Power Marketplace’s public service journalism 💙 Give Now

FCC radiation check

Marc Sanchez Jun 18, 2012

In 1996, those of us lucky enough to have them, used our cellular telephones as a proxy for our landlines. And when those clunky, lovable bricks didn’t drop the call you would walk around town yelling into your phone trying to sound important. 1996 is also the last time the Federal Communications Commission studied the levels of radiation emitted by cell phones.
Now that we’re on our phones for much longer periods of time, using them for everything from texting and banking to Facebooking and maybe even the occasional phone call, the FCC wants to re-visit the radiation question.

Businessweek reports:

About 44 million people in the U.S. had mobile phones in 1996, according to FCC figures. There were 332 million wireless subscriber connections last year, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group.

The call to reexamine radiation levels comes from Julius Genachowski, the FCC’s chairman. To be clear, however, experts generally agree that the levels of energy coming off cell phones is not enough to cause cancer. Genachowski is seeking approval to look into the matter, not make any changes to existing cell phone laws.  

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.