Entries in Mobile Phones (2)


GAO: FCC Needs Better Cell Phone Radiation Tests

Creatas/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Standards in the U.S. for mobile phone radiation exposure are lacking in comparison to international guidelines and need further review, according to report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  

The GAO Tuesday released a report calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “formally reassess and, if appropriate, change its current RF energy exposure limit and mobile phone testing requirements related to likely usage configurations, particularly when phones are held against the body.”

The agency said in the study that the current radiofrequency limits and testing requirements for mobile phones were set in 1996 and may not reflect the latest research.  Furthermore, the GAO says exposure limit recommendations in countries abroad, contrary to the U.S., have been updated in recent years based on new research reflecting new exposure factors.  For example, the FCC does not test for devices being held against the body.

"This new recommended limit could allow for more RF energy exposure, but actual exposure depends on a number of factors including how the phone is held during use. FCC has not adopted the new recommended limit," the agency said in the report.

The report concludes the FCC “cannot ensure it is using” the safest possible limit for cell phone radiation exposure.
But the FCC told GAO that it, "relies on the guidance of federal health and safety agencies when determining the RF energy exposure limit, and to date, none of these agencies have advised FCC to change the limit," the GAO report said.  But the FCC has not formally requested reassessment by these agencies, the agency said.

CTIA, a mobile industry trade group, responded to the requests by GAO congressional Democrats to reassess the current standards, saying, “The FCC recently announced that it will soon begin a review of its safety standards for wireless phones, and that it is confident that its emissions guidelines for wireless devices pose no risk to consumers. CTIA welcomes the Commission's continued careful oversight of this issue.”  

Health organizations and the FCC agree there is no evidence to date linking health issues with the use of mobile devices:

"To date, no adverse effects have been established for mobile phone use." -- World Health Organization

"There is no scientific evidence to date that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other health effects … " -- FCC

" … to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radio frequency energy can cause cancer." -- National Cancer Institution

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Addicted to Your Smartphone? One in Five Say 'Yes'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone or a BlackBerry, a new survey finds one in five smartphone owners are addicted to their high-tech toys.  The addiction is highest amongst iPhone owners, with 26 percent admitting being hooked.  The survey was conducted by Crowd Science, an online market research firm.

Additional findings from the smartphone survey:

  • People between the ages of 30 and 49 are the heaviest users of smartphone features, while respondents who are 50 years of age and older use fewer features, particularly text messaging, games and social media, and do so less frequently.
  • 58 percent of smartphone owners say they perform local and map-based activities at least once a week, while 25 percent say they do so less than once a month.  Eleven percent indicate they never do so.
  • 89 percent of smartphone owners believe it’s taboo to break up with someone via text message.
  • If their smartphone fell in a public toilet, 57 percent of respondents would fish it out.  Agreement was highest among iPhone owners, at 65 percent, compared with 49 percent for BlackBerry owners.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio