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Mobile

Govt. launches cell phone site

The FCC and the FDA have set up a Web site that provides information about cell phones and radio frequency technology.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have set up a Web site that provides information about cell phones and radio frequency technology.

The Cell Phone Facts site lists safety standards and allows consumers to send comments or complaints to the agencies.

The site also contains reviews of how cell phones work and provides answers to questions about their safety. In addition, it includes a link to the FCC's Web site containing additional information about radio frequency (RF) radiation safety.

While the site mainly provides information in a question-and-answer format and is organized around topics such as the technology behind cell phones and wireless networks, most of the real estate on the site is dedicated to issues surrounding the safety of cell phone use and RF emissions.

While the site repeatedly notes that there is no known risk from cell phones, it attempts to answer some of the questions surrounding the fears that have been raised, such as whether there are health consequences to wearing a headset or whether phones interfere with medical devices.

"The site gathers together information from the two agencies, which is a good thing," said Carl Hilliard, president of the Wireless Consumers Alliance.

The project also gives information on which government agencies are responsible for regulating cell phones. No single government agency is responsible for RF regulation and several government entities, including the FDA and FCC, are charged with regulating different aspects of the issue.

For example, the FDA regulates radiation exposure from microwave ovens, television sets and computer monitors, but does not review the safety of radiation emissions of cell phones before they can be sold.

The site also offers links to studies done on cell phone safety and carries summaries of some research, practically all of which could not find any dangers with cell phone use.

Hilliard says that the site omitted other studies more critical of cell phone use, and thinks the presentation of the research could be more balanced in that regard.

"There is no proof either way that determines if cell phones are safe, but we think there are enough red flags flying to recommend that consumers should take precautions," said Hilliard, who recommends wearing a headset when using phones.

News.com's Margaret Kane contributed to this report.