Follow Us on Twitter


Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

SAR - Specific Absorption Rate


Radio waves are electromagnetic energy. It is established that such energy can lead to the heating of the body, but radio waves do not have enough energy to damage cell structures and are therefore known as ‘non-ionizing’ radiation. Scientific research has led to the conclusion that a temperature rise of no more than 1 degree celsius is a safe level for the body to cope with.

 International health and safety guidelines are in place to limit public exposure to radio waves from base stations and mobile phones, and are set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

The unit of measurement for the amount of radio wave energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone is SAR, the Specific Absorption Rate. SAR is expressed in units of watts per kilogram (W/kg).

The SAR for mobile phones is determined at the highest certified power level in laboratory conditions.  However, the actual SAR level of the phone while operating can be well below this value.   This is because the phone is designed to use the minimum power required to reach the network.

To find SAR information relating to your phone, follow the links to the manufacturer of your handset or visit the Mobile Manufacturers Forum for a summary of mobile phone models tested with their SAR values.

Information on SAR from the US FCC website: 


No Established Adverse Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, a form of non-ionising radiation. There is a large body of scientific evidence on the effects of exposure to radio waves because they have been widely used for decades: for example, radio, TV and radar signals are radio waves. The scientific consensus is that, apart from the increased risk of a road accident due to mobile phone use when driving, there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts. (Source: Health Protection Agency, Health Advice on Mobile Phones, May 2010).

A Wealth of Research

A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use. (Source: World Health Organisation Fact Sheet N°193, June 2011).