We often don't think about how much radiation our mobiles are emitting and quite conveniently accept the government line "it's safe". It appears as though the United States Government Accountability Office agrees with this and, has requested that the FCC reevaluate its mobile-phone radiation emittance limits, in the hopes that levels can be raised from the current 1.6W/kg up to the international standard of 2.0W/kg.
Having said this, the office also noted that there are current testing discrepancies when it comes to full-body measurements of radiation levels, where testing currently requires measurement of a test device from a holster, as opposed to in-pocket, an increasingly common trend as the use of wireless hands-free headsets, tethering and general palm use of smartphones becomes common-place.
ANSI C95.1 (1992)
|Group 1: controlled environment||workers||workers||occupational||condition P|
|wh-body ave.||0.4 W/kg||0.4 W/kg||0.4 W/kg||0.4 W/kg|
|spatial peak||8 W/kg||10 W/kg||n.a.||8 W/kg|
|ave. time||6 mins||6 mins||6 mins||6 mins|
|ave. mass||1 gram||10 grams||-||1 gram|
|shape of vol.||cube||cube||n.a.||cube|
|Group 2: uncontrolled environment||general public||general public||general public||condition G|
|whole body average||0.08 W/kg||0.08 W/kg||0.08W/kg||0.4 W/kg|
|spatial peak||1.6 W/kg||2 W/kg||n.a.||8 W/kg|
|ave. time||30 mins||6 mins||6 mins||6 mins|
|ave. mass||1 gram||10 grams||--||1 gram|
The FCC agrees with these comments and has come to the same conclusions, admitting that figures based on modern research should be considered and that a framework for this has been established. Whilst the FCC is quite happy to look into raising levels in the US and whilst us merry Europeans are already sitting at our 2.0W/kg level, should we too be considering reevaluation of our radiation levels?
The truth is, current evidence based on the SAR, specific absorption rate, measurement system currently adopted shows that 2.0W/kg is a safe level and that the US Government isn't out of its mind in wanting to raise its figures to the same level as the international standard, however, there's a lot of evidence that points towards the SAR measurement scheme itself as being inappropriate. SAR does not take into account the affects of how different people hold their devices, earrings and other signal scattering objects and the affects of certain frequencies, which, when we consider that some systems in the body are frequency and not amplitude based, has some serious significance.
So what happens when levels are too high or there's exposure to the wrong frequencies? Whilst we often hear of cancer in the media, this is perhaps of least concern. Some of the most common evidence from animal and human testing points toward lethargy, neurosis and changes to immune response, amongst many other complex changes to the myriad of biologic systems found in the body.
It's quite possible, that with a reevaluation of modern research on the effects of non-ionising radiation, that rather that raise the SAR level, a new method for measurement of radiation effects may be considered by authorities in the future.