FCC OK With Current Cell Phone Emission Levels

FCC engineers have concluded that cell phone emissions allowable under current standards don't need tightening.

FCC chair Ajit Pai has told his colleagues he plans to maintaining the current radio frequency (RF) standards for wireless devices, citing the director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Jeffrey Shuren, that “[t]he available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits.”

Shuren said no changes were needed and the FCC concurs.

The item the chairman has circulated to the other commissioners would set uniform guidelines for compliance with the limits, in contrast to the current service-specific rules.

The chairman also wants the FCC to seek comment on formalizing how the FCC determines compliance with exposure standards for high-frequency devices.

Pai's proposal is backed by the FCC's highly respected top engineer.

“The FCC sets radio frequency limits in close consultation with the FDA and other health agencies," said Julius Knapp, chief of the office of engineering and technology. "After a thorough review of the record and consultation with these agencies, we find it appropriate to maintain the existing radio frequency limits, which are among the most stringent in the world for cell phones."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.