The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a new review should be conducted into the amount of radio frequency absorbed by the body during mobile phone usage.
Radio Frequency absorbed by the body is measured by a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) which was established as a result of an international study in 1996.
Issued on 24th July 2012, the GAO recommendation asks for a new investigation to examine several issues in the regulations relating to the effects of mobile phones: “The Chairman of the FCC should reassess whether mobile phone testing requirements result in the identification of maximum RF energy exposure in likely usage configurations, particularly when mobile phones are held against the body, and update testing requirements as appropriate”...“ the FCC should formally reassess the current RF energy exposure limit, including its effects on human health, the costs and benefits associated with keeping the current limit, and the opinions of relevant health and safety agencies, and change the limit if determined appropriate”.
Since 1996 the international community has performed ongoing studies into the effects of RF exposure to mobile phones and their usage to coincide with the continuing application of new technology. The results of these studies have led to the issue of numerous guidance publications by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), which support the FCC Rules and Regulations and are publicly available in Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Prior to the recommendation of the GAO, a proposal had been made by the OET to update the FCC rulemaking on the Radiofrequency Exposure Limits and Policies including mobile phone body SAR test requirements. The proposal is currently in circulation, but a timescale for implementation has yet to be decided. The US House of Representatives is also reviewing a bill which will examine RF exposure research and information guidelines, which is due to be finalised towards the end of 2012.
TÜV SÜD is currently monitoring the situation and will communicate to its customers any decisions by the FCC to implement changes in its policy or rule making systems as soon as these are made public.
Please find the following link to view more information about the GOA public notice and the FCC items on circulation: