Radio frequency safety

Health & safety/RF emissions

Wireless phones emit low levels of radio-frequency (RF) energy during use. Based on scientific data currently available, T-Mobile has not determined that RF energy from wireless phones causes health risks. Nonetheless, we want our customers to be informed as the wireless industry and government agencies continue to monitor the ongoing scientific research on this important subject.

FCC standards

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established standards governing the RF energy emission levels for all wireless phones sold in the United States, as well as RF energy emissions from cellular towers, in order to protect the health of the general public.  

You may have heard the terms “SAR” or “SAR value.” “SAR” stands for Specific Absorption Rate, which the FCC defines as “a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone.” The FCC has established maximum SAR values for wireless phones in the United States. Since 1996, that limit has been 1.6 watts per kilogram, averaged over one gram of tissue. A wireless phone model must be tested by the manufacturer and certified to the FCC to not exceed this limit before it can be sold in the United States. The FCC has explained that any “cell phone at or below these SAR levels (that is, any phone legally sold in the U.S.) is a ‘safe’ phone, as measured by these standards.”

Because the SAR value is determined using the phone’s highest power level, the actual SAR level of a phone while operating may be less than the reported SAR value.  You can contact your phone’s manufacturer or refer to its user manual to learn more about its SAR value.

Global health organizations and government agencies have concluded that scientific research to date has not demonstrated adverse health effects of exposure to RF from wireless phone use.

  • You may have heard reports that RF exposure from wireless phones presents a health risk. Although there are some studies that have found a connection between RF exposure and health issues, global health organizations and government agencies have determined that the available scientific evidence does not demonstrate a relationship between wireless phone use and health problems. For example:
  • The FCC concluded that “currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.”
  • The FDA, based on current data, “believes that the weight of scientific evidence does not show an association between exposure to radiofrequency from cell phones and adverse health outcomes.”
  • The World Health Organization found that “to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use,” despite a “large number of studies [that] have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk.”
  • The National Cancer Institute concluded that “although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.”

Research on this issue is ongoing, and has been recommended by most global health organizations and government agencies.

If you are interested in limiting your exposure to RF energy, you can:

  • Reduce the amount of time you spend using wireless phones
  • Use a headset or other hands-free device
  • Carry your wireless phone away from your body
  • Text or email (but don’t text or email while you are driving)