The FCC Standard: Is the SAR Standard Rating Safe Enough?
The big news as of late regarding cell phones leading to cancer and a 10 year $25 million government study has turned the scientific community on its head. Now, government safety agencies worldwide are now recommending the reduction of exposure to cell phone radiation as much as possible. But is the SAR standard rating safe enough?
The SAR (Specific Absorption Rates) values are limits that measure the rate the energy is absorbed by your body’s tissue. So where does the government stand on the SAR value limit of 1.6 W/kg and how did they come up with this number? You would think that the government has our best interests at heart. After all they exist to protect us right? So, let’s take a look at present US cell phone criteria, how they stack up and what “We the People” can do to make them more efficient. The government agency that makes the decisions about cell phones is the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). They defined the rules as to how much radiation can be emitted via cell phones way back in 1996. Ask yourself, how many people were using cell phones back in 1996?
Phone manufacturing companies use plastic head models to perform tests regarding the amount of radiation which is emitted by their product. They then submit the data directly to the FCC or to an approved FCC certification board.
The amount of radiation allowed depends on the body part being exposed and are as follows:
- Head: up to 1.6 W/kg
- Whole body: up to 0.08 W/kg
- Hands, wrists, feet, and ankles: up to 4 W/kg
The rules the feds have supplied are nowhere near strong enough and have never been updated. There are many standards which have been set for the safety of our public health; there are rules for maximum levels of impurities in tap water, the amount of pesticide deposits in food and more. Government officials assume a certain amount of radiation, pesticide deposits and impurities is safe. They then reduce that amount to create a standard of safety. By setting this standard of safety they regulate the amount allowed as being lower than what the research indicates as being safe. These regulations create an uncertainty about how contaminants affect human beings, and they do not take into consideration the susceptibility of groups such as children whose skulls are thinner than adults.
Regulations for cell phones were based on suggestions made back in 1992 by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). These so-called standards are dated to say the least. They were conducted via animal studies in the 1970s and 1980s which assumed that an SAR value of 4 W/kg was the highest amount allowed of exposure to radiation before confrontational health effects took place. As of this date, that was 24 years ago and there are obviously problems with these assumptions. There is no standard of safety. Numerically a standard of safety is between 50 to 100 times lower than the moment that health effects take place. However, radiation exposures to the head allows for a standard SAR value of up to 1.6 W/kg which is only 2.5 times as opposed to 50 to 100 times lower. As far as exposure levels to your feet and ankles and hands and wrists, cell phones can legally have an SAR value of 4 W/kg which is no standard of safety.
Since children have thinner skulls, SAR values can be twice that of the values for adults. The standards as they are set don’t account for the fact that children are at a higher risk. The research shows that even 4 W/kg is not “safe” and that the level assumed is too high for a growing body and they don’t take into consideration the effects of long term exposure. The study which based a 4 W/kg exposure threshold is based purely on short term exposure. Recent studies show that long term cell phone usage leads to a greater risk of health effects. Therefore the standard as it is today is no longer adequate to measure the effects of a lifetime of cell phone exposure, particularly for children who begin using cell phones at a young age.
As it is the United States is behind other government agencies in countries such as Finland, Israel, Switzerland, Germany, France and England as well as the European Parliament. These countries have all recommended perimeters to cell phone usage. There have been considerations of limits of advertising to children under the age of 14 and to require that phones be sold only with additional headsets.
What has the United States done? The FDA Office of Women’s Health made a statement saying, “more studies on cell phone radiation are needed” and “people who use cell phones need to be told of any bad effects.” I wouldn’t exactly call this a proactive method of protecting the public’s health.
So, what should our government do about all of these health issues? Well, the FCC needs to bring their regulations regarding cell phone usage and radiation exposure into the 21st century. They need to take all of the most recent studies into account when creating a standard that will actually protect all Americans particularly the youngest and most defenseless.
Follow these safety steps to protect yourself from harmful radiation exposure:
- Keep a time limit on your child’s use of cell phones
- For everyday phone calls use a landline
- Do not give a cell phone to a child as a toy
- If the child uses your phone to play games change to airplane mode prior to the game play
- Always keep a safe distance
- Use an air-tube headset or place your phone on speaker while talking
- Some cell phone cases force the phone to work harder, thereby emitting more radiation. Always use an RF Safe protective flip cover case
- Texting discharges less radiation than having the phone next to your head, text whenever possible
- Always try to have a strong signal when using your phone. A weaker signal emits more radiation
- Keep your phone away from your pocket and never have it under your pillow
So what’s the bottom line? Well, more testing and more regulations need to be done in order to bring the SAR values to more realistic numbers.
Of course, you’re here because you’re informed about the dangers of cell phones and the potential cancer causing levels of radiation. One of the most prevalent cancers emitted by cell phones is brain cancer. This and other cell phone causing cancers can be prevented by using an RF Safe flip Cover Case in conjunction with an RF Safe AirTube Headset which can be further protected by an RF Safe Ferrite Bead. The good news is that you can protect yourself from cancer causing radiation emitted by cell phones with these and other devices.