July 20, 2018

What is SAR Value? Can Mobiles Cause Cancer? - Explained

Friends, whenever we plan to purchase a cell phone then we definitely go through the specifications that the particular device is offering. Are we really careful enough to read all the features or characteristics of that mobile phone? Have you ever come across SAR value while going through the features?

What is SAR? Can mobile cause cancer?

In today's article I have discussed about SAR values and is it a determinant factor while buying our cell phone. Also is a cell phone having higher SAR value necessarily imply that there are higher risks of Mobile causing Cancer?

Read the article till the end while I answer all such queries!

Well in that case, the first and foremost thing we need to know about what is a SAR value.

What is SAR value?

SAR is an acronym for Specific Absorption Rate. It is not a secret to us that all the mobile phones around us emit electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves via its antenna to connect with nearby cell tower. The antenna acts both as a receiver as well as transmitter of these radio waves. 

Now these cell phones use radio waves to communicate with cell towers at a frequency of 450-2100 MHz. These waves carry our voice and other data at the speed of light. Obviously these waves do get transmitted in all directions randomly. Often the signal gets weakened because of weather conditions and other physical hindrances. Talking about physical hindrances or obstacles we can take into consideration plants and animals mainly.

SAR value of Popular Phones
Courtesy: Statista

Similarly when we are talking to someone on mobile phones by keeping it close to our ears, over a period of time, the tissues in head and our body receive radioactive waves from the transmitter. All in all, SAR measures the energy absorbed by a particular mass of human tissue within a time range and this gives us an estimate of that particular cell phone's radiation broadcasting capability.

How to understand what SAR value is safe?

The SAR values of cell phones are measured in lab in the worst case scenario and the maximum value obtained of all these cases is labelled as SAR value. Different countries all round the world have a preset rules and guidelines about the limits on SAR value. Few stats are mentioned below:

If any manufacturer's device exceeds that limit then the government of that particular country restricts the launch of that device. According to the stats in the picture above you can judge properly if the device you are using is safe or not.

Lower SAR value means better device?

So what now? Should we prefer buying devices keeping in mind about lower SAR value on any device?

Well then let me take you through an example.

Consider two cell phones namely A and B with respective SAR values as 1.2 W/kg and 0.8 W/kg.
Apparently you will tend to choose cell phone B cause that one has a lower SAR value right?
But as of the laboratory experiments it is found that under worst case scenario cell phone A has resulted to 1.2 W/kg. However all other related tests reflected a very less value compared to the peak value (say only 0.6 W/kg). But SAR means the highest value is to be reflected.

Now come to cell phone B. Here the worst case scenario reflected a value of 0.8 W/kg, and all other related tests also happened to show up near about same results. Then in that case, the peak value might be less compared to the cell phone A but on an average the radiation emitted by cell phone B will have a greater impact on the person using it.

So in some cases these data might be misleading.

How to check SAR value of my mobile phone?

There are many ways of finding out the SAR value of your mobile phone. One by one I am mentioning them.

1. Dial *#07#

When you open up your device's phone dialer and type *#07# then immediately a new pop-up will appear where you'll see that the SAR values of both Head and Body is separately mentioned. Like the one you can see in the picture below.

Dial *#07# to find SAR value

This is give you an at the fingertips idea of what SAR value your device is bearing.

2. Check the Retailer Container

When you bought your cell phone, it comes in a retailer package. Check the package and the user manual within to find the SAR value mentioned or not.

3. Find Model Specs via Google

If your both the above method fails then you can surely look for your device model in Google and check out the specs in there from the search results. Surely the SAR value will be mentioned on one or the other page.

I hope this post was informative for you and you have liked this. You can see me speak in this regard at my YouTube channel.

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