EMF Health-effects Research

Specific absorption rate levels measured in a phantom head exposed to radio frequency transmissions from analog hand-held mobile phones.

Anderson V, Joyner KH,

Bioelectromagnetics 16(1):60-69, 1995

Electric fields (E-fields) induced within a phantom head from exposure to three different advanced mobile phone system (AMPS) hand-held telephones were measured using an implantable E-field probe. Measurements were taken in the eye nearest the phone and along a lateral scan through the brain from its centre to the side nearest the phone.

During measurement, the phones were positioned alongside the phantom head as in typical use and were configured to transmit at maximum power (600 mW nominal).

The specific absorption rate (SAR) was calculated from the in situ E-field measurements, which varied significantly between phone models and antenna configuration. The SARs induced in the eye ranged from 0.007 to 0.21 W/kg.

Metal-framed spectacles enhanced SAR levels in the eye by 9-29%. In the brain, maximum levels were recorded at the measurement point closest to the phone and ranged from 0.12 to 0.83 W/kg.

These SARs are below peak spatial limits recommended in the U.S. and Australian national standards [IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 28 (1991): C95.1-1991 and Standards Australia (1990): AS2772.1-1990] and the IRPA guidelines for safe exposure to radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields [IRPA (1988): Health Phys 54:115-123].

Furthermore, a detailed thermal analysis of the eye indicated only a 0.022 degrees C maximum steady-state temperature rise in the eye from a uniform SAR loading of 0.21 W/kg. A more approximate thermal analysis in the brain also indicated only a small maximum temperature rise of 0.034 degrees C for a local SAR loading of 0.83 W/kg.

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