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Health and Safety Information 81
Epidemiological studies can provide data that is directly
applicable to human populations, but ten or more years' follow-
up may be needed to provide answers about some health effects,
such as cancer.
This is because the interval between the time of exposure to a
cancer-causing agent and the time tumors develop - if they do -
may be many, many years. The interpretation of epidemiological
studies is hampered by difficulties in measuring actual RF
exposure during day-to-day use of wireless phones. Many
factors affect this measurement, such as the angle at which the
phone is held, or which model of phone is used.
What is FDA doing to find out more about the possible
health effects of wireless phone RF?
FDA is working with the U.S. National Toxicology Program and
with groups of investigators around the world to ensure that high
priority animal studies are conducted to address important
questions about the effects of exposure to radio frequency
FDA has been a leading participant in the World Health
Organization international Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project
since its inception in 1996. An influential result of this work has
been the development of a detailed agenda of research needs
that has driven the establishment of new research programs
around the world. The Project has also helped develop a series of
public information documents on EMF issues.
FDA and Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association
(CTIA) have a formal Cooperative Research and Development
Agreement (CRADA) to do research on wireless phone safety.
FDA provides the scientific oversight, obtaining input from
experts in government, industry, and academic organizations.
CTIA-funded research is conducted through contracts to
independent investigators. The initial research will include both
laboratory studies and studies of wireless phone users. The
CRADA will also include a broad assessment of additional
research needs in the context of the latest research
developments around the world.
What steps can I take to reduce my exposure to radio
frequency energy from my wireless phone?
If there is a risk from these products - and at this point we do not
know that there is - it is probably very small. But if you are
concerned about avoiding even potential risks, you can take a
few simple steps to minimize your exposure to radio frequency
energy (RF). Since time is a key factor in how much exposure a
person receives, reducing the amount of time spent using a
wireless phone will reduce RF exposure.
If you must conduct extended conversations by wireless phone every
day, you could place more distance between your body and the source