Smartphone Radiation Concerns Prompt Calls for Manufacturers to Reduce Emissions

Some smartphone models from Xiaomi and Samsung have been found to exceed safety limits for radiation emissions, sparking health concerns. Manufacturers are being urged to prioritize safe design practices to reduce emissions as 5G technology continues to grow.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Smartphone Radiation Concerns Prompt Calls for Manufacturers to Reduce Emissions

Smartphone Radiation Concerns Prompt Calls for Manufacturers to Reduce Emissions

A growing concern over the health risks associated with smartphone radiation has led to calls for manufacturers to reduce emissions from their devices. Some smartphone models have been found to exceed safety limits, prompting users to take precautions to minimize their exposure.

Why this matters: The potential health risks associated with smartphone radiation have far-reaching implications for public health, and manufacturers' design choices can significantly impact the safety of their products. As the use of smartphones and 5G technology continues to grow, it is essential to prioritize safe design practices to protect users from excessive radiation exposure.

According to Stocklytics.com, popular phone models from Xiaomi and Samsung emitted the most radiation in 2024, sparking concerns about the potential health implications of excessive radiation exposure. The Xiaomi Mi A1 had a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) ear of 1.75 W/kg and SAR body of 0.76 W/kg, while the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 series had SAR ear of 1.58 W/kg and SAR body of 1.42 W/kg for the non-5G model (5G model: SAR ear of 1.58 W/kg and SAR body of 1.56 W/kg). Samsung models also showed high radiation levels, with the A23 5G series having SAR close to 1.5 W/kg for both ear and body, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 at SAR ear of 1.30 W/kg and SAR body of 1.51 W/kg, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 at SAR ear of 1.24 W/kg.

However, not all phones had such high radiation levels. Google Pixel 3a and 4a models had SAR ranging from 1.36 W/kg to 1.39 W/kg for the ear, as did the Apple iPhone 7 series. The Oppo Reno 5G CHP1921 had a SAR of 1.36 W/kg for the ear.

Edith Reads, financial analyst at Stocklytics, commented: "The growing pains of technology include radiation emission, which is solely contributed by the electromagnetic frequencies produced. The materials and technology used to make these phones affect the frequencies produced, hence calling onto tech companies to make considerable design choices to lower the risks associated with excessive radiation exposure." The emergence of 5G technology, set to utilize a much broader spectrum up to 80 GHz, raises concerns about potential higher radiation emissions from 5G-enabled smartphones unless proper precautions are taken.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets guidelines for exposure to radio waves from mobile devices, with a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that current scientific information does not indicate the need for special precautions when using mobile devices, but recommends limiting usage or using hands-free kits to reduce exposure. Mobile devices are designed to meet FCC guidelines, with SAR levels evaluated as in compliance with FCC RF emission guidelines.

To minimize exposure, users are advised to use headsets or hands-free kits to keep the device away from the head and body, limit usage, and follow separation distance instructions of at least 5.8 inches or 1.5 centimeters away from the body. It's important to note that mobile devices may be transmitting even when not making a voice call.

While the FCC and WHO provide guidelines and recommendations, some experts argue they don't go far enough. Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, states: "Urgently needed are health-protective exposure limits for humans and the environment. These limits must be based on scientific evidence rather than on erroneous assumptions, especially given the increasing worldwide exposures of people and the environment to RFR, including novel forms of radiation from 5G telecommunications for which there are no adequate health effects studies."

As smartphone radiation concerns continue to grow, manufacturers are being urged to prioritize safe design practices to reduce emissions. Users are advised to stay informed and take precautions to minimize their exposure. With 5G technology on the rise, it is crucial for regulatory bodies to adopt standards that adequately protect public health based on the latest scientific evidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Some smartphone models exceed safety limits for radiation emissions.
  • Xiaomi and Samsung phones had high radiation levels in 2024.
  • FCC sets SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg, but some experts argue it's not enough.
  • Users can minimize exposure by using headsets and keeping devices away.
  • Manufacturers urged to prioritize safe design practices to reduce emissions.