A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Cell Phone SARs: Highs and Lows

October 19, 2007

The five U.S. cell phones with the highest SARs are all made by Motorola, according to a list compiled by CNET. One Moto phone, the V195s for T-Mobile, has an SAR of 1.6 W/Kg, which is the maximum level allowed by the FCC (this model is not included on Motorola's SAR Web site). On the other hand, Moto's Razr V3x had the second lowest SAR (0.14 W/Kg) on CNET's list —though this model is not available in the U.S. Motorola's Web site gives the V3x as having a maximum SAR of 0.58 W/Kg. The discrepancy between the two SARs may be due to the fact that in Europe SARs are averaged over 10g, while the FCC still requires them to be averaged over 1g (CNET does not specify the averaging volume). The same phone can have a 1g SAR that is two-to-three times higher than its 10g SAR. Don't forget that SARs measured in the lab may not give a complete indication of a user's actual exposure. Where you use the phone (inside vs. outside, urban vs rural) and how close to your head you put the phone are also important factors.