Here's something that'll surely send Birthers and Roswellians into a tizzy. The FCC quietly changed its long-standing recommendation that consumers concerned with cellphone radiation should purchase phones with lower SAR levels -- SAR meaning Specific Absorption Rate or the rate at which at which energy is absorbed by the body. The revision to the FCC website was made last week without any formal announcement. Odd, given the brouhaha created when the city of San Francisco passed a law
requiring retailers to display SAR values next to cellphones as part of "right to know" safety campaign. A move that caused the CTIA to pull its fall event out of The City only to replace it with a big fat lawsuit
. Here's a snippet from the FCC Consumer Fact sheet about SAR for Cellphones:
Many people mistakenly assume that using a cell phone with a lower reported SAR value necessarily decreases a user's exposure to RF emissions, or is somehow "safer" than using a cell phone with a high SAR value. While SAR values are an important tool in judging the maximum possible exposure to RF energy from a particular model of cell phone, a single SAR value does not provide sufficient information about the amount of RF exposure under typical usage conditions to reliably compare individual cell phone models. Rather, the SAR values collected by the FCC are intended only to ensure that the cell phone does not exceed the FCC's maximum permissible exposure levels even when operating in conditions which result in the device's highest possible – but not its typical - RF energy absorption for a user.
So why the sudden, unannounced change? Collusion between the cellphone industry's lobbying machine and big gov? Doubtful, the claification certainly makes sense to us. Besides, The Washington Post
says no, citing a source familiar with the FCC's decision. Great, case closed then.