U.S. watchdog calls for regulators to review of cell phone radiation rules

“Regulators should take a fresh look at 15-year-old standards on radiofrequency energy from mobile phones, an investigative arm of the Congress said on Tuesday amid lingering concerns the devices may cause brain tumors,” Jasmin Melvin reports for Reuters.

“Before a mobile phone comes on the U.S. market, it is first tested to ensure its emissions are within a limit determined by the Federal Communications Commission to be safe for human exposure,” Melvin reports. “But that limit may not reflect the latest research, and testing may not reflect the actual conditions under which mobile phones are used, such as when stored directly against the body in a pocket while someone talks through an ear piece, according to a Government Accountability Office report.”

Melvin reports, “The report concludes a year-long investigation prompted by Democratic Representatives Edward Markey, Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo… FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in June circulated a proposal to his fellow commissioners calling for a formal inquiry into the mobile phone emissions standards set in 1996. If it is approved by a majority of the FCC’s five commissioners, the agency would consider changing its testing procedures and seek input on the need either to strengthen or ease the current standards. The proposal also considers whether emission standards should be different for devices used by children.”

“The FCC would solicit input from a variety of experts, including federal health agencies, and take the GAO’s report into consideration as part of its review, FCC spokesman Neil Grace said,” Melvin reports. “The agency has stressed that it believes there is no evidence tying cancer, headaches, dizziness, memory loss or other health problems to mobile phones.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. People have been using cellular devices, in mass, for nearly 20 years under the “old” radiation specs. I’m not aware of a recent outbreak of brain tumors, is anyone else?

    This is pure grandstanding by a couple of do nothing politicians, desperately trying to look like they are protecting the public interest.

    They’d do better by cutting spending, and I mean REAL cuts, not reductions in future spending (always over ridden when the future becomes the present).

    1. Well, if you look at recent election results, court decisions, and other things that could reasonably be influenced by people who regularly use cell phones… it makes you wonder.

      (Just a moment while I put my tinfoil hat back on. :))

    2. It’s and elections year, they need to look like they are doing something before they lose their funding after 15 years of sitting on their ass.

      Don’t think for a minute it’s because they care about you or me. haha

  2. Yeh, yeh. Remember, the same kinds of dismissive drivel came out when big tobacco was being investigated – and lead in gasoline, red dye #5, asbestos and on and on. Do you think tobacco/lung cancer was all political grandstanding and tobacco is just fine?

    “I’m not aware of a recent outbreak of brain tumors, is anyone else?”
    Actually, yes. There’s far more confirmation of this than people realize. Just one is the cell industry’s pet scientist, George Carlo, who turned on them after six years of research involving dozens of scientists in multiple labs. He said the cell industry had been lying and that there was evidence of harm.

  3. Markey and Waxman. Do you recognize those names? If I didn’t know better I’d think they were sleeping together. Every time there is an anti-Internet, government intervention piece of legislation, these two are behind it. Imagine if you will that Rosanne Bar and Michael Moore had children who grew up to be congressmen and you’d know who Markey and Waxman are.

    Waxman is also in the back pocket of Hollywood. Close examination of the legislation he backs and authors concerning the Internet shows he’s trying to assist the RIAA more than anything else.

    These guys are the worst of confiscate and redistribute Democrats.

    Nothing is as it seems with these two. If they’re after mobile phones its because someone is backing them to do so. It’s a follow the money thing.

    Study after Study after Study has found no conclusive evidence that there is any harmful radiation from cell phones.

    “… Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.

    It is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals (3–5)….” http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

    “… Many scientific studies have investigated possible health symptoms of mobile phone radiation. These studies are occasionally reviewed by some scientific committees to assess overall risks. A recent assessment was published in 2007 by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR).[4] It concludes that the three lines of evidence, viz. animal, in vitro, and epidemiological studies, indicate that “exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans”.
    [edit]…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health

    “…A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use….” – World Health Organiztion


    “…The debate over the relationship between cell phone radiation exposure and human health has raged for over 16 years. For every seemingly solid, definitive study proving that cell phones have no appreciable effect on human health under current limits, a new batch of people would come out of the woodwork claiming debilitating radio frequency sensitivity (a psychosomatic condition, according to other studies). For every subject matter expert’s attempt to reassure the public that cell phones don’t cause brain tumors, a political entity would introduce legislation capping the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of consumer mobile phones. The council of Europe and World Health Organization declared cell phones to be possible carcinogens in May 2011, and the devices continued to sell at incredible rates. Since the FCC’s limits were introduced, reason and action have failed to shake hands again and again….”

    But who else has a problem with cell phone radiation? DENNIS KUCINICH….

    “… On Friday, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced a bill requiring cell phone manufacturers to “examine, label, and communicate adverse human biological effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields from cell phones and other wireless devices, and for other purposes.” The problem is, there’s little agreement on what the “adverse human biological effects” are, in part because no one has really created a workable definition of normal usage yet….”

    Until the political entities that want some kind of control over the mobile phone industry so they can somehow TAX it more find a way to do so, they will continue to look for something, anything that can label mobile communication devices as a public safety issue.

  4. And do not forget that the types of lawyers we love around here so much, are just rubbing their hands together waiting. Once someone, anyone declares that mobile communication devices might be responsible for a tumor, the floodgates on class action law suits will just open up.

  5. There was a recent scientific paper which aggregated years of research into this subject, and still no real correlation could be found.
    And examining issues of headache and other possible problems like tumours, etc, while users are using a headset while the phone is in a pocket are just laughable.
    The headset is not an antenna, so cannot contribute to any problems in the head.

    1. “The headset is not an antenna, so cannot contribute to any problems in the head.”

      So how, exactly, does the datastream between headset and phone travel? It’s a transceiver, it emits radio-frequency signals.

      Even using a corded earpiece will involve some level of electromagnetic emissions (judging from 30+ years of having to document EMI issues with computers and peripherals), although the levels will usually be low and generally insignificant.

      Which brings us back around to the phone: the emissions tend to be, biologically speaking, insignificant.

  6. By the way, this is nothing like tobacco. Every study was saying that there WAS a link between tobacco and lung cancer. The only people dismissing it were tobacco companies, politicians, and smokers. It was a reverse situation. Even though it was known that cigarettes were killing people, the money was on the side of the tobacco companies.

    Mobile phones are a ubiquitous as cigarettes used to be, but for some reason, no one is filling the pockets of corrupt politicians. So what you need is something bad on mobile phones so you can blackmail the makers.

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