If I were to tell you that on average when you use a cell phone about 50% of the electromagnetic energy is absorbed by your head, you might find this fact surprising.
If I were to tell you that this was largely because current cell phones use non-directional antennas, you might find that interesting.
But if I were to say that the technology not only exists but is patented (by the cell phone companies) for directional cell phone antennas and that these directional antennas would significantly reduce your exposure to EMFs, wouldn’t this shock you? According to Dr. Alvaro Augusto de Salles this is exactly where we are at the moment with these devices.
How is it that this information is not widely available?
Dr Alvaro Augusto de Salles: I am an electrical engineer and a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande de Sul, a university in the State of Rio Grande de Sul in Southern Brazil.
I work at the electrical engineering department and for several years we have been researching wireless communications and cell phone systems such as cell towers, base stations and mobile phones.
At the electrical engineering department we are primarily concerned with simulating emissions of cell towers and base stations and comparing the results with the emission standards recommended. For mobile phones we simulate the emissions as the mobile phone approaches the head. Consumers use the mobile phone at a position very close to the head and so we try and simulate the emissions into the brain and the tissues in the head for adults and of children. Out of these simulations we are able to get a Specific Absorption Ratio (SAR) for every part of the head and compare the SAR obtained with international recommendations. The recommendation in this country of 1.6 Watts per Kilogram and the international recommendation from ICNIRP is 2 Watts per Kilogram. When we do these simulations we compare the emissions with those recommended in the regulations and also try to improve the performance of the cell phones.
We design new antennas that shape the electromagnetic beam away from the brain since you don't want electromagnetic energy to be absorbed in the mobile users head. In these new directional antennas the beam is shaped away from the head and what you have is an improvement as you have more energy going to the nearest base station and thus improve the quality of the communication. With the use of these new antennas, cell phones operate at lower levels and reducing energy consumption which leads to longer battery life, but they also reduce the risk associated with electromagnetic radiation for the uses as the antenna directs the energy opposite to the users head.
This is not a new solution. Many cell phone manufactures have patents for these planner antennas. The benefits of these technologies, such as micro-stripping and other technologies are well established. But when you ask the cell phone manufactures why they do not use these new types of antennas they don’t have a reasonable answer. There have been suggestions that they do not use these antennas because then they would have to explain why they were using the previous antennas. This is the case with all major international cell phone manufactures such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and others who have this technology. I personally know this because I tried to apply for a patent for these antennas and the answer we had was that these antennas have already been patented and they gave us the names of the several types of antenna.
The usual antennas that are used in cell phones are non-directional antennas so they are emitting symmetrically around the phone. As the cell phone approaches the head, the emitted pattern changes instead of being a circle around the antenna into being more concentrated in the head. And this is because the head has got some higher electrical parameters, such as the electric constant which is around 70 to 80 times higher. So this means that the energy, electromagnetic energy, is much more concentrated in these tissues. Instead of having a circular beam or a circular pattern around these normal antennas it would be an ellipsis; concentrating more energy in your brain. When we make the simulations and the cell phone is around 2 cm from the users head, we find that about 50% of the electromagnetic energy is dissipated in the users head. In the normal position of operation when the cell phone is held next to your ear, we find that more than 70% of the energy is being dissipated into your brain. So using these new antennas is not only a case of reducing the risk for the mobile user, it is also reduces energy consumption. Bear in mind that when using a normal antenna, most of the energy for is directed towards the brain and the surrounding tissues and you do not want this. Obviously our main concern is the risk posed by electromagnetic radiation but these antennas are also a bad engineering solution. Therefore if you use directional antenna shaping the beam away from the head, you save energy, you are improving the quality of communication, you are reducing the battery drain, and reducing the risk from electromagnetic radiation. So it's obvious it is a reasonable solution. So the cell phone industry should answer the question as to why they are not using these new antenna technologies that they do have access to.