FCC Hasn't Tested Cell Phones Kept in Pockets

Safety guidelines of 2001 are based on using holsters
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2010 7:27 PM CDT
FCC Hasn't Tested Cell Phones Kept in Pockets
Are these safe in your pocket? A definite maybe.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)

The jury's very much out on the dangers of cell phones, and Time points out an "odd quirk" in FCC testing guidelines that doesn't help matters. When it determined safe emissions of radio-frequency levels in 2001, the agency tested phones kept in holsters. It didn't, however, test phones kept in a far more common place—in a pocket, right next to a person's skin.

"Clearly a lot of people weren't aware of this, and it probably does need to be addressed," says an anonymous FCC official. Not that it's necessarily cause for alarm. Studies from the WHO have found no link between health problems and the radiation emitted by handsets, and the FDA says the risk of such a link "is probably small." The studies, however, leave open the possibility of future research refuting those findings. (Read more FDA stories.)

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