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Activists call for stricter regulations on cellphone radiation labels
Taiwan Created: 4 Apr 2011
Taipei, March 31 (CNA) An environmental group urged cellphone makers Thursday to clearly label the electromagnetic radiation emission levels of their products.
The Taiwan Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard Protection and Control Association (TEPCA) called on the national communications regulator for a second time to demand more obvious labeling of radio frequency amounts.
"We want clear Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) labeling for every cellphone," said the group's chairwoman, Chen Jiau-hua.

SAR is the rate of radio frequency energy absorption per unit mass of the body.

Taiwan follows the U.S.'s Federal Communications Commission guidelines, which cap permissible cellphone SAR levels at 1.6 watts per kilogram.

Chen contended that SAR amounts should be marked on the handset itself or the packaging, so that customers can select models with lower levels if they so choose.

Legislator Tien Chiu-chin suggested that the National Communications Commission use Germany's standard of just 0.6 watts per kilogram until
Taiwan gathers enough research results to come up with its own set of guidelines.

The association also found in a recent survey that up to 97 percent of phone users polled in a recent survey did not know what SAR means, while nearly all of the respondents had no idea of the levels put out by their handsets.

It also unveiled the results of tests on the electromagnetic radiation emissions of 92 cellphones, which showed that about 1 percent of the handsets tested emitted more than 10 watts per square meter of radiation, higher than the limit set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

The activists also warned the public to beware of surfing the Internet on the phone, claiming that radiation exposure exceeds safe levels in
this mode of use.

However, Chen Tai-lee, an assistant professor of physics at National Central University, said there should be no difference in radiation emissions between talking on a cellphone and browsing the Internet.

What people should be careful about is the amount of actual time they spend using the phone
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Source: Sylvie/Agnes Ingvarsdottir

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