When talking about the health hazards of cellphone usage, people often focus on the effect of staring at a screen on your ocular health or physical problems caused by texting and calling. One risk associated with cellphones that often go under the radar is the SAR and their possible effects.
What is SAR Value?
SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate, and is a figure which denotes the amount of radiation absorbed by the body when exposed to an electromagnetic field. More specifically, SAR is a value that refers to electromagnetic waves within radio frequency which extend from 100 kHZ to 10 GHz. While being exposed to small amounts of such radiation is a common part of modern life, excessive exposure can cause a variety of health hazards.
As radiation is harmful to the body beyond a certain point, most countries have regulations that police the SAR in a variety of devices. There are government mandated SAR limits on devices such as cellphones, used by every household, as well as MRI scanners, manufactured only for hospitals. India follows the USA’s standards of SAR limits, regulations only allowing up to 1.6 w/KG. Compliance is tested at random in the SAR Laboratory of the Telecommunication Engineering Center. Mobile phones are often subjected to these tests, but since there is no mandatory laboratory testing to confirm compliance with the law, you should be vigilant about SAR value on your phone.
How to check the SAR value of your mobile device
You can view the SAR value of your phone by dialing the USSD code *#07#. If the value is in compliance with government mandate and under 1.6 w/KG, you phone is safe to use. If not, you should consider changing your handset. Handsets released by reputed name-brand companies, such as Apple or Samsung, have been always known to be in compliance with these regulations.
Here are SAR level of some popular SmartPhones in the market.
- iPhone 6:>> 1.59 W/kg
- LG G3:>> 0.99 W/kg
- LG G2:>> 1.44 W/kg
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2:>> 0.42 W/kg
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3:>> 1.07 W/kg
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4:>> 1.20 W/kg
- Samsung Galaxy S5:>> 1.28 W/kg
- HTC One (M8):>> 1.29 W/kg
Why you should check the SAR value before buying
If you use an imitation handset, you should look up the SAR value in order to ensure that you are not exposed to undue radiation. While such minute amounts of radiation are not known to cause cancer or tumors, sustained exposure to radiation that is beyond the SAR limit can lead to health problems such as damage to the blood-brain barrier and even damage to your genes.