||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
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
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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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2003
FCC PROPOSES CHANGES IN THE COMMISSION’S RULES AND PROCEDURES REGARDING
HUMAN EXPOSURE TO RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC ENERGY
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
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.