Aug. 7, 2012 at 4:07 PM ET
There's been a lot of talk about cellphone radiation, health risks and regulations lately — enough to cause one one congressman to introduce legislation intended to ensure phone user safety.
Last Friday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced a bill in Congress, demanding that we "examine, label, and communicate adverse human biological effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields from cellphones and other wireless devices, and for other purposes.”
Then, on Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office released a report calling attention to the fact that the "Federal Communications Commission set its radio-frequency energy exposure limits more than 15 years ago in the early days of cellphone technology."
That's basically saying that the warnings which are included with gadgets — those little slips of paper you chucked out with the device's packaging — are based on standards crafted long before cellphones were something most Americans kept close to their bodies for the better part of every day.
Among the GAO's recommendations is that the FCC do a reassessment of its emissions limit and testing requirements and change them as is appropriate.
Any policy so out of date could spell bad news, especially one created before a major technological revolution such as this, but let's keep in mind that there have been several studies about the health effects of cellphones in recent years, and no conclusive evidence of them causing harm from radiation.
"The biggest study ever to examine the possible connection between cellphones and cancer found no evidence of any link, suggesting that billions of people who are rarely more than a few inches from their phones have no special health concerns," says the Associated Press' Maria Cheng in a piece about a Danish study of more than 350,000 people.
Based on the statement he gave to Ars Technica though, Kucinich seems dissatisfied with that study — which tracked the health effects of mobile devices on people over a decade — as well as any others:
It took decades for scientists to be able to say for sure that smoking caused cancer. During those decades, the false impression created by industry supporters was that there was no connection between smoking and cancer, a deception which cost many lives. While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cell phone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation.
In other words, if there's even a small chance of health risk in the very long term, the more information about what our phones actually emanate, the better.
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