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  • Cooperate in providing users of wireless phones with the best possible information on possible effects of wireless phone use on human health.

The FDA belongs to an interagency working group of the federal agencies that have responsibility for different aspects of RF safety to ensure coordinated efforts at the federal level. The following agencies belong to this working group:

  • o

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and


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    Environmental Protection Agency

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      Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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      National Telecommunications and Information


The National Institutes of Health participates in some interagency working group activities, as well.

The FDA shares regulatory responsibilities for wireless phones with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All phones that are sold in the United States must comply with FCC safety guidelines that limit RF exposure. The FCC relies on the FDA and other health agencies for safety questions about wireless phones.

The FCC also regulates the base stations that the wireless phone networks rely upon. While these base stations operate at higher power than do the wireless phones themselves, the RF exposures that people get from these base stations are


typically thousands of times lower than those they can get from wireless phones. Base stations are thus not the subject of the safety questions discussed in this document.

The term “wireless phone” refers here to handheld wireless phones with built-in antennas, often called “cell”, “mobile”, or “PCS” phones. These types of wireless phones can expose the user to measurable radiofrequency energy (RF) because of the short distance between the phone and the user’s head.

These RF exposures are limited by FCC safety guidelines that were developed with the advice of the FDA and other federal health and safety agencies. When the phone is located at greater distances from the user, the exposure to RF is drastically lower because a person's RF exposure decreases rapidly with increasing distance from the source. The so-called “cordless phones,” which have a base unit connected to the telephone wiring in a house, typically operate at far lower power levels, and thus produce RF exposures far below the FCC safety limits.

The research done thus far has produced conflicting results, and many studies have suffered from flaws in their research methods. Animal

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