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Two cellphones are zap traps

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If you don't want an earful of radio waves, stay far away from two Motorola cellphones, City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz advised yesterday.

She released a list of nearly 400 cellphone models, along with the amount of potentially cancer-causing emissions absorbed through the ears of people who use them without headsets.

Topping the list with the most emissions were Motorola's V.120E and V.60x cellphone models.

A separate list shows the amount of radio waves that hit the body if a person is holding the phone or if it's stuffed in a pocket.

The lists will be posted on the City Council's Web site by early this week, she said.

Using an FCC measurement of the number of radio waves absorbed from an active cellphone, she found a large number of the 381 models tested to be just under the legal limit of 1.60 watts per kilogram.

Motorola ranks among the worst offenders, according to Moskowitz's research.

People who hold 23 of its models directly to their ears absorb the most radio waves, she said. Users of the V.120E and V.60x models absorb 1.59 wpk through their ears, the study said.

Mitsubishi's MPX200 ranked lowest, with its users absorbing just .12 wpk through their ears.

People with headsets absorb the most radiation, 1.58 wpk, on their bodies if they use six models of Motorolas. They absorb the least radiation, .04, from two other Motorola models.

A Motorola spokesman said, "All our numbers are within FCC limits."

Moskowitz's list does not include phones made by Samsung, Audiovox and Kyocera, which, she said, make their numbers available in their user guides. And she called on manufacturers to be more forthcoming about radio-wave emissions.

"Consumers need to be able to make informed decisions about their cellphones," she said.

"And it is very difficult to get information about radio-wave emissions."

If she has her way, all manufacturers will include the numbers on their advertisements, on their boxes and right on the phones themselves.

She noted the "the jury is still out" on whether cellphones cause cancer.

Last May, the magazine Neurology reported finding no clear connection between cellphones and brain cancer.

Still, Moskowitz suggested cellphone use may turn out to be just as unhealthy as lighting up.

"They used to say that cigarettes weren't bad for you, but we know about that now," she said.

"There are 175 million Americans who use cellphones, and 69 percent of New Yorkers use them every day. We don't want to find out down the road that we've been doing damage to ourselves."

Moskowitz said she got a new cellphone after looking at the numbers.

"I have a plan with 5,000 minutes, so I'm on the phone all the time" she said.

"I definitely don't want to learn later that these things cause cancer."

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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