Target: Federal Communications Commission
Goal: Adopt an industry-wide standard for measuring radiation in cell phones.
Like many other objects of interest in our rapidly advancing society, the long-term consequences of cell phone usage are manifold. Some of these are good, while others are questionable, but the issue of electromagnetic radio emissions and its effect on the human body has been debated for quite some time without any conclusive answer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed such radiofrequency fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” while the American Cancer Society suggests some possible risk associated with cancer, but without enough causal evidence and a need for further investigation. Regardless of these statements, certain types of electromagnetic radiation have been linked to cancer, and it has also been widely accepted that any kind of exposure does pose a potential risk. Therefore, in our own culture where cell phone dependence is rampant and on the rise, it is more important than ever to evaluate just how much we’re exposing ourselves so that the consequences won’t be life-threatening later on.
Fortunately, the FCC has already created a guideline to assess this. In order to meet FCC criteria and obtain a license to legally put a cell phone on the market, manufacturers must submit certain data that falls within a legal limit. However, the discrepancy lies in the fact that this data is self-reported, and the guideline that the FCC has created to obtain the data is merely a recommendation and varies slightly from company to company. Therefore, the system in which our cell phones are being tested for individual radiation emissions is highly unregulated.
Urge the FCC to develop a system where SAR levels, or specific absorption rates for cell phones, are tested uniformly across the industry. The collected data should also be verified separately from the manufacturers themselves. This way, the information provided to consumers (which is publicly available on the FCC website) will be credible and trustworthy.
While we are aware of your refusal to acknowledge the risks associated with wireless phone usage and corresponding EMR emissions, we are also aware that you have created a guideline for manufacturers to tests these emissions in order to ease consumer concern. However, the guidelines are not uniform, nor are they mandatory to obtain your certification. Also, the data reported by companies is not verified and/or tested by an independent evaluator to ensure truthfulness, so numbers can be easily manipulated.
We don’t trust the cell phone companies, and would like a consistent and credible means of EMR measurement in place, so that consumers like ourselves won’t be misinformed. Please mandate that manufacturers adhere to a set of guidelines and implement a policy which requires for all self-reported results to be verified before obtaining FCC licensing.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Katrina Sadowski