If you think your cell phone's low SAR rating will keep you safe from your phone's radio frequency/microwave radiation, think again. Several studies have shown that even low-intensity radiation, up to 200,000 lower than existing safety standards, produces biological effects.
What is SAR, anyway?
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone. The FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radio frequency and requires cell phone manufacturers to ensure that their phones comply. Any cell phone at or below these SAR levels (that is, any phone legally sold in the U. S. ) is a “safe" phone, as measured by these standards. The FCC limit for public exposure from cellular telephones is an SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg). (You can request your cell phone's SAR information from the manufacturer or your carrier. )
When radio frequency energy impinges upon your body tissue, part of it is absorbed and converted to heat due to ionic conduction. This heat manifests itself as a temperature increase inside the tissue. Earlier on the government and the industry have come to the conclusion that if this heating is below a certain level, then the radiation level is safe.
Biological Effects from Low Exposure
But several laboratory studies show that nonthermal (non-heating) effects, including those occurring at levels way below the current SAR standards, can be dangerous. During the past several years three out of four independent (non-industry sponsored) research studies worldwide have been showing these nonthermal effects, which include:
- DNA damage and nonrepair
- breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (allowing chemical toxins and pathogens to reach the brain)
- lowered immunity
- decreased melatonin levels
- effects on stress proteins (indicating cell damage)
- formation of micronuclei (aberrations in cell nuclei which are often markers for cancer)
- changes in calcium metabolism affecting communication between cells
- changes in brainwave patterns as seen on EEG's
- plus effects observed on many different systems of the body.
Researchers are cautious in drawing any conclusions that these effects are directly linked to major health problems like cancer and neurological conditions. They are, however, plausible precursors to such conditions, and some evidence suggests there may be an association. Even conservative researchers who have looked into these nonthermal effects express concern that this radiation is a “probable" cause of health problems.
Given that bioeffects have been seen in exposures as low as 0.000021 W/Kg (Kwee study on Changes in cell cycle and cell proliferation, 1997) when the FCC limit is 1.6 W/Kg, the safety guidelines need to be re-evaluated. Some scientists, for instance, are calling for a new measure that would indicate the total energy absorbed by a tissue, not just the radio frequency energy as it is with SAR.
Filling the Gap
In the meantime, what do you, as the consumer, do? If the whole tobacco controversy was any indication, it could take several more years before there develops any clear consensus about this issue. The everyday cell phone user cannot afford to wait. Every time you make a call with your cell phone, radio frequency waves penetrate into your head and potentially put your health at risk.
To address concerns of the public becoming more aware of such dangers, there has grown a market to fill the need for protective solutions. Promising new technologies that have passed scientific testing are proven to be effective in preventing biological stress caused by electromagnetic frequencies. Scientists and health professionals concerned about public health recommend these scientifically validated devices and you ought it to yourself to investigate them.
It took two decades of study, 100 years of consumer use, and untold millions of casualties before the U. S. Surgeon General's warning label was placed on cigarette packs. A time will come when the government becomes satisfied with the voluminous data it needs to establish the health risks of cell phone use and set new safety standards. Until then, make sure you do not become a number in the statistics. Don't wait.
© copyright 2005 Taraka Serrano
Taraka Serrano is a health advocate associated with BIOPRO Technology, a company that provides electromagnetic field (EMF) protection solutions. For more information about the health dangers of EMF exposure and to find out how you can protect yourself and your family, watch the special video report: "The Invisible Dangers of EMF Radiation" at: BIOPRO EMF Protection