FCC’s Genachowski looks to open new inquiry into cellphone radiation emissions

“The head of the Federal Communications Commission wants to open an inquiry into whether cellphone-emissions standards need to be changed amid concerns that the emitted radiation could cause brain cancer,” Amy Schatz reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“On Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a proposal for a formal inquiry into radiation standards for cellphones and other wireless gadgets. The proposal requires approval by a majority of the agency’s other commissioners,” Schatz reports. “If approved, the agency would also look into whether gadgets used by children should have higher emission standards.”

“FCC officials tried to play down news of the inquiry, calling it a routine review. However, the agency hasn’t examined emissions standards in 15 years. Environmental and health groups have raised concerns for years that the energy emitted from cellphones held close to the head could lead to brain tumors. The FCC has frequently been criticized for not looking into the issue,” Schatz reports. “The Government Accountability Office is expected to release a report soon on the issue raising the FCC’s inaction, according to two FCC officials.”

Schatz reports, “The wireless industry has long maintained that cellphones are safe to use and that studies have failed to show potential harm to health.”

Read more in the full article here.

47 Comments

      1. I only wish I saw more people using headsets. 1 in 100 maybe. Sad really. 99% of bad driving I witness is a person holding a cell phone.

        Full disclosure: I don’t own a cell phone. (:

        1. … does not BlueTooth emit radiation? If you need to struggle with that, the answer is “YES”. And is that not emitted from very nearly INSIDE your head? Again, the answer is “YES”. Less radiation, sure, but closer to your brain. This is Science. Not Faith.
          Now … about the phone, while you are using the head-set. Where is it? Pants pocket? Next to your “family jewels”? Oh! EXCELLENT choice. You may well live longer … but be sterile.

          1. Your argument fails on simple physics: not all emissions are alike. A cell phone operates on a different set of frequencies and a different power level than a Bluetooth device. A cell phone is trying to punch a signal through construction material, atmospheric water, vegetation, etc to try and reach a cell tower that could be several miles away. A Bluetooth headset is trying to talk to a device that is only 30 ft away. The different frequencies also have different effects on human physiology – some frequencies can’t penetrate human skin, so would not be unable to effect the brain.

            1. … I said: “Less radiation, sure, but closer to your brain. This is Science. Not Faith.”. Because I recognize that rather obvious fact.
              Now … about my second point: “about the phone, while you are using the head-set. Where is it? Pants pocket?”. Maybe it’s in your purse, instead? Safer, there.

      1. And for me (I’m 40) and my parents in their 70s, and for dozens of my friends and colleagues with ages ranging from 30s through 70s, and I could go on and on but why?

        Apparently you are a clueless judgemental narrow minded twit.

        Next time you have an opinion to share consider keeping it to yourself.

      2. The fat chick who almost ran me over last week was texting while driving, the cute girl who almost ran me over at the stoplight the week before was texting.

        It’s not just kids, but it’s effing ridiculous.

  1. I received cysts on my ear lobes consistently from two models of Nokia phones, also another burn type of injury fron having the phone on my hip. This all happened several years ago.
    I switched to Bluetooth with no issues untill I decided to listen to a podcast for several hours during the day. The next day my ear was completely wet inside, I’m assuming that is a defense response.
    Moral of the story always use a earpiece or a Bluetooth. (limited)

    1. I went to school with someone who had cysts on his ear lobes and he didn’t own a cell phone. What’s a burn type injury?

      For the record, I don’t object to further study of how microwaves and radiation from cell phones affect our bodies.

    1. cause and effect smart boy, you actually think that all these frequencies of microwave radiation have no effect on our bodies… Sooner or later some frequency is going to effect us more than the others. Is it 4g?

      1. Here is the proof ‘Christian’. Snapper shows all the signs of the unknowledgeable spouting off about something that they heard about but actually know little about. Snapper has never made the measurements of the radiation of a cell phone nor compared them to that of the sun we feel on a beach in the summer.

        1. 4
          Solar radiation is a known cause of skin cancer and degradation of skin quality. How many beaches are off limits in the summer?

          Maybe bikinis should be replaced by burkas??? OMG say it never will happen? 🙂

  2. I have a cyst on my skin just above my left ear that has been there since 2000. I am convinced it came from my mobile phone. I had the phone held to my head for years. Always on the phone talking to clients.

    We also know that in 2000 Motorola got in trouble with power emissions. We also know that cell phoned today emit much less power than in the past. Whereas phones used to have to transmit 5 miles, today with the number of towers available and the restrictions on distance with high speed data, distances are much less. Half mile or less.

    It hasn’t been 15 years, it’s been 10 to 12 since the last inquiry (close). I would welcome some information on this. I suspect power emissions are lower, and much safer.

    But, please do use a headset.

  3. But why focus on just cancer though, as if that’s the only risk that needs to be assessed? How about neurodegeneration? We already know that the blood brain barrier starts leaking quickly and things that shouldn’t be in the brain end up there. One problem with a focus on cancer is that it can becoming a “decoy” – if we can keep people distracted and guessing long enough about cancer risk then the more immediate risks to the brain will hopefully be lost in any conversation. Cancer can take a long time to develop and a long time to prove or disprove, as we see already. Meanwhile, other effects such as neuronal death may be occurring without any cancer.

  4. Re: “The wireless industry has long maintained that cellphones are safe to use and that studies have failed to show potential harm to health.”

    George Carlo, PhD. M.S. J.D. was made head (for 6 years) of the cell industry research/PR headquarters in Washington DC! They thought they had a “yes man” scientist and he had previously worked in favor of the tobacco industry and Dow Chemicals. He split with the cell industry as he became convinced of the danger.
    “They cannot guarantee that cell phones are safe. We’ve moved into an area where we now have some direct evidence of harm from cellular phones. The industry said that there were thousands of studies that proved that wireless phones are safe and the fact was there were NO studies that were directly relevant. They have shown total disregard for mobile phone users.”

    Lloyds of London will insure ANYBODY for ANYTHING — except cell phones. They won’t insure the cell industry and have recommended to other insurance companies to write in exclusion clauses against paying compensation for illnesses caused by continuous long-term low-level radiation.

    Olle Johansson, PhD, of the famous Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden:
    “Research show that electromagnetic radiation can affect behaviour, become problematic for short-term memory, cause concentration disturbances and confusion.” “It is a myth that a specific type of radiation or a chemical is harmless just because it happens to be below the official safety level.”

    It goes on and on.

  5. How is it that the office of the Surgeon General is not co-involved with the FCC on this ongoing issue? For that matter, how is that the WHO isn’t deeply involved in finding provable answers to this question?

    Until real scientific questions with subsequent scientifically-arrived-at answers are resolved, I see this as being the biggest global ecological question since fluorocarbons and their relevance to the ozone layer.

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