August 8, 2012

Government Wants To Re-Open Case Of Cellphone Radiation

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

The Government Accountability Office is opening back up the debate on whether cell phones can cause cancer, by suggesting the Federal Communications Commission's current standards are outdated.

The GAO report said the FCC's regulations "may not reflect the latest evidence on the effects" of cell phones.

The government agency is critical of the way the FCC has managed its standards, saying that the rules have not changed since 1996, and they lag behind those of the international community.

According to the report, the FCC assumed that when testing cellular radiation exposure, someone who was using an earpiece would be holding the phone farther away from their bodies than what actually takes place in real-life scenarios.

The FCC “may not be identifying the maximum exposure, since some users may hold a mobile phone directly against the body while in use,” the GAO said.

GAO recommends the FCC reexamine both its exposure limits and the way it conducts tests.

The FCC said in a response to the report that it will ask federal health agencies and others for input on the matter. It said back in June that it was contemplating whether it needed to update its rules, but said reputable health experts dismiss fears about the dangers of radiation levels with cellphones.

“The U.S. has among the most conservative standards in the world,” FCC spokesman Neil Grace said in a statement. “We look forward to reviewing today´s GAO report as part of that consideration.”

While the fear of cell phone radiation exposure has dwindled down from most people's perspectives, a World Health Organization report rekindled the flame a bit more last year.

The WHO report found that cellphone radiation might be carcinogenic. Also, a study by the National Institutes of Health found that 50 minutes of cellphone use altered activity in part of the brain closest to where the device antennas were located.

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) showed on Monday that he wants to make his mark in this world, by introducing a bill that would require cellphones to have warning labels. The bill would also make the Environmental Protection Agency the government body behind the investigation on whether cellphones emit a harmful radiation.

He said that cellphone users have a right to know how much radiation their phones give off, and that they shouldn't have to wait for scientists to be the ones to determine whether its harmful, which would allow them to draw their own conclusions instead of having to base them on science.