By B.N. Frank
If you weren’t already aware, last week the Chicago Tribune reported that some Apple and Samsung smartphones are in violation of federal RadioFrequency (RF) Radiation Safety Limits. There is now a class action lawsuit because of their findings. This is great; however, it doesn’t change the fact that RF safety limits and testing were established over 20 years ago so they don’t apply to
- How today’s devices are made and operate
- How most people– including children – use cell phone and WiFi radiation emitting devices and
- How we are exposed to them
Over the years, many doctors and scientists, including Dr. Davis, have asked that the Federal Communications Commission to consider all of this and update RF radiation guidelines, limits, and testing. They have refused to do so and did again recently in regard to 5G technology which even the telecom industry won’t say is safe.
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The FCC needs to update its cellphone tests for radiofrequency radiation by Devra Davis
The Chicago Tribune recently published test results indicating that some cellphones can emit radiation causing exposure up to five times higher than current limits allow. This shocking data comes on the heels of the government of France’s revelations that phones emit radiation between four and 11 times their allowable limits.
For more than a decade, the Federal Communications Commission has knowingly relied on unrealistic test methods to evaluate radiofrequency radiation from a single phone selected for testing by major manufacturers. Repeated submissions and presentations to the FCC have documented numerous deficiencies in the current protocol, as noted in 2012 by the Government Accountability Office in a report mandated by Congress.
The system for testing cellphones constitutes a deceptive, improbable, unrepresentative and far-fetched scenario. As the Tribune documents, phones are placed up to 1 inch away from a phantom body of a heavy-set large man. This scheme fails to take into account the thinner skulls, developing immune systems and more vulnerable eyes of millions of infants, toddlers and young children for whom contact with phones has become commonplace.
FCC regulations for phone testing were first set in 1996 when a gallon of gasoline cost $1.25 and the average cellphone cost a staggering $2,000, which equals roughly $3,200 today after adjusting for inflation. These expensive phones were used chiefly for business, medical and military purposes, with a typical call duration of six minutes.
As the scientific research submitted to the agency shows, the FCC’s 20th-century standards were not set to protect us from known biological impacts of increased, and increasing, 21st-century radiofrequency radiation.
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Would the American public agree to fly on airplanes or drive cars that adhered to safety or emissions standards set 20 or 30 years ago, disregarding necessary improvements that could be made? The FCC is proposing adherence to outdated test systems.
In contrast to the FCC’s stale position, the federal government in France has progressed with modern legislation that requires steps be taken to limit children’s exposure, removing Wi-Fi from kindergartens, labeling cellphone radiation and ensuring headsets are available. France has banned cellphone use in elementary and middle schools, including playgrounds. France’s national testing agency decided to radiation test hundreds of cellphones, and in 2015 found 9 out of 10 phones tested next to the body emit more radiation than regulations allowed. Researchers have computed the excesses are up to 11 times U.S. limits. France is systematically recalling and changing test procedures for millions of phones as a result of these findings, which were brought to light by Marc Arazi, a French physician.
It is no accident that the FCC has floated its consequential proposal — to stick with its outdated standards — in the midst of the summer doldrums when Congress and schools are out of session. Congress should demand a full and frank accounting of the FCC’s flawed system.
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