Tell Congress to hold hearings on the FCC!
The FCC’s human exposure guidelines for RF microwave radiation were adopted back in the 1990s. Over the past twenty-four years, thousands of independent scientific studies have demonstrated serious biological harm from exposure to wireless radiation. But on April 1st, the FCC announced it had reviewed all the science, and was sticking with its old guidelines!
We want to know why. Which experts were consulted, which studies were examined, and who at the FCC has the medical and public health expertise necessary to render an opinion that is truly protective of all Americans?
This is a job for Congress. Let’s make them do it.
The back story:
In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted human exposure guidelines for radio-frequency microwave radiation ("wireless radiation") emitted from cell phones and other wireless devices. The guidelines were based primarily on studies from the 1980s showing that radiation from cell phones had only minimal, immediate, thermal effects. Non-thermal effects were not even considered.
At the time, that claim was strongly disputed by independent scientists, since they had already demonstrated DNA breaks and other biological harm from prolonged exposure. And over the past twenty-four years, hundreds of new studies have documented and confirmed those findings.
As the scientific evidence mounted and the proliferation of wireless devices grew exponentially, government agencies, public health advocates and research scientists advocated for a review of the FCC's guidelines. Finally, in 2013, the FCC relented, opening an official inquiry into the adequacy of its human exposure guidelines and inviting public comment.
Hundreds of comments were submitted, many by leading epidemiologists and cancer researchers from around the world. Hundreds of scientific studies and papers were submitted, documenting adverse health effects from exposure.
The FCC delayed any action on the inquiry for years, claiming it had been overwhelmed by the response. Nevertheless, under mounting pressure from Congress to release its findings and decision, the FCC finally published its official announcement in the Federal Register on April 1, 2020. The agency said that it had reviewed all of the studies and decided to leave its old guidelines in place.
There was no mention of who, exactly, at the FCC reviewed the studies. The agency has no official health division or expertise in public health. Many of the studies submitted were conveniently dismissed without review for not meeting criteria established by the FCC. In short, the FCC, notorious for its imperious attitude and powerful defense of its decisions, came to the amazing conclusion that it was right 24 years ago about human exposure to wireless radiation, and it's still right!
This is a matter of public health and safety. We think Congress has an important role to play here, and it's high time Congress held hearings on this issue. Let's have the FCC explain, in an open and public forum, exactly how they came to the conclusion that their long-outdated guidelines are just fine for protecting American lives, especially the youngest ones.