On Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent an email to this four fellow commissioners requesting that the FCC revisit the rules that determine radiation exposure levels in cellphones. Three of the five commissioners have to approve his request before the FCC formally begins discussing cell phone emissions and brain tumors, but the e-mail alone is enough to stir up controversy.
The FCC hardly wants to stir the pot on this: “Our action today is a routine review of our standards,” FCC spokesperson Tammy Sun told Bloomberg. “We are confident that, as set, the emissions guidelines for devices pose no risks to consumers.” The question, it seems, is if existing limits are sufficient, particularly with regards to children, who are increasingly becoming carriers of cell phones themselves.
The FCC last visited its wireless emissions standards in 1996, setting limits for “electric and magnetic field strength and power density for transmitters operating at frequencies from 300 kHz to 100 GHz,” as well as localized absorption from portable devices (cellphones and hearing aids and the like). The rules were based on the findings of the EPA, the FDA, “and other federal health and safety agencies.”