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Extended Essay

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAM


[CORE]
The Adverse Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation from
Cellular Phones on the Human Brain


Candidate Name
Candidate Session Number
Candidate Code
Examination Session
Pages
Word Count
Date

Rukmal Weerawarana
001426-005
dwd913
MAY 2013
48
3797
01/28/13

Rukmal Weerawarana

001426-005|dwd913

IBDP

ABSTRACT

This essay investigates the question Could electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones

have adverse effects on the human brain? To further study this question, it was analyzed in the
form of three separately approached hypotheses; radiation from mobile phone use has an adverse
effect on the human brain, the extent of radiation damage varies inversely with the age of the
user and the general population is safe from the damaging effects of radiation from cellular
phones.

The investigation was approached both experimentally and empirically, with all data used

gathered first hand. However, a wide range of external source material from government
organizations such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States and the
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka. Apparatus from the TRC was
used to measure the Specific Absorption Rate caused by different cellular phones in a indirect
manner, as the apparatus used was designed to measure power intensity from mobile base stations.
Additionally, a survey was conducted within the British School to address the third hypothesis.

This dissertation is structured in the form of a formal report, with a brief introduction to the

theory behind the adverse effects on the human brain, and it ends by validating the hypotheses.
However, due to the manner in which the data was collected, there is a high possibility that it could
have been false. Extensive measures were taken to prevent this, and all data was validated and
rectified in the best possible manner.

Using the data, it was evident that all of the hypotheses were true and that extended

exposure to cellular phones does indeed have adverse effects on the human brain. These adverse
effects are inversely proportional to the age of the user of the phone, and the general population is
safe from these effects.

Word Count 297

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First and foremost, I would like to thank my Extended Essay Supervisor, Mr. Aravinthan

Suseendirarajah for his undying support and encouragement to write this essay. I would not have
been able to complete this dissertation without his guidance. I would also like to sincerely thank
Mr. Sampath Munasinghe, Senior Technician at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission
for his guidance and support at the TRC. Furthermore, I would also like to extend my gratitude to
Professor Dileeka Dias, of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Moratuwa for her constant
assistance with my essay, by giving me access to the TRCs amazing resources. Lastly, I would also
like to sincerely thank my parents for allowing me to conduct this research, and for keeping up with
my hectic schedule. I would not have been able to complete this essay without them.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction ................................................................................................................... 5
The Issue ............................................................................................................................................................. 5
Research Question ............................................................................................................................................. 6
Hypotheses ......................................................................................................................................................... 6
1. Radiation from mobile phone use has an adverse effect on the human brain ............................................ 6
2. The extent of radiation damage varies with inversely with the age of the user ........................................ 6
3. The general population is safe from the damaging effects of radiation from cellular phones ...................... 6
2. Methodology and Concepts ....................................................................................... 7
Outline ................................................................................................................................................................. 7
GSM Radio Transmission Technology ........................................................................................................... 7
GSM Bands in Sri Lanka ................................................................................................................................. 7
Measurement and Regulation .......................................................................................................................... 8
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) ....................................................................................................................... 8
Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure ............................................................................................ 8
3. Experiment Conception ............................................................................................... 9
Narda NBM-550 Broadband Field Meter .................................................................................................... 9
Modification of the SAR Equation .................................................................................................................. 9
Variables ............................................................................................................................................................ 11
Procedure .......................................................................................................................................................... 12
Observations ..................................................................................................................................................... 13
Qualitative Observations ............................................................................................................................... 13
Quantitative Observations ............................................................................................................................. 13
Changes Made Due to Observations ............................................................................................................ 13
4. Data Computation ...................................................................................................... 14
Outline ............................................................................................................................................................... 14
Processed SAR Values ..................................................................................................................................... 14
Adult Skull ..................................................................................................................................................... 14
Infant Skull ..................................................................................................................................................... 15
Processed Survey Data .................................................................................................................................... 17
5. Data Processing .......................................................................................................... 18
Overview ........................................................................................................................................................... 18
Hypothesis 1 and 2 ......................................................................................................................................... 18
Hypothesis 3 ................................................................................................................................................... 18
Explicit Data Processing ................................................................................................................................. 19

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Adults ............................................................................................................................................................. 19
Infants ............................................................................................................................................................. 20
Phone Brand Survey Data Processing .......................................................................................................... 21

6. Analysis........................................................................................................................ 23
Hypothesis 1 - Radiation from mobile phone use has an adverse effect on the human brain ............. 23
Hypothesis 2 The extent of radiation damage varies with inversely with the age of the user ......... 24
Hypothesis 3 The general population is safe from the damaging effects of radiation from cellular
phones ............................................................................................................................................................... 25

7. Conclusion and Evaluation ....................................................................................... 26


8. Bibliography ................................................................................................................ 27
Appendix A Index of Cellular Phones Used in Study .................................................. 31
Phone 1 Apple iPhone 4 ............................................................................................................................ 31
Phone 2 Apple iPhone 5 ............................................................................................................................ 31
Phone 3 RIM Blackberry Bold 9790 ......................................................................................................... 32
Phone 4 Sony XPERIA sola ....................................................................................................................... 32
Phone 5 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini ..................................................................................................... 33
Phone 6 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro .............................................................................................. 33
Phone 7 Nokia 1202 ................................................................................................................................... 34
Phone 8 Nokia E72 ..................................................................................................................................... 34
Phone 9 Nokia 2220 slide .......................................................................................................................... 35
Phone 10 Nokia C7 .................................................................................................................................... 35
Phone 11 Nokia E5 ..................................................................................................................................... 36
Phone 12 Nokia Lumia 820 ....................................................................................................................... 36
Phone 13 HTC 7 Trophy ........................................................................................................................... 37
Phone 14 Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 ............................................................................................................ 37
Phone 15 Samsung Galaxy S .................................................................................................................... 38
Phone 16 Samsung Galaxy S3 .................................................................................................................. 38
Appendix B Raw Data from Experiment ...................................................................... 39
Appendix C Raw Data from Phone Manufacturer Survey ......................................... 41
Appendix D Calculation of Average SAR Values ....................................................... 42
Brand 1 Apple ............................................................................................................................................... 42
Brand 2 Blackberry ....................................................................................................................................... 43
Brand 3 HTC .................................................................................................................................................. 44
Brand 4 Motorola .......................................................................................................................................... 45
Brand 5 Nokia ................................................................................................................................................ 46
Brand 6 Samsung .......................................................................................................................................... 47
Brand 7 Sony .................................................................................................................................................. 48

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1. Introduction
The Issue
The last decade has seen what is probably one of the most drastic technological upheavals in
human history. Today, we live
in a world where more people
have access to a cellular phone
than they do to a clean toilet.1
The sheer number of cellular
phones in use today has
resulted in the birth of a new
categorizing

system

for

phones, which divides them


into

three

classes:

smartphones, mobile phones


and feature-phones.2
However,

Figure 1 The evolution of the cellular phone

as

with

all

progress in technology, there

is a host of risks associated with it. One of the most pressing issues
however, is the effect of prolonged usage of cellular phones on the brain,
which is arguably the most important organ in the human body. An
amalgamation of the new nature of cellular phones and the relative
absence of research conducted in this area has contributed our general lack
of knowledge when electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones is
considered.
In this essay, I plan to explore the potential effects of cellular phones
available to me on the human brain, using a combination of past research
material and first-hand readings taken at the Telecommunications
Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka. In addition to this, I also plan
to conduct a survey within my school to evaluate the usage of each
popular brand of cellular phones, and to analyze which users at the
greatest risk of damage from electromagnetic radiation. Armed with this
information; I hope to achieve a first-hand perspective of the actual Figure 2 The Apple iPhone
dangers posed by electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones in Sri

- a typical smartphone

Lanka.

1
2

(water.org)
(Fraser)

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Research Question

As per the issue outlined above, the research question I have formulated for this assignment

is as follows:

Could electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones have adverse effects on


the human brain?

Hypotheses

Due to the broad nature of the research question, three hypotheses were formulated as

follows. By defining hypotheses, each can be analyzed individually, which would improve the
focus and quality of the essay.

1. Radiation from mobile phone use has an adverse effect on the human brain
This hypothesis was formulated for the purpose of measuring and analyzing electromagnetic
radiation from readily available phones. First hand data collected experimentally was used to
evaluate this hypothesis.

2. The extent of radiation damage varies with inversely with the age of the user
Using the equations for the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) from the FCC, the density of the
skull of an infant can be substituted to calculate the new SAR for an infant. Using this data, along
with other third party information, this hypothesis was evaluated effectively.

3. The general population is safe from the damaging effects of radiation from
cellular phones
This hypothesis was evaluated by conducting a survey of the brands of phones used within

the British School in Colombo, among students and teachers. To analyze this data effectively, the
average SAR values for the most popular phones of a given brand, and analyzing this empirical
data with the data from the survey.

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2. Methodology and Concepts


Outline
Cellular phones have two different types of radio transmissions. They are GSM (Global System
for Mobiles) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access).3 Technologically speaking, these two
technologies do not have many differences, apart from the fact
that they are built and mandated by different companies. As this
study is to be conducted in Sri Lanka however, only the GSM
transmission system used in Sri Lanka will be discussed in this
essay, as it alone is used exclusively.4

GSM Radio Transmission Technology


The Global System for Mobiles (GSM) radio transmission

technology operates in two bands depending on the geographic


region in which it is implemented. Typically, the USA uses the
1900MHz band, while Europe and Asia use the 900MHz band.5
Simply defined, a GSM transmission band is a range of
frequencies in which providers transmit signals to phones on their Figure 3 The spread of EM radiation
from cellular phones
network.

GSM Bands in Sri Lanka



In a GSM transmission system, the range of frequencies contained within a band can be
allocated to different cellular companies in a country or region. In Sri Lanka, the 900MHz band
extends from 869MHz to 915MHz. As per the norm however, within this range, smaller ranges are
awarded to cellular companies for their use, and to ensure the proper separation margins of
frequencies.

To ensure uniformity throughout the experiment, the same cellular company was used

across all phones tested. Due to its high popularity and consistent service, the Dialog Network6
was selected. Dialog is allocated the frequencies between 907.5MHz and 915.0Mhz.7


(Segan)
(Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Spectrum Management Division)
5 (HowStuffWorks Inc.)
6 (Dialog Axiata PLC)
7 (Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Spectrum Management Division)
3
4

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Measurement and Regulation


As with all dangers posed by any widely used apparatus, the levels of electromagnetic

radiation from cellular phones are carefully monitored by entities such as the United States Federal
Communications Commission (FCC). 8 In Sri Lanka too, the law states that all phones sold and used
in the country must comply with the FCCs rules and regulations when levels of electromagnetic
radiation are considered.9

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)



The specific absorption rate is the rate at which electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by the
human body. By using the electric field strength caused by the cellular phone, the SAR of the phone
can be calculated using the following equation:10
=

!
!"#

210!!

Where = , !"# = = .

Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation Exposure


As per Max Plancks quantum theory, energy in electromagnetic radiation can be quantified

into packets called photons. The theory also states that the energy carried by a given photon
corresponds to a frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum, as shown by one of Plancks most well
known equations:11
=
Where = , = ! = .
Einsteins theory of the photoelectric effect theorizes the interactions between electrons and
photons. Concisely described, his theory states that unless a photon has enough energy to excite an
electron, the electron will merely absorb it, and the atom will be excited. However, when the
electron returns to its neutral state, electromagnetic radiation is given off in the form of photons.
Unfortunately, some of these photons are transformed into photons of the IR (infrared) spectrum,
due to the staggering motion of the electron when returning to the ground stage. It is this influx of
infrared photons that has adverse implications, as it heats the brain tissue, which could potentially
cause damage.12


(Federal Communications Commisssion)
(Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Spectrum Management Division)
10 (Khalatbari, Sardari and Mirzaee)
11 (The Nobel Foundation)
12 (Hamper)
8
9

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3. Experiment Conception
Due to the unique nature of the issue, specialist equipment was required to conduct this
experiment. Currently, Sri Lanka does not have a dedicated SAR meter. However, the TRC
possesses a meter used to measure the radiation output from cellular phone transmission towers.
Using the readings from this apparatus in conjunction and by modifying the equation on page 8, it
was possible to obtain a value for the specific absorption rate for each phone. The TRC apparatus
used in the experiment is discussed below:

Narda NBM-550 Broadband Field Meter


The apparatus used to measure the

power output from cellular antennae by the


TRC is pictured on the right: the Narda
NBM-550 Field Meter. As this apparatus is
not used to measure the SAR output of a
phone by design, the accuracy of its
measurement (i.e. least count) is more suited
to measuring large power intensities.13

Furthermore, the design of the probe

used is such that the actual location of the


antenna used to measure the value is Figure 4 Narda NBM-550 Broadband Field Meter
unknown; the phones were placed in a
constant position throughout the experiment.

Modification of the SAR Equation


Due to the fact that the meter discussed above does not measure the maximum electric field

strength, the equation used to calculate the SAR of the cellular phones tested in the experiment
must be modified.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the Narda meter measures the

maximum power intensity as opposed to the maximum electric field strength. Thus, using
equations that relate the power density and electric field strength, the SAR equation can be
modified to accept values from the Narda meter,14 as shown overleaf.





13
14

(Narda Safety Test Solutions)


(Granite Island Group)

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1 = ! !
2 = !
Where = , ! = = .

[2] = !
=


1 = !
=

! !

!!

!

!

! = !
!
!"#
= !"# !

Thus, as a relationship between the maximum electric field strength and the maximum

power intensity has been established, the Narda NBM-550 Field Meter can be used to measure the
SAR of cellular telephones. Hence, the relationship is substituted into the SAR equation as shown
below:
!
!"#

210!!

Where = = .

=

!"# !

210!!

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Variables

As per the SAR equation and the other conditions of the testing area, a list of variables can

be formulated and regulated for the experiment as follows:



Table 1 Table of variables

Variable

Type

Bone Density ()

Constant

Impedance of Free Space ( )

Constant

Brain Tissue Conductivity ()

Constant

Distance between phone and


receiver

Constant

Other electromagnetic
radiation

Constant

Maximum Power Intensity


( )

Independent

Specific Absorption Rate


(SAR)

Dependent

Justification
As this value is not
dependent on the
experiment, it is a
constant.
As this value is not
dependent on the
experiment, it is a
constant.
As this value is not
dependent on the
experiment, it is a
constant.
As this value would
change the values of
the same reading, it
was kept constant.
As
other
electromagnetic
radiation would affect
the accuracy of the
readings, an attempt
was made to keep it
constant.
As this value is not
dependent on any of
the other variables, it is
independent.
As this value is
dependent on the
Maximum
Power
Intensity, it is the
dependent variable.

Value (if any)


-

377 15

1.1 !! 16

5 0.1


15
16

(Bogatin)
(Khalatbari, Sardari and Mirzaee)

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Procedure

A piece of paper was kept under the receiving probe. This was done to accurately and
efficiently measure the distance between the phone and the receiver.

A separate phone was placed in the adjoining room, with a laptop to record the data.

A call was placed from the phone in the second room to the phone to be tested, in the first
room.

At 30-second intervals (with the first one being 30 seconds after the call begins), the
maximum power intensity within each 30-second block was recorded.

During this time, all of the other phones were switched off.

This process was repeated with each of the phones used in the experiment. A list of phones
used can be seen in Appendix A (page 30).

Due to the small nature of the numbers, a computer model was used to calculate the final
values and uncertainties for the readings obtained. The raw data collected can be seen in
Appendix B (page 36).

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Observations
Qualitative Observations
The tip of the detection probe because slightly warm after prolonged use.
Quantitative Observations
When the level of noise detected by the cellular phone microphone increased, the power
intensity would increase sharply.
When using cellular phones across networks, the power intensity readings would vary
greatly to when two phones of the same network were used.

Changes Made Due to Observations


As it was discovered that the power intensity varied with the sound transmitted during the

call, the procedure followed during the experiment was varied slightly. As opposed to simply
making a call and measuring the resulting power intensity, a song was played on one phone during
the call, whilst the microphone on the other was muted, causing the same audio transmission
channels to activate, normalizing the test.

Furthermore, it was also noted that using two phones from different networks (i.e. with

different Subscriber Identity Modules17 [SIMs]) increased the levels of variation of consecutive
readings. To remedy this, it was decided that only phones of the same network would be used, by
changing the Subscriber Identity Modules of some of the phones in the sample.

Thus, by making the changes discussed above, the validity and accuracy of the readings

obtained were increased, leading to a more coherent analysis of the hypotheses. The experiment
was repeated after making the above changes.


17

(Conjecture Corporation)

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4. Data Computation
Outline

To effectively analyze the hypotheses discussed in the introduction of this essay, the raw

data collected (Appendix B) must be computed twice. Once for an adult skull, and a second time for
an infants skull. Using both of these SAR values, it will be possible to effectively analyze both
hypotheses.

Due to the extremely small and recursive nature of some of the readings, they were

calculated directly using a computer application 18 to increase accuracy. For the purpose of
calculation, the readings were rounded off to 6 decimal places. Additionally, the absolute
uncertainty of the raw data was also calculated using the computer model and rounded off to 4
decimal places.

Processed SAR Values


To calculate the different SAR values for adults and infants, the bone density () in the SAR

equation (page 9) was varied using values for each of the corresponding skulls (i.e. Adults and
Infants) from third party research. As the conductivity as the brain tissue remains the same
regardless of age, this value was not varied. The calculated SAR values with the changing bone
densities are shown below.

Adult Skull


19 = = 1914 !!
=

!"# !
210!!

1.1 !! 377!"#
210!! 1914 !!

= !"#

414.7
!!
3.828


18
19

(Microsoft Corporation)
(Fry and Barger)

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Table 2 Processed SAR values for an adult

Phone Name

SAR (! ) [. ! ]

Apple iPhone 4

0.014444

Apple iPhone 5

0.010833

RIM Blackberry Bold 9790

0.108333

Sony XPERIA sola

0.895556

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini

0.281667

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro

0.303333

Nokia 2220 slide

0.162500

Nokia E72

0.144444

Nokia 1202

2.123333

Nokia C7

0.050556

Nokia E5

0.061389

Nokia Lumia 820

0.046944

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

0.036111

Samsung Galaxy S

0.072222

Samsung Galaxy S3

0.028889

HTC 7 Trophy

0.025278

Infant Skull
20 = = 1739 !!
=

!"# !
210!!

1.1 !! 377!"#
210!! 1739 !!

= !"#

414.7
!!
3.478


20

(Fry and Barger)

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Table 3 Processed SAR values for an infant

Phone Name

SAR (! ) [. ! ]

Apple iPhone 4

0.015898

Apple iPhone 5

0.011924

RIM Blackberry Bold 9790

0.119235

Sony XPERIA sola

0.985678

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini

0.310012

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro

0.333859

Nokia 2220 slide

0.178853

Nokia E72

0.158980

Nokia 1202

2.337010

Nokia C7

0.055643

Nokia E5

0.067559

Nokia Lumia 820

0.051669

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

0.039745

Samsung Galaxy S

0.079482

Samsung Galaxy S3

0.031796

HTC 7 Trophy

0.027821

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Processed Survey Data


To effectively evaluate the third hypothesis (page 6), the raw data collected in the survey of

phones used by teachers and students of the British School in Colombo (Appendix C) must be
processed. Furthermore, due to the fact that only a small number of phones from a limited selection
of manufacturers were sampled, online popularity ratings per manufacturer from reputed
technology website, TechCrunch21 in conjunction with previously measured SAR values from the
FCC22 will be used to determine the average SAR of the (if possible) ten most popular smartphones
of a selection of the most popular cellular phone manufacturers. The phone manufacturers analyzed
in the study are as follows:

Apple Inc.23
Blackberry24
HTC25
Motorola26
Nokia27
Samsung28
Sony29

The names and calculation of the average SAR for the ten most popular phones for each of the
above brands can be seen in Appendix D.


(AOL Tech.)
(Federal Communications Commission)
23 (Apple Inc.)
24 (Research in Motion Inc.)
25 (HTC Corporation)
26 (Motorola Mobility LLC.)
27 (Nokia)
28 (SAMSUNG)
29 (Sony Mobile Communications AB.)
21
22

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5. Data Processing
Overview
Hypothesis 1 and 2

To completely analyze the hypotheses discussed in the introduction, it was decided that
each set of SAR readings would be analyzed explicitly. The reasons for which this method was
chosen can be seen below.

Each set of SAR values will be analyzed independently using a bar graph, with the FCC

limitation exposure limit to clearly judge the cellular phone(s) that violate the limit. Using this
method, all phones that violate the SAR limit set out by the FCC can be clearly seen. Additionally,
this explicit analysis can also be used to see the differences between the adult and infant SAR values
graphically, thus leading to a better understanding of the issue.

Using the data from each of the graphs, each hypothesis will be evaluated and discussed

thoroughly, effectively appraising both.


Hypothesis 3

To evaluate the third and final hypothesis to be discussed in this essay, a pi chart of the
usage of each of the phone manufacturers will be plotted to evaluate the usage of each of the phone
models, whilst also evaluating the dangers faced by each group of users. Furthermore, a bar graph
will also be plotted to evaluate the average SAR per phone wile referring to the FCC limit.

By doing this, the third hypothesis can be effectively appraised by evaluating the graphs

and charts plotted, whilst also analyzing the brands of phones that meet the SAR limit.

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Explicit Data Processing


To analyze each of the SAR readings explicitly, they readings will be judged against the FCC
recommended SAR limit; 1.6!! .30 The graphs are shown below.

Adults
2.5

Specic Absorption Rate (W/kg )

1.5

0.5

Cellular Telephone


Graph 1 Explicit SAR analysis for Adults


30

(Federal Communications Commission)

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Infants
2.5

Specic Absorption Rate (W/kg )

1.5

0.5

Cellular Telephone


Graph 2 Explicit SAR analysis for Infants

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Phone Brand Survey Data Processing


The data from the phone manufacturer survey was processed and an average SAR value for

each phone brand was calculated. The average brand SAR data alongside the phone brand survey
results are shown tabulated below.
Brand

Number of Users

Brand SAR (! )

Apple

66

0.48325

Blackberry

30

0.659125

HTC

25

0.6777

Motorola

0.6637

Nokia

73

0.7182

Samsung

48

0.4985

Sony

19

1.1369

Apple
Blackberry
HTC
Motorola
Nokia
Samsung
Sony


Figure 5 Pi Chart of phone brand usage from survey

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1.2

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

Apple

Blackberry

HTC

Motorola

Nokia

Samsung

Sony

Graph 3 Average SAR values for phone manufacturers

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6. Analysis
The objectives of this assignment were simple; establish a relationship between the radiation
from cellular telephones and adverse effects on the human brain, and to investigate the influence of
age on the extent of the adverse effects while also evaluating the safety of the general population
from electromagnetic radiation. Using an amalgamation of first hand data collected using
equipment from the TRC, a school-wide survey and a wide range of second hand information from
a plethora of sources, these objectives can be achieved. To do this effectively, each hypothesis will
be addressed individually.

Hypothesis 1 - Radiation from mobile phone use has an adverse effect


on the human brain

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the USA has conducted extensive

research into the field of radiation damage. Using advanced technology and dedicated SAR meters,
they have asserted that a maximum safe radiation level from cellular phones is 1.6!! .31 The
explicit data analysis for adults (page 19) can be used to determine the cellular phones that exceed
the limit defined by the FCC. When experimentally determined, only one phone exceeded the SAR
limit of 1.6!! , the Nokia 1202.

However, the qualitative observation made during the experiment; the measurement probe

heating up after prolonged use as a direct result of extended electromagnetic radiation exposure is
conclusive evidence that prolonged exposure to radiation from cellular phones is indeed a cause
that would have adverse effects on the human brain.

Additionally, it can also be implied that as the time of exposure to electromagnetic radiation

increases, the adverse effects would increase proportionally, as the number of photons bombarding
the surface of the brain would increase, which would again cause a rise in temperature.32

Furthermore, it can also be stated that while users of cellular phones in general will

eventually experience adverse effects, users in countries that use phones of a higher transmission
band, such as the USA33 are at a greater risk, as the photons used in transmission carry a greater
amount of energy, which allows them to excite a greater number of electrons.34

Thus, it can be said that the first hypothesis is indeed true, as its effects were observed both

during the experiment and in the results.


(Federal Communications Commission)


(Hamper)
33 (Hill)
34 (Elert)
31
32

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Hypothesis 2 The extent of radiation damage varies with inversely with


the age of the user

Medical research shown that not only is the SAR threshold for infants lower than that of

adults,35 but that they are also more sensitive to other forms of radiation, such as radio waves and
micro waves, due to the fact that their brains are still developing.36

For infants however, the effects are mostly unknown, due to the relative lack of research

done in the area. However, it can be logically and mathematically assumed that the SAR exposure
limit is indeed lower. As the density of the infants skull is less than that of an adult, more
electromagnetic radiation will be absorbed, as is seen in the SAR equation, reproduced below.

=

!"# !

210!!

Studies on beef show that the tenderness of the tissue is directly proportional to the

conductivity of the sample.37 To use this discovery, it can be assumed that the similarities between
cow and human tissue are sufficient to allow this to occur in humans as well. Thus, it can be
assumed that the conductivity of infant tissue is greater than that of an adult. Additionally, it is a
known fact that infant tissue is indeed less dense than adult tissue,38 so it can be said that the
denominator of the equation reduces whilst the numerator increases, which makes the readings
larger.
Thus, it can be inferred from the readings taken with an infants skull density that not only is the
SAR higher, but the SAR exposure limit is lower, which would and could lead to more adverse
effects than previously thought possible.

Thus, due to the low density of the infant skull, it can be seen that the SAR readings are

substantially higher than that of an adult. Therefore, it can be concluded that as the SAR level is
higher, and as the harmless SAR threshold is lower for infants, that hypothesis 2 is also true; the
extent of radiation damage varies inversely with the age of the user.


(Brain Imaging and Analysis Center)
(Stokowski)
37 (Troy)
38 (Gallo, Vanstone and Weiler)
35
36

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Hypothesis 3 The general population is safe from the damaging


effects of radiation from cellular phones

The results of the calculation of the average SAR limit per manufacturer shows that none of

the manufacturers exceed the SAR limit. However, the phone manufacturer Sony came extremely
close to the FCC mandated limit of 1.6 Wkg-1.

Despite this proximity however, the results of the survey show that none of the users of any

of the phones are at risk of the adverse effects of radiation exposure, as none of the manufacturers
exceed the SAR limit. However, the users of phones with higher average SAR values will
experience greater adverse effects eventually than users of low SAR phones. This phenomenon can
be explained using the photoelectric effect, as discussed in hypothesis 2.

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7. Conclusion and Evaluation


This investigation sought to answer the question Could electromagnetic radiation from cellular
phones have adverse effects on the human brain? To further explore the scope of the question, it
was split into three hypotheses:
1. Radiation from mobile phone use has an adverse effect on the human brain.
2. The extent of radiation damage varies with inversely with the age of the user.
3. The general population is safe from the damaging effects of radiation from cellular phones.
Using data collected first hand, both experimentally and through a survey, and a wide variety
of source material, an equation was constructed to calculate the SAR of the mobile phones with
apparatus that is designed to measure the power intensity from cellular base stations.
The evidence and results considered has led me to the conclusion that I can indeed validate all
three of the hypotheses considered in this experiment. Nevertheless, my studies demonstrate that
there are clearly problems with data collection, where a wide variety of external factors could have
affected the final outcome. Thus, by realizing that though the data collected in this experiment may
not be completely valid, I have to the best of my ability eliminated all random error, whilst ensuring
that all tests and calculated were carried out fairly and correctly.

As a part of the evaluation of the experiment, it can be concluded that the results obtained as

a part of the experimental process are not accurate. This can be attributed to a wide variety of
reasons, the chief of them being the fact that the readings were not taken in a electromagnetically
isolated room. Thus, third party radiation from sources such as the TRC wireless Internet
connection, other phones and other apparatus may have affected the readings.
Furthermore, the use of the NARDA apparatus in the experiment would have greatly reduced
accuracy. As this apparatus is conventionally used to measure the power output from cellular
phone transmission towers, the level of accuracy would have been greatly reduced as it is
conventionally used to measure large values. Furthermore, the absence of a proper substitute for
the human skull in the experiment may have also affected the readings obtained in the experiment.
Finally, to address the survey conducted in the experiment, it can be said that despite the fact
that conclusive results were obtained to prove the hypothesis, the fact that the survey was
conducted at the British School would result in not getting an accurate perspective of the society of
Sri Lanka. Due to the fact that most of the students at the British School do not endure financial
hardship, the phones used within the school may not reflect the phones used in the society of the
country, where fake, unregulated cloned phones are a large problem.
In conclusion, I feel that despite the shortcoming of the experiment, the manner in which it was
conducted, in addition to the removal of error to the best of my abilities has allowed me to deem
this investigation successful.

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8. Bibliography

water.org. Pick either your toilet or a phone. 24 11 2012. 13 1 2013


<http://toiletday.org/?utm_source=huffpo&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=water_all&
utm_content=20121119_toiletday>.

AOL Tech. Compare Smartphones :: TechCrunch Smartphones. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012


<http://smartphones.techcrunch.com/>.

Apple Inc. Apple. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012 <http://www.apple.com/>.

Bogatin, Eric. Signal Integrity: Simplified. Prentice Hall Professional, 2004.

Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. MRI Safety Tutorial. 3 7 2011. 4 11 2012

<http://www.biac.duke.edu/research/safety/tutorial.esp>.

Conjecture Corporation. What is a SIM card? 3 5 2012. 5 1 2013


<http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-sim-card.htm>.

Elert, Glenn. Photoelectric Effect. 15 11 2012. 15 11 2012 <http://physics.info/photoelectric/>.

Dialog Axiata PLC. Dialog. 15 11 2012. 16 11 2012 <http://www.dialog.lk/>.

Federal Communications Commission. FCC ID Search Form. 18 11 2012. 19 11 2012

<http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/>.

. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for Cellular Telephones. 27 7 2011. 7 11 2012


<http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cellular-telephones>.

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Federal Communications Commisssion. What We Do. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012


<http://www.fcc.gov/what-we-do>.

Fry, F J and J E Barger. "Acoustical properties of the human skull." 18 9 2009. University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Bioacoustics Resesarch Lab. 5 12 2012
<http://www.brl.uiuc.edu/Publications/1978/Fry-JASA-1576-1978.pdf>.

Fraser, Adam. Mobile phones, feature phones and smartphones: the differences. 24 7 2012. 4
11 2012 <http://conversations.nokia.com/2012/07/24/mobile-phones-feature-phones-and-
smartphones-the-differences/>.

Gallo, Sina, Catherine A Vanstone and Hope A Weiler. "Normative Data for Bone Mass in
Healthy Term Infants from Birth to 1 Year of Age." Journal of Osteoporosis 2012 (2012): 8.

Granite Island Group. "Field Relationships." 7 7 2002. Granite Island Group Homepage. 19
11 2012.

Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones. "Radiofrequency Fields from Mobile Phone
Technology." 4 7 2009. Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones. 15 1 2013
<http://www.iegmp.org.uk/documents/iegmp_4.pdf>.

Hamper, Chris. Physics Higher Level for the IB Diploma Program. Kula Lampur: Pearson
Education, 2009.

Hill, Simon. Frequency Bands Used by US Mobile Carriers and Cell Phones. 21 3 2011. 14 11
2012 <http://www.brighthub.com/mobile/windows-mobile-platform/articles/14286.aspx>.

HowStuffWorks Inc. What does GSM mean in a cell phone? 18 9 2012. 21 11 2012
<http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question537.htm>.

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HTC Corporation. HTC Smartphones. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012 <http://www.htc.com/us/>.

Khalatbari, S, et al. "Calculating SAR in Two Models of the Human Head Exposed to Mobile

Phones Radiations at 900 and 1800 MHz." Progress In Electromagnetics Research


Symposium 2006 (2006): 104-109.

Narda Safety Test Solutions. Products - High Frequency Broad Band Meters. 14 11 2012. 19
11 2012 <http://www.narda-sts.us/products_highfreq_bband.php>.

Nokia. Nokia. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012 <http://www.nokia.com/sg-en/>.

Microsoft Corporation. Excel 2011 for Mac. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012

<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/excel>.

Motorola Mobility LLC. Motorola Smartphones. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012


<http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/home>.

Oostendorp, Thom F, Jean Delbeke and Dick F Stegeman. "The Conductivity of the Human
Skull: Results of In Vivo and In Vitro Measurements." IEEE Transactions on Biomedical
Engineering 47.11 (2000).

SAMSUNG. Samsung Mobile Phones. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012


<http://www.samsung.com/sg/#latest-home>.

Segan, Sascha. CDMA vs. GSM: What's the Difference? 22 8 2012. 12 12 2012
<http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp>.

Sony Mobile Communications AB. XPERIA - Sony Smartphones. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012


<http://www.sonymobile.com/us/xperia/>.

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Stokowski, Laura A. Ensuring Safety for Infants Undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
1 5 2005. 5 11 2012 <http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/499273>.

Research in Motion Inc. Blackberry Homepage. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012


<http://us.blackberry.com/>.

Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Spectrum Management Division.


Cellular Services. 31 10 2012. 2 1 2013
<http://spectrum.trc.gov.lk/Cellular/CELLULAR1.html>.

. "SAR of Mobile Phones." 4 5 2012. Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri


Lanka Spectrum Management. 19 11 2012
<http://spectrum.trc.gov.lk/Cellular/Download/No8_SAR%20of%20Mobile%20Phones.doc>.

. "Spectrum Allocation in 800/900 MHz Bands." 3 5 2012. Telecommunications Regulatory


Commission of Sri Lanka Spectrum Management. 21 11 2012
<http://spectrum.trc.gov.lk/Cellular/Download/Copy%20of%2018002GPLAN%20(2).xls>.

The Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Prize in Physics 1918 :: Max Planck. 19 11 2012. 19 11 2012
<http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1918/planck-bio.html>.

Troy, D J. "Biochemical and Physical Indicators of Beef Quality." 6 7 2004. Teagasc the
Agriculture and Food Development Authority. 19 11 2012
<http://www.teagasc.ie/research/reports/foodprocessing/4190/eopr-4190.pdf>.

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Appendix A Index of Cellular Phones Used in Study


Phone 1 Apple iPhone 4







Figure 6 Apple iPhone 4

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

June 2010
BCG-E2380B
Apple Inc.
http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-
4/specs.html

Phone 2 Apple iPhone 5










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Figure 7 Apple iPhone 5

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

September 2012
BCG-E2599A
Apple Inc.
http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html

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Phone 3 RIM Blackberry Bold 9790









Figure 8 RIM Blackberry Bold 9790

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

November 2011
L6AREC70UW
Research in Motion Inc.
http://worldwide.blackberry.com/blackberrybold/blackberry-
bold-9790/

Phone 4 Sony XPERIA sola







Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

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Figure 9 Sony XPERIA sola

March 2012
PY7A3880134
Sony Inc.
http://www.sonymobile.com/global-
en/products/phones/xperia-sola/

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Phone 5 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini








Figure 10 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

March 2011
PY7A3880107
Sony Ericsson Inc.
http://www.sonymobile.com/gb/products/phones/xperia-
mini/

Phone 6 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro









Figure 11 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro


Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

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March 2011
PY7A3880104
Sony Ericsson Inc.
http://www.sonymobile.com/gb/products/phones/xperia-
mini-pro/

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Phone 7 Nokia 1202









Figure 12 Nokia 1202

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

April 2009
QTLRH-113
Nokia Inc.
http://press.nokia.com/products/35/nokia-
1202/

Phone 8 Nokia E72












Figure 13 Nokia E72

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

October 2009
PYARM-529
Nokia Inc.
http://www.nokia.com/us-
en/support/product/nokia-e72/

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Phone 9 Nokia 2220 slide










Figure 14 Nokia 2220 slide

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

February 2010
QTLRM-591
Nokia Inc.
http://www.nokia.com/gb-en/support/product-
archive/?action=productArchive&listType=phones&tid=1569830&s
earchTerm=Nokia+2220+slide

Phone 10 Nokia C7





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Figure 15 Nokia C7

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

October 2010
QFXRM-675X
Nokia Inc.
http://www.nokia.com/gb-
en/products/phone/c7-00/specifications/

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Phone 11 Nokia E5







Figure 16 Nokia E5

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

August 2010
QTKRM-634
Nokia Inc.
http://www.nokia.com/us-
en/products/phone/e5-00/

Phone 12 Nokia Lumia 820









Figure 17 Nokia Lumia 820

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

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November 2012
PYARM-825
Nokia Inc.
http://www.nokia.com/us-
en/products/phone/lumia820/

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Phone 13 HTC 7 Trophy









Figure 18 HTC 7 Trophy

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

October 2010
NM8PC40100
HTC Corp.
http://www.htc.com/us/smartphones/htc-
trophy-verizon/

Phone 14 Samsung Galaxy Ace 2









Figure 19 Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

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May 2012
A3LGTI8160
Samsung Group
http://www.samsung.com/sg/consumer/mobile-
devices/smartphone/android-os/GT-
I8160ZWAXSP

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Phone 15 Samsung Galaxy S









Figure 20 Samsung Galaxy S

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

June 2010
A3LGTI9000
Samsung Group
http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-
devices/smartphones/android/GT-
I9000HKDXEU

Phone 16 Samsung Galaxy S3











Figure 21 Samsung Galaxy S3

Release Date:
FCC ID:
Manufacturer:
Website:

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May 2012
A3LGTI9300A
Samsung Group
http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxys3/

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Appendix B Raw Data from Experiment


Phone
Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 5

RIM Blackberry Bold 9790

Sony XPERIA sola

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro

Nokia 2220 slide

Nokia E72

Nokia 1202

Nokia C7

Nokia E5

Nokia Lumia 820


Samsung Ace 2

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Maximum Power Intensity Output


(! ) [. ! ]
0.0001
0.0001
0.0002
0.0001
0.0001
0.0001
0.0013
0.0003
0.0014
0.0101
0.0047
0.0100
0.0024
0.0025
0.0029
0.0031
0.0027
0.0026
0.0013
0.0014
0.0018
0.0012
0.0013
0.0015
0.0202
0.0191
0.0195
0.0005
0.0006
0.0003
0.0007
0.0005
0.0005
0.0004
0.0004
0.0005
0.0002
0.0002
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0.0006
0.0005
0.0009
0.0006
0.0002
0.0004
0.0002
0.0001
0.0004
0.0002

Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung Galaxy S3

HTC 7 Trophy

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Appendix C Raw Data from Phone Manufacturer Survey



Grade

Apple

Blackberry

HTC

Motorola

Nokia

Samsung

Sony
XPERIA

6th Grade

7th Grade

14

13

15

8th Grade

9th Grade

10

10th Grade

11th Grade

13

12th Grade

12

12

Teachers

11

TOTAL

66

30

25

73

48

19


= 269

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Appendix D Calculation of Average SAR Values



Brand 1 Apple

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

iPhone 5

BCG-E2599A

0.380

iPhone 4S

BCG-E2430A

0.372

iPhone 4

BCG-E2380A

0.661

iPhone 3GS

BCGA1303A

0.520



. =

0.380 + 0.372 + 0.661 + 0.520


!!
4


= 0.48325!!

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Brand 2 Blackberry

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

Blackberry Curve 9320

L6ARFE70UW

0.610

Blackberry Bold 9900

L6ARDV70UW

0.690

Blackberry Bold 9790

L6AREC70UW

0.461

Blackberry Curve 3G 9300

L6ARDA70UW

0.453

Blackberry Curve 9360

L6ARDD70UW

0.964

Blackberry Torch 9860

L6ARDP70UW

0.880

Blackberry Bold 9700

L6ARCM70UW

0.785

Blackberry Torch 9800

L6ARCY70UW

0.443

0.610 + 0.690 + 0.461 + 0.453 + 0.964 + 0.880 + 0.785 + 0.443


!!
8


= 0.659125!!

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Brand 3 HTC

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

HTC One X

NM8PJ83100

0.514

HTC Droid DNA

NM8PL83200

0.263

HTC One X+

NM8PM63100

0.835

HTC Windows Phone 8X

NM8PM23200

0.952

HTC One VX

NM8PM36100

0.381

HTC EVO 4G LTE

NM8PJ75100

0.747

HTC Rezound

NM8PH98100

0.756

HTC Vivid

NM8PH39100

0.534

HTC Sensation 4G

NM8PG58100

0.615

HTC One S

NM8PJ40110

1.180

. 514 + .263 + .835 + .952 + .381 + .747 + .756 + .534 + .615 + 1.180
1
10


= 0.6777!!

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Brand 4 Motorola

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

DROID RAZR MAXX HD

IHDT56NG1

0.386

DROID RAZR HD

IHDT56NG1

0.386

DROID RAZR

IHDP56ME1

0.474

DROID Bionic

IHDT56MX1

0.850

DROID RAZR M

IHDT56NS1

0.796

DROID RAZR MAXX

IHDP56ME1

0.474

DROID 4

IHDP56MN1

1.050

Motorola Atrix 2

IHDT56MV1

0.914

Motorola Photon 4G

IHDP56MD1

0.893

Motorola Atrix HD

IHDP56MB4

0.414




. 386 + .386 + .474 + .850 + .796 + .474 + 1.050 + .914 + .893 + .414
=
!!
10

= 0.6637!!

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Brand 5 Nokia

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

Nokia Lumia 920

PYARM-821

0.535

Nokia Lumia 900

QMNRM-808

0.543

Nokia Lumia 822

QMNRM-845

0.629

Nokia Lumia 810

QMNRM-878

0.453

Nokia Lumia 820

PYARM-824

0.780

Nokia Lumia 710

QMNRM-809

0.920

Nokia Lumia 800

LJPA

1.080

Nokia 808 Pureview

PDNRM-807

0.500

Nokia N8

PDNRM-596

0.830

Nokia E7

PDNRM-626

0.910




. 535 + .543 + .629 + .453 + .780 + .920 + 1.080 + .500 + .830 + .910
=
!!
10

= 0.7182!!

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Brand 6 Samsung

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

Samsung Galaxy S3

A3LSGHI747

0.531

Samsung Galaxy Note II

A3LSGHT889

0.184

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

A3LGTI9250

0.630

Samsung Galaxy S2

A3LSGHT989

0.510

Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket

A3LSGHI727

0.850

Samsung Epic 4G Touch

A3LSPHD710

0.240

Samsung Galaxy Note

A3LSGHI717

0.750

Samsung Epic 4G

A3LSPHD700

0.680

Samsung Infuse 4G

A3LSGHI997

0.200

Samsung Droid Charge

A3LSCHI510

0.410




. 531 + .184 + .630 + .510 + .850 + .240 + .750 + .680 + .200 + .410
=
!!
10

= 0.4985!!

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Brand 7 Sony

Phone

FCC ID

SAR (! )

Sony XPERIA TL

PY7PM-0140

1.472

Sony XPERIA Ion

PY7A8880001

0.967

Sony XPERIA S

PY7A3880120

1.310

Sony XPERIA TX

PY7PM-0010

0.916

Sony XPERIA P

PY7A3880135

1.261

Sony XPERIA miro

PY7PM-019

1.220

Sony XPERIA V

PY7PM-0060

0.831

Sony XPERIA J

PY7PM-0170

1.170

Sony XPERIA Z

PY7PM-0280

1.096

Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman

PY7A1880032

1.126




1.472 + .967 + 1.310 + .916 + .1.261 + 1.220 + .831 + 1.170 + 1.096 + 1.126
=
!!
10

= 1.1369!!

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