IEC moves against harmful mobiles

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a new international standard specifying test methods for compliance with limits on radio wave exposure from mobile phones.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  March 5, 2005

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a new international standard specifying test methods for compliance with limits on radio wave exposure from mobile phones. The move follows concerns over the possible harmful effect of mobile phones on the health of users. Radio frequency emissions from similar devices vary from one product and one manufacturer to another. The IEC standard will allow manufacturers of mobile phone and other hand-held wireless communication devices to ensure that their products adhere to internationally-recognised specific absorption rate (SAR) limits. The standard specifies the methods to use to measure SAR limits and harmonises different practices and different methods used around the world. IEC Technical Officer Remy Baillif says there has been high demand from manufacturers for a global standard to measure SAR limits. Manufacturers of mobile phones, specialised test laboratories, telecommunications regulators and health officials are expected to be the largest user groups of the new standard, however consumers will ultimately benefit from its implementation. The IEC 62209-1 standard was developed jointly by the IEC, by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) and by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), who worked together informally through common membership in various technical committees. Limits on SAR – the rate at which radio frequency energy emitted by mobile phones is absorbed by the human body – are set by organisations such as the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), headquartered in Germany, and IEEE. This standard deals only with measurement methods and does not set SAR limits.

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