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Note Incredibly, and despite a continuing global controversy about the health effects of cell phone radiation, one of the changes proposed by the FCC is to adopt a recommendation by the IEEE that the outer ear (tippia) should be considered an extremity.

If accepted, manufacturers will be allowed to increase the radiation output level of phones because the RF standards for extremities are significantly higher than the RF standards for body organs.

Click here to view the proposed changes in Adobe PDF format. If you do not have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, the software can be downloaded from Adobe's web site at no charge.

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.

June 26, 2003


The Commission today proposed amending certain sections of Parts 1 and 2 of the FCC’s rules pertaining to compliance with guidelines for human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy.

It specifically requests comment on various topics and issues related to evaluating compliance with those guidelines, but did not propose to amend the exposure guidelines themselves.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires agencies of the Federal Government to evaluate the effects of their actions on the quality of the human environment. To meet its NEPA responsibilities, the Commission has previously adopted and implemented requirements for evaluating environmental impact, including the impact of human exposure to RF energy emitted by FCC-regulated transmitters. The Commission’s current rules and procedures were adopted and implemented in 1996 and 1997. Since that time, it has become apparent that some aspects of these rules and procedures may need to be revised or modified, based on our experience and on the evolution of services and equipment, and to clarify the responsibilities of Commission licensees and grantees, to better ensure compliance with the Commission’s exposure limits in the most practical, reasonable and efficient manner.

Specifically, the Notice of Proposed Rule Making proposed, among other changes, to revise and modify Commission policies and rules for routine evaluation of compliance with exposure guidelines and for categorical exclusion from evaluation of certain transmitters, facilities, and operations. It also proposed rules for routine evaluation of compliance for certain unlicensed devices authorized under Section 15.247 of the FCC’s rules (frequency hopping and digital spread spectrum devices). In addition, it proposed the codification of procedures for evaluating compliance for modular transmitters used in RF devices authorized by the Commission, such as laptop computers and for evaluating radiofrequency exposure from multiple transmitters operating in a given RF device. It also proposed rule amendments to clarify what is meant by “occupational” exposure and to more clearly define the responsibilities of FCC licensees and grantees in complying with guidelines for such exposures in workplace environments. The Commission invites comment on all of these proposals and issues related to them.

Action by the Commission, June 12, 2003, by Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FCC 03-132). Chairman Powell, Commissioners Abernathy, Martin, Copps and Adelstein, with Chairman Powell issuing a statement.

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