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Promising Trend: rising number of low-radiation mobile phones on the market

BfS informs about most recent radiation values of current mobile phone models on the internet

Year of issue 2017
Date 2017.08.30

Shortly before the opening of the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) Berlin, the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS, Federal Office for Radiation Protection) records a trend towards low-radiation mobile phones. This emerges from a current BfS review comprising additional 170 new models. The list is published on the internet.

"Mobile phones today have increasing technical capabilities, but they do at the same emit less radiation than earlier models. This is a promising trend indicating that technological progress, user friendliness and radiation protection are not in conflict," says BfS President Inge Paulini. She also points out that the rising number of possible applications could involve a more intense use of mobile phones and therefore recommends using mobile phones prudently on precautionary grounds.

The newest update of the list published on the BfS website involves almost 3,000 devices from more than 70 producers, also including tablets and older models that are no longer produced. The percentage of low-radiation mobile phones is 40 percent if the elder models are included and as much as 55 percent considering current models exclusively.

Overview of SAR-values of merchantable cell phones

Since 2002, BfS has conducted periodic surveys of the radiation values of the mobile phones available on the German market measured according to standardised procedures and has published the data on the internet. Therefore, every mobile phone user can retrieve the data of their current device and gather information on the radiation properties before selecting a new model. Mobile phones not exceeding a maximum SAR value of 0.6 Watts per kilogram when held next to the head are considered as low-radiation units.

SAR stands for "specific absorption rate" und is a measure of the radio-frequency energy absorbed by body tissue during the use of mobile phones. It is indicated in Watts per kilogram. In order to exclude health effects of radiofrequency fields, this value shall not exceed 2 Watts per kilogram. Common devices produce values clearly below this latter during a phone call. Devices not exceeding 0.6 Watts per kilogram during operation fulfil an important criterion for the "Blue Angel" eco label.

State of 2017.08.30


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