Working closely with federal health and safety agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy. These limits are given in terms of a unit referred to as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone. The FCC requires cell phone manufacturers to ensure that their phones comply with these objective limits for safe exposure. Any cell phone at or below these SAR levels (that is, any phone legally sold in the U.S.) is a "safe" phone, as measured by these standards. The FCC limit for public exposure from cellular telephones is an SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg).
- SAR For Cell phones – What It Means For You
- Wireless Devices and Health Concerns
- Human Exposure to Radiofrequency (RF) Fields from Mobile Vehicle Mounted Antennas
- Human Exposure To Radio Frequency Fields: Guidelines For Cellular And PCS Sites
SAR Information from individual manufacturers can be found on the below websites:
- Nextel (Sprint)
- Siemens (BenQ-Siemens)
FCC SAR Database - You can usually find the SAR value of a cellular phone through the FCC database if you can get the FCC ID number from the instrument.
The FCC ID number is usually shown somewhere on the case of the phone or device. In many cases, you will have to remove the battery pack to find the number. Once you have the number proceed as follows. Go to the following Web address: www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid. Once you are there you will see instructions for inserting the FCC ID number. Enter the FCC ID number (in two parts as indicated: "Grantee Code" is comprised of the first three characters, the "Equipment Product Code" is the remainder of the FCC ID). Then click on "Start Search." The grant of equipment authorization for this particular ID number should appear. The highest SAR values reported in the equipment certification test data are usually included in the comments section of the grant of equipment certification.
Additional information on Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) can be found on
- the FCC's website at www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/Welcome.html
- the FDA's website
- the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) website at www.ctia.org/
- the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) website at www.cwta.ca
For general information, you may contact the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau in the following ways:
Via Internet at www.fcc.gov/consumer-governmental-affairs
Consumer Center, Voice: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) and
TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
For this or any other consumer publication in an alternative format (electronic ASCII text, Braille, large print or audio) please write or call us at the address or phone number below, or send an email to FCC504@fcc.gov.
Looking For More Information?
You can contact the FCC at:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) VOICE
1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY