Finnish phone study says radiation within agreed limits

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (01/09/2004) - Tests on several of the world's most popular second-generation mobile phone models revealed no health hazards, with radiation levels recorded well below agreed limits, according to data published by a Finnish agency.

An update of research begun in 1999 by Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) found all 12 tested models to have radiation emission levels -- referred to as specific absorption rate (SAR) -- almost 50 percent below the level of 2 watts per kilogram agreed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), according to STUK researcher Kari Jokela.

"All models we tested had a maximum SAR of 1.12 watts per kilogram," he said.

SAR measures the amount of power absorbed by the brain. Excessive SAR can cause sickness and even brain damage if the absorption rate exceeds 50 watts per kilogram, according to Jokela.

Suppliers of the tested models included Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp., Samsung Electronic Co. Ltd., Siemens AG and Sony-Ericsson Mobile Communications AB.

STUK plans to test more mobile phones based on the GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) standard in the course of this year.

The agency also aims to begin tests on new 3G (third-generation) mobile phones and base stations next year, when sufficient handsets and simulation equipment are available, according to Jokela.

A Dutch study published last year showed that under certain conditions, radio signals transmitted from 3G base stations could cause headaches and nausea.

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