Victory Against FCC

FCC’s 1996 Exposure Guidelines on
Radio Frequency Rendered Insufficient

The Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense successfully appealed a “December 2019 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to retain its 1996 safety limits for human exposure to wireless radiation”.[1] These regulations were based on tests measuring the heat increase in the head of a plastic mannequin emulating a 220-pound man produced by a single cell phone up to 2.5 centimeters away. The FCC claimed that even if certified or otherwise authorized devices do produce RF exposure levels in excess of their limits under normal use, such exposure would still be well below levels considered to be dangerous, and therefore phones legally sold in the United States pose no health risks. The assumption was that exposure to the FCC’s RF regulations do not cause harm at levels lower than its 1996 limits.  However, the FCC never established this to be true.

On Aug. 13, 2021, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the FCC’s refusal to reconsider and update its 1996 radiation exposure regulations to be “arbitrary and capricious,” citing its failure to respond to 11,000 pages of recorded evidence of harms from exposure to RF radiation at levels well below the Commission’s current limits, the inadequacy of its testing procedures, particularly as they relate to children, its failure to regard the implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, especially that from RF radiation that is pulsed or modulated, and its refusal to acknowledge technological developments that have occurred since 1996. Also, the panel found the FCC has acted with serious disregard in downplaying harmful effects of RF radiation on the environment.[2]

This ruling underscores the reality that the public has been inundated with excessive levels of microwave radiation from the telecom industry, utility industry, and manufacturers of wifi devices far beyond what existed in 1996. We now live in a plethora of wifi-connected devices from home appliances and gadgetry to wearable devices to smart meters. Over the past decade we’ve become inundated with pulsed-modulated microwave radiation from wireless antennas throughout our communities, and now we have additional radiation from satellites launched by giant telecoms that have paid billions to the FCC for a segment of the public broadcast spectrum. It should be noted that the Pentagon, Chamber of Commerce, airlines, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have cited that the accuracy of weather prediction and the GPS systems are at risk due to wireless 5G emissions.[3] Yet the actual and aggregated amounts of wireless emissions have all been deliberately obscured by the FCC’s inadequate and fraudulent exposure regulation.

The Appeals Panel harshly criticized the FCC for its defenses of the 1996 radiation exposure standard, calling them “insufficient as a matter of law” and “conclusory and unreasoned.” When the FCC cited the FDA thinking their data would act as supporting evidence, the panel continued to assert that the FDA failed to explain its position that the FCC’s limits to radiation exposure does not cause harmful effects. Neither the FCC nor FDA could come up with evidence that the outdated exposure regulation was accurate and reliable, especially in light of the studies that were presented by Children’s Health Defense and the Environmental Health Trust.[4]

The inadequacy of the FCC’s 1996 SAR regulation becomes even more stark when we consider that in 1986 the National Council on Radiation and Measurements (NCRP) published a 400-page report that concluded “An objective analysis of the scientific literature and recommendations for exposure limits by a qualified and unbiased group of experts is sorely needed.” Notably, SAR was defined in “Whole-Body Dosimetry” from the 1986 ANSI standard dealing with “the whole-body mass of the irradiated organism”.[5] This should have led the FCC to reach a determination of acceptable RF exposure from far more than just measurements to the head from a cell phone over 30 minutes. A comprehensive objective analysis the NCRP called for would have come to this determination. Additionally, with the proliferation of wireless devices we’re surrounded by 24/7 in our current reality, a true calculation of RF exposure would use total exposure measurements over time beginning with 24 hours at a minimum.

What can we conclude? All policy-makers dealing with regulations of wireless communications technologies and digital utility devices like smart meters have been misled. They must fully integrate the abundance of scientific evidence that RF radiation is far in excess of what living things and our environment can withstand.[6] This Appeals Court ruling now requires public policy to demand that all wireless transmission facilities must be in accordance with independent scientific studies, not the FCC’s inadequate and irrelevant 1996 exposure level.

With the existence of fiber optic cable for both broadband and power grid applications that is faster, safer, more reliable, not prone to cyber attack, and far more environmentally friendly, the choice is clear.[7] The future must be free from the harmful levels of wireless radiation currently being emitted from small cells and eyesore of macro towers that have been erected in public rights of way, detracting from the visual beauty of our landscape, and irradiating all living things throughout communities both in urban and rural America.

Dangers of RF radiation

[1], and




[5], see pg. 287-8

[6] and


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