Lawmakers Ask Carr for 5G RF Safety Details
Tuesday, December 04, 2018 | Comments

Two lawmakers asked FCC commissioner Brendan Carr for details on the health ramifications of 5G and small cell deployment.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Anna Eshoo sent a letter to Carr following remarks he made during a Senate Commerce Committee field hearing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During this hearing, Carr said: "Federal law actually says that state and local governments can't take [radiofrequency] concerns into account given how much work has gone into this issue at the federal level ... Both at the FCC and other expert health agencies in Washington, they stay very much up to speed on these issues and have reached the determination that these are safe."

The lawmakers said most regulations regarding RF safety were adopted in 1996 and have not yet been updated for next-generation equipment and devices. For example, the FCC's specific absorption rate (SAR) limits do not apply to devices operating above 6 GHz; however, 5G devices will operate at frequencies as high as or even exceeding 24 GHz.

“The SAR probe calibration, measurement accuracy, tissue dielectric parameters and other SAR measurement procedures required for testing recent generation wireless devices need further examination,” an FCC document said.

Last month, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) such as that used in 2G and 3G cellphones developed cancerous heart tumors, according to final reports released Nov. 1. The researchers said that the findings “do not apply to 4G or 5G technologies.”

“… We respectfully request you provide to our offices the 5G safety determination from FCC and relevant health agencies that you referred to during the field hearing,” the letter said. “Please also include current citations for the studies informing that safety determination.”

The lawmakers requested a response by Dec. 17. The full letter is here.

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