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FCC Calls for Cell Phone Safety Review

SEATTLE - It is supposed to be the first review of cell phone safety standards in 15 years by the FCC, but some say the planned review does not go far enough.

Camilla Rees with the group ElectromagneticHealth.org says it is good news that the FCC is talking about conducting a cell phone safety review, but she says the review needs to be expanded because current cell phone safety standards do not address a number of potential human health risks.

"These standards currently only measure risks from the heating effect of a cell phone. They don't even consider risks from the non-thermal effects and risks from the modulation of the signal, which can be very biologically disruptive."

An FCC spokesperson calls it a routine review and says the agency believes the current emissions guidelines pose no risks to consumers. Rees says that statement leaves some folks wondering if the agency has not pre-judged the results of the review.

Devra Davis, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Environmental Health Trust, says cell phone consumers might feel safer if they lived in Canada. She says health officials there were quick to inform the public about the recent World Health Organization finding that cell phone radiation is a possible human carcinogen.

"Just across the border in Canada, consumers are being warned to use cell phones with a headset or speaker phone, and not to have children use cell phones except for emergencies."

The whole issue of electromagnetic health was the focus of a resolution passed last week by the U.S. Health Freedom Congress in Chicago. Davis says the action supports consumers' right to know about the potential risks from wireless products.

"We do not have enough information to assume that these devices are safe, we have a right to know what science tells us now, and we need to be monitoring and studying things rather than experimenting on people."

Advocates for electromagnetic safety say Congress needs to actively oversee the proposed FCC review process.

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