The Specific Absorption Rate or SAR is the rate at which RF energy is absorbed by a defined amount of mass of a biological body. SAR is expressed in units of watts per kilogram (W/kg). The SAR value of your cell phone is normally published in the user manual or you can contact the manufacturer to obtain this information. The SAR value can also be obtained on Industry Canada’s website (see Question 5)
Industry Canada requires that all portable and hand-held radiocommunication devices sold in Canada, including cell phones, comply with the regulatory SAR limits.
Industry Canada’s Radio Standards Specification (RSS) – 102 entitled Radio Frequency Exposure Compliance of Radiocommunication Apparatus (All Frequency Bands) sets out the requirements and measurement techniques used to evaluate the RF exposure compliance of wireless devices such as cell phones. Industry Canada’s RSS-102 has adopted the SAR limits established in Health Canada’s RF exposure guidelines entitled: Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz- Safety Code 6. All radiocommunication devices must comply with these limits to be certified in Canada.
|Body Region||Devices Used by the General Public
SAR Limit (W/kg)
|Devices for Controlled Use
SAR Limit (W/kg)
|Mass Average (g)|
|Localized Head and Trunk||1.6||8||1|
For example, the SAR limit for general public for a cell phone in close proximity to the head and trunk is 1.6 W/kg, averaged over any 1g of tissue.
Canada and the US have similar SAR limits. However, other countries, such as those in the European Community, have adopted the less stringent limit recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guideline.
|Guideline||SAR limit - Head, Neck and Trunk|
|Health Canada Safety Code 6/
US FCC OET 65
|1.6 W/kg averaged over 1 gram of tissue*|
|ICNIRP||2.0 W/kg average over any 10 grams of tissue**|
Averaging localized SAR using a larger volume allows greater variation within the sample that could permit exposure to higher levels of RF at some points within the sample. Confining the average SAR to a smaller sample allows less variability and overall lower allowable exposure to RF; thus, making the SAR limit adopted in North America more stringent in comparison to the ICNIRP limit (adopted by most of Europe).
No. Different cell phones will have different SAR values;, however, all must meet the regulatory limits set forth by Industry Canada in order to be sold on the Canadian market. These established regulatory limits are well below any levels that could represent a safety concern.
The SAR value of a specific cell phone model can be obtained for almost all cell phones by using the Industry Canada (IC) Certification Number for that model. The IC Certification Number is an alpha-numeric code typically printed on a label or embossed, somewhere on the case or in the battery compartment of the phone or device. Once the IC Certification Number is obtained, you must enter it in the Certification Number criteria field in the Radio Equipment List (REL) database search page available at the following link:
Click on "Search" and the phone model will appear. Click on the phone model and you should obtain the applicable SAR value(s) for your phone as measured at time of certification.
The cell phone is made to continuously transmit at maximum output power. The maximum electric field induced in a simulating body/head tissue, as a result of radiated emissions from the cell phone under test, is then measured and the maximum SAR determined using this information and that of the test setup simulating body/head tissue.
SAR measurement methodologies are developed by international standards development organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The international standards developed by these organizations provide measurement methods to test portable and hand-held devices such as cell phones for compliance with Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits. These measurement methods are recognized world-wide as procedures for verifying RF exposure compliance.
Since the SAR value is determined at the highest power level in laboratory conditions, the actual SAR level of the cell phone can be well below this value when operating in every day use. Cell phones and other portable devices use adaptive power control to reduce the transmitted power to the minimum possible while maintaining a good call quality. This is an important feature which is used to maximize battery life.Search
To find the SAR value of your device please use the SAR Search.