Press Release: Environmental Health Trust Reveals Concealed FCC Cell Phone Tests Showing Human Radiation Exposure Limits “Were Exceeded”

May 5, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2024 — The Environmental Health Trust (EHT) revealed today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hid test results showing that radiation exceeded federal limits when smartphones were in close proximity to the human body, such as in a pants pocket. The FCC apparently failed to disclose this information to the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In 2019 the agency tested several Apple, Samsung, Blu and Motorola smartphone models for cell phone radiation SAR levels.

The FCC test results for phones in the pocket (2 mm) were not public until September 29, 2023, when they were released to EHT as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The FCC FOIA letter states that for certain phones: “We observed that at a 2 mm separation distance, the FCC radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits were exceeded.”

EHT also has filed an appeal to the FCC as seven records were withheld from the FOIA response. The appeal has not been addressed.

In 2019, when the FCC conducted the tests, it also had an open rule-making regarding its 1996-era limits concerning human exposure to wireless radiation. The FCC’s rule-making was followed by a federal court challenge, which resulted in the FCC and the Food and Drug Administration being subject to a court- ordered remand in August 2021.

“The FCC and FDA did not reveal these cell phone tests during the court case, and have yet to respond to the court-ordered remand, which is a matter of grave concern,” said Kent Chamberlin, incoming president of EHT.

Theodora Scarato, EHT vice president for policy and education stated: “Why did the FCC perform these tests and then decide to not release the results to the public while it was conducting a rule-making on this very subject? Why did the FCC refuse to release all the records on this issue? It is outrageous that the U.S. allows phones to be tested with whatever separation distance the companies want. Phones should be tested the way they are used. Children and adults use and carry phones pressed to their body for hours every day. We need a strong oversight and compliance program, including post-market RF emission and health effect surveillance. It is time for a new approach to cell phone testing, one that reflects the way people use phones today.”

Download Links 

The FOIA appeal and entire FCC FOIA response are available on EHT’s website here: https://ehtrust.org/environmental-health-trust-foia-project/

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