There has been a lot of debate about the effect of mobile phones and technology on human health. We believe it is important to keep our customers informed of the facts and so we do our best to provide you with all the information available.
The effect of mobile technology on human health has been studied by many experts. Recent research concluded that the use of mobile phones does not cause adverse health effects. This opinion is held also by World Health Organisation (WHO, Fact Sheet N193): “None of the recent reviews have concluded that exposure to the RF fields from mobile phones or their base stations causes any adverse health consequence.”
The research in this field is still going on and we will keep you informed if there are any new conclusions.
- What is SAR?
- Are there any binding SAR limits for mobile phones?
- SAR measurement
- Health risks and recommendations
Mobile phones and health
What is SAR?
SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate. In case of mobile phones* SAR is an amount of radio frequency (RF) energy absorbed by the human body when using a mobile phone.
SAR value is expressed as Watt per kilogram [W/kg]. Regarding mobile phones, this parameter is expressed as specific locally absorbed power [W/kg (10g)].
* Generally, SAR is an amount of energy absorbed by a mass with defined characteristics in relation to a weight unit.
Are there SAR limits that a mobile phone must not exceed?
There are SAR limits for mobile phones that must not be exceeded. A unified standard doesn’t exist so SAR limit values can vary in different countries or parts of the world.
In the European Union, the European Union Council has adopted the recommendations made by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) that set a SAR limit of 2.0 W/kg in 10 g of tissue (Recommendation 519/1999/EC). In the Czech Republic, the limit is set in the government order no. 408/2000 concerning health protection against non-ionising radiation, effective from 1st January 2001.
The specific locally absorbed high frequency power is defined in the ICNIRP recommendations (and in the above quoted government order no. 408/2000) so that not more than a hygienic limit of 0,02 W (0,02 W/0,01 kg = 2 W/kg) can be absorbed in any 10 g of body tissue.
In areas where the recommendations of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are observed, e.g. in the USA, Canada or Australia, a SAR limit of 1.6 Watts per kilogram averaged over one gram of tissue has been set.
The two limits are related to different units therefore they can not be compared! **
* Applies for head and body, a SAR limit 4 W/kg (10g) is set for limbs.
** E.g. at 1800 MHz, a device that gives a SAR 1,6 W/kg in a 1 g mass of tissue (1,6 W/kg (1g)) will typically give a SAR 0,8 W/kg in a 10 g mass of tissue (0,8 W/kg (10g)).
Before launching a mobile phone, manufacturers and importers have to ensure that relevant tests have been carried out and prove that the mobile phone complies with limits and other requirements set in EU directives (which have been transposed to the law no. 22/1997 in the CR). The fulfilment of such requirements is marked by the conformity CE label on the phone.
Tests for SAR are conducted using standardized methods with the phone transmitting at its highest certified power in all used frequency bands; the maximum measured value is declared. The measurements are conducted in various positions of the mobile phone in relation to its user - at the head and on the body.
Health risks and recommendations
To date, conducted research in the field of mobile technology and health has not proved any negative effects of electromagnetic fields (e.g. the radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones) on human health if the limits recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection are followed. This opinion is also held by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that takes intensive interest in this field and coordinates further research. The research is now focused especially on the long-term exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic field and on the possible health effects of the use of mobile phones by children.
The only effect concerning the emission at this frequency that has been identified so far and might cause a health risk, is almost imperceptible heating of the body or its parts.
If, despite the current scientific evidence, you are concerned about the possible effects of the use of mobile phones on human health, you can take measures to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic emission. These include:
- Limiting the amount of time you spend on your mobile phone
- Taking your phone out of your pocket and putting it on a nearby surface when you’re at home or at work
- Using a hands-free kit
- Checking the SAR of a phone before you buy it
- Turning your phone off when you don’t need to use it
Additional information about SAR and the safe use of mobile phones can be found at manufacturers, mainly in the user’s guide for the mobile phone or on the website of manufacturer.