Current U.S. cell phone radiation standards, set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and based largely on 1992 cell phone industry recommendations, are outdated and allow 20 times more radiation to penetrate the head than the rest of the body.
EWG urges the FCC to upgrade its standards to take account of the newest scientific evidence and also increasing cell phone use by children.
“The first cell phones were marketed to adults,” Naidenko said. “But today, children are just as likely to own a cell phone as a video game, baseball or bicycle.”
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which tracks cell phone use among U.S. children between 12 and 17 years old, last year (2008) 71 percent of tweens and teens owned cell phones. More than half use the device daily.
EWG urges concerned consumers to take action and tell the federal government that cell phone makers should be required to disclose each phone’s radiation output on the label.
The report also offers safety tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure. Among them:
• Use headsets and the speakerphone option if available.
• Text more, talk less.
• Stay off the phone when few bars indicate a weak signal.
EWG’s new interactive database, based on technical specifications of cell phones currently on the market and some popular older models, can be searched by model.
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