Is Cell Phone Radiation Harmful?


First, you need to know what SAR is. Specific absorption rate (SAR) is a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field. The Federal Communications Commission requires that phones sold have a SAR level at or below 1.6 watts per kilogram taken over the volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal.

According to a recent CNET video review about mobile phone SAR, the following five cell phone models have the highest SAR levels: Huawei Vitria (SAR 1.49), Alcatel One Touch Evolve (SAR 1.49), Motorola Moto E (SAR 1.5), Motorola Droid Ultra (SAR 1.54), and Motorola Droid Maxx (SAR 1.54). If you are using those cell phone models, should you be worried?

Another CNET article suggests that the SAR is an old test that the minimum 1.6 requirement was set in 1996 and hasn’t been changed since. While our technology advances continually and new cell phones are much more powerful than those in the past, maybe it is time for the government to revise the standard. Also, the dummy used for testing is more than 6 feet tall and weighed 220 pounds, that is a lot different from children, who are also cell phone users in general.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have several documents discussing about cell phone radiation, SAR, and other related topics. Here are some of the key points.

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) For Cell Phones: What It Means For You

Each cell phone is tested while operating at its highest power level in all the frequency bands in which it operates, and in various specific positions against the dummy head and body. However, only the highest SAR values for each frequency band are included in the final authorization to demonstrate compliance with the FCC’s RF guidelines.

The most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory. These measures will generally have much more impact on RF energy absorption than the small difference in SAR between individual cell phones, which, in any event, is an unreliable comparison of RF exposure to consumers, given the variables of individual use.

Reducing Exposure: Hands-free Kits and Other Accessories

If there is a risk from being exposed to radiofrequency energy (RF) from cell phones – and at this point we do not know that there is–it is probably very small. But if you are concerned about avoiding even potential risks, you can take a few simple steps to minimize your RF exposure. 1. Reduce the amount of time spent using your cell phone. 2. Use speaker mode or a headset to place more distance between your head and the cell phone.

Do cell phones pose a health hazard?

The low levels of RF cell phones emit while in use are in the microwave frequency range. They also emit RF at substantially reduced time intervals when in the stand-by mode. Whereas high levels of RF can produce health effects (by heating tissue), exposure to low level RF that does not produce heating effects causes no known adverse health effects.

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