The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Magnetic Field Near a Cellular Telephone

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Philips, Alasdair. Re-Nokia-3210-(Valdemarsson)-(Tegenfeldt)-(Philips)-----(fwd). 25 Sept. 1999. 8 June 2003. "For GSM/PCN phones extremely low frequency real pulsed magnetic fields should also be added as they travel right through the whole of the user's head in the order of 10 to 60 milligauss." 1000–6000 nT
Joe, Colonel. EMF Information. 8 June 2003. "The magnetic field strength transmitted from the antennae of the majority of cell phones, when measured 3-4 inches from the antennae, is 20+ milligauss." > 2000 nT
The Phone Dome distributed by creative Marketing concepts, Cellular phone. 8 June 2003. "It is agreed by scientists that 0-2 Milligauss is an acceptable level for EMFs. 2-7 Milligauss is inadvisable, and above 7 Milligauss is inadvisable and dangerous." > 700 nT

Today, just about everyone has a cellular telephone. Many times, people talk on their phone without realizing that radiation and magnetic field pulses are emitted from the phone. In some cases, the cellular phone users do not think about the interference created in hospitals. The electromagnetic fields may disturb important life saving machines such as the cardiac pacemaker.

Many scientists consider an acceptable level of EMFs, electromagnetic fields, to be less than 200 nT. Imprudent levels of EMFs to be from 200 nT to 700 nT, and dangerous levels of EMFs to be greater than 700 nT. Although these are the acceptable limits, many appliances that people use everyday exceed these limits, especially the cellular phone.

EMFs are harmful to the human body if absorbed at high intensities. The magnetic field strength transmitted from the antenna of the majority of all cellular phones, about 7.5–10 cm from the antenna, is well over 2000 nT. When a cellular phone is held to the user's head, it emits EMFs of 1000 to 6000 nT. Scientists believe high intensities of EMFs are becoming a major cause of brain tumors and cancer within the human body.

Another way to measure the amount of radiation if to determine the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). SAR is the amount of radio frequency radiation absorbed by the human head. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the safety limit that all cellular phones are required to comply with is 1.6 watts per kilogram. As of 1993, no one has observed or confirmed that there were any thermal effects of radio waves at SAR levels below 40 W/kg, but it has been predicted that long term exposure to small amounts of SAR levels can harm the human body.

Viet Tran -- 2003