It’s always handy, and great for going on a run……
However, this way of carrying a phone is a violation of the manufacturers’ consumer safety warnings….AND, it may actually cause tumors at the site where the phone’s antenna rests against the breast tissues.
In spite of the warnings in all user manuals to never carry or use a cell phone directly against the body, there is a frightening trend among women to carry their cell phones in their bras.
Please watch this You Tube video called, “Cell Phones and Breast Cancer”, and decide for yourself:
(NOTE: Men are also at risk for breast cancer when carrying their cell phones in their shirt pockets, as the physician in the video warns.)
Read the safety warning in your user manual (typically found in the section on FCC radio frequency compliance) about never carrying or making a call with the phone directly against your body. The cell phone industry warns you to NEVER carry or use a phone on your body or you will be exposed to radiation that may exceed the federal safety limit! The warning is hidden in the fine print of your user manual, but it IS in there!!
“We’re all lab rats in the cell phone industry’s global experiment to prove that their products really DON’T have the negative health impacts that physicians and scientists throughout the world are warning us about. Who do YOU believe?” Cynthia Franklin, Consumers for Safe Cell Phones
WARNING: Never carry your cell phone in your pocket!
If you receive texts or calls while the phone is on your body (in a pocket or tucked into the waistband of your pants, or wherever) you are exceeding radiation exposure guidelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
So, how many of you have seen this warning???
It appears in the ‘fine print’ of the user manual packaged with most cell phones. Is it in yours? It’s important to take the time to look.
Unfortunately, there was no warning in the product literature that came with the BlackBerry Pearl that I bought from AT & T. None. Nada. I carried my BlackBerry Pearl around in my pocket for 8 months, being exposed to unknown levels of radiation before I became “enlightened.”
I decided to do a little research on my BlackBerry Pearl. And, what I found out is alarming.
Here’s a quote from the website of BlackBerry’s manufacturer, Research in Motion (RIM):
“If you do not use a body-worn accessory supplied or approved by RIM when you carry the BlackBerry device, keep the device at least 0.98 inches (25 mm) from your body when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to a wireless network.”
Translated this means: You’re NEVER supposed to hold the BlackBerry Pearl (and possibly other BlackBerry devices) closer than 1 inch from your body when it’s turned on!
Like I’m supposed to MEASURE the distance between my phone and my body?!
How about my 17-year-old daughter who gets 3,500 text messages a month with the phone in her pocket? Not held an inch away, but right next to her reproductive organs? The guys she hangs around with also carry their phones in their pockets….right next to their family jewels. What level of radiation are these kids exposed to in a month’s time?!
What the *&%+ is going on?!
A warning this important should have a neon label on the package where the user will see it:
Don’t carry this device in your pocket or you will be exposed to radiation that exceeds federal guidelines.
This would make sense if the manufacturer actually wanted to warn the user.
When I called the BlackBerry manufacturer and asked why there wasn’t a warning in the product literature that came with the phone, a RIM vice president told me to not worry because all RIM BlackBerry products meet FCC radiation emission guidelines.
Not quite true. Blackberry products only meet the FCC radiation guidelines IF you carry the phone in a “RIM approved” holster and NEVER in your pocket. (Oh, those pesky little details…)
My next step was to go find actual warnings from a sample of user manuals that were packaged with phones other than BlackBerrys. Here’s what I found:
- Apple iPhone – “For body-worn operation, iPhone’s SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines if positioned less than 15 mm (5/8th inch) from the body….for body-worn operation, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8th inch) away from the body.”
- LG Shine (AT&T) – “To comply with FCC RF exposure requirements, a minimum separation distance of 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) must be maintained between the user’s body and the back of the phone.”
- Samsung SGH-a737 (AT&T) – “For body-worn operation, this phone has been tested and meets FCC RF exposure guidelines when used with an accessory that contains no metal and that positions the handset a minimum of 1.5 cm from the body.”
- Motorola E815 (Verizon) - “If you wear the mobile device on your body, always place the mobile device in a Motorola-supplied or approved clip, holder, holster, case or body harness. If you do not use a body-worn accessory supplied or approved by Motorola, keep the mobile device and its antenna at least 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) from your body when transmitting.”
- LG VX8350 (Verizon) – “This device was tested for typical use with the back of the phone kept 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) from the body. To comply with FCC RF exposure requirements, a minimum separation distance of 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) must be maintained between the user’s body and the back of the phone, including the antenna, whether extended or retracted.”
Verizon happens to provide users with a separate, bright red, 2-page pamphlet called “Consumer Information about Radio Frequency Emissions.” That’s very cool, except it fails to warn the user not to carry the phone around in the pocket or directly on the body. In fact, it seems to say “no problem.” How bizarre is that?!
“Wireless phones marketed in the US are required to meet safety requirements regardless of whether they are used against the head or against the body. Either configuration should result in compliance with the safety limit.”
This quote that Verizon uses is from the FDA/FCC website. Oh, great! Our very own US federal agencies…you know, the ones that regulate cell phone radiation… are giving the manufacturers an excuse to avoid warning the consumer that “against the body” actually means using a holster – a holster that you have to buy even though it’s required when you wear the device on your body. To add insult to injury, the cell phone industry has figured out how to scam an additional $15 – $25 out of us when we buy a new phone. What a lucrative marketing strategy.
Go find your user manual that came with your phone. See for yourself. Or, if you don’t have the user guide any more, or there wasn’t a safety section in the package about “body-worn operation” or “radio frequency (RF) safety,” call Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or whoever sold you the phone. Check it out.
BlackBerry users that purchased phones without the radio frequency safety warning to not carry the device directly on your body may need to contact RIM directly to verify this information:
RIM’s customer support line: 1-877-255-2377 (toll free)
Get a holster if you carry your phone around on your body…and don’t put the thing in your pants, pocket or wherever…unless you want to expose yourself to more microwave radiation than FCC allows. That’s right. Microwave radiation – the radio frequency that comes out of a cell phone when we make a call, send a text message or download something off the internet is the same frequency as the radiation that cooks food in a microwave oven.
…..or you may be exposed to radiation that exceeds the federal safety limit
Apple has issued a safety warning in every iPhone user manual – but, they deceptively printed it in tiny print and located it in a section where no one will see it. Yep, it’s in yours! Go take a look in the section on radio frequency compliance – in the section that talks about SAR (what’s SAR?) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required warning to never use or carry the iPhone on your body. You’ll need a magnifying glass, however as the print is so small, it is barely legible with the naked eye. Here’s a quote of what you’ll find in the user guide that came with your iPhone. (I’ve increased the font size so you can actually read it):
“SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines for body-worn operation if positioned less than 15 mm (5/8 inch) from the body (e.g. when carrying iPhone in your pocket). For optimal mobile device performance and to be sure that human exposure to RF energy does not exceed the FCC, IC, and European Union guidelines, always follow these instructions and precautions: When on a call using the built-in audio receiver in iPhone, hold iPhone with the dock connector pointed down toward your shoulder to increase separation from the antenna. When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases, belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) separation between iPhone and the body.”
The cell phone industry executives claim that cell phone radiation is not a big deal and there is no unsafe way to use a cell phone. This is what Apple and all the other manufacturers want you to believe. But, the facts tell us otherwise!
The federal government is aware of the potential dangers from cell phone radiation
All new models of cell phones – before they can legally be sold – are required to undergo testing to ensure the radiation levels don’t exceed a specified amount. However, the federal agency that oversees this testing (the FCC) allows manufacturers to “cheat” on this test by holding cell phones up to 1 inch away from the testing device so the radiation levels appear much lower. This enables manufacturers to pass the test which would be unlikely if cell phones were tested in the manner in which they are used – directly against the body in pockets and tucked into waistbands and even bras (read “Carrying cell phone in bra may cause breast cancer”).
Because of this testing “oversight”, the FCC requires that every user be warned to never carry or use a cell phone closer than this “separation distance” or risk being exposed to radiation levels that exceed the FCC safety limit. This is why the warning is in all iPhone user manuals. Apple doesn’t want you to know about this or you may discover the truth – that cell phones aren’t the safe consumer devices you have been led to believe they are.
The entire cell phone industry, for EVERY phone on the market, hides this consumer safety warning in the fine print of all user manuals where no one can see it – ( “The SAR (cell phone radiation) safety warning your cell phone’s manufacturer doesn’t want you to see”)
If you don’t want to take my word for this, then read the following article from Time Magazine that says the exact same thing:
Here’s another indisputable fact that proves cell phones are NOT the safe consumer devices the industry wants us to believe
In May, 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer convened over two dozen of the world’s top scientists who reviewed all the peer-reviewed studies published to date, including the 10-year, industry-funded, international Interphone study. Alarmed by the results, all but one of the scientists voted to classify the radiation that is emitted from cell phones as possibly cancer causing. In particular, the research showed an increased risk of malignant brain or auditory nerve tumors in those who had used a cell phone for 30 minutes a day for 10 years. This prompted the World Health Organization, on May 31, 2011 to classify the radiation emitted from cell phones as a possible carcinogen.
CTIA Wireless Association, the powerful lobbying and propaganda machine of the cell phone industry immediately contacted all major corporate media outlets with their “spin” that the World Health Organization was no longer to be trusted as a source of health information. Their scientists wrote numerous articles casting doubt on the research; and the over 300 million cell phone users in the U.S. either never got the warning or were lulled back into complacency about the possible health risks from their cell phones.
Scientific studies have also shown that cell phones carried in the pocket negatively impact fertility
Read this recent article posted by CNET: “Cell Phone Use Could Reduce Sperm Count”
Apple refuses to tell us the truth about cell phone radiation
The new CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, has been contacted and informed about the deceptively hidden radiation warning in iPhone user manuals. I urged him to simply have the warning made visible and located in a more prominent location in the user manual so it can be seen. This is about consumers having “informed consent” – so they know the potential health risks and can make their own decisions about safe ways to use their cell phones.
Mr. Cook chose to ignore my email. This Lab Rat does not give up easily; I will politely pursue Mr. Cook and attempt to convince him to have Apple do the right thing by their customers. Telling the truth and refusing to go along with the CTIA and the rest of the wireless industry’s consumer deception could go a long way to repairing some of their recent PR missteps.
Please spread the word to other iPhone users
Click on the Facebook icon at the top of this article and then send this article’s url link around to your email contacts. We can’t rely upon the industry or the media to get this message across.
I will keep you posted on Apple’s response to my continued “encouragement” to do the right thing.
…..While Scientists Claim Recent Study Shows Cell Phone Use in Children is Possibly Linked to Malignant Brain Cancer
For almost two years, the City of San Francisco has been attempting to implement its Board of Supervisors’ unanimous decision to require disclosure of industry-known facts and safe use instructions regarding cell phone radiation. However, the industry’s powerful lobbying arm, the CTIA Wireless Association has amassed an enormous legal team from five law firms across the U.S. to have this consumer disclosure law declared illegal. (CTIA Files Lawsuit)
In July 2011, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published “CEFALO-A Case-Control Study of Brain Tumors in Children and Adolescents and Mobile Phone Use” which reported higher risks among 7 to 19 year olds. However, the scientists overseeing the analysis concluded that because there did not appear to be an “exposure-response” relationship, they could not conclude that use of cell phones caused brain tumors in children and adolescents.
Last month, the Journal published letters by highly respected scientists refuting that conclusion stating that the published findings do indeed indicate a serious risk of brain cancer associated with cell phone use by children. The scientists challenging the study point out that the results clearly showed a statistically significant increased risk of brain cancer after more than 2.8 years of use. (Link to press release)
Legal defense of San Francisco’s industry-challenged “Right to Know” law becomes increasingly more crucial for protecting the health of our youth.
In October, 2011, the industry’s challenge to San Francisco’s Right to Know law was struck down in U.S. District Court. Judge Alsup stated in the courtroom, “They (San Francisco) are not trying to stop cell phones from being sold; they’re trying to give customers some tips on how to reduce exposure to cell phones. And if it’s true that the industry’s own manuals call out the same problem, what’s wrong with that?”
The industry appealed the ruling claiming that being required to disclose known facts about health risks and safe-use instructions violates their Constitutional first amendment right. (We, the People Have the Right to Know the Truth).
The case will be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals as early as this summer.
According to the San Francisco City Attorney, “The CTIA steadfastly refuses to confront: (i) there is a possible link between cell phone radiation and cancer; (ii) typically cancer only manifests itself decades after exposure to carcinogens, such that a possible carcinogen will not be definitively “proven” to cause cancer for a long time; and (iii) in the context of cell phones, this is a particularly vexing public health concern, because billions of people are using this relatively young technology with increasing frequency- on a far greater scale than people were ever exposed to asbestos or tobacco smoke. CTIA’s statement that ‘the unrebutted scientific evidence shows that the City’s regime will not make consumers any safer’ is nothing short of mind-blowing.”
Dr. Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, director of the Environmental Health Trust states, “if the industry doesn’t make a positive move soon, we may have a global epidemic on our hands within the next two decades. The sad thing is this is preventable. There are safer ways to make and use cell phones. We are asking the industry to give people the facts about known health risks from cell phone radiation exposure to children’s brains and ensure people know how to best use these devices.”
All manufacturers hide microwave radiation warnings in the fine print of every user manual that caution against using or carrying a cell phone directly against the body. These disclosures are rarely seen and our youth continue to sleep with them on under their pillows and carry them in their pockets all day.
Other cities and states wanting to legislate safety warnings or consumer disclosure laws are waiting to see if San Francisco’s “Right to Know” law will be upheld.
Maine’s Rep. Andrea Boland stated, “CTIA is currently suing San Francisco as a warning to others to not go up against them. My state has also been threatened with a lawsuit by the CTIA if we pass a similar ordinance.”
As the lawsuit against San Francisco heats up in the U.S. Court of Appeals, other cities and states across the US (several were threatened with lawsuits) anxiously await the result. Senator Green of Hawaii, Senator Leno of California, Councilman Anderson of Berkeley, Councilman Vallone Jr. of New York City, Rep. Nicastro of Connecticut, Rep. Brown of Pennsylvania, Sen. Shields of Oregon, Rep. Boland of Maine and more believe that citizens have the “Right to Know” the facts concerning the health risks of cell phone exposure and suggestions for safe use at the point of sale, especially as they relate to children.
Who will win this legal battle that cuts to the very core of our democratic principles?
Last May, the World Health Organization (WHO), after reviewing all the scientific studies to date, announced that cell phone exposure can possibly cause malignant brain tumors. This set the industry’s PR team on fire, spinning all sorts of tales meant to confuse the media and the public and ultimately, to create more doubt.
Yet, the fact remains – THE international scientific body of experts examined all peer-reviewed, published studies and voted almost unanimously (all except one) to warn the world that exposure to cell phone radiation can possibly cause cancer. (WHO declares cell phones possible carcinogen)
We want to believe what the industry tells us.
No one wants to believe that these marvelous technological products used by over 90% of the US population can possibly harm us! But, it is now becoming apparent that executives from Apple, Motorola, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, CTIA – Wireless Association, etc. who profit substantially from their trillion dollar industry will only tell us the truth about their products’ safety if they are legally forced to do so.
San Francisco is attempting to do this very thing – force the unwilling industry executives to tell the truth to consumers. Last year, the city’s board of supervisors voted unanimously to require that known facts and safe use instructions be made available to the public at the point of sale – known facts such as the WHO announcement and manufacturers’ own safety warnings hidden in the technical, fine print of every user manual to never hold or use a cell phone directly against the body. (The cell phone radiation safety warning your cell phone’s manufacturer doesn’t want you to see)
Known facts….not opinions or baseless fears. San Francisco simply wants to give citizens the information and allow them to make informed decisions about possibly purchasing holsters or headsets to reduce exposure – or limiting use by their children whose brains have been shown to absorb up to twice as much radiation as allowed by the federal safety guidelines.
We all want to believe our cell phones are safe.
We want to believe the industry’s assurances that cell phones can be used against the head for as long as we want, or used in a shirt or pants pocket all day connected to a Bluetooth ear piece. We want to believe that they are safe enough for children to sleep with turned on and connected to a network while under their pillows all night.
But, the facts tell a different story. And, the CTIA’s attorneys who represent the cell phone industry are engaged in a legal battle against the City of San Francisco which declared that their citizens have a right to know these facts and retailers must inform consumers of the potential health risks as well as the manufacturers’ own suggested safe ways to use cell phones.
This information is especially relevant regarding use by children. Peer-reviewed, published studies have shown that the brains of children can absorb up to twice as much radiation as adults’ brains. (Environmental Health Trust study)
US District Court Judge William Alsup ruled on the case in October that the City of San Francisco was justified in requiring facts about known health risks from cell phone radiation exposure, as well as suggestions for safe use, to be disclosed to consumers at the point of sale.
The industry disagreed with the District Court’s ruling and filed an appeal in the US 9th Circuit Court. The CTIA attorneys plan to repeat their arguments that having to disclose such “alarming and misleading” information would potentially hurt their sales and therefore violates their corporate 1st Amendment rights.
They will once again attempt to convince the court that handing out a fact sheet about their products’ known health risks will give their customers the wrong impression that cell phones are not safe. Yet, in a bizarre and ironic twist, the industry itself is very careful to point out that they have NEVER said cell phones are safe. (Is anyone saying cell phones are safe?)
The truth is hidden in the fine print of everyone’s user manual.
Indeed they are not saying cell phones are safe as proven by the fact that in the technical fine print of every product booklet is a manufacturer warning to never use or carry a cell phone directly against the body as doing so will expose the user to radiation that may exceed the federal safety guidelines. (Warning: Never carry or use your cell phone in your pocket!)
“They [San Francisco] are not trying to stop cell phones from being sold,” declared Judge Alsup in the hearing last October. “They’re trying to give customers some tips – that’s really the way to describe it – tips on how to reduce exposure to cell phones. And, if it’s true that the industry’s own manuals call out the same problem, what’s wrong with that?”
In the past two years, concerned legislators in Hawaii, California, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Maine have proposed similar “right to know” legislation to inform citizens about the known health risks and manufacturers’ own warnings about safe use precautions for cell phones. Several of these legislators were threatened with lawsuits by CTIA executives and others have stated that their colleagues admitted they could not vote to adopt a “right to know” law as the industry was “too powerful to go up against.”
Proposed ‘right to know’ laws are on hold, waiting upon the outcome from the San Francisco case.
This places a lot of pressure on the CTIA attorneys to win this time around in the US Appeals Court. If they lose…the “flood gates” will be opened for more cities and states to legislate consumer “right to know” laws. And, if that happens, industry executives will certainly be busy flying around the country from Hawaii to Maine lobbying, making strategic campaign contributions and desperately trying to convince other cities and states that they don’t have the right to demand the industry tells the truth to the public about cell phone radiation.
If the industry loses this appeal, the safety warnings which have been hidden in the fine print of every cell phone manual will become public knowledge that to use or carry a cell phone directly against the body is not safe. And, parents will find out that it was never safe to allow their children to sleep with their cell phones “on” under their pillows all night or to give toddlers an iPhone to play with to keep them quiet. When parents find out that the industry deceptively withheld this information from them simply to maximize their profits…..this is what the CTIA and the industry executives fear the most.
Stay tuned to find out whose rights will be upheld in the US Appeals Court ruling later this summer!
This major flaw in the FCC manufacturers’ testing guidelines enables children’s smaller heads and bodies to absorb up to twice the cell phone radiation allowed by federal safety standards.
Meet SAM (Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin), the plastic head model used by cell phone manufacturers for simulating the maximum amount of cell phone radiation (SAR) absorbed by the brain during a call. Before a cell phone can be legally sold in the U.S. it must be certified for compliance with FCC radiation safety standards. And, SAM is the method currently used for certification testing.
SAM is supposed to simulate the typical cell phone user. His head is filled with fluid to simulate the brain while being exposed to the microwave radiation from a cell phone held up to his rigid, fake ear spacer for a 30 minute call at maximum power. A probe is inserted into SAM’s brain to measure the SAR. If the phone’s SAR falls within the allowed safety guidelines, it is given a “pass”.
But, there’s a BIG problem with SAM.
He represents only the largest 3% of cell phone users since his head size is based upon a 6’2” man weighing 220 pounds. So, if a cell phone emits radiation into SAM’s head at the maximum level allowed by the FCC, that same phone could expose 97% of us to greater radiation than the federal FCC emission standards allow.
And, this is a VERY serious issue for the smallest, and most vulnerable of cell phone users – children.
Results from a recent scientific study by Environmental Health Trust called: “Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children” examines the absorption of radiation into children’s brains and shows that they can absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as that of adult brains during identical call exposure.
Radio frequency exposure to a head smaller than SAM will absorb a relatively higher SAR. The SAR for a 10-year old is up to 153% higher than the SAR for the SAM model. When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults.
There is a more accurate way to test cell phones for SAR certification. But, thanks to industry’s undue influence on the staff at FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)….the FCC has not updated its obsolete and inaccurate testing guidelines in 15 years.
It is past time for the FCC to uphold its Congressional mandate to protect citizens from the dangers of radio frequency exposure. The FCC’s loyalty is supposed to be to us, not to the CTIA and manufacturer lobbyists who advocate solely for the interests of the industry’s profit margins.
These outdated and flawed FCC testing procedures must be changed immediately to ensure that cell phones don’t exceed the federal safety standard when used by 97% of the population. What sort of federal safety oversight only protects 3% of the population?
Today’s San Francisco Chronicle reports that the CTIA, the powerful trade and lobbying organization for the cell phone industry, will sue San Francisco on grounds that informing citizens of possible health risks from cell phones violates manufacturers’ 1st Amendment Constitutional rights. They claim that disclosing manufacturers’ own safe use precautions (which are currently hidden in the fine print of user manuals) and offering consumers facts regarding possible health risks from their products is illegal.
San Francisco’s new “right to know” law requires the informational poster shown below to be displayed in cell phone retail outlets:
The CTIA’s lawsuit also claims that a city has no right to pass a law protecting their citizens from possible harm from cell phone microwave radiation exposure since the federal government regulates exposure testing, and if anyone is to alert the public about possible health risks, it should be the federal government. A previous article posted on this site attests to the failures inherent within the current federal regulatory testing procedures. (FCC Allows 23 Errors….)
In May, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) declared that the microwave radiation emitted from cell phones is a possible human carcinogen (i.e.; it has the potential to cause cancer, in particular, a malignant brain tumor called glioma). (IARC Press Release). In spite of this recent finding, and given all the non-industry-funded, published studies that have documented negative health effects from cell phone radiation, you’d think the FCC or FDA would take some action to issue precautionary statements of their own!? However, soon after the W.H.O.’s announcement that cell phones may indeed cause deadly brain tumors, the FCC and FDA’s consumer websites assured the 300 million cell phone users in the US that their cell phones were perfectly safe to hold directly against their heads all day. They would continue to monitor the research (i.e.; do nothing). The industry’s millions of dollars spent each year lobbying Congress has paid off; there is little chance the feds will take any action on this issue for a long time.
So, it’s up to city and state governments to inform their citizens and stand up to the legal intimidation of the CTIA. San Francisco is the first to do so. The cell phone industry knows that if they lose this case, other cities and states will be empowered to ignore their bullying tactics and financial threats of expensive lawsuits and take action to adopt similar consumer disclosure laws.
The CTIA’s legal challenge to San Francisco’s “right to know” law will have its day in federal court on October 20th.
Read article as it appeared this morning in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The cell phone radiation SAR test has 23 different ways to screw up the result of the FCC-required compliance test.
Take a look at all the things that the FCC admits can go wrong during a SAR test!! (What’s SAR?)
The text below (in italics labeled “Measurement Uncertainties”) is copied right out of the FCC’s own SAR compliance testing document, “Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields: Supplement C (Edition 01-01) to OET Bulletin 65 (Edition 97-01).”
This FCC document identifies 23 different ways the cell phone radiation (SAR) test results can be corrupted by a testing facility. How disturbing to find out that this vital consumer safety testing procedure is likely to result in “measurement uncertainty!”
Manufacturers (e.g.; RIM, maker of all BlackBerrys) are also allowed by the FCC to use the faulty procedure to test cell phone radiation in their own labs and report the results using an “honor system.” Talk about allowing the fox to guard the hen house! Also requiring a ridiculously complex compliance test that provides 0% confidence that the results are representative of the actual radiation effect on consumers…..what kind of regulatory oversight is that?!
The FCC is required by federal law to regulate a cell phone’s microwave radiation impact on a consumer’s body during a call.
The upper limit of absorption for heating parts of the brain and organs of a simulated human body during the test is 1.6 SAR. The CTIA (powerful cell phone industry lobby) and FCC claim that as long as a cell phone’s SAR test result is under this 1.6 limit, it is deemed “safe”. Well, given all the errors and uncertainties inherent in the SAR test, how can a consumer be guaranteed their cell phone’s max SAR test result IS actually below 1.6?
The actual text from the FCC’s testing document followed by all cell phone manufacturers seeking compliance appears below. See for yourself:
Measurement uncertainties are calculated using the tolerances of the instrumentation used in the measurement, the measurement setup variability, and the technique used to perform the SAR evaluation.
The overall uncertainty is calculated in part by identifying uncertainties in the instrumentation chain used in performing each of the procedures in the evaluation. Methods for evaluating and expressing measurement uncertainties can be found in the NIST Technical Note 1297 (TN1297)24, entitled ”Guidelines for Evaluating and Expressing the Uncertainty of NIST Measurement Results”. Another source of reference is the NIS 81 document, entitled “The Treatment of Uncertainty in EMC published by the National Physical Laboratory of the United Kingdom.
(NOTE: later in the document)…..
DOCUMENTING THE MEASUREMENT UNCERTAINTY OF SAR EVALUATIONS
A. Assessment Error (measurement system)
I. Probe Calibration Error
1. Axial Isotropy Error
2. Hemispherical Isotropy Error
3. Spatial Resolution Tolerance
4. Boundary-effects Error
5. Linearity Error
6. Sensitivity Error
7. Response Time Error
8. Integration Time Error
II. Readout Electronics Error
III. Errors from RF Ambient Conditions
IV. Probe Positioner Calibration Error (absolute)
V. Probe Positioning Error with respect to the Phantom Shell
VI. Errors from the Extrapolation, Interpolation and Integration Algorithms
B. RF Source Error (test device)
I. Test Sample Output Power Drift Error
II. SAR Variation due to Performance Tolerance of the Test Sample
III. SAR Variation due to Tolerance of Production Units
C. Test Device Positioning Error
I. Test Sample Positioning Error
II. Device Holder or Positioner Tolerance
D. Phantom and Setup Errors (See Reference)
I. Phantom Production Tolerance (shape and thickness)
II. Target Liquid Conductivity Tolerance
III. Measured Liquid Conductivity Error
IV. Target Liquid Permittivity Tolerance
V. Measured Liquid Permittivity Error
SAR is the test required by the FCC to measure heat absorption in the body from radiation exposure during a cell phone call.
The heat that builds up when our body parts are exposed to the microwave radiation of our cell phone is called SAR, an acronym for Specific Absorption Rate. Before a new cell phone can be marketed to consumers, the manufacturer must submit to the FCC their own SAR testing results for the device . (It’s basically like the honor system as there is little, if any, oversight of the SAR testing values reported.) The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) checks the manufacturer’s documents to make sure that the SAR levels didn’t exceed 1.6 watt/kg during the test. So, that’s why all cell phones have a SAR rating less than 1.6. The lower the SAR, the lower the radiation emission. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Each phone must make public two separate SAR ratings: one when held at the ear, and the other when tested on the body. NOTE: (“on the body” is misleading because the FCC allows the manufacturer to test their phone while positioned in a holster held .6 – 1 ” away from the body NOT when the phone is really ON our body like when we carry it in a pocket or wherever.)
Why make a big deal about 1″? The radiation emitted from a phone in the pocket can be almost 16 times the radiation emitted with the phone held 1 inch away in a holster!! This is why no one should ever carry, and especially not use, a phone in the pocket.
When you receive or make a call or receive a text message while the phone is in your pocket (next to your heart, breast or reproductive organs)…well, the manufacturer isn’t required to test for that. And, it is a fact that a phone with a high SAR value “on the body when in a holster” will expose the user to much greater than the FCC-allowed safety limit when carried in the pocket against the body.
Everyone knows that the typical way to carry a cell phone is in the pocket. Right? Well, tell that to the entire cell phone industry which has convinced the FCC that this is not true. The FCC’s documents state that the typical way of carrying a cell phone around is on a belt clip/holster. Yeah, maybe 15 years ago!! How many kids and young adults have you seen with their cell phone “mounted” in a holster? What a joke! So, hang on while you read this: the FCC allows manufacturers to test their phone while in a holster and no one knows how dangerously high the radiation levels can be when carried or held closer than .6 – 1″ to the body because no one is required to test it in this manner.
As if that isn’t bizarre enough, check this out: all the charts, and even the SAR values reported by the manufacturers on their websites or in their user manuals (when you can find the data which is purposely hidden or obscured in fine print) call this “on the body in a holster test” simply “SAR value on the body” implying that the test was done “on the body”.
This is deceptive, and CTIA and the cell phone industry are doing nothing about it.
Few people are aware that radiation penetrates more deeply in the soft tissues of the body….the skull actually deflects a lot of the radiation. There have been tests that clearly show that the reproductive organs are most vulnerable to the heating effects of cell phone radiation. It is to the cell phone industry’s advantage for us to remain unaware that there is no testing done to ensure cell phones meet the safety standard when carried or used directly on the body as in a pocket or tucked in a waistband or bra.
Get informed. Find out the SAR level of a phone before you purchase it. There are a few websites that inform consumers about the SAR values of most cell phones. CNET’s list may be the most popular, however, it is misleading because it only lists the SAR rating at the ear. A phone can be listed as relatively low on CNET’s radiation chart, but actually have the highest SAR value on the market according to the SAR value when tested “on the body in a holster”. This is the case with the LG Xenon which has a fairly low SAR value at the ear of .5, however, one of the highest SAR values allowed of 1.5 when it was tested “on the body in a holster”. Also, many of CNET’s SAR values are just flat out wrong when fact-checked against the FCC’s website for accuracy.
The following website lists the highest SAR value (whether at the ear or on the body in a hoster) for each phone sold. This is a more thorough method of reporting compared to CNET’s which is incomplete. (Note: I don’t endorse the SAR shield products as I don’t know for certain that radiation shields do anything other than make the user feel safer):
BlackBerry users are told to carry their cell phones in their pockets!
RIM’s radiation testing engineers know that encouraging consumers to carry their cell phone in their pocket is in direct violation of federal compliance guidelines. The FCC requires RIM to warn all users to never carry or use a phone closer than 1″ to the body when connected to a network or they will be exposed to radio frequency emissions that exceed the federal limit. RIM currently includes this FCC required radiation warning in all user guides, although they continue to hide it in fine print technical jargon in a section of the user guide that no one will ever see.
Warning consumers about the 1″ separation distance is a federal compliance requirement by the FCC…. to disregard this radiation testing compliance directive is a blatant violation of 47 CFR Part 15.
RIM is also ordered by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology in its compliance testing grant documents that “End-users must be informed of the body-worn operating requirements for satisfying RF exposure compliance.”
Yet, RIM’s marketing department displays the following tagline on their website to entice BlackBerry Pearl users to tuck the phone in their pocket:
“BlackBerry Pearl – Carry Your Friends in Your Pocket”
So, RIM continues to tell us that it’s OK to carry your phone in your pocket, even if doing so exposes our bodies to radiation levels that exceed maximum federal safety limits.
How about RIM’s Pocket Pouch? Nope, it’s in violation of federal compliance guidelines, too!
Leave it to RIM’s marketing department to come up with another way to ignore federal regulatory radiation guidelines. If positioning the cell phone in a pocket against the body, the pouch does NOT provide the 1″ separation distance as required by FCC law, so it is therefore not a compliant use. To encourage their customers to use their products in a potentially unsafe manner is not an ethical marketing practice.