Antenna - A device connected to a transmitter or receiver for sending or receiving radio frequency energy.  Every wireless device has an antenna - even if you can’t see it.   Sometimes you’re actually touching an antenna without knowing it.

Comet Assay - (also called single cell gel electrophoresis - SCGE), it is a sensitive and rapid technique for quantifying and analyzing DNA damage in individual cells.  The resulting image resembles a "comet" with a distinct head and tail.  The head is composed of intact DNA, while the tail consists of damaged (single-strand or double-strand breaks) or broken pieces of DNA.  The Comet Assay can be used to detect DNA damage caused by double strand breaks, single strand breaks, alkali labile sites, oxidative base damage, and DNA cross-linking with DNA or protein.  Shown below is a comet assay comparison between a normal cell, the effect of 1600 chest X-rays, and 24 hours of exposure to a cell phone opening within our current safety standards:


Electric Field - An area surrounding an electric charge.   This field is produced by wire that is connected to a source of electricity.  The live wiring in your home produces an electric field.  The higher the voltage, the higher the resulting electric field.  High voltage transmission lines produce immense electric fields. 

Exposure Limits - How much electro-magnetic radiation your body can “safely” absorb without concern for negative health effects.  Of course, this web site would not be required if the current exposure limits or “standards” were actually safe for everyone!  

Field Strength - The magnitude (level) of an electric or magnetic field.  From a biological perspective, peak field strength levels are considered when measuring.

Frequency - The number of cycles made by an electromagnetic wave in one second.  1 Hz = 1 cycle per second,  1 KHz = 1000 cycles per second,  1 MHz = 1,000,000 (one million) cycles per second, 1 GHz = 1,000,000,000 (one billion) cycles per second.

ICNIRP - International Commission on Non ionizing Radiation Protection -  Current exposure safety standards from most countries of the world can be traced back to one group — ICNIRP. 

Magnetic FieldAn area surrounding a moving charge.  Every electrical device produces a magnetic field when it is turned on.  A device that uses more power will produce a higher magnetic field.

Microwave - An electro-magnetic wave in the 300 MHz - 300 GHz frequency range.  Microwave ovens operate at 2450 MHz.

Power Density - The amount of power on any unit of surface area.  Radio frequency and microwave fields that can affect you are measured in units of uW (micro-watts) per square meter, or mW (milli-watts) per square meter.  Higher power densities are often measured in Watts per square centi-meter.   When it becomes difficult or impossible to measure power densities at close distances to an antenna (i.e. a cell phone, or tablet), the industry uses a unit called SAR - defined below. 

Radiation - This is the process of electro-magnetic energy travelling from a source or transmitter - through the air around us - and absorbed into our bodies or received.    If the radiation has enough energy to ionize atoms or damage molecules it is referred to as ionizing radiation, for example - X-rays.   Radio frequency and Microwave radiation are non-ionizing and as a result, currently thought by industry to pose little danger to living tissue at lower power levels.

Radio Frequency (RF) - A general term used to define electromagnetic waves between 3 KHz and 300 GHz.  This includes the microwave frequencies as defined above.  

Wavelength - The distance of one cycle in a wave.  Here is a simple formula that can be used to calculate the wavelength in meters: 300 / (frequency in MHz) = wavelength in meters

SAR - Specific Absorption Rate

SAR is a measurement of how much RF energy is absorbed by the human body in a certain volume over a certain period of time.  It is a measurement of RF energy per Kg per second.   Temperature change measurements are rarely used for SAR readings due to poor repeatability problems.   Instead, mathematical formulas are used to convert spot SAR readings and are then volume averaged.  Also, the SAR probe averages out devices that do not transmit a continuous wave.   So, if a device only transmits a 25 % duty cycle wave, then the probe only measures 1/4 of that device’s radiating peak power.  This method of determining radiation exposures to living, biological tissue considers only calculated thermal effects and ignores thousands of peer reviewed studies showing damage to cells and DNA at far lower levels.  It ignores the fact that RF penetrates a younger person’s head much more than an adult.  It also ignores the reality of higher transmitted power densities depending on how the cell phone is held and the distance it is to the head.  How many people actually keep their cell phone 5/8 or 1 inch away from their body (as stated in the manual) while talking?  


Shown to the left, industry SAR measurements of a cell phone:  Using a fluid electrolyte head (phantom) that is modelled after a 200 pound american male,  how much would the liquid heat up over time?  This is essentially how a device is determined to be safe for use by any human, regardless of their age, size, or damage to cells or DNA from exposure.

This test does not include the constant 24/7 exposure from other combined sources such as WiFi, bluetooth or DECT which is a reality for most people.

SAR turkey

Here is where SAR measurements make sense from a biological perspective - cooking food - i.e. non-living tissue.

© EMF Insight 2017