Saturday, July 18, 2020

What is SAR Value? Everything You Should Know.

SAR Value

With a change in the global world order, one thing is for sure that we will co-existence of COVID-19 and human beings. We have accepted already other diseases in our society. We cannot stop our economy. Otherwise, we are going to unnecessarily stimulate fiscal more and more. However, we should thank this virus that it exposed our health system and infrastructure. So, it becomes important for us to understand the upliftment of such things in the near future. 

We can take the example of Singapore. You may have not read the book but you may have the name, ”From Third World to First World” by Lee Kuan Yew (Former PM of Singapore). However, the book doesn’t mention the outbreak of SARS in the early 2000s. Singapore understood the importance and did value addition to the infrastructure. Singapore handled this time COVID-19 issue with great care and concern. 

The way other countries are opening their economy it becomes important for us to be more hygiene so that we don’t get friable. We have to adopt healthy practices in our daily life. Be it mask or sanitizer, they will become part of our life and will be in daily routine. And, yes we cannot forget our smartphones which need to be handled with great care and concern. Well, we will discuss here today with the SAR value of any mobile phone in order to understand how harmful our phones can be.

What is SAR - Specific Absorption Rate?

Don’t worry it is not the part of virus hiding in our phones, but can be harmful after prolonged exposure. We should understand that smartphones once not operable can be like e-Waste. Yes, it is true. We will have to take care of such electronic equipment as unawareness may lead to health issues. 

Also, please don’t search for it on Google. The very basic definition, one of google search will present: “Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is the rate at which electromagnetic power radiated from mobile handsets and towers are absorbed by the human body.” Flummoxed, foxed, perplexed? Let me ensure that you get crystal clear clarifications. Well, on prolonged exposures, the radio waves give a dent to your cells and tissues of the body particularly when you are over calls as it increases the rate of absorption because your body is more closer to the smartphones/ mobile phones.
  1. When measuring the SAR due to a mobile phone the phone is placed against a representation of a human head (a "SAR Phantom") in a talk position.
  2. The SAR value is then measured at the location that has the highest absorption rate in the entire head, which in the case of a mobile the phone is often as close to the phone's antenna as possible.
  3. Measurements are made for different positions on both sides of the head and at different frequencies representing the frequency bands at which the device can transmit. 
  4. Depending on the size and capabilities of the phone, additional testing may also be required to represent the usage of the device while placed close to the user's body and/or extremities.

The standard value of SAR:

To be honest, there’s no universal value of SAR. Different countries through their regulations and policies have laid down the standard values of SAR of different handsets that any firm can sell in the respective countries.
  • The Inter-Ministerial Committee on EMF Radiation set up by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology had suggested stricter SAR limits (2 watts per kg) for mobile handsets in India. India switched from EU standards to US’s FCC laid standards.
  • While acknowledging the sensitivity of health-related effects of radiation emissions from mobile towers and the recent concern raised by the WHO, the Indian Government has decided to set the new SAR limits to 1.6 watts per kg. This would make the Indian standards closer to the US standards prescribed by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) where the permissible SAR levels are set at or below 1.6 watts per kg taken over a volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue.
  • However,  CENELEC (Body which is responsible for laying down the standards in the electrical and electronic domain) specify SAR limits within the EU, following IEC standards. For mobile phones and other such hand-held devices, the SAR limit is 2 W/kg averaged over the 10 g of tissue absorbing the most signal
SAR limits set by law do not consider that the human body is particularly sensitive to the power peaks or frequencies responsible for the microwave hearing effect. Frey reports that the microwave hearing effect occurs with average power density exposures of 400 μW/cm2, well below SAR limits (as set by the government regulations).

Testing of SAR:

SAR testing uses standardized models of the human head and body that are filled with liquids that simulate the RF absorption characteristics of different human tissues. 
  1. Each cell phone is tested while operating at its highest power level in all the frequency bands in which it operates, and in various specific positions against the dummy head and body, to simulate the way different users typically hold a cell phone, including to each side of the head. 
  2. To test cell phones for SAR compliance, the phone is precisely placed in various common positions next to the head and body, and a the robotic probe takes a series of measurements of the electric field at specific pinpoint locations in a very precise, grid-like pattern within the dummy head and torso.
  3. All data for each phone placement are submitted as a part of the equipment approval test report for final authorization.
As such higher SAR is correlated with higher potential damage but it is not a measure of the damage, that is, it doesn’t quantify the biological effect on the body of radiofrequency.

How to check SAR value:

If you want to know the SAR value of your device then all you need to look for Settings. In the ‘About Phone/Device,’ you will get some Legal information. You need to go through where you will get to know about the RF exposure information. 

If it seems a tedious task for you, then you can check the SAR value on the product’s website.  For example, if you want to search for Samsung phones SAR value, you can visit SAMSUNG PHONE SAR VALUE.

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