You might well have already seen the damaging effects of radiation your smartphone gives off. In fact it goes one step further by firing it directly into your head. But how bad is it? The whole time while your phone is on, it is firing electromagnetic waves. That’s how phones send signals and so small phone radiation is the amount of energy that is absorbed by your body from the electromagnetic waves that your phone is firing. And it’s measured in terms of something called the specific absorption rate or SAR.
Xiaomi and oneplus are are the top offenders with their smartphones having almost consistently high radiation levels. And as we switch to looking at the phones with the lowest levels Samsung LG and ZTE seem to be the real winners what was surprised by here is just how much variation there is if you compare the Xiaomi mi a1 right at the top to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The Xiaomi phone has a radiation figure ten times higher. The US government has actually stated that any phone with an SAR value of less than 1.6 is a safe phone but then what does that mean for phones with a level above that.
First of all it’s worth understanding that as a population, our exposure to this kind of radiation is going up and it’s mostly because of the global patterns in smartphone usage. For example signal strength is becoming increasingly intense especially with the introduction of 5g. You’ve got more people than ever using smartphones. And to give you an idea the number of users in the last decade has gone up roughly tenfold. People are using their phones for longer periods of time they’re just becoming more useful tools as well as more immersive entertainment devices.And because of this the average user is now spending 24 hours on their phone every single week. Think about it that’s a whole day.
Smart phones at very young age
The other thing is that kids are now getting access to smart phones at younger ages than ever before. And there is evidence to suggest that if anyone is at risk it’s going to be young children when it comes to radiation. Though there is more to it than it seems. Iron ionizing radiation is probably what your mind jumps to when you hear the word radiation. It’s where the energy from the radiation is powerful enough to dislodge electrons from the atoms in your body or put simply to damage your internal maker. And has even been shown to directly lead to cancers. The radiation from smartphones is a combination of radio waves and microwaves so on one hand yes microwaves are also what is used to cook your food on the other hand this is quite far away on our scale from ionizing radiation.
5g is another new kid on the block
Because 5g waves have a much higher energy than 4g waves. And that does have some people worried but they still lie in that microwave category closer to infrared but not quite there. So yeah waves are being fired from your smartphone into your skull but at the same time no they’re not considered by most people powerful enough to disrupt your body. So when it comes to SAR values, yeah there are phones out there that are above technically speaking the recommended level.
But in tests that have been done on rats. It wasn’t until they were exposed too many times that amount of radiation before there were even any kind of potentially negative outcomes. The issue comes though because it’s tough to be sure pretty much every study that’s been done gives evidence to suggest that small phones not a problem but because of how fast the smartphone landscape is changing. Because of how many more people are using them and for how much longer. Because of 5g it’s almost impossible to design a study that can conclusively say that no amount of smartphone use is problematic.
Preventing phone radiation
Due to this idea some of the more conservative parties have taken measures. You can now actually buy physical radiation blockers for your phone. You can get steel cages designed to lock it away while you sleep. And even air tube earphones which have their speaker unit halfway down the cable so it’s away from your head. Because the speaker and it’s wire will be where most of the radiation comes from. Some people have actually moved homes to areas that have strict regulations on radio waves. Like the National Radio quiet zone in the US. And actually even the radiation authorities in a few European countries have recommended a few things they say to keep the mobile phone away from your body. You see the intensity of radio waves is proportional to the disk from you but squared. Which means that just holding your phone an extra five centimeters away from your head when on a call or keeping it in a slightly different pocket will have big implications on the amount of this radiation you’re exposed to. They also for the same reason recommend using the speakerphone where possible.
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