Are Government Cell Phone Radiation Rules Inadequate?

Cell phones are so ubiquitous these days that most people simply take the safety of these devices for granted. But as is often the case with mass-produced consumer products, cell phone manufacturers take a “lowest common denominator” approach when it comes to safety. In other words, they will often do what is required of them by government regulation and nothing more.

Which might be acceptable if government regulations were kept up-to-date and reflected the latest scientific research. But as the American Academy of Pediatrics noted last year, the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the telecommunications industry in this country, “has not revised the standard for cell phone radiation since 1996.” In other words, most of today’s cell phones still rely on 21-year-old standards despite the massive increase in ownership and usage since the late 1990s.

Indeed, many children now have “smartphones.” But as the AAP pointed out, the 1996 FCC standards were based on the assumption that only adults used such devices. As a result, these regulations do not account for the fact that “[c]hildren’s skulls are thinner and can absorb more radiation.”

French Regulators Disclose Inaccurate Test Results

Another problem is that government standards often do not reflect actual use cases, i.e. how they work when operated by customers rather than under controlled laboratory conditions. This problem came to light recently when regulators in France discovered that “most cell phones exceed government radiation limits when tested the way they are used, next to the body,” according to an article published by the Environmental Health Trust (EHT).

In particular, the post noted, French officials discovered that 9 out 10 phones they tested “exceed the manufacturer’s reported radiation test levels when re-tested in positions where the phone is in contact with the body,” such as in a person’s shirt or pants pockets. These tests only became public knowledge after a court ordered their disclosure by l’Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR), France’s telecommunications regulator. A number of French newspapers compared the cell phone findings to the 2015 scandal involving German auto manufacturer Volkswagen, whose cars passed government environmental standards tests in the lab but produced much higher emissions when actually driven.

Speak With a Cell Phone Attorney Today

A key takeaway from all this is that government regulation alone will not protect the public from the dangers of cell phone radiation. Individual citizens need to be more proactive on this subject, especially if they suspect there has been a link between cell phone use and cancer (or other negative health effects) in their family. If you need advice from a dedicated cell phone cancer attorney, contact Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP, right away.



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