FCC to reevaluate cell phone radiation guidelines

FCC to reevaluate cell phone radiation guidelines
Considering that the radiation emission standards for cell phones haven't been updated in years, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski thought that it would be a good time for the commission to take another look at the current regulations. Handset manufacturers needn't worry as the FCC says that the investigation will not result in a new set of rules at this time. If a change is eventually made, all cell phone manufacturers will be affected.

It was 1996 when the FCC last changed its cell phone radiation guidelines. Obviously, the industry has gone through quite a few changes since then and what was once technology used exclusively by wealthy executives and drug dealers has become a device to be found in just about everyone's pocket. Today, the U.S. has more active cell phones than there are people living in the country. As a result, just about everyone in the country is exposed to whatever emissions cone from a mobile handset which makes the new investigation much more important.The National Cancer Institute, part of theU.S. government’s National Institutes of Health, worries that the radiation from cell phones that are held close to the head, could affect the brain although on its website, the cancer institute says that tests conducted with animals and humans have not shown any proof that radiofrequency energy cancause cancer. The FCC website says the same thing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also mentions on its website that there is no evidence linking cell phone usage to brain tumors.

The FDA examined a 2010 study conducted by the World Health Organization and the NHI. The latter agency found that there is no increased risk of brain cancer the longer a person uses a mobile handset. In the last 16 years, the technology used to produce cell phones, the number of calls made each day and the length of these calls has increased. You might remember that in that same year, the city of San Francisco started a requirement that stores selling handsets post the level of radio waves that each handset releases. The CTIA challenged the requirement saying that would confuse consumers about a safe product and the ordinance was put on hold.

The FCC says that wireless devices emit energy and the closer that one holds the device to their body, the more energy is absorbed. The FCC says that cell phone users can lessen whatever risk there is of absorbing radiation by using an earphone or speakerphone to increase the distance between the device and the user's body. Apple recommends that users of the Apple iPhone keep the handset at least 5/8 inch (1.5 cm) away from their body to keep exposure below maximum levels. The manual for the Apple iPhone 4S says that the phone meets FCCand European Union exposure guidelines.

source: Bloomberg

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