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U.S. GAO asks FCC to reevaluate its radiation labeling for mobile phones

Posted: , by Scott H.

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U.S. GAO asks FCC to reevaluate its radiation labeling for mobile phones
The United States Government Accountability Board has issued a recommendation to the FCC that it reassess how it tests and labels mobile devices for the amount of radio-frequency (RF) energy that is given off. It is apparently coincidental that this recommendation comes directly on the heals of Rep. Kucinich’s bill requesting that the FCC apply more explicit labels to phones to show off the amount of RF they give off.

The GAO request is not about any newly posited dangers of RF – the very first sentence of their findings states:
Scientific research to date has not demonstrated adverse human health effects of exposure to radio-frequency (RF) energy from mobile phone use, but research is ongoing that may increase understanding of any possible effects.
Instead, the GAO is concerned that the methods the FCC uses to test for exposure are out of date – for example, the current testing guidelines assume that phones are held in holsters rather than in a pants pocket. That might seem like a small different, but RF exposure increases as the distance decreases, so the resulting numbers are incorrect. The GAO also wants the FCC to update the recommendations on exposure – they note that in some cases current standards would actually allow for more RF exposure than is currently recommended, but the main point is to get the FCC to update all of their recommendations to the latest findings of various government research bodies that investigate RF.

Hopefully this report won’t be used to scare-mongering people, as the GAO is making a sober and practical point: while there is no substantiated health concern from RF at this time, the FCC should make sure that its testing methods are up to date and its recommendations reflect the latest research, so that consumers can make informed decisions whenever new information comes out. The FCC, for its part, was already planning an overhaul of its guidelines, and will most likely incorporate the GAO findings into that process.

source: GAO Findings via Engadget

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posted on 08 Aug 2012, 15:49

1. superguy (Posts: 309; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

This report might not be scaremongering, but Kucinich is with this bill.

posted on 09 Aug 2012, 09:47

4. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)

Yeah, it appears Representative Kucinich doesn't have have a good grasp of physics. He probably has a lot of company in Congress.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 18:22

2. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

I call b.s on this one...

It's on the same level as those people that claim power lines and microwave ovens cause cancer.

posted on 09 Aug 2012, 09:46

3. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)

Sort of the same - none of those types of radiation can cause cancer (since they don't have enough energy to ionize molecules) but microwaves can still have significant negative effects on living tissue if they aren't screened off well enough (by our atmosphere when it comes to cosmic background radiation, by metal grills and such in the case of the kitchen appliance).

It's conceivable, thought not very likely, that RF emissions could have some non-cancer-related health impact via the heat effects on cells.

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