SAR (Specific Absorption Rate)

The following passages in bold characters below are taken from Microwave News, May 2010.

Allan Frey pointed out in 1979: “There is a very real question whether [a SAR] has any relevance to the biological organism.” Frey, a well-known RF researcher now semi-retired and living in Potomac, MD, took the RF research community to task for relying on “a concept whose time came and went in the 1950s.” Its use, he said, is “grossly misleading and “cannot be justified.”

The SAR is a curious quantity for setting exposure limits because it cannot be directly measured. You can’t stick a probe into a live brain, nor can you work with dead tissues—the electrical properties of the tissues change as soon as the organism dies. Instead, one is left with making physical models, called phantoms, or running computer stimulations.

A phantom is a primitive substitute for the human head.

It’s little more than a plastic shell filled with a liquid designed to mimic the dielectric properties of brain matter. A phantom makes no allowance for variations in types of tissue or for internal structure. Even so, making SAR measurements is more complicated than you might think. A committee of the IEEE spent six years developing a protocol on how they should be done. The protocol is a highly technical and generally impenetrable document that runs 148 pages, replete with opaque assumptions. [Here’s a typical sentence: “A simple analytical model of an infinite halfspace layered tissue model exposed to a plane wave was utilized to investigate the impact of impedance matching, scattering, standing waves, etc., on the peak spatial-average SAR.”]

The process was run by industry insiders, who prefer to work out of public sight. Minutes of the committee meetings are secret—even the agendas are password protected. A couple of years ago when Microwave News asked to be on the committee’s mailing list, representatives from the FDA and Motorola, who chaired the panel, said no. The protocol includes recipes to make the synthetic brain liquid: Start with deionized water, add salt, sugar, hydroxyethyl cellulose, etc. This gross simplification of what must be the most complex piece of evolutionary engineering is a conceit.


The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is now the industry standard for the degree of safety of cell phones.

The only thing this form of testing reputedly verifies is the absorption of heat in human tissue when the body, generally the head, absorbs radiofrequency energy. As stated above this test is not conducted on people but on phantom or dummy heads, so I use the word reputedly.

The microwave phenomena or more exactly, the electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range covers a large expanse of territory, from naturally occurring background radiation to frequencies created by human-originated technology. The thermal effects are known because of well-documented experimentation, but there are broad areas of unknown effects due to non-thermal and subthermal properties and their potential combinations resulting in effects on the human immune, central nervous and endocrine systems.

Given that the human body is made up of a large quantity of fluid of a water-like nature, it would be a good idea to consider the impact of cell-phone use on the conductivity in bone marrow, especially in children when the water content in marrow is much higher than in that of an adult. When the water content is high, conductivity is greater. I would also venture that blood cells are also affected by these dielectric concerns.

The SAR can be manipulated by changing the averaging volume. The FCC requires that SARs be averaged over 1g of tissue, while both the IEEE and ICNIRP specify a 10g average. Why 1g or 10g? It’s an arbitrary decision with no cogent biological rationale to favour one over the other.

Yet, it makes a big difference. A 1g average SAR is much stricter than a 10 g average, as… it can be twice as high as the 10g SAR, or even higher. One implication of this is that European phones are built to a much looser radiation exposure standard than U.S. phones because their SAR limit is measured over 10 g rather than the 1g in the U.S.

Here is what the FCC guide has to say about the SAR and how it determines the limit for cell phones. This limit is set between 1.6 (in the USA) and 2 W/Kg (in some European states), it concerns heating only, not the other effects which involve human health issues.

To quote from the FCC guide of October 2011, “There is considerable confusion and misunderstanding about the meaning of the maximum reported Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values for cell phones (and other wireless devices). SAR is a measure of the rate of RF (radiofrequency) energy absorption by the body from the source being measured – in this case, a cell phone”.

The confusion seems to be deliberate because use of the word “body” would imply testing on live humans, however, the text continues:

“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. In order to determine compliance, 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. To test cell phones for SAR compliance, the phone is precisely placed in various common positions next to the head and body, and a 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. All data for each phone placement are submitted as a part of the equipment approval test report for final authorization. However, only the highest SAR values for each frequency band are included in the final authorization to demonstrate compliance with the FCC’s RF guidelines.”

Even today, the industry has not managed to conduct totally coherent experiments on people (real in vivo studies).

A child’s skull hardens around the age of eight and bone offers a little more resistance to electromagnetic frequencies than soft tissue, although the ear provides a passageway that makes penetration easier.

How can there be any doubt that children face a greater potential risk than adults. But that leaves the question as to why something so obvious is taking so long to acknowledge. After 15 years of feuding, a consensus is finally emerging that children have higher SARs. But even now, the MMF stands apart and many others continue to hedge. We can’t explain the American Cancer Society’s inability to talk sense, but for others, motives are easier to decipher—all you have to do is follow the money.

The cell phone grid is total throughout most cities in the world, very present in urban areas and spreading fast elsewhere. This means that the environment is being gradually saturated with electromagnetic radiation from the microwave spectrum.

It would be impossible to say what is good or bad about this state of affairs. However, on the contrary, it is quite obvious that it is upsetting the natural environment which has taken several million years to develop. If, as I believe, man has evolved thanks to this environment, it is only a question of time before man is impacted by the changes made by man to this environment.



If ever there was any doubt about the dubious procedures in which mobile phones have been irresponsibly thrust upon the world, the latest Interphone “report” from The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ( dated Friday (18th March 2012), although completed on 3rd October 2011 confirms in its FOUR AND A HALF PAGES, (twelve years work) the outright cynicism of the industry.


It is important to note in the Introduction to the Interphone report, the pertinent observation: “The expanding use of this technology has been accompanied by concerns about health and safety.” There is NOT one technology but multiple technologies involved in mobile telephony, with five differentiated effects on the human (see above). Any talk belittling this complexity, from such an erudite body, could easily be considered as deliberate dis-information.


As for concerns about health and safety, the most vulnerable public was not even included in the 25 million USD project, which dealt with people “aged 30 to 59”, from “13 countries, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the UK”, and specifically for a limited number of tumours (“tumours of the brain (glioma and meningioma), acoustic nerve (schwannoma) and parotid gland”).

The most vulnerable – children – were excluded from the World Health Organization’s effort.


But they did manage after 12 years to find that “Mobile phone use is a relatively new Phenomenon”, so “Detailed questions were asked of regular mobile phone users, defined as those with an average of at least one call per week for a period of 6 months or more, concerning their history of phone use”.

Where have these people been?

What have they observed to believe that the average use of the phone – any phone – is one hour a week?

Did they only include people who use their phone for one hour a week?


In actual fact, data from the Israeli study was excluded because they could not find anyone who used their phone for one hour a week!


Anyway, the outcome:



Glioma and meningioma

Overall, no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones. There were suggestions of an increased risk of glioma at the highest exposure levels, but biases and error prevent a causal interpretation. The possible effects of longterm heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation.

Acoustic neuroma

There was no increase in risk of acoustic neuroma with ever regular use of a mobile phone or for users who began regular use 10 years or more before the reference date. Elevated odds ratios observed at the highest level of cumulative call time could be due to chance, reporting bias or a causal effect. As acoustic neuroma is usually a slowly growing tumour, the interval between introduction of mobile phones and occurrence of the tumour might have been too short to observe an effect, if there is one.”


What can one say?

For those interested in the technical aspects of this, here is a little further info.

They say that air is free, but in actual fact you are getting much more than you bargained for, irrespective of whether you like it or not.

Since the early 1980s, repeated research has shown that the industry-standard, the SAR is only valid when applied to plane wave exposure whereas in the near-field, the findings in relation to average SAR exposure are completely negated (plane wave, near-field, far-field are distance criteria determining the form of the wave and its biological impact). Systematically the data is presented in average whole body terms, like that you can avoid the bad news contained in the more local near-field areas where absorption rates are dangerous.

Of course, as we saw above all these tests have been on dummies, they have never been run in vivo, or if they have, the results are kept under wraps. What extreme reasoning enables a human to decide that there is no danger to a fellow human because the laboratory rat is just a little slower in working the maze! What is more, to prove that something is harmful to humans, you must run tests that repeatedly demonstrate the harm caused to humans, animals don’t count! If those tests are not performed there can be no harm because there is no evidence to prove it.

The supreme act of cynicism, however, was achieved by the US industry when it lobbied the IEEE/ANSI standard-setting committee and managed to gain exemption for portable hand-held communication devices from the safe exposure limits laid down by the committee. Not much has changed since then.

Is it not alarming enough to know that our water, our air-space, our food, our oceans are being tampered with? Do we really want to risk curtailing our collective lives by destroying Nature with radiation from our handheld devices?

On the contrary, for the industry the race is on to find alternatives to fill the available space in the atmosphere with frequencies that can be profitably applied and that bodes badly for any hope of restoring the earth’s natural frequencies which have apparently allowed life to persist for the last few aeons. We not only have no idea what these frequencies are potentially doing to the environment, because as we saw above the detailed research into the effects of using them is sidetracked or carefully ignored in this headlong rush for profit, while we deliberately, albeit unwittingly, modify the nature of our living space.

One of the most damning bodies of evidence of what has been going on since the 1950s was compiled by Robert Kane in his book, Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette. An electrical engineer who worked for over 30 years as a research scientist and product design engineer in the telecoms business before his death from brain cancer a few years ago, summed up the situation succinctly: “The telecommunications industry would never have grown to the global force, with virtually unlimited power, that we know it to have today if it accepted the scientific research. So the industry did as has been done throughout history. The industry developed a “belief” system. The wonderful thing about a “belief” system is that it doesn’t require any scientific findings. And any contrary findings that do develop are easily dismissed—as being unbelievable.”

In June 1972, C.C.Johnson and A.W.Guy wrote in the proceedings of the IEEE, “Non Ionizing Electromagnetic Wave Effects in Biological Materials and Systems” that the figures clearly illustrate intense fields and associated absorbed power density directly in the center of the human head. Working with exposure ranges of 750, 825, 845 and 918 MHz, they found that radiofrequency radiation absorption are similar as is the deposit rate of energy into biological tissue. Unlike the “normal” situation where as the radiation penetrates deeper into the brain the less radiation is propagated and decreases with increasing depth, in the case of a “hot spot” (deep penetration) there is an anomaly. The penetration depth in the human brain at 918 MHz is 3.2 cm, however in a hot spot absorption at 2.3 times that depth, just over 7 cm, energy absorption is 200 times greater than at the surface if that hot spot did not exist.

The reasons for this, according to this specific paradigm, can apparently be found in a high refractive index and head curvature. That refractive index can include metal surfaces – like cars or walls, cables, even the spectacles on your nose! But few, if any, have taken a close look at shape and its function in relation to the whole, which is very much where the FDV (Freeland Double Vortex) comes in.

Since the 1930s, research into absorption and scattering in aero- and hydrodynamics has been conducted throughout the world to determine the interaction between types of waves and the surroundings. These waves have been of a mechanical, electromagnetic and material nature and either developed in the process of experimentation or coming directly from sources at the origin of the disturbance. This paper is written to introduce the original idea that when drafted to a very specific design, a geometric form, can be beneficially used on humans to modify the effects of waves emanating from radiation emitting devices.

Considerable work has been done on the depth to which electromagnetic radiation can penetrate into a material and its intensity beneath the surface, this has mainly been conducted on metals and animal rather than human tissue and the emphasis is on the decay of electromagnetic waves inside the material. Although radiation may be partially reflected from the surface, it is found that an energy field is transmitted into the metal. This electromagnetic field, for that is the nature of this specific radiation, interacts with the atoms and electrons irrespective of the absorption of electromagnetic energy, and depending on the nature of the material and as a function of the wavelength of the radiation that field can travel far into the material or, alternatively, die out very quickly. Penetration depth is generally a function of wavelength.

As with scattering, there is significant disagreement amongst the various theories as to what these fields do to the human metabolism and no conclusions can be drawn and that is probably normal given the difficulty to identify precisely all the external influences at play and the practical impossibility to isolate their complex interaction. It is not so normal when vested interest obfuscates the findings in order to reap profit, which has been the case since the launch of mobile phones in 1983.

The choice to believe whether the multiple frequencies generated by mobile telephony are good for you or not is personal and has nothing whatsoever to do with scientific evidence for the simple reason it is contradictory and has been so since the 1980s, although evidence prior to that time and since the 1950s has been damning of the effects of this developing technology on human and environmental health.

© Christopher Freeland, 2016