GEC has the following suggestions that can be taken by the industry, the FCC, and consumers as precautionary safety measures and as a means to improve the overall efficiency of the cellular-phone system:

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY Distance the antenna from the cell-phone user's head. The majority of radiation emissions is from the antenna. Currently, antennas sit next to the user's head. In order to make cell-phones safer and more efficient, the industry can simply distance the cell-phone antenna from the user's head. This directly provides both safety and efficiency benefits, as explained below.


Safer. It is well known that positioning an antenna farther from the user's head will reduce the amount of radiation absorbed into the head and the brain. Just a few inches make a significant difference. It is important to note, however, that there is a high field concentration not only at the tip of the antenna, but also at the feed point, which is the point where the antenna connects to the electronic circuitry. Since the feed point is generally placed close to the ear, distancing the feed point or shielding it will also reduce the radiation absorption by the head.

 

More efficient. Distancing the cell-phone antenna from the user's head increases the efficiency of the cell-phone antenna. Since the antenna is farther from the user's head, less power is "lost" or "wasted" by absorption into the user's head. Hence, more of the power generated by the cell-phone is available for the cell-phone system. By simply positioning the antenna farther from the user's head, the power efficiency substantially increases.

 

Minimize the amount of radiation generated by the circuitry of the cell-phone. Since the body of the cell-phone is generally placed very close to the user when talking, reducing the radiation generated by the circuitry minimizes radiation exposure to the user's head.

Educate consumers on cell-phone safety and efficiency. The industry must provide enough information so consumers can make informed decisions. Consumers need to be aware of radiation safety issues and mitigation techniques, such as using hands-free sets.

Specific suggestions on how to design a safer and more efficient cell-phone. There are several reasonable options that the industry can implement in order to improve cell-phones currently in the market. The following is an example of modifications that maintain the cell-phone's convenience and look, while improving safety and efficiency.

 

(1) A transmitting and receiving antenna can be discreetly positioned at the bottom of the cell-phone, or if applicable, in the mouth-flip. Placing the antenna at the bottom of the phone or in the mouth-flip increases the distance between the user's head and the antenna while the cell-phone is being used. For the mouth-flip option, it is important to have a design that has both an antenna and its feed point as far from the mouth and the chin as possible.

 

(2) The conventional antenna could remain on the phone but function only as a stand-by-mode antenna, especially for cell-phones with a mouth-flip. This could be advantageous since people tend to hold cell phones by the body, which means that the antenna mounted inside the mouth-flip could be covered by their hand. When the conventional antenna receives incoming-call signals, the cell-phone would then switch to the antenna in the mouth-flip when the user opens it to talk into the cell-phone. The antenna on the mouth-flip would then function as the receiving and transmitting antenna for the duration of the call.

 

(3) Modifications to the location of the antenna feed point can be made, or the feed point can be shielded.

 

(4) The RF circuitry inside the cell-phone can be shielded to the maximum extent possible.

 

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