Entries in Radio-Frequency (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


No Link Between Cell Phones, Brain Tumors, Researchers Say

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) -- Adding to the ongoing controversy about whether radio-frequency exposure from mobile phones increases risk for brain cancer, researchers at the University of Manchester say mobile phones do not increase risk for the disease.

Researchers in the study analyzed data from newly diagnosed cases of brain cancer between 1998 and 2007 when cell phone use was initially climbing.  Their analysis showed no significant change in the occurrence of brain cancer diagnosis in men or women.

The study, released in an advance online publication of the upcoming print issue of Bioelectromagnetics, revealed that while cancers of the brain's temporal lobe did increase slightly, cancers of the brain's parietal lobe, cerebrum and cerebellum in English men also fell slightly.

Lead researcher Frank de Vocht concluded that the possibility that there are people who are susceptible to radio-frequency exposure from cell phones -- or the possibility that there may be rare brain cancers associated with cell phone use -- should not be excluded.  But he added that the study does not indicate a "pressing need to implement public health measures to reduce radio-frequency exposure from mobile phones."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio