This major flaw in the FCC manufacturers’ testing guidelines enables children’s smaller heads and bodies to absorb up to twice the cell phone radiation allowed by federal safety standards.

Meet SAM (Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin), the plastic head model used by cell phone manufacturers for simulating the maximum amount of cell phone radiation (SAR) absorbed by the brain during a call.   Before a cell phone can be legally sold in the U.S. it must be certified for compliance with FCC radiation safety standards.  And, SAM is the method currently used for certification testing.

SAM is supposed to simulate the typical cell phone user.  His head is filled with fluid to simulate the brain while being exposed to the microwave radiation from a cell phone held up to his rigid, fake ear spacer for a 30 minute call at maximum power.  A probe is inserted into SAM’s brain to measure the SAR.  If the phone’s SAR falls within the allowed safety guidelines, it is given a “pass”.

But, there’s a BIG problem with SAM.

He represents only the largest 3% of cell phone users since his head size is based upon a 6’2” man weighing 220 pounds.  So, if a cell phone emits radiation into SAM’s head at the maximum level allowed by the FCC, that same phone could expose 97% of us to greater radiation than the federal FCC emission standards allow.

And, this is a VERY serious issue for the smallest, and most vulnerable of cell phone users – children.

Results from a recent scientific study by Environmental Health Trust called: Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children” examines the absorption of radiation into children’s brains and shows that they can absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as that of adult brains during identical call exposure.

Radio frequency exposure to a head smaller than SAM will absorb a relatively higher SAR.  The SAR for a 10-year old is up to 153% higher than the SAR for the SAM model.  When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults.

There is a more accurate way to test cell phones for SAR certification.  But, thanks to industry’s undue influence on the staff at FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)….the FCC has not updated its obsolete and inaccurate testing guidelines in 15 years.

It is past time for the FCC to uphold its Congressional mandate to protect citizens from the dangers of radio frequency exposure.  The FCC’s loyalty is supposed to be to us, not to the CTIA and manufacturer lobbyists who advocate solely for the interests of the industry’s profit margins.

These outdated and flawed FCC testing procedures must be changed immediately to ensure that cell phones don’t exceed the federal safety standard when used by 97% of the population.  What sort of federal safety oversight only protects 3% of the population?



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