Many scientists argue that the safety standards that govern EMF emissions from devices like cell phones are insufficient to protect humans from the medium- and long-term health effects that have been demonstrated by a growing number of studies that have researched this question. Even if they are wrong, there’s a fundamental flaw in EMF safety standards.
Who Regulates EMF Safety Standards?
The primary regulator of EMF emissions from consumer electronics is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), though other agencies such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) also play a role.
The actual limits established by these agencies are irrelevant for the purposes of this post.
The standards established by these agencies are all based around protecting people from so-called thermal effects of electromagnetic radiation. That is, there are levels of EMF radiation that are powerful enough to heat human tissue (this is, in fact, precisely why a microwave oven works; because powerful enough microwaves can heat and cook). And the standards set by the FCC and similar regulatory bodies are designed to ensure that this does not happen.
(None of these standards consider the potential risk to human health from non-thermal effects resulting from exposures to EMF radiation insufficient to heat human tissue. And none of these standards are designed to protect against medium- and long-term health effects from exposures; they only protect against immediate-term heating of your tissue.)
Let us, for the sake of argument, assume that the FCC standards are sufficient to protect humans. (This is not what we believe; but let us accept it for the moment.)
So What’s the Problem With EMF Safety Standards?
Here’s the problem. Even if these limits were safe, they are designed to provide safety from exposures from single sources. In other words, the FCC limits are designed to protect you against the health risks of using a cell phone.
The thing is, with the explosion in wireless technology, people are increasingly exposed to EMF radiation from multiple sources, simultaneously. Such as when you use a cell phone, in a public location, in proximity to multiple other cell phones, covered by over a dozen WiFi networks, possibly near electrical appliances and circuitry that are also emitting lower-frequency EMF.
In short, even if standards set by regulatory bodies like the FCC were sufficient for protecting against the potential health effects of using a cell phone, they do not even attempt to consider overall exposures from multiple devices concurrently, which is what people are exposed to in real life.
As poor as EMF standards are for device emissions, at least they exist. There are absolutely no standards in the United States (or most of the world) regulating overall exposures to consumers, from multiple devices, simultaneously.
There are many flaws with current regulations on EMF emissions; the failure to even attempt to consider concurrent exposures from multiple devices, however, is a fundamental hole in the nature of how EMF emissions are regulated.