What is the SAR value of your phone?

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Radiation is everywhere

Natural radiation has always been part of our environment.[1] However, the amount of man-made radiation we are exposed to has grown rapidly in the last decades.[2] This is caused by the ever increasing number of technological devices we surround ourselves with.

Some electronic devices commonly found in the home and their unit of frequency.

Technology is closer to us than ever before

Our homes and streets are flooded with electromagnetic fields generated by technology. It’s possible that these devices and mobile phones in particular, might affect us negatively. This is due to their prolonged, close contact with our bodies.

1998200620142019SUBSCRIPTIONS(IN BILLIONS)YEARS782.50.5

Global mobile subscriptions since 1998[4][5]

1998:

318 million mobile phone subscriptions worldwide.

2006:

2.7 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide.

2014:

Almost seven billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. The average person in the U.S. spends approximately two and a half hours per day using their phone.

2019:

Estimated 8.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide.

Mobile phones, really?

Mobile phones are considered to be the most used electronic device[3] worldwide and it’s likely that they’re the most time consuming. Mobile internet overtook desktop usage in 2014.

We tend to keep our phones close to our bodies for extended periods of time, usually in our pockets. In the past, phones were mainly used for making phone calls or sending messages. Now they’re used for so much more than that.

Specialists use a phantom model of the human head and body to measure SAR values.

What is a SAR value?

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is defined as the amount of absorbed non-ionizing radiation power (or rate of absorbed energy) by unit mass of biological tissue.[6]

It is worth noting that manufacturers measure the SAR value of their products under laboratory conditions which often don’t reflect how we use them in real life.

This is why manufacturers advise that you use your phone at a distance from your head or body. Every phone has a specified SAR value. The lower the SAR value, the better.

As we become ever more reliant on our devices, what was once considered excessive smartphone use has been normalized.

Why should you care?

There is a growing concern among researchers and the general public about the potentially harmful effects mobile radiation can have on our health. Evidence and research in this area exists but there is a demand for more as some people still remain unconvinced.

Health implications

Research found preliminary evidence suggesting that RF-EMF may affect brain functions such as figural memory in regions that are most exposed during mobile phone use. Children are more vulnerable than adults when it comes to EMF exposure.[7][8][9]

It might be worth remembering that some of the inventions which were widely used throughout history took researchers decades to prove their harmful impact.

1920s

Shoe-fitting fluoroscope is invented and installed in first shoe stores.

1927s

The long-term risks from chronic exposure to radiation began to emerge, showing genetic effects

1950s

A number of professional organizations had issued warnings about the continued use of shoe-fitting fluoroscopes

1970s

Shoe-fitting fluoroscope stop being installed in shoe stores across U.S. and Europe. Goverments impose stricter standards on X-ray usage for medical purposes

Shoe-fitting fluoroscope is invented and installed in first shoe stores.

1865

First commercial cigarettes are made.

1900s

The prevalence of cigarette smoking continues to grow. The society is completely unaware of harmful effects of smoking.

1950s

A series of major medical reports confirmes that tobacco causes a range of serious diseases

Late 20th cent.

Smoking becomes less popular due to a rapid increase in knowledge of the health effects of both active and passive smoking

First commercial cigarettes are made.

1973

Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment.

1999

First important research that proved an increased risk for brain tumor in the anatomical area close to the use of a mobile phone

2011

In 2011 mobile phone radiation was classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

2014

Around half of the world population is connected by mobile phones

2030

What will be the next major discovery?

Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment.

Using X-ray in shoe stores was the best way to find the perfect size

and to provide store workers, who operated the machines, with skin diseases

and to provide store workers, who operated the machines, with skin diseases

or at least we thought so, for many years.

Using mobile phones does not endanger my health

Not after using it for one day

We’re more connected than ever before.

You don’t have to stop using technology

Attempting to remove all of your electronic devices isn’t a good idea and it would be quite difficult. Instead, try to create a sense of balance between your online and offline life.

There's no need to drastically change your lifestyle, just adapting new habits to put into place everyday is enough to feel safer.

Resources

Check the SAR value of your phone

You don’t have to stop using your mobile phone but you might want to consider getting one with a lower SAR value.

Check here