Mobile Informer

December. 11, 2014



The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) has studied mobile phone electromagnetic radiation exposure. The goal of the study was to inform people about the possible health effects of exposure to mobile phone radiation and permitted standards, and to give some advises about electromagnetic radiation protection. 

Nowadays, when the mobile phone is practically an integral part of our life, we propose you to use a mobile phone and not to damage your health. It is necessary to know the following:

ü    What does SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) stand for?

ü    What the international standard of SAR is?

International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC developed IEC 62209-1 the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)  Standards and the basic requirements for SAR assessment in 2005. The measurement unit is W/kg – wattage per body weight. European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, CENELEC and Institute of Electrical and  Electronics  Engineers, IEEE  have defined safety limits for exposure to RF energy produced by mobile devices that mainly exposes the head or a limb for the RF energy. According to this new standard Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measures exposure to fields between 300 MHz and 3 GHz. It concerns only measurement methods but not permitted Specific Absorption Power.

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, ICNIRP established permitted levels of mobile phone radiation exposure in Europe, and Institute of Electrical and  Electronics  Engineers, IEEE -  in the USA. These standards were approved by World Health Organization, WHO.

SAR permitted standards:

European Union: CENELEC specify SAR limits within the EU, following IEC standards. For mobile phones, and other such hand-held devices, the SAR limit is 2 W/kg averaged over 10 g of tissue.  Federal Communications Commission, FCC requires that phones sold have a SAR level accordingly  0.08 W/kg and 1.6 W/kg (taken over a volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue). SAR standard increase up to 4 watt/kg of some upperparts e.g. arms is permitted in Europe. European standards are applied in Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, etc. The USA standards are applied in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

For the purpose to decrease the mobile electromagnetic radiation exposure according to the analysis above, the Georgian National Communications Commission, GNCC proposes the following recommendations how to use the mobile phones:

Firstly: the Georgian National Communications Commission, GNCC has analyzed 2 700 mobile phones SAR data and developed Online Mobile Informer that will be on GNCC official website and on Commission’s Facebook Fans Web page. People, who decide to buy a mobile phone, can get information about SAR. (Note: when measuring the SAR due to a mobile phone the phone is placed at the head in a talk position. The SAR value is then measured at the location that has the highest absorption rate in the entire head, which in the case of a mobile phone is often as close to the phone's antenna as possible). We also propose a set of rules how to use the mobile phones without any damage or danger for your health:

1.                  What does the mobile phone SAR size depend on?

SAR depends on the technical characteristics of the mobile phone (such as radiated power, screening, etc.). At the same time SAR depends on a distance between human head and main radiation antenna of the mobile phone and antenna structure, so when we speak on the phone it is necessary to know the mobile phone antenna position in a mobile phone body.

2.                  How to choose a mobile phone with low radiation?

There are some simple rules for those who want to choose a mobile phone with low radiation: to check the mobile phone SAR, it is possible to do it online preliminarily; choose a mobile phone with low SAR and find out an antenna position in a mobile phone body (generally it is located in upper part of a mobile phone body). People, who want to avoid completely a superhigh frequency exposure, are recommended to use different wireless devices (wireless headphones) or Bluetooth.

3.                  Can the mobile phone in idle/standby mode cause damage? In which mode of mobile phone is radiation the most dangerous?

When mobile phone is in standby mode the radiation is imperceptible because data are exchanged with the base station during one tenth of a second. So in this case you may carry your mobile phone at a convenient place.  Try to keep your mobile phone at a distance from your head when you speak on the phone, even you use a headset. It should be noted that speaking on the mobile phone is divided into two parts: making call to other subscriber and speaking. When you make a call your mobile phone is connecting to other subscriber via base station. If the base station is located close to you the mobile phone uses low power because mobile phone adapts its power to the base station. After that a mobile phone starts operating and there is a maximum density of electromagnetic power at that moment, specifically 18 MW/ for GSM systems, while the maximum strength of electric field is only 2 MW/ when you speak on the phone (that is nine times less). So the mobile phone has the maximum radiation at the moment of connection but not when you are speaking on the phone.

4.                  In the buildings of reinforced concrete structure (except big trade centers, stations and other buildings of this type where the mobile phone operators may have a local base stations) you should try to stand near the window or between stairs to improve connectivity. When connectivity is bad a mobile phone electromagnetic radiation sharply increases. When you are located in a bad connectivity area (you can see it on the phone display) you must quickly shorten your speech or send a text message instead.

5.                  How should we hold a mobile phone?

Do not cover the antenna with your hands when you are speaking on the phone. Do not cover more than one third part of a mobile phone body (especially the upper part, seldom the lower part).

6.                   When you are making a call GSM phones are operating at high power levels (nine times high power levels than in general mode when we speak, as we saw above), so you must take your mobile phone to your head after some seconds you dialed a number (you can see it at the top of the screen where phone status information displays).

7.                  If you have a long conversation take off your metal-rimmed glasses because such type of glasses may have the secondary radiation and it can increase the radiant intensity. It is not advisable to speak on the mobile phone more than 4-5 minutes.

8.                  To decrease power use wireless device - Bluetooth.

9.                  Which place is the safest to carry a mobile phone?

The safest is to carry a mobile phone in a pocket at hips, above the knee.

10.              When the mobile phone radiant intensity is higher - when we are speaking on the mobile phone or during data exchange (SMS)?

Using GSM technologies radiant intensity of superhigh frequency increases in a short message service (SMS) mode. However, while sending text message, duration of transmission is so short that radiation exposure is accordingly poor.

11.              Do not speak on the mobile phone when you are in a car because car body blocks the   electromagnetic power from the base station, so the mobile phone radiant intensity is increased.

12.              Mobile phone and children

It is not advisable that children under the age of 8 years use the mobile phones. The duration of their phone conversations must be limited as much as possible. They may speak during 1-2 minutes and make a call in the case of necessity only. You must show them how to hold the mobile phone.