U.S. GAO would like FCC to reassess phone radiation limits and testing requirementsAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Earlier this year, it was revealed that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski planned to propose that the agency review its standards for mobile phone radiation, and now another government entity has gotten on board with that idea. After spending a year speaking to scientists, consumer advocacy groups, trade groups and others, the U.S. Government Accountability Office would like the FCC to reassess both its radio frequency (RF) exposure limit and its mobile phone testing requirements related to the way phones are used. The GAO notes that the FCC's RF exposure limit for phones was set in 1996 and hasn't been revisited since. As a result, the GAO says that the FCC's exposure limit may not reflect the newest research and that its testing requirements may not reveal the maximum exposure levels in every possible use method.
The world of mobile phones is quite a bit different in 2012 than it was in 1996. Not only do many, many more people own a phone, but the way they use the devices is changing as well, with voice usage slowly shrinking in favor of texting and instant messaging. While today's GAO report doesn't guarantee that a reexamination of exposure limits and testing will take place, the fact that the GAO and FCC chairman have no backed a reassessment certainly seems to bode well for those that'd like to see such a thing happen. If you'd like to read into the GAO's full 48-page report on why the radiation exposure limits and testing should be looked at, you can do so right here (PDF).