Do you spend a lot of time with your cellphone pressed up against your ear or hovering right in front of your face as you make phone calls, face time calls, or tweets? Well you might want to hold it a bit farther away (though the effects of smartphone radiation aren’t well known and it hasn’t been proven to be harmful), because the German Federal Office of Radiation Protection released some data about cellphone radiation that was shocking.
Describing the data in ZeroHedge, Anshool Deshmukh and Sabrina Lam said:
The Motorola Edge has the highest radiation emission with a SAR value of 1.79 watts of radiation per kilogram. That’s significantly higher than most other smartphone models in the market today and close to the limits set by the EU for cellphones.
Coming in second is the Axon 11 5G by ZTE with 1.59, followed by the OnePlus 6T at a close third with 1.55 W/kg. The Sony Experia AX2 Plus with 1.41 and the Google Pixel 3 XL and 3A XL at 1.39 round out the top five.
Don’t want a phone that emits (relatively) a lot of radiation? Then Samsung might be your best bet. Reporting on that, the same two authors said:
Mobile devices by Samsung carry some of the least radiation risk. The company has four phones considered to be the best in the category. The Galaxy Note 10+ is the best model in their line-up, emitting a meager 0.19 watts per kilogram.
Now, again, there’s no scientific evidence that the radiation from cell phones is problematic, and it’s certainly not harmful in the same way like the fallout from a nuclear bomb or even like the X-Ray you get at the dentist’s office. The FDA, reporting on it, said:
Some people are concerned that radio frequency energy from cell phones will cause cancer or other serious health hazards. Based on the evaluation of the currently available information, the FDA believes that the weight of scientific evidence has not linked exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phone use with any health problems at or below the radio frequency exposure limits set by the FCC.
Cell phones emit low levels of non-ionizing radiation when in use. The type of radiation emitted by cell phones is also referred to as radio frequency (RF) energy. As stated by the National Cancer Institute, “there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk in humans. The only consistently recognized biological effect of radiofrequency radiation in humans is heating.”
The FCC. describing cellphone radiation limits, says: “For wireless devices intended for use near or against the body (such as cell phones, tablets and other portable devices) operating at or below 6 GHz, these guidelines specify exposure limits in terms of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is a measure of the rate that RF energy is absorbed by the body. For exposure to RF energy from wireless devices, the allowable FCC SAR limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg), as averaged over one gram of tissue.”
While almost all the phones on the list fall below that limit, you’ll notice that the Motorola Edge is slightly above it. The FCC, quoting the FDA, says “the weight of the scientific evidence does not support an increase in health risks from radio frequency exposure from cell phone use at or below the radio frequency exposure limits set by the FCC”, so where exactly the Edge falls on the safety scale is unclear, but all the others, at least according to the FCC, are in the safe range. Describing what the safety risk is claimed by some to be, the FCC says:
Some health and safety interest groups have interpreted certain reports to suggest that wireless device use may be linked to cancer and other illnesses, posing potentially greater risks for children than adults. While these assertions have gained increased public attention, currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses. Those evaluating the potential risks of using wireless devices agree that more and longer-term studies should explore whether there is a better basis for RF safety standards than is currently used. The FCC closely monitors all of these study results. However, at this time, there is no basis on which to establish a different safety threshold than our current requirements.
Even assuming there’s no health hazard posed by the cellphone radiation, it’s good to know what you’re phone is emitting, particularly in case guidance on what’s safe changes as more research is done. So, hopefully you found this article and the sources cited within it helpful!