Once again, the Cellphone and Cancer issue raises its head. But this time for a different reason. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a body responsible for the regulations of international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable has decided it is time to consider a review of its regulatory rules on radiation emitted by cellphones and mobile devices. The rules were made in 1996 when mobile devices for communications were just coming into use. The rules are already sixteen years old and a lot of developments have taken place since then.
The FCC’s 1996, set limits for “electric and magnetic field strength and power density for transmitters operating at frequencies from 300 kHz to 100 GHz,” as well as localized absorption from portable devices (cellphones and hearing aids and the like). The rules were based on the findings of the EPA, the FDA, “and other United States federal health and safety agencies.”
“The corresponding limits for devices operated in uncontrolled environments are 0.08 W/kg for whole-body average exposure and 1.6 W/kg for spatial peak SAR [Specific Absorption Rate],” the FCC ruled in 1996.
FCC spokesperson Tammy Sun said: “Our action today is a routine review of our standards, we are confident that, as set, the emissions guidelines for devices pose no risks to consumers.” But people ask if the existing limits are sufficient, especially with regards to pregnant women and children, who are increasingly becoming users of cell phones.
Although till date, no conclusive evidence has shown that these radiations cause cancers, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute still maintains that no irrefutable evidence supports the idea that non-ionizing radiation can cause cancer, yet in May 2011, the Council of Europe and the World Health Organization listed cell phones as possible carcinogens and five years earlier in 2006, a Canadian University cited health concerns when it stopped adding WiFi access points in 2006. San Francisco has a law requiring cell phones manufacturers to identify the specific absorption rate that a human body would receive from each device.
So there is a growing awareness of the possibility of a cancer link. Hence this review by the FCC to our mind is a step in the right direction.
What do you say about this?
Is it good, acceptable, and to the best interest of all (including cellphone makers world wide) for FCC to revisit its 1996 rules and guidelines?
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Credits to: arstechnica.com