Are dual SIM cellphones more harmful than single SIM phones?
A dual SIM variant of your cell phone is almost a necessity in today’s hyper-connected age and times. A Dual SIM phone is seen to simplify lives for people who otherwise have to carry two phones. In this post, we access the risks of carrying a dual SIM phone on yourself.
From a Electro Magnetic radiation perspective, a Dual SIM phone have a significant double radiation effect. Cell phones give out radio frequency radiation (RFR) when communicating with cell phone towers. RFR is a non-ionizing form of electro-magnetic radiation. While the physical effects of non-ionizing radiation is negligible, doctors, public health specialists and many citizen groups believe that prolonged exposure to RFR can cause DNA damage, reduce sperm count, increase memory loss and risk of Alzheimer’s and even cause cancer.
Owing to fact that there are two SIMs trying to reach out to two sets of towers, increases the radiation emission by almost a factor of 2X as compared to a single SIM phone. Of the dual SIM devices that we have tested, we have seen the an increase in radiation levels from 40% – 80% in most of the dual SIM phones, as compared to their single SIM counterpart. Therefore prolonged usage of dual SIM phones are associated with enhanced radiation hazards.
Within dual SIM phones, there are 2 categories – Dual Active and Dual Standby. Dual Standby refers to a single radio unit that caters to both the SIMs and a Dual Active refers to a radio unit each for each of SIM (hence 2 radio units).Typically, dual active phones are used in case of different technology use cases i.e CDMA and 3G, 4G and 3G, CDMA and 3G whereas a dual standby phone combines SIM of the same or contingent technologies (3G + 3G, 3G + 2G, 2G + 2G). In a Dual Standby phone the radio is used by the two SIMs in turns – whereas in the Dual Active device both radios are working together. Therefore the totally radiating energy of dual active devices will theoretically be 2 times of a single device (it measures around 60%-80% higher); and, in dual standby devices the radiation could be around 40% higher than single SIM devices.
In the event that you are using only 1 SIM in a dual SIM phone, you are not cutting out the extra radiation. The vacant SIM Radio is still latching to the available networks (which allows you to call emergency numbers etc) – thereby increasing the radiation intensity. It may not be as high as loaded dual SIM devices – but it is still higher than a single SIM phone.
While we don’t prohibit use of dual SIM phones, we are listing out 6 must dos before you indulge in the purchase of a dual SIM phone.
1. Think clearly – do you really need a dual SIM phone. Is your desk phone at home or office not good enough for office use?
2. If at all you are buying a dual SIM phone, please indulge in purchasing from good brands – Samsung, Microsoft, HTC – are the ones we feel are the best in the lot. We advise against investments in Unverified Chinese handsets.
3. Please check the SAR value of the phone that you are purchasing. The SAR value in India is 1.6W/kg and your device should be as less from this number as possible.
4. Please necessarily use an earphone while talking on your Dual SIM phone.
5. Please donot carry your dual SIM phone in your trouser pocket. Please use a belt clip for carrying your dual SIM phone. Please use a radiation shielding phone pouch to reduce effect of RFR.
6. If you don’t happen to be using a particular SIM – please switch off that SIM. Some dual SIM phones allow you to set individual SIM settings.