
The mobile phone industry has as much to lose now as the Tobacco industry did when the studies first started piling up, proving the dangers of cigarettes. Just like the tobacco industry in the 60 and 70, mobile phone companies are now fighting to bury the recent spate of reports that are trying to raise the alarm, even working to discredit the research once funded by the mobile phone industry after it showed data suggesting that mobile phones may cause biological harm.
The health risks posed by constant exposure to mobile devices are far from understood. It is clear though that these concerns, studies and reports can no longer be considered some zany conspiracy theory. The biggest proof? Just check your owner manual.