Man-made radiation has been emitted for about 150 years since the inventions of the industrial revolution went into widespread use, now we’re part of the digital revolution. Artificial sources of radiation are claimed to be responsible for about 15% of the total exposure. An even higher level of exposure (50%) may affect industrialized countries due to the more widespread access to technology.
Radiation and SAR
More conscious technology use
The purpose of this page is to educate anyone interested in learning more about SAR. We don’t want you to stop using electronic devices. Our aim is to encourage a more conscious use of them.
Non-ionizing radiation is located at the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum and is a form of low-energy radiation. This kind of radiation is also known as extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation. Non-ionizing radiation differs from ionizing radiation (IR) because non-ionizing radiation doesn’t carry enough energy to break molecular bonds and ionize atoms, ionizing radiation does. That is not to say that extended exposure to non-ionizing radiation isn’t harmful, we know that it is.
Most of us know that a little bit of UV radiation can be useful, as it helps our bodies produce vitamin D. However, too much exposure can cause problems, such as damage on a molecular level (i.e. sunburn). When light from the Sun reaches Earth, it is mainly comprised of non-ionizing radiation as the atmosphere filters out ionizing far-ultraviolet rays, via gases such as oxygen.
SAR measurements and limits
SAR level standards appeared quite recently.
For a long time there were no established standards for SAR across the mobile phone industry because there wasn't any governmental action to require it. However, in the US, the FCC, Federal Communications Commission, set the radio frequency safety guidelines that all phones must meet before being sold in the US (1992).
In Europe, "the European Council Recommendation 519/1999/EC for exposure guidelines has adopted the recommendations made by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP Guidelines 1998).” You can see current reference standards and limits below.
SAR Limit: 1.6 W/Kg in 1 g of tissue
Guidelines: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Guidelines. Limit reference: American Standard ANSI C95.1 (ANSI 1992)
SAR Limit: 2.0 W/Kg in 10g of tissue
Guidelines: European Specification ES 59005 (1998). Limit reference: ICNIRP Guidelines 1998 (ICNIRP 1998)
SAR Limit: 1.6 W/Kg in 1 g of tissue
Guidelines: Australian Communications Authority (ACA) Standard. Limit reference: Australian Standard AS/NZS 2772.1 (ACA RS 1999)
The measurement standards evolve to better reflect real life use of phones.
Previously, the tested mobile phone was placed at a distance of 15-25 mm to the phantom which does not resemble the actual manner of holding a mobile phone during use. Recently, this changed in order to improve safety precautions. Testing the SAR value of a phone has been moved to 5mm, this shows that the industry safety standards regarding mobile phones has improved as this more closely mimics how most people hold a phone to their ear. Each phone is designed to use the minimum power required to reach the network so the actual SAR level of the mobile phone should be below this value.
The scientists concerned with the dangers of EMF radiation made the following requests:
The media disclose experts’ financial relationships with the industry when citing their opinions regarding the health and safety aspects of EMF-emitting technologies.
Guidelines and regulatory standards should be strengthened. It is required to put warning labels on mobile phones for sale to keep customers informed about the possible side effects of using them.
The public should be fully informed about the potential health risks from electromagnetic energy and taught harm reduction strategies.
Governments fund training and research on electromagnetic fields and health, which is independent of industry and mandate industry cooperation with researchers.
Medical professionals should be educated about the biological effects of electromagnetic energy and require training on the treatment of patients with electromagnetic sensitivity.
Utilities responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and monitoring of electricity maintain adequate power quality and ensure proper electrical wiring to minimize harmful ground current.
Radiation-free areas should be established. Electrohypersensitive people can’t live near any electronic devices which emit radiation. No WiFi routers (even from other houses in the neighbourhood), no smart meters and no cellphone towers.
Children and pregnant women should be protected. Protecting the youngest is of the utmost importance. As we know, it is scientifically proven that children are at a higher risk of suffering from adverse health effects relating to radiation.
Manufacturers should be encouraged to develop safer technology. In many countries it is considered crucial to protect schools and kindergartens from harmful WiFi radiation. It is becoming a cause for concern for governments.
One study that might be of interest is the Generalized EMF research using novel methods (GERoNIMO) project. Started in 2014 as an integrated approach from research to risk assessment and support to risk management. The European Union (grant agreement 603794) provided the financial support for the study, as well as local and national funding sources. ISGlobal includes 19 partners from 13 countries and as they’re leading this project it shows that there is a real public concern for information regarding the subject of mobile radiation.
Studies on radiation health effects
A study from Canada found that one has to use a phone for only about 550 lifetime hours to slightly increase the risk of developing glioma. A few years ago, a different study showed a correlation between radiation DNA–fragmentation, and semen motility, which could lead to infertility. Health effects on humans requires further research but may include brain tumours,Alzheimer's disease, speech problems, and reduced melatonin production. Other effects on humans appear to include leukemia and increased brain-blood barrier permeability.
RF-EMF brain exposure risks
A study published study that was conducted by Swiss TPH in collaboration with the European Union project GERoNiMO says that cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year may have a negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents. 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. The findings do not provide conclusive evidence of causal effects and should be interpreted with caution until confirmed in other populations. Associations with media use parameters with low RF-EMF exposures did not provide clear or consistent support of effects of media use unrelated to RF-EMF (with the possible exception of consistent positive associations between verbal memory and data traffic duration). It is not yet clear which brain processes could be potentially affected and what biophysical mechanism may play a role.
Who should be extra careful when it comes to SAR values?
Evidence presented on this page indicates that we should all care about the SAR value of our electronic devices. However, certain individuals might need to be more concerned about limiting their exposure to electromagnetic radiation than others.
Enjoying well-being of other people
Mudita is a Buddhist term for joy which has its source in the well-being of other people. It is a term which best reflects our mission.
Human physical and mental health
The ambition of Mudita is to design consumer electronics that put physical and mental health first, with a human factor at the core of everything we do.
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We want to improve education with regards to technology and we also want to help people feel fulfilled and content with what they have.
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