FCC To Keep SAR Limits, Change RF Rules For
RCR Wireless News
April 11, 2003
The Federal Communications Commission wants changes to
rules governing radiation emitted by mobile-phone transmitters, an agency
official said last week.
Bryan Tramont, an advisor to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, said proposed rule
modifications would address RF measurement and other items. But, Tramont
stressed, the proposal does not involve any alteration to the specific
absorption rate, or SAR, radiation exposure limits.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers asked a federal appeals court to overturn the dismissal
last month of five class-action suits that sought to force wireless carriers
to supply consumers with headsets to reduce exposure to mobile phone
radiation. The notice of appeal was filed last Monday with the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va. The same court is also
reviewing a brain-cancer lawsuit thrown out last fall by U.S. District Judge
Catherine Blake of Baltimore. Oral argument in the latter case is scheduled
Blake dismissed the five class-action headset suits on March 5. Nine
brain-cancer cases are pending before the Baltimore judge. Two plaintiffs
with brain-cancer suits in Blake’s court have died in recent months. The
most recent is Gib Brower, of San Diego, who died on April 5.
A study published in the March issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a
journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, found
some mobile phones caused brain damage in rats. The mobile-phone industry
points to other studies that fail to link cell phone use to health risks.