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Q&A on Wireless Technology

Q. What’s the problem with wireless?

A. In a word, radiation. All wireless devices emit some level of non-ionizing radiofrequency (RF) radiation. For many years, engineers claimed that the only harm could come from the heating of human tissue (or thermal effect), produced by an exposure to a high level of RF radiation. The radiation from cell phones, wireless antennas and smart meters, they believed, was harmless. But scientists around the world, including those within our own National Institutes of Health (NIH), have now proven that exposure to this type of radiation causes biological harm, even at levels below thermal thresholds.


Q. What kind of harm is caused by wireless radiation?

A. In 2018 the final results of a decade-long study conducted by the National Toxicology Program of the NIH demonstrated that exposure to RF radiation caused an increase in cancer, cardiovascular harm and damage to DNA. A study conducted at Yale University demonstrated serious neurological problems in lab animals exposed to RF radiation in utero. There are thousands of studies which have found similar results and others that indicate harm to other organ systems, including reproductive harm.


Q.  Are children at greater risk from exposure?

A. Yes. Young children are particularly vulnerable to environmental toxins, including RF radiation.  They have thinner skulls, so the radiation from a cell phone or wireless headset penetrates deeper into their brains.  Other physiological differences due to their still developing bodies magnify their vulnerability.


Q. Doesn’t the government set standards for exposure to wireless radiation?

A. Yes, the Federal Communications Commission (with no expertise or authority regarding human health matters), has set human exposure guidelines based on the now defunct theory that low levels of wireless radiation are harmless. Despite the recent evidence that this theory is no longer valid, their sorely outdated and un-protective guidelines remain in place.


Q. Is anyone challenging the old exposure standards?

A. Yes. Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense have sued the FCC over its guidelines, and a federal court has now ordered the FCC to re-evaluate those guidelines in the light of new evidence. Americans for Responsible Technology is leading the legal effort to have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fulfill its statutory responsibility and authority to evaluate the latest science and set exposure standards for all wireless devices.

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