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Republic of Korea – Policy Recommendations On Cell Phones, Wireless Radiation & Health

May 13, 2019


Mandatory SAR labeling on cell phones and portable devices: According to the 2017 WHO EMF Project update by the Republic of Korea a new regulation mandates that SAR labels be affixed to devices that are used in contact with the ear of the consumer.

“The regulation for EMF rating and labeling was enforced from August 1, 2014 (MSIP Notification No. 2015-16). The operators of radio stations should affix the labels for EMF strength rating in an appropriate place. For portable devices used in direct contact with the user’s ear, those who manufacture or import such devices should affix the labels for SAR rating, and/or display the highest SAR values appropriately.”  


Public health recommendations to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation

The Korea government website has extensive information on what electromagnetic exposures are in the home and how to reduce exposure. Topics include home, school and base stations.

Some examples of statements on the guidelines for cell phones (translated by google translate) include:

“Text messaging is safer because it moves farther away from your face than voice calls.

It is safer to use alternating right and left sides of the face rather than talking on one side of the face.

When you are asleep or when you are relaxing, the farther away you are from your body, the safer you are.

If you use handsfree for mobile phone calls,  you can reduce the amount of electromagnetic waves absorbed by your head by moving away from your phone”


The Korean government webpage on children and EMF has graphics that illustrate how to use cell phones in “safer ways” and states:

“Children and adolescents are not physically developed yet, and when you use your cell phone as a child, you are exposed to cell phone electromagnetic waves for a very long period of time

and can have more impact than if you were an adult.

Electromagnetic waves generated in daily life are weak and do not affect the human body. However, if exposed for a long time, it could be harmful to the human body

“If you sleep with your mobile phone on your bedside, it may interfere with your sleep by ringtone, text message, beep, etc. , and cause sleep disorder. Especially for children, it is best to keep them as far away as possible because they can not take a good night’s sleep due to text phone calls, etc.

If the base station is far away, or the environment in which radio waves are received, such as basements, becomes weaker, the intensity of the electromagnetic waves of the mobile phone becomes larger and the number of antenna reception indications of the mobile phone becomes smaller.

In closed spaces such as basements, lifts, and deep mountains, the intensity of electromagnetic waves in mobile phones becomes stronger, so it is advisable to refrain from talking as much as possible .”


An August 2017 Report states “the public concerns about EMF are still very high in Korea. 400-500 public appeals against the radiation of electromagnetic energy from base stations have been submitted to government offices and operators in a year.”

EMF web sites for interactive and bilateral communication (,,, have been providing EMF related information, including the guidelines for the safe use of home appliances and mobile phones. KEPCO also operates the Public Information Dissemination Center since 2006. From 2004, two kinds of Newsletters, one for EMF measurement standards and the other one for biological effects, exposure limits and policies are published biannually. Every other year, a survey on “perception for EMF exposure and its hazard” for the general public or experts is performed.

From 2012, the information on the SAR values of each mobile-phone model was opened to the public through the RRA website (” This website has a serious of pages dedicated to explaining EMF to the public and puts forward information that seems to minimize health concerns.