UTStarcom Handset User Manual

Page 76

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FDA Consumer Update


FDA belongs to an interagency working group of the federal agencies that
have responsibility for different aspects of RF safety to ensure coordinated
efforts at the federal level. The following agencies belong to this working


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health


Environmental Protection Agency


Federal Communications Commission


Occupational Safety and Health Administration


National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The National Institutes of Health participates in some inter-agency working
group activities, as well. FDA shares regulatory responsibilities for wireless
phones with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All phones
that are sold in the United States must comply with FCC safety guidelines
that limit RF exposure. FCC relies on FDA and other health agencies for
safety questions about wireless phones. FCC also regulates the base
stations that the wireless phone networks rely upon. While these base
stations operate at higher power than do the wireless phones themselves,
the RF exposures that people get from these base stations are typically
thousands of times lower than those they can get from wireless phones.
Base stations are thus not the subject of the safety questions discussed in
this document.

3. What kinds of phones are the subject of this update?

The term “wireless phone” refers here to hand-held wireless phones with
built-in Antennas, often called “cell,” “mobile” or “PCS” phones.

These types of wireless phones can expose the user to measurable
radiofrequency energy (RF) because of the short distance between the
phone and the user’s head. These RF exposures are limited by Federal
Communications Commission safety guidelines that were developed with
the advice of FDA and other federal health and safety agencies. When the
phone is located at greater distances from the user, the exposure to RF is
drastically lower because a person’s RF exposure decreases rapidly with
increasing distance from the source. The so-called “cordless phones,”
which have a base unit connected to the telephone wiring in a house,
typically operate at far lower power levels, and thus produce RF exposures