FCC Seeks Data on Radiofrequency Risk

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Communications Commission seeks comments on whether it should reassess its radiofrequency exposure limits and policies for cell phones and towers, the agency announced in a proposed rule.
     The current limits were established in 1996. Although the limits have not been reassessed since then, and despite advances in technology, the FCC says it feels comfortable with the current regulations.
     However, a report of over 1800 new scientific studies, called the BioInitiative 2012 Report, indicates current guidelines are inadequate to protect the public from physical harm.
     The BioInitiative report, which comes out of the University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York, claims that health risks from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by wireless technologies have substantially increased since 2007. The report warns that cell phone users, pregnant women and young children are at particular risk.
     “There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma (a tumor near the ear) with use of mobile and cordless phones. Epidemiological evidence shows that radiofrequency should be classified as a human carcinogen,” Dr. Lennart Hardell, of Orebro University in Sweden, is quoted as saying in a BioInitiative report press release. She added that current EMF limits “are not adequate to protect public health.”
     New studies also purportedly link phone radiation to sperm damage, according to the BioInitiative report.
     “Even a cell phone in the pocket or on a belt may harm sperm DNA, result in misshapen sperm, and impair fertility in men. Laptop computers with wireless Internet connections can damage DNA in sperm,” according to the BioInitiative report.
     The report added there is “strong evidence” that EMFs can increase the risk for autism and alter brain development of fetuses.
     “This has been linked to both animal and human studies to hyperactivity, learning and behavior problems,” according to the BioInitiative report.
     Dr. David O. Carpenter, co-author of the BioInitiative report, said “there is now much more evidence of risks to health affecting billions of people world-wide. The status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.”
     The FCC said in its action that it does recognize advancements in technology, but that its intent in considering new limits is to “adequately protect the public without imposing an undue burden on industry.”
     “The commission continues to have confidence in the current exposure limits and notes that more recent international standards have a similar basis,” the FCC said in its action.
     The agency seeks comments on whether the limits should be “more restrictive, less restrictive or remain the same,” but purely as a matter of “good government.”
     Comments are due by Sept. 3.

%d bloggers like this: