How industry and government are endangering the public on cell phone safety. Action Alert!
One of the only ways that the government regulates cell phones for safety—by limiting the amount of radiation they can emit—is completely broken and inadequate, with children facing the most risk. Industry does its own testing on emissions and can manipulate the test in a variety of ways. The end result is that the amount of radiation the vast majority of Americans are absorbing from cell phones is higher than what industry is reporting.
One of the only government standards for cell phone safety is the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a measurement of the rate at which electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by human tissue. The FCC set the legal SAR limit for cell phones way back in 1991, and they haven’t changed since.
There are a number of critical problems with current SAR limits. First, they were designed to prevent radiation from having thermal effects on the body—that is, causing damage by literally heating our bodies like a microwave oven. But we know that radiation at lower levels can cause a multitude of other, non-thermal health effects, with cancers and fertility problems being the most widely known.
Further, the FCC doesn’t even test phones to ensure that SAR limits are being met; that job is left to the cell phone industry. And, surprise, there is evidence of dishonesty. In 2019, the Chicago Tribune did their own testing of smartphones. They found that the iPhone 7, for example, not only measured over the legal SAR limit, but more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing.
The testing used by companies to determine SAR levels are also completely inadequate and systematically underestimates exposure for 97 percent of the population. Companies test their phones on dummies called Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequins (SAM), the proportions of which represent the top 10% of U.S. military recruits in 1989. This will underestimate exposure for any head smaller than the SAM model—which is 97 percent of the population.
These tests can also be manipulated by increasing the distance between the phone and the head using plastic spacers; small increases in this distance results in an exponential decrease in recorded radiation levels. This is why many the booklets for many cell phones usually contain a page with safety information stating that the phone must not be placed closer than 10, 15, or even 25 millimeters to the body.
Underestimating radiation exposures in SAR levels poses particular dangers for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that the “differences in bone density and the amount of fluid in a child‘s brain compared to an adult‘s brain could allow children to absorb greater quantities of RF energy deeper into their brains than adults.”
When local communities try to step up to protect their citizens from harm, the wireless industry swoops in with lawsuits to block common sense safety measures. The City of San Francisco passed an ordinance in 2010 requiring cell phone manufacturers to display more prominently information on the radiation emissions of their devices. Industry sued the city; fearing a prolonged legal fight, and the city backed down. In 2015 a similar scenario was repeated in Berkeley, California.
As we’ve been detailing over the past few weeks, we could be on the verge of a public health crisis. For decades studies have pointed to the dangers of cell phone use, but industry and their government cronies have effectively muddied the waters enough to keep the status quo. The one safety standard that applies to cell phones, as we’ve shown above, is entirely inadequate. Lawmakers must be made to take notice of these uncomfortable truths and act accordingly.
Action Alert! Write to Congress and tell them that SAR standards for cell phones must be strengthened to protect consumers from negative health effects. Please send your message immediately.
19 thoughts on “Cell Phone Safety Fraud”
give up the cell phones
Guess I’ll just have to switch to another cellular manufacturer until this thing gets resolved!
The regulation of cel phone radiation is a joke. More must be done to regulate the cel phone industry and protect the people of this country instead!
I am concerned about the number of my friends who have been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Why is it that nearly all Fire Stations across the country have an exemption from new 5G cell towers being installed on their buildings? They, it turns out, have a very strong lobby in Congress permitting this exemption in the FCC laws regarding SAR emissions. What does the firemen lobby (i.e. unions) know that we’re not being told? Why do state emission laws prevent local communities from banning 5G towers in their communities? State lawmakers have been lobbied by the 5G product makers with false and misleading test results. I, for one, would not allow my grandchildren to own one of these new 5G cell phones. What are we, the world, getting into long term with these emissions?
The current safety standards for cell phones date from 1991, and they were made with only the largest people in mind (the largest of the military recruits in 1989). Therefore they aren’t accurate for 97% of the population. Children are at special risk of harm to their brains from electromagnetic radiation (EMF) caused by cell phones and similar devices such as baby monitors. The standards and safety regulations for cell phones and other devices that emit EMF must be revised to protect all people. Cell phones must be monitored, and the regulations on them must be enforced by neutral, 3rd-party organizations, not the cell phone industry. This is just common sense.
Sorry — No need to post my comment that I just posted inadvertently — I read this and thought the space was for a comment that would be sent to Congress: “Action Alert! Write to Congress and tell them that SAR standards for cell phones must be strengthened to protect consumers from negative health effects. Please send your message immediately.”
To Congress: SAR standards for cell phones must be strengthened to protect consumers from negative health effects.
It’s not just cellphones; it’s all our wireless devices. So convenient, so dangerous, and so desired by the government for both sales (convenience) and tracking. So the government says that EMFs are safe. False, especially for 5G.
Cellphones have a long-standing history, a pattern of releasing unsafe radioactive products which’s unacceptable .. predictable, preventable, and criminal. As a concerned Woman, Parent, Grandmother and mobile phone user, I want the FCC to do their job; the FCC doesn’t even test phones to ensure that SAR limits are being met; that job is left to the cell phone industry. And, surprise, there is evidence of dishonesty. In 2019, the Chicago Tribune did their own testing of smartphones. They found that the iPhone 7, for example, not only measured over the legal SAR limit, but more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing.
Thank you and I look forward to the necessary oversight of cellphone production for the health&safety for ALL.
We live in Cell Phone Hell or in the case of new cell towers NIMBY or not in my back yard for new towers. So we are still tied to a wired system using portable phones. This is also true for most of my neighbors. I could get cell reception if I stood on my second floor roof, but I never did like heights, so we are still wired.
Most times my cell in turned off. It’s just a habit from not using it at home. I don’t give out my cell number, since I probably won’t get the call or be able to finish the call if we are at home, and texting doesn’t always show up on time. Since my wife and I are both retired, we spend a lot of time home. I don’t worry about radiation for the above reason. At home the only time I use the cell is to take lots of pictures. You do what you have to…
These are Dangerous!
SAR standards for cell phones must be strengthened to protect consumers from the negative health effects of radiation. The legal limit hasn’t been addressed in 30 years and cell phone companies are in the position of policing themselves. That’s not a very reassuring status for an instrument that has become such a major part of everyday life for most people. Please address this issue soon!
Interesting that it uses the words SAR as in SARS -CoV-2 virus.
SAR standards for cell phones must be strengthened to protect consumers from negative health effects.
Strict SAR standards for cell phones must be strengthened in order to protect the public, especially children from long term radiation exposure. Most cell phone users do not even realize this is an issue and it is important that exposure data is not manipulated to give consumers a false sense of security. Children are especially vulnerable because they will be using cell phones for many years. Brains should not be exposed to unnecessary radiation
You ask for my phone number as a required field in my reply to the congress letter. [Take Action!]
I don’t feel that should be necessary info for you to have!
Lose the phone number requirement and I will sign a letter to my congresswoman regarding cellphone safety.
Actual SAR is not so easy to determine as it depernds highly on the user’s placement as well as the phone design. More is to be achieved by educating the user than in sorting measurements made under varying conditions. As an example, EWG’s old rating gave LG Quantum top rating but the instructions for getting this were for body-worn operations with the back of the phone kept 0.79 inches (2cm) between the user’s body and the back of the phone. SAR when held at the ear NORMAL POSITION: Hold the phone as you would any other telephone with the antenna pointed up and over your shoulder but for the bottom rated Motorola Boost i335, there were no specific instructions but the antenna was at the bottom (as far from the ear as possible). None of the measurements apply to holding it in your hand at reading distance or in a window 10 feet away. On the other hand, there may be much to gain from designing the signal transmission methodology to minimize biological impact.