How should consumers use this information?
Also see: "Do iPhones emit more radiation than
Samsung Galaxy phones?"
- When communication is unnecessary, use Airplane mode.
- When using cellular, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- When using Wi-Fi, turn off cellular and Bluetooth.
- When phone is powered on, never keep phone next to your body, especially during a phone call.
- When communicating, use phone in speaker mode or a wired earpiece.
For information about wireless head sets, see my AirPods post.
According to test reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for the iPhone XS Models A1920, A2099 and A2100 (FCC #BCG-E3218A) for cellular transmission is 0.90 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 0.99 w/kg when worn on the body. The hotspot/Airplay SAR is 0.99 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.35 w/kg at the head, 1.53 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.53 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (1a)
The SAR for the iPhone XS Max Models A1921, A2103 and A2104 (BCG-E3219A) for cellular transmission is 1.00 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 1.00 w/kg when worn on the body. The hotspot/Airplay SAR is 1.00 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.39 w/kg at the head, 1.52 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.52 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (1b)
The SAR for the iPhone XR Models A1984, A2107 and A2108 (BCG-E3220A) for cellular transmission is 0.90 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 1.10 w/kg when worn on the body. The hotspot/Airplay SAR is 1.10 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.41 w/kg at the head, 1.59 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.59 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (2)
The SAR values listed above are for conventional cell phone communications using spectrum licensed to cell phone carriers (i.e., PCE). Apple has not yet posted the SAR values for these phones on its website. Apple will likely list slightly higher values for the head and body which represent cell phone communications using unlicensed spectrum (i.e., NII). Note that Apple does not report on its website the SARs in hotspot mode or for simultaneous transmission of cellular and Wi-Fi.
Outside of the United States, Apple markets other versions of these iPhone models that use different carrier frequencies. The names for these models are A2097, A2098, A2101, and A2102. The corresponding FCC IDs for these models are BCG-3232A, BCG-3233A, BCG-3234A, BCG-3235A, respectively. The SARs (averaged over 1 gram) are similar to those reported above. Note that some countries require the SARs to be averaged over 10 grams which is a more permissive test of RF exposure than averaging over 1 gram.
What do SAR values mean to the consumer?
For tips on how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation, see "Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation". (18) In short, limit your use of the phone, keep the phone away from your body whenever it is powered on, use the phone hands-free, and turn off transmitters not in use (e.g., shut off Wi-Fi or use airplane mode).
(1a) UL Verification Services, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report for Smartphone. FCC ID: BCG-E3218A. Model Name: A1920, A2099, A2100. Prepared for Apple, Inc. Report Number: 12124121-S1V2. Issue Date: 8/30/2018. Fremont, CA. https://fccid.io/BCG-E3218A/RF-Exposure-Info/SAR-Test-Report-1-of-11-3986211
(3) FCC. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for Cellular Telephones. Undated. http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cellular-telephones
(7) Environmental Working Group. EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use: Where is EWG's cell phone database? August 27 2013.
(17) Joel Moskowitz. Brain Tumor Rates are Increasing in the U.S.: The Role of Cell Phone and Cordless Phone Use. http://bit.ly/risingtumors
(18) Joel Moskowitz. Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation (one page handout). Undated. http://bit.ly/saferemrtips3