This page has the latest on Do It Yourself practices and methods to detect wireless radiation at home, work or anyplace we visit. To not go unprotected, use this page as a self defence guide against mobile phone radiation and other mobile radiation sources. You can also find info about SAR and electromagnetic radiation levels and standards.
The FCC has established a protocol for testing cell phones, and after each model is tested it's assigned an SAR value. This value, which must be below 1.6 watts per kilogram over a mass weighing 1 gram, is supposed to represent the maximum amount of radiation that this phone can produce under the most stringent conditions.
What precautions can I take to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation?
Don't place your mobile phone close up next to your body. Moving a cell phone even an inch from the body can greatly reduce radiation exposure. Signal strength falls off as the square of the distance to the source. This means that if you double the distance to the source, which is the cell phone to your head, the signal strength would be four times less, since two squared is four. If you triple the distance, the signal strength would be nine times less, and so on. At 10 times the distance between the cell phone and your head, the signal strength is 100 times less, and at 100 times the distance, it would be 10,000 times less.
Talk briefly on the phone . The less you talk on your mobile phone, the less exposure to radiation you will have. So by keeping voice conversations short, you're limiting your exposure.
Use a headset. Experts recommend using either a wired headset or a Bluetooth headset. While you may still be exposed to some radiation using either type of headset, it's still a lot less than holding the phone to your ear. If you do use a Bluetooth headset, I'd recommend taking it out of your ear when you're not using it. There's no need to continue to expose yourself to low levels of electromagnetic radiation when you don't need to, since we still don't know the long-term effects of radiation exposure at these low levels.
Use the speaker phone when talking For the same reason you'd use a headset, using a speaker phone is another good option. It keeps the cell phone away from your body, and you don't have to worry about using a headset. Of course, the downside is that everyone around you will hear your conversation, so this may only be something you do when you're at home or somewhere private.
Turn your cell phone off when you are not using it - or just switch to flight mode. For example, turn off your phone when you go to sleep at night. Or at the very least turn off the cellular radio in your phone. Many smartphones, such as the iPhone, allow you to put your phone in "airplane mode." This shuts down the cellular radio portion of your phone. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi radio, too, just to be safe.
Avoid using your cell phone in places where you get a poor or low signal. Many consumers also don't realize that cell phones emit different amounts of radiation depending on where they are with respect to a wireless operator's cell phone tower. Cell phones are constantly communicating with cell phone towers, but the further away the subscriber is from the cell tower, the weaker the signal. In order to connect to the cell tower, the device must boost its power, which increases the amount of radiation emitted. This means that if you get poor reception in your basement, you should move upstairs to your living room, where you have better reception, to talk on your cell phone. Tawkon's Friedlander noted that a minute of talk time in a "red zone," where the radiation is likely higher because of a poor cell phone signal, is equivalent to the amount of exposure you'd get talking on the phone for three hours in a "green zone," where reception is good and the radiation emitted from a cell phone is much less.
Text or surf the web more than talking on your phone. When you're texting or using your phone to access the Internet, you aren't holding it up to your head the same way you would if you were talking on it. So texting and using other forms of communication that don't require you to put the phone to your head or right next to your body are good ways to reduce exposure.
Carry your cell phone in your purse or backpack instead of in your pocket. Again, it's all about creating distance between you and your cell phone. So if you carry your phone away from your body, then you are reducing your exposure.