Outdated FCC “Safety” Standards
When these guidelines were developed, a cell phone was the size of a brick and there was no Wi-Fi at the coffee shop. Times have changed. The laws have not.
Fact: There Are No Safety Standards Currently there are no national or international “standards” for safe levels of the radiation emitted by wireless or microwave devices.
As stated by the FCC, there are no federally developed safety standards. After years of a robust research effort by US agencies, the US EPA was tasked to develop proper safety standards and was developing two tiered guidelines on both thermal and biological effects. Then in 1996 it was defunded. Instead of proper safety limits, the US government adopted “guidelines” developed by industry based on decades old research. Guidelines have a much lower certainty than a “standard” as proper long term safety testing was not done to ensure the public was protected from all possible harm. In fact, no “safe” level has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. Therefore, the claim that a device “meets government standards” or that radiation levels are “FCC compliant” gives a false impression of safety.
If you are interested in the history of US government reports on wireless, click here.
The FCC guidelines rest on five fallacies (false assumptions) and therefore renders FCC guidelines obsolete. Compliance with “federal safety standards” does not assure your nor your family’s safety. In fact, our federal safety limits are in essence meaningless when it comes to our health.
Some other examples of how FCC exposure limits have not kept up with the times:
- FCC exposure limits are based on the assumption that wireless signals at a human body from a distance are from only one transmitter antenna.
- In the 21st century, we are not exposed to one Wi-Fi transmitter antenna. One typical school classroom might have dozens of radiation streams from dozens of transmitting antennas: 30 laptops, 30 cell phones, a wireless printer, a wireless security system, an overhead internet access point and a cell tower located in line of sight outside the window.
- FCC “standard operating positions” do not reflect the way we use our devices today.
- FCC regulations specify what are called consumer “standard operating positions”, such as that laptops are distanced at least 20 cm (8 inches) from the user. Placing a laptop on the lap is then in violation of this “standard operating position”. Devices are radiation tested at these distances, and when we violate these “standard operating positions” we can be exposed to radiation levels in excess of the FCC exposure limits. Women now place cell phones in their bra or tucked against their abdomen under spandex exercise pants. Men have cell phones in front pockets of jeans. None of these common positions are in accordance with the FCC’s regulations.
Letters From US Agencies that Raise Serious Concerns About Outdated FCC Exposure Limits
Radio Frequency Interagency Workgroup Concerns About RF Exposure Limits Gregory Lotz NIOSH 1999 Letter Interagency Radio Frequency Workgroup 2003 Letter from EPA Norbert Hankin on Additional Concerns about RF Exposure Guidelines US Department of the Interior Letter 2014 on FCC Guidelines EPA 1995 Letter on Development of Guidelines that were never completed as the EPA was defunded on this issue
FCC RADIO FREQUENCY GUIDELINES FAQ’S
RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE
ANSI C95.1-1982 Standard IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz September 1991 Comments on the ANSI and IEEE Standard: EHT scientific advisor Lloyd Morgan took a look at the development of the standards and has detailed the key statements in the documents so that you can understand how the guidelines were improperly set. Please read it here. Researcher, PhD Mikko Ahonen put together a slide presentation on the development of the international guidelines that informs our current FCC guidelines. Please take the time to view the slides below.
Letter to the FCC by Dr. De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, MPH on the Inadequacy of FCC guidelines Evidence for Inadequacy of the Standards This Chapter of the BioInitiative Report 2012 details the GAO Report, the WHO IARC Classification, President’s Cancer Panel Report of 2010, the U.S. Federal Radiofrequency Interagency Working Group Conclusions and more. Why the FCC Must Strengthen Radiofrequency Radiation Limits in the U.S. by Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director Center for Family and Community Health, The UC Berkeley Prevention Research Center, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley November 5, 2013 Read Critiques of ICNIRP (International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) & WHO International EMF Project & the IEEE on Chronic Exposure The Scientist Magazine: Opinion: Cell Phone Health Risk? Security concerns during the Cold War may have led to the generation of misinformation on the physiological effects of microwave radiation from mobile phones By Scientist and Researcher Allan H. Frey
RESOURCES ON INTERNATIONAL GUIDELINES
Powerwatch (2010) International Guidance Levels – A Comparison. German Building biology guidance levels, for bedrooms less than 1 µW/m². Based on 10.000 home measurements. ICNIRP – International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection – Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-Varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz) 1998
DOCUMENTATION BY US AGENCIES
2014 Letter from the U.S. Department of Interior states, “The electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.” Read it here. 2002 Letter from Norbert Hankin of the EPA about the FCC guidelines states that children, pregnant women and the elderly were not considered in the regulations and that the regulations were to protect against hearing damage only and did not consider long-term chronic exposure. Read it here. 1999 Letter: The U.S. Radiofrequency Interagency Work Group Chief W. Gregory Lotz, Ph.D., at NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) wrote a letter to Mr. Richard Tell, Chair of the IEEE SCC28 Risk Assessment Work Group, in which they identified 14 issues that “need to be addressed to provide a strong and credible rationale to support RF exposure guidelines.” Read it here. 2008 Report: National Academy of Sciences Report “Identification of Research Needs Relating to Adverse Health Effects of Wireless Communication.”
Please watch this must watch documentary from 2010 that explores the development of the radiofrequency standards.
A FEW PUBLISHED PAPERS ON THE HISTORY OF RF LIMITS
EMF Portal: The EMF-Portal is an extensive literature database with an inventory of 22,066 publications and 5,327 summaries of individual scientific studies on the effects of electromagnetic fields. Here, scientific studies from journals with a so-called peer-reviewed process are collected, summarized and available free of charge to the user in both German and English. The ICEMS’ Monograph, “Non-Thermal Effects and Mechanisms of Interaction Between Electromagnetic Fields and Living Matter”, edited by Livio Giuliani and Morando Soffritti for the European Journal of Oncology – Library Vol. 5 of the National Institute for the Study and Control of Cancer and Environmental Diseases “Bernardo Ramazzini”, Bologna, Italy, 2010, Part I and Part II. Download the Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF format) Download Part I (Adobe Acrobat PDF format) Download Part II (Adobe Acrobat PDF format) FCC Radio Frequency Safety Webpage OSHA Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation Hazard Locations and Solutions Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) page on RFR resources for hazard locations and solutions. Recommended Practice for Measurement of Potentially Hazardous Electromagnetic Fields, RF and Microwave Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard, IEEE C95.3-2002. Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields 0-3 kHz Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard, IEEE C95.6, 2002. Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields 3kHz to 3GHz Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard, IEEE Std.C95.1, 1999 Edition.
FCC 2008 Testimony on the Health Effects of Cell Phone Use
Expert testimony on the health effects of cell phones. Dr. Herberman, Ellie Marks, Dr. Hoover, Dr. Carpenter spoke about the exponential use of cellphones, the science on the connection between usage and human health effects, and studies looking fro links between usage and various forms of cancer.
C-SPAN VIDEOS OF CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS
2001: GAO Report Cell Phones Press Conference Senators Markey and Lieberman spoke to reporters about a Government Accounting Office study of the safety of cell phones and the potential impacts of increased exposure to radio frequency emissions. Because the report did not contain definitive conclusions, they called for greater consumer education and further study of the potential problems. Following their remarks they answered questions from reporters. 2008 Congressional Hearing: Health Effects of Cell Phone Use Witnesses testified about research into cellular telephone use and its potential impact on human health, as well as the potential side effects and consequences of cell phone use. They focused on studies that had examined potential links between cell phones and cancer, and about warnings issued by some groups on cell phone safety. Recent epidemiological studies involving humans suggest that heavy cell phone users of 10 years or more have developed brain tumors on the same side of their heads as where they used to hold their mobile phones. David Carpenter, Ronald B. Herberman M.D.,Robert Hoover, Darrell Issa, Julius P. Knapp II,Ellie Marks, Danny “Dan” Lee Burton, Dennis Kucinich, Diane Watson 2009 Congressional Hearing on Cell Phone Radiation Health Effects of Cell Phone Use Witnesses testified about research into cellular telephone use and its potential impact on human health, as well as the potential side effects and consequences of cell phone use. They focused on studies that had examined potential links between cell phones and cancer, and about warnings issued by some groups on cell phone safety. John Bucher, Devra L. Davis, Linda Erdreich, Thomas “Tom” Harkin, Dariusz Leszczynski, Olga Naidenko, Mark Pryor, Siegal Sadetzki, Arlen Specter 2011: Communicators with Nora Volkow Dr. Nora Volklow talked about tests conducted by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and the Energy Department’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. The test results show that brain chemistry becomes altered after 50 minutes of cell phone usage. Also featuring Kenneth Foster and Devra Davis. Book Discussion on Disconnect Devra Davis presented her book Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family, published that day by Dutton. She argued that cell phone radiation damages the human body. She said that recently disclosed research shows that cell phones negatively affect human DNA and increase the user’s risk of developing memory loss, cancer, and various neurological diseases. Ms. Dutton talked about the industry practices that have hidden the dangers and her recommendations for cell phone use. Book Discussion on Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age Martin Schram and George Carlo talked about their book Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards In the Wireless Age about Carlos work heading up the WTO Cell Phone Research study that found problems “suppressed” by the Wireless Industry.