What is SAR?

SAR (specific absorption rate) This is a measurement of how much electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by body tissue whilst using a mobile phone. The higher the SAR the more radiation is absorbed. In Europe, the European Union Council has adopted the recommendations made by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP Guidelines 1998). These recommendations set a SAR limit of 2.0 W/kg in 10g of tissue. The UK Government has endorsed this limit (following a report by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones) and the five mobile phone network operators have agreed to voluntarily adopt the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure. All mobile phones on sale in the UK comply with this limit.

In the United States, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) requires all cell phones to comply with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg in 1g of tissue.

How to reduce your exposure to phone radiation

  • Do not use your phone more than necessary and keep your calls short
  • Send a text instead of making a call
  • Try to avoid using your phone if the signal strength is low - find a better location to make a call
  • Try to use the phone outdoors rather than inside, or move close to a window to make a call
  • Keep the phone (and particularly the aerial) as far as possible from your head
  • Avoid touching the aerial while the phone is turned on, and keep the phone away from areas of the body such as eyes, testicles, breasts and internal organs
  • Limit usage as much as possible if pregnant Switch off your phone when not in use


You should be aware that if the phone is receiving a very strong signal from a base station, then power output can be reduced by up to 1000 times compared with when the phone has a poor signal. SAR Values As SAR information is not always easy to find, we have compiled a list of SAR values for most phones available in the UK. Please note that Mobile Phones UK accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this data. All data has been collected from third party sources and in each case the source of the data is referenced. You are advised to verify the accuracy of this information for yourself. Under no circumstances will Mobile Phones UK be held liable for any loss, injury or damage associated with the use of this data. You should note that while the SAR values of individual phones may vary, every phone available for sale in the UK complies with ICNIRP guidelines. You should also be aware that the SAR values shown are maximum values and in practice emissions from mobile phones will normally be lower than these figures. The emissions depend on factors such as distance from a transmission mast, whether the phone is used indoors or outdoors, how close the phone is held to the ear and other operating factors. It is important to realise that a phone with a high SAR rating may actually operate with much lower emissions in practice, and conversely a phone with a lower SAR rating may operate with emissions higher than a high SAR phone in practice. You should not rely on a low SAR rating to guarantee your health.