The U.S. should reassess standards for radiation exposure from mobile phones, the Government Accountability Office said in a report that found federal guidelines lagging behind international standards.
Limits set in 1996 by the Federal Communications Commission may not reflect recent research on radio-frequency energy from phones, and testing requirements may not identify maximum exposure in all usage conditions, the agency said in a July 24 study released today. The FCC doesn’t test for devices carried against the body, a practice that may lead to exposure that exceeds the FCC’s limit, the GAO said.
“With mobile phones in the pockets and purses of millions of Americans, we need a full understanding of the long-term impact of mobile phone use on the human body,” Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said today in an e- mailed statement.
The FCC under Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, said June 15 it’s planning to review the standards. The FCC’s planned study “has the potential to address and even expand on the recommendations in the GAO report to thoroughly review” rules, Julius Knapp, chief of the agency’s Office of Engineering and Technology, said in a July 6 comment to the GAO that was published as part of the report.