Electromagnetic radiation

Learn about specific absorption rate and mobile device regulations

Mobile devices are regulated by federal government standards to ensure they can be used safely. All of the mobile devices sold by TELUS and all of TELUS's cell sites meet or exceed all applicable regulatory standards.

Definition of specific absorption rate

The specific absorption rate (SAR) is the rate at which radio frequency energy — a type of electromagnetic radiation — is absorbed by a biological body. SAR is expressed in watts per kilogram (W/kg). Industry Canada requires that all cell phones and other mobile devices sold in Canada comply with certain regulatory SAR limits.

TELUS does not test the SAR values of the devices we sell. Rather, we rely on the SAR values provided by manufacturers, Industry Canada and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

TELUS cell sites

All of TELUS’s wireless installations, or cell sites, are required to conform to Safety Code 6, which sets out requirements governing the safe operation of wireless transmission equipment. Safety Code 6 was developed by Health Canada and is administered by Industry Canada. It is based on current and accepted scientific data, and is one of the most stringent in the world.

Mobile devices

Based on the values provided by manufacturers, Industry Canada and the FCC, all mobile devices sold by TELUS meet the latest standards governing radio safety levels. They meet Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) standards set by Health Canada in Safety Code 6 and by the US FCC.

To determine the SAR value of your device – or a device you are considering – please check the user manual provided by the manufacturer, or look up the device by scrolling down to Q5 on this Industry Canada web page.

Minimizing your exposure

Below are some precautions you can take to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

Do not hold your phone directly against your head

Holding your phone even a small distance from your head will reduce your exposure to radiation.

Use a headset

To keep your phone from your head, use a headset. A wired headset is ideal, but even a bluetooth connection will expose you to less radiation than holding a cellphone against your head.

Use your speakerphone

Where circumstances permit, using a speakerphone is a great way to increase the distance between you and your phone.

Carry your phone in your purse or backpack, rather than in your pocket

Again, it’s all about increasing the distance between you and your phone. Even a small distance makes a notable difference in radiation levels.

Avoid using your phone in areas of weak signal strength

In areas of weak signal strength, cell phones increase signal strength to maintain a good connection. This increases the amount of radiation emitted.

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