U.S. agency wants rethink on cellphone radiation

People who worry that RF radiation from cellphones could be harmful got a boost Wednesday when the U.S. Government Accountability Office, a spending watchdog that reports to Congress, said the American telecommunications regulator should take another look at its regulations for exposure to mobile phones.

As this report says, the GAO acknowledged that there’s no scientific proof exposure hurts people. But, it added, the area is still under study and other countries have adopted stiffer rules than the regulator, the Federal Communications Commission.
It’s a sticky area. There is no absolute proof cellphones damage health, but there are suspicions about any device that issues RF signals that is close to a person’s body. A number of long-term studies are expected to be finished this year, the GAO noted.

Last October Health Canada encouraged parents to reduce their children’s radio frequency exposure from cell phones since children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents. As well, it said, there is currently a lack of scientific information regarding the potential health impacts of cell phones on children.

Unfortunately the GAO hasn’t added much to the debate on this issue. Advice to the FCC to “take another look” isn’t much help in the absence of scientific evidence. All it does is gain headlines.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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