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FCC to Review Cell Phone Radiation Standards

The Hill reports that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski asked fellow commissioners on Friday to vote on a new formal investigation into whether its regulations do enough to protect consumers from the harmful radiation emitted from cell phones.

According to an unnamed FCC official, the new investigation was not triggered by any specific issue or study. Instead, the FCC is following a normal, routine procedure to review its standards. Unfortunately, the FCC hasn't updated its radiation guidelines since 1996.

Recent studies have indicated that radiation emitted from cellphones could increase the risk of brain cancer. Radiation could also alter brain activity or lower bone density. Yet other studies have reported that smartphone radiation causes no harm to the user -- manufacturers even claim the radiation poses no danger.

But if the five-member commission votes to move forward with the investigation, the FCC will begin taking comments from the public, consumer groups and cellphone manufacturers including Motorola, Sony, Samsung, HTC and more. So far there's no expected date as to when the investigation will officially begin.

"We fully expect that the FCC’s review will confirm, as it has in the past, that the scientific evidence establishes no reason for concern about the safety of cellphones," said John Walls, vice president of public affairs for wireless trade group CTIA. "Expert agencies and scientific advisory groups around the world have concluded that cellphones operating within government standards pose no known health effects and are safe for normal use."

The FCC said it's confident the current regulations do not need to be changed, and are still sufficiently protect consumers against any possible harm.