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4/28/03 - On April 11, 2003, Senators Leahy and Jeffords wrote a second letter to the FCC inquiring about the Application for Review of The EMR Network's Petition for Inquiry about the current radiofrequency radiation human exposure guidelines. As noted in the Senators' letter, the Application for Review was filed fifteen months ago. The Senators' letter was presented personally to FCC Commissioner Copps at a public forum on media ownership held at St. Michael's College in Burlington, Vermont on April 14, 2003.

8/9/02 - In a letter of January 31, 2002, The EMR Network sought responses from the member agencies of the federal Radiofrequency Interagency Work Group (RFIAWG) to the December 11, 2001, Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) staff-level dismissal of The Network's Petition for Inquiry into the FCC's rules on the Environmental Effects of RF Radiation. The letter asked for each agency's position on the adequacy of the current FCC RF exposure guidelines. See the table below for all related documents.

The EMR Network sent a letter to the agency head of each of the RFIAWG members on January 31, 2002. The letter addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Whitman is posted here. The letter asked each agency for its position on FCC's assertion in dismissing The Network's Petition that:

If efforts to revise or update RF safety limits based on research in that field or on other factors are appropriate, that determination should be made by these [EPA, FDA] or other federal agencies with primary expertise in and responsibility for ensuring public health and safety, and should not be made in the first instance by the FCC.

None of the RFIAWG agency responses proposes to take the initiatives suggested by the FCC's letter of dismissal.

The response of EPA is key because it has responsibilities under Section 309 of The Clean Air Act for the environmental effects of RF radiation. EPA's letter came for Norbert Hankin, Center for Science and Risk Assessment, Radiation Protection Division and Chairman of RFIAWG. It states that:

The FCC's exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified.

The letters from the agencies that responded are posted here: (The links below are all pdf files that will open in a new browser window.)

There has been no response from:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has responsibility for mobile phone hand set radiation
  • National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA)

The EMR Network forwarded these responses to the FCC in a letter dated July 25, 2002.

Senators Patrick Leahy(VT-D) and James Jeffords (VT-I) and Congressman Bernard Sanders (VT-I) have written letters to the FCC asking when a response to The EMR Network's Application for Review of the December 11, 2001 dismissal can be expected.

2/1/02 - On December 11, 2001, Bruce A. Franca, Acting Bureau Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, dismissed, without legally sufficient reasons, a Petition for Inquiry of the EMR Network concerning whether to revise the U.S. radio frequency radiation ("RFR") human exposure rules. On January 10, 2002, the EMR Network filed an appeal asserting that on review, the full Commission should reverse the action and open the inquiry. Here is the full text of that appeal as it was filed.

Here is the December 11, 2001, letter in which Acting Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology Bruce A. Franca dismissed the September 25, 2001, Petition for Inquiry filed by the EMR Network.

On September 25, 2001, the EMR Network filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a Petition requesting that the FCC issue a Notice of Inquiry designed to gather information and opinion about the need to revise the regulations in Parts 1 and 2 of the FCC's Rules concerning the environmental effects of radiofrequency radiation ("RFR").

Exhibit A - Letter of June 17, 1999,. from the U.S. federal Radiofrequency Interagency Work Group to Richard Tell, Chairman of IEEE's SCC28 Subcommittee 4 Risk Assessment Work Group, outlining RF guidelines issues.

Working Group Member List for Exhibit A above.

Exhibit B - Letter of February 11, 2001, from Dr. Henry C. Lai, Ph.D., Research Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington to the Committee on Natural Resources, Vermont House of Representatives.

Exhibit C - FY 1990-2000 EPA Budget Summary.

Exhibit D - Chart prepared by Alasdair Philips, Technical Director, Powerwatch, June200, "Comparing Standards for general public RF exposure levels."

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