A study funded by Penumbra Brands has revealed that the iPhone 11 Pro emits Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) radiation levels of almost 4 watts per kilogram, which is double the limit in the United States.
SAR measures the radiation power that could be absorbed by biological tissue and is usually used to evaluate the radiation of electronic equipment or devices, such as mobiles.
SAR radiation values in the US are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which has set the limit at less than 1.6 w/kg, a volume of 1 gram of human tissue.
In the case of the European Union, the cap has been set at 2 w/kg, although averaged over 10 grams of tissue.
Penumbra Brands’ CTO Ryan McCaughey explained through a press release that “cellphone users should be concerned about exposure to RF radiation,” adding that “the testing shows the iPhone 11 Pro potentially exposes people to more than double what the FCC has deemed safe.”
The tests were carried out with an iPhone 11 Pro located 5 mm away from a dummy. RF Exposure Lab pointed out that radiation exposure could be even more pronounced if the phone is carried in a user's pocket.
Phones with more SAR radiation
In the past, other smartphones manufactured by Apple, such as the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8, have also displayed high levels of SAR radiation. However, the company ceded some models for analysis to the FCC, who found that they were well below the limit.
To date, Xiaomi is the brand whose phones have emitted the highest volume of radiation, as Xiaomi Mi A1’s emissions have been measured at 1.75w/kg, followed by Mi Max 3 with 1.58 w/kg and Mi Mix 3 5G with 1.56 w/kg.
The study urges caution, while Penumbra Labs sells screen protectors called Gadget Guard which supposedly redirect the radiation away from the users, reducing their exposure to it. Certain commercial interests could be at stake as, in their study, their screen protectors are compared to those supplied by Apple to show that those cases are safe even for those who opt for an iPhone 11 Pro.