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If consumers want to reduce their exposure to mobile phone emissions despite the scientific advice that supports the safety of phones compliant with standards, then there are more effective ways to do this than buying a low SAR phone model.

Independent health authorities and regulators say the best way to reduce exposure is by limiting your phone calls or simply using a hands-free kit to keep the phone away from your head and body.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the chief regulator in the United States, makes it clear that although SAR measures show compliance with maximum exposure standards they should not be relied on to compare the relative safety of handsets.

The FCC released a consumer fact sheet - 'SAR For Cell Phones: What It Means For You' - to address the considerable confusion and misunderstanding media interest in this issue has caused, which says:

Many people mistakenly assume that using a cell phone with a lower reported SAR value necessarily decreases a user's exposure to RF emissions, or is somehow "safer" than using a cell phone with a high SAR value. While SAR values are an important tool in judging the maximum possible exposure to RF energy from a particular model of cell phone, a single SAR value does not provide sufficient information about the amount of RF exposure under typical usage conditions to reliably compare individual cell phone models.

The FCC also advises consumers about the best way to reduce exposure:

...the most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory. These measures will generally have much more impact on RF energy absorption than the small difference in SAR between individual cell phones, which, in any event, is an unreliable comparison of RF exposure to consumers, given the variables to individual use.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a consumer update - 'No evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors', also offered advice on the best way to reduce exposure:

Although evidence shows little or no risk of brain tumors for most long-term users of cell phones, FDA says people who want to reduce their RF exposure can:

  • reduce the amount of time spent on the cell phone
  • use speaker mode or a headset to place more distance between the head and the cell phone


The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms these are an effective way for users to reduce exposure in their latest fact sheet on mobile phones and health saying:

The power (and hence the radiofrequency exposure to a user) falls off rapidly with increasing distance from the handset. A person using a mobile phone 30–40 cm away from their body – for example when text messaging, accessing the Internet, or using a “hands free” device – will therefore have a much lower exposure to radiofrequency fields than someone holding the handset against their head.