Urge the FCC to Update its Cell Phone Radiation Standards

Teen on Phone

Target: Kris Monteith, Acting Bureau Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission

Goal: Ensure safety of cell phone users by having the FCC improve its standards for cell phone radiation.

The FCC has not updated its cell phone radiation standards since 1996.  Since then, the amount of cell phone users has grown exponentially, with nearly 80 percent of teenagers and an increasing number of younger children owning cell phones.  Scientific studies have linked cell phone radiation to cancer, lower sperm count, and other health concerns.  Although more research would be helpful in compiling a more comprehensive picture of the effects of cell phone radiation, we have enough current evidence to understand the implications of subjecting a growing population of young cell phone users to the current FCC standards.

At the time of the issuance of its cell phone radiation standards, the FCC did not take into consideration how the radiation would affect children’s brains and bodies because of the adult-dominated demographic.  However, with smartphones becoming the norm, key demographics are emerging whose safety must also be considered.  Carriers should also be equipped with readily available information about which phones and wireless networks will expose consumers to the least radiation.

Consumers should also note that the FCC has not tested radiation exposure of cell phones held against the body.  The exposure from keeping a cell phone against the body could be higher than the current limit regulated by the FCC.

It has been seventeen years since the FCC has updated their standards for cell phone radiation.  Since then, the number of cell users has increased tenfold, and many teenagers and younger children have adopted cell phone usage as a norm.  Urge the FCC to update their standards, accounting for new demographics and actual patterns of usage.


Dear Mr. Monteith,

The standards set by the FCC for cell phone radiation have not been revised or updated since 1996.  In the last seventeen years, the demographics and actual usage patterns of cell phones have changed.  Ten times more people use cell phones now than they did then, including nearly 80 percent of American teenagers and a growing number of younger children.  The protection of these children, as well as the rest of consumers, is demanded by way of new standards and accessible information.

Studies have shown a positive link between cell phone radiation and cancer, lower sperm counts, and other health concerns.  While we need more research on this subject to get a clearer vision of the effects of cell phone radiation, there is enough to understand that we need a change.  Consumers should have access to information describing which wireless networks and electronic devices will expose them to the least amount of radiation so that we may make an informed decision.  More importantly, new standards should be adopted that reflect a changing demographic and actual patterns of usage.  We urge you to update your standards for cell phone radiation bearing these concerns in mind.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Karin Vietstra via Flickr

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