GAO: Examine health risk of mobile phones

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WASHINGTON — Exposure and testing requirements for using mobile phones should be reassessed by the Federal Communications Commission, the Government Accountability Office said.

Research hasn't demonstrated adverse human-health effects of exposure to radio-frequency energy from using mobile phones, the investigative arm of Congress said in a study posted on its website.

Limits set by the FCC in 1996 may not reflect the latest research, and testing requirements may not identify maximum exposure in all possible usage conditions, the GAO said in the report dated July 24.

“With mobile phones in the pockets and purses of millions of Americans, we need a full understanding of the long-term impact of mobile phone use on the human body, particularly in children whose brains and nervous systems are still developing,” Rep, Edward Markey, D-Mass., said today.

The FCC under Chairman Julius Genachowski said June 15 it's planning to review the standards. FCC spokesman Neil Grace didn't immediately provide a comment.

The report was requested by congressional Democrats, who said the FCC should change its requirements to reflect current research.

CTIA-The Wireless Association, a Washington-based trade group, welcomes further review of the standards, spokesman John Walls said.

“The FCC has been vigilant in its oversight in this area and has set safety standards to make sure radio frequency fields from wireless phones remain at what it has determined are safe levels,” Walls said.

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