Meet SAM

Meet SAM.

Do you feel like you are looking in a mirror? 

Uncanny right?

That’s you, right there! 

He is the best-kept secret. You’re welcome. There is a real model built to represent you. You are famous.  You are SAM!

You two have a lot to discuss. Its a wonder you haven’t met before as he makes a lot of decisions on your behalf. A lot.

SAM is no ordinary model either. He is an “anthropomorphic mannequin.” In regular language that means SAM is a mannequin with human characteristics. He represents you, your children, your neighbors, your boyfriend, etc. He is all.  He’s a pretty big deal. He doesn’t give out autographs nor many details about himself. Trust me…I’ve tried. 

But oddly in all of my introductions of SAM, no one sees a resemblance. Not one thus far. Huh? That can’t be right?! He is all. He is you!

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don’t know a lot of massive military men. You see SAM was modeled after the “average human,” which turns out to be the average measurement stats of the top 10% of military recruits in 1989. That represents you, right? You are a 220 lbs man, correct?

This means that SAM  represents at most 3% of the entire population in the United States. Huh? That seems like an odd choice for the anthropomorphic mannequin that represents all of us. 

But here SAM is. He is your representative. 

Since 1989 SAM is used to measure SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) for all consumer electronics in regards to its radiation. This is a test to see how much radiofrequency radiation is absorbed by the body. It is only used to test short term thermal effects of RF radiation. The test does not produce any measure of the non-thermal biological impact. Nor does the test measure any ELF (extremely low frequency) radiation (produced by all smartphones).

But before, we start bashing SAM on what he doesn’t do, let’s start with what SAM does do.  Let’s not be unfair to SAM. It’s not every day you learn that there is a model of you in the world. Respect people. SAM deserves your respect. 

So SAM does measure short term thermal effects. Hooray! What is that you ask? Well…use what you do know. Thermal is a word to describe temperature and that is exactly what it does. It is measuring the thermal impact on the body. How much your body’s temp goes up or down. SAM measures the thermal impact from inside his molded head where there is liquid. This fluid is made of the average electrical properties of the head. It should be noted that it does not take in account the different absorption rates of the various different tissues in the brain, so is not entirely accurate, but let’s give SAM something, he does measure heat. And it’s true that your phone is heating your head. The process is similar to what happens to meat in a microwave. In a 2015 study, SAM found that radiation emissions can heat up the head’s tissue by 1.36 degrees Fahrenheit after 15 minutes of use. As someone who takes tempatures daily, I can tell you that just one degree matters.

SAM can tell us how fast “our” (or rather 220-pound men) heads are heating up. Check. Great job SAM.

But not really. 

As it turns out that not all of us absorb emissions the same. For example, a 10-year-old girl absorbs 153% more than SAM. Children’s heads can absorb more than double and children’s bone marrow in the skull can be ten times greater. And pregnant women are also highly absorbent.

But were all SAM right?

But let’s put SAM aside for a moment because everything is relative. If anything we have learned, it is that! SAMs ability to be a tool for our safety depends on the equation to which he is held to. No one contests that radiation is caused by these phones, but SAM decides what is too much. He decides what is harmful and not. Of course, he does! He is your representative. 

So what is the standard?

In the USA a device cannot exceed 1.6W/kg in 1g of tissue. (Please note that this decision was made in 1996 and has NEVER been revisited even though the technology has changed significantly). But even more troubling is that this is more than DOUBLE of any other country in the world. DOUBLE. That feels concerning to me. How about you? Are we wrong or the rest of the world? And who decides this?

And that takes us to the FCC. Where is the FCC you ask? Playing a good deal of hide and seek. 

When concerned doctors, scientists and now people like myself ask, they acknowledge that there may be a reason for concern. They have an answer for those who do not feel that adequate protection is provided by our current SAR practices (SAM), they point you to the website:

“For users who are concerned with the adequacy of this standard or who otherwise wish to further reduce their exposure, the most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory.” (FCC website).

Wow. Thank you FCC.

So let’s do some math. 

The USA standard is DOUBLE of any other place of in the world. 

USA = 2x

A child’s tissue absorbs around DOUBLE of that.

USA child = 2(2x)

And we have NO measurements on the other types of radiation that can cause long term biological effects. They just aren’t measured


Now I can’t remember what y=mx+b means (I think its slope, but don’t quote me on that), so no mathematician here, but I know what ridiculous looks like. And while I’m also no scientist either, I understand its methodology. I understand its creed. Does this sound like science to you?


My question is where the other Sam, Uncle Sam?!

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  1. Very well written!  when you say it increases temperature by 1.36 degreed, I think that may be clesius which would be even more impactful.  But you should say what it is.

    Steve Brody Chief Operating Officer Lux Capital Management 920 Broadway, 11th Floor New York, NY 10010 C (917) 916-6527

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