FCC's Genachowski Revisiting Mobile Device Radiation Standards

Did you know that the FCC hasn’t updated its guidelines regarding maximum radiation levels in mobile devices since 1996? FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is apparently aware of this, because he’s looking to launch a formal inquiry into the matter.

In a statement that was circulated to news outlets, the FCC isn’t exactly concerned that current standards are too lax, but it makes sense to periodically review standards for an industry that changes and evolves dramatically approximately every three days.

There has been much debate in recent years about the potential danger of radiation from cell phones--it’s actually considered a possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization--and although there has been some study on the subject, there is not yet a general consensus on whether there is a real danger from mobile device radiation, and if there is, what the acceptable levels might be.

Image credit: Engineerblogs.org

It’s not a bad idea to make sure we’re not all dosing ourselves with cancer-causing radiation. We hold phones to our ears, keep them in our pockets, and hold tablets on our laps, which are all areas of the body adjacent to sensitive organs; increasingly, we let our small children play with those same devices on a regular basis.

It’s possible that the whole cell-phones-cause-cancer thing is absurd and silly, but then again, there was a time not too terribly long ago that people thought smoking while pregnant was fine, too. Godspeed, FCC.