Do phones, and particularly smartphones cause cancer? So, the indications are that they don’t. Most of the research that has been carried out so far hints that phones do emit radiation because of the radio waves but it is not strong enough to damage DNA.
But with that said, the current wisdom regarding smartphones and cancer is based on the fact that so far no direct link has been found yet between cancer smartphones. Yet. This is the key word. It is known that phones are carcinogenic. It’s just that radiation from them is not strong enough to fry DNA.
The key question, however, now becomes just how strong is the radiation coming from your phone. Every electronic device emits a small amount of non-ionizing radiation measuring around few REMS and the amount absorbed by body between a specific time period is known as SAR value i.e Specific absorption rate (SAR).
In simple words if you want to know how much radiation your phone is putting out, you need to figure out its SAR value.
What is SAR?
When electromagnetic waves are received and transmitted there is a loss of some per cent and this lost percentage of electromagnetic waves is absorbed by the tissues around it. SAR value is the rate at which the body absorbs this lost electromagnetic waves. Phones contain radio transmitters and receiver in order to operate on the wireless network. So they emit radio waves, which are carcinogenic. Although as noted earlier, the intensity of these radio waves deems them harmless.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has set an SAR level of 1.6 W/Kg for phones and the same measurement is followed in India. This means phone below 1.6W/kg are considered good.
How to check your phone’s SAR value?
In order to measure the SAR value, one should look behind the packaging of their cell phone. It is mentioned there. It is also, in many cases, mentioned on website of your phone maker. Nowadays users can check the SAR value of their phone on their mobile phone’s manufacturer’s website as it is mandatory to mention the SAR value of mobile phones.
But this can be cumbersome. So there is another way, a much easier way. Although this seemingly works only on Android phones.
- On your phone open the dialer or phone app.
- Now dial *#07# in your phone. This will show the you the SAR measurement of your device as specified by the manufacturer.
So how much SAR is better?
Lower is better, although as noted earlier FCC in the US considers SAR level of 1.6W/kg good enough. So don’t worry if your phone has a SAR value of 1.2 or something like that even though most phones are nowadays in the range of 0.5 to 0.6.
At the same time, you can limit the exposure phone radiation by using earphones with mobile when you are talking and limiting the usage of mobile devices. Also, usually bigger brands tend to have phones with lower SAR value.