Cell phones, old and new, are safe, including those that use the new 5G technology. According to a new proposal, the president of the Federal Communication Commission, Ajit Pai, distributed Thursday. This would maintain the agency’s current safety limits for exposure to radio frequencies for 23 years.
After more than six years of information and criticism from the public, the agency said the current exposure levels for mobile phones, wireless towers, Wi-Fi routers and all other devices that emit RF signals are safe. Agency representatives added that they were not afraid of new devices that use 5G technology, including those that use millimeter frequencies.
The FCC, which sets radio frequency limits in close consultation with the Food and Drug Administration and other health agencies, said the other agencies also agreed to keep the current limits in place.
“The scientific evidence available to date does not support the adverse effects on human health of exposures within or below current limits,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the FDA. “No change to current standards is guaranteed at this time.”
The security of mobile devices has been a concern and a problem for years. In 2011, the World Health Organization said cell phones could cause some brain cancers, leaving open the possibility of a link between cancer and cell phone radiation.
But most studies have not found any link between the radiofrequency signals of cell phones or cell towers and diseases.
Mobile phone companies around the world have recently worried about the race for the deployment of this fifth generation of cellular technology, 5G. Specifically, some feared that the high frequency spectrum known as millimeter wavelengths, or mmWave, used in early implementations to transform 5G could actually have adverse effects on the public’s health. The fact that 5G implementations require many more small cell towers should be implemented much closer to the places where people live, work and go to school.
The growing concern about health effects has led policy makers and policy makers around the world to slow down.
But FCC officials reiterated Thursday that there was no reason to worry. An FCC official told reporters at a press conference that “there was nothing special about 5G.” They added that the scientific evidence to date indicates that 5G is no different from any other cellular technology, including 4G or 3G, in terms of health effects. They also added that the higher frequency signals used for the provision of 5G also did not represent any health risk and that the existing RF exposure guidelines were still applicable to 5G regardless of band. spectrum used to provide the service.
Officials also noted that the current RF exposure limits apply to any device that emits a radio frequency signal and is not limited to telephones. In addition, as part of its proposal, Pai recommends that the agency establish a uniform set of guidelines to ensure that companies that manufacture devices comply with the limits, regardless of the technology used.
The FCC has been criticized for years for not updating its cell phone security standards since 1996. Critics have argued that levels should be reviewed according to the latest wireless technology. The agency uses a SAR value, or specific absorption rate, to determine if the devices can be sold safely in the United States. SAR measures the amount of energy absorbed by the body for a given mass.
Although the FCC has not updated its SAR level recommendations since the 1990s, others have revised the limits. In March of this year, the IEEE Engineering Group recommended that security levels remain almost equal since 1996.