An official from China's telecommunications watchdog told Xinhua News Agency yesterday that it has drawn up a draft standard on mobile phone radiation.
This was in response to a CNET report on June 2.
CNET, a leading technology news website, published a review of cell phone radiation levels. According to the report, SAR or specific absorption rate is "a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body." For a phone to be certified, its maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6W/kg (watts per kilogram). In Europe, the level is capped at 2W/kg.
The draft was delivered to the State Administration of Standardization for approval at the end of last year, said He Guili, director of China Telecommunication Technology Laboratories (CTTL).
He said all mobile phones on the Chinese market would be required to meet the standard once approved.
Mobile radiation is believed to pose a health risk and Chinese regulators are aiming for a limit to 2 W/kg, the same as the EU standard and a little higher than the US standard of 1.6 W/kg.
A Watt/kilogram is the unit used to evaluate mobile radiation: the higher the figure, the higher the radiation level.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Health had previously proposed that the limit should be 1.0 watt/kg in order to ensure harmless mobile phone use.
"The present draft standard of 2 W/kg takes into account present manufacturing technology," said He, who helped to draft the standard.
If radiation levels are set too low, certain handsets would not be able to support some functions, he said. The World Health Organization and many international organizations have also adopted the 2 W/kg standard.
The final standard in China, if set at 2 W/kg, would not affect most Chinese mobile manufacturers as most of their products have radiation levels below this mark, he said.
China has more than 416 million mobile subscribers, making it the largest mobile phone market in the world.
(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2006)