FCC to Review Cell Phone Radiation Standards, Does It Really Matter Anyway?

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 18, 2012

Time and again, we at TheTelecomBlog have touched upon the sensitive issue of cellphone radiation. Whether it’s the risk of brain cancer, WiFi making kids sick or the “changes in your brain cell activity” caused by holding a cell phone to your ear for a sustained period of time, we’ve made an honest attempt at uncovering how cell phones are increasingly affecting human lives.

However, the truth remains that almost all of these research studies have ended on an inconclusive note that further investigation is required. Even esteemed global organizations such as World Health Organization’s have answered: we’re not quite sure.

While Governments and regulatory bodies such as the CRTC and FCC have passed the buck to scientists, the bottom line is that cellphones do impact us and the world around us, for better or for worse.

To that effect, the FCC is ‘contemplating’ taking another look at its standards pertaining to radio frequency energy emitted from cellphones, particularly whether or not mobile phones cause brain tumors or other health concerns. To put things in perspective, it has been 15 years since the commission last examined the issue.

While it may be a reason to rejoice for other cellphone radiation activists, I, for one, seriously doubt that this won’t be another one of those ‘May cause Cancer’ reports.

The FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday circulated a proposal to his fellow commissioners to look at a series of questions surrounding whether the current standards need to be updated or whether the agency’s testing practices should be altered. The proposal requires approval by a majority of the agency’s other commissioners before it released for public comment.

On the other hand, the FCC says it’s “confident that, as set, the emissions guidelines for devices pose no risks to consumers.” With all due respect to the regulatory body, the proposed review is an eyewash to preserve the vested business interests of the deep-pocketed wireless industry. While I may be raising undue concerns, it’s ridiculous to believe that the FCC is still following guidelines setting maximum radiation-exposure levels, which are based on the amount of heat emitted by mobile phones, in 1996.

On the contrary, the FCC has outlined several precautionary measures for cellphone use. Wireless devices emit energy when used, and the closer the device is to the body the more energy a person absorbs, therefore the FCC recommends that people should use a speakerphone or earpiece and increase the distance between wireless devices and the body – now that’s what I call a perfect solution for this complex problem at hand (err, in ear)!

Of course, despite the fact that almost all such studies end up with the ‘may be’ clause, cellphone radiation is still considered one of the most popular research areas for scientists.

The bottom line – The FCC isn’t going to change any of it recommendations on cell phones anytime soon. I do hope I’m forced to eat my words though.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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