Comment on FCC Order 19-126


Date: June 17, 2020

Ms. Marlene H. Dortch
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

RE: Comments on the FCC’s Proposed Rule (Docket No. 19-126): “Targeted Changes to the Commission’s Rules Regarding Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields”

Dear Ms. Dortch, When an American citizen becomes ill they seek help from their physician. Not everybody can practice as a physician, the States regulate this profession and generally set a high bar for entrance, requiring years of study and practical training followed by a lifetime of continuing education. Generally, the practice of Medicine without a license is punished by a lengthy time in jail.

It therefore comes as a surprise to find sections of 19-126 (as published on the FCC website on December 4, 2019), purporting to make pronouncements on human health effects which seem to have been drafted without sufficient input from those experienced in Biology or Medicine.

Further, FCC seems to denigrate the expert input they received from those independent commenters who are licensed in Medical practice. At point 12 in ‘Background’ the FCC states:

“Commenters that provided scientific articles did not answer our request for a specific, quantitative goal but many provided descriptive references to the BioInitiative Report and Building Biology, which specify extremely low limits (0.3-0.6 nW/m2 and 0.1 µW/m2 respectively) for RF energy exposure — limits that are millions to billions times more restrictive than FCC limits39. No device could reliably transmit any usable level of energy by today’s technological standards while meeting those limits.40

Relevant Footnotes:

39 See BioInitiative Working Group, BioInitiative 2012 Report (2012),
40 . . . noting that the BioInitiative Reports’ suggested limits would result in compliance zones around base station sites that would extend several kilometers for a macro base station.

The BioInititive Report is a meta-analysis which collates data about Radiation levels harmful to humans from several thousand individual studies published in peer-reviewed journals, and then actually draws a conclusion as to what is an unsafe level, a “specific, quantitative goal,” that is clearly unpalatable to FCC staff writing this report. However, the research data is inviolate and the unacceptable studies from the meta-analysis should have been specifically cited by the FCC if they wished to dispute the BioInititave meta-analysis conclusions.

The BioInitiative Report, itself, has been peer-reviewed by the many volunteers who have compiled and curated its contents over many years. Many of the volunteers are licensed to practice Medicine, others focus on Human Biology.

The report’s simplified “RF Color Charts” collate and summarize the Radiation levels at which a variety of illnesses have been noted in humans.

For example, the FCC noted the level of 0.3 nW/m2 — a level which Heinrich (2010) found caused children and adolescents (8-17 yrs) headache, irritation, concentration difficulties in school. Yet, the FCC called this an “extremely low limit” and said, without supporting data, “No device could reliably transmit any usable level of energy by today’s technological standards while meeting those limits.”

The FCC engineers who drafted these statements have made a terrible error.

Many years ago I taught Microwave Engineering to undergrads. Those engineers were taught to use dBm (Decibels referenced to 1 milliwatt, which is 1/1000th of a Watt) rather than to use confusing measures such as “nanowatts per square meter” precisely to reduce mistakes like the FCC has made in their conclusion.

On an engineering scale, the BioInitiative Report unsafe level is around -37dBm, and the precautionary level around -47dBm. Yet a modern cellphone will indicate “5 bars”, or full signal strength”, on levels around -77dBm, at a full 10,000 times less than the -37dBm the known-unsafe BioInitiative level. The FCC’s conclusion “No device could reliably transmit any usable level of energy by today’s technological standards while meeting those limits” is clearly in error. Demonstrably in error. Perhaps negligently in error.

The FCC’s footnote 40: “. . . noting that the BioInitiative Reports suggested limits would result in compliance zones around base station sites that would extend several kilometers for a macro base station” is accurate and remarkably prescient.

  • Did the FCC not correlate this data with those many submissions from Licensed Physicians telling them exactly that?
  • Studies show that power levels currently in use are unsafe unless no residences are sited within “several kilometers” away from a “macro base station.”

Fundamentally, the FCC is asking the wrong question.

Rather than asking . . .

“How much power is it safe to radiate from a Wireless Telecommunications Facility (WTF)?”

. . the FCC should be asking . . .

“How much power is needed to get the job done?”

Lorentz Reciprocity (another principal taught to undergrad engineers) states that when transmitting data from one node to another, the transmitters may be exchanged with the receivers and the ability of the path to exchange data will remain the same. These macro base stations connect to cellphones to exchange data. The power generated by the cellphones is around 5 watts. There is nothing to be gained by the macro tower radiating at a significantly higher power level than this. Yet the FCC typically allows 200 times this power to be used by macro-cells, 23dB more signal than is necessary to get the job done.

Response to Paragraphs 11-16, 121

The FCC appears to have declared itself unqualified for regulatory oversight of long-term radiation effects and cedes that authority to the FDA (inter alia). In February 2020 the FDA produced a document “Review of Published Literature between 2008 and 2018 of Relevance to Radiofrequency Radiation and Cancer.”

Section E of that document, “Conclusions from reviewed Epidemiological Studies” says:

“The data suggest the need for shifting the focus from the general population with undetectable overall risk to a very small subset of people who might be inherently predisposed to the risk for tumorigenesis and who therefore might be more susceptible to putative risk modification by the intense RF-EMF exposure.”

This is exactly what physicians have been noting in their practice. A limited number of their patients are suffering from illness which is modulated by their proximity to sources of Electromagnetic radiation, a phenomenon termed “Electromagnetic Sensitivity.” The US Access Board has declared this a Disability, protected by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

  • The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the 1968 Civil Rights Act make it clear that FCC cannot ignore the impact of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) on individuals from this disabled class suffering with Electromagnetic Sensitivity.
  • Congress never intended to dissolve the ADA, and indeed adopted ADA at section 255 into the Telecommunications Act (TCA) to make clear that it did not intend to dissolve the ADA or its protections under Civil Rights Act or the FHAA.

Therefore, legal canon requires that all three acts must be harmonized and simultaneously enforced. The scheme to do so has been expressly communicated in the comprehensive dual-regulatory scheme recognized by Supreme Court ​Justices Breyer, O’Connor, Souter, and Ginsburg in the U.S. Supreme Court (2005) Ruling in CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES et al. v. ABRAMS (2005) No. 03-1601
Argued: January 19, 2005 | Decided: March 22, 2005?:

Congress saw a national problem, namely an “inconsistent and, at times, conflicting patchwork” of state and local siting requirements, which threatened “the deployment” of a national wireless communication system. H. R. Rep. No. 104-204, pt. 1, p. 94 (1995).

“Congress initially considered a single national solution, namely a Federal Communications Commission wireless tower siting policy that would preempt state and local authority. Ibid.; see also H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 104-458, p. 207 (1996). But Congress ultimately rejected the national approach and substituted a system based on cooperative federalism. Id., at 207-208.

“State and local authorities would remain free to make siting decisions They would do so, however, subject to minimum federal standards — both substantive and procedural — as well as federal judicial review.”

The FCC is continually overriding and changing their CFRs, making futile the comprehensive scheme that allows simultaneous enforcement of these acts. The FCC, therefore, sets up a paradox where they cede the responsibility for long-term effects to FDA, but rather than maintaining the paradigm of current RF Microwave Radiation levels so that FDA could perform and oversee more detailed studies of the existing harmful effects, the FCC intends to increase the RF Microwave Radiation in frequencies that directly impact human health.

The FCC must exercise responsibility under cooperative federalism, or it will be held responsible for the damage to health which is resulting from its negligence and is against it’s very purpose, stated in both the 1934 Communications Act and in it’s largest amendment, the 1996 Telecommunications Act: for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property.

U.S. Code Title 47 § 151 Purposes of Federal Communications Commission.

Section 151. Purposes of Federal Communications Commission

For the purpose of regulating

  • interstate commerce and
  • foreign commerce

. . . in communication by wire and radio

. . . so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges,

  • for the purpose of the national defense,
  • for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property

. . . through the use of wire and radio communications,

. . . and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority heretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is created a commission to be known as the “Federal Communications Commission”, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 1, 48 Stat. 1064; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, § 1, 50 Stat. 189; Pub. L. 104–104, title I, § 104, Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 86.)

U.S. Code Title 47 § 332 Mobile services.

LIIU.S. CodeTitle 47. TELECOMMUNICATIONSChapter 5. WIRE OR RADIO COMMUNICATIONSubchapter III. SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO RADIOPart I. General ProvisionsSection 332. Mobile services
(a) Factors which Commission must consider

  • (1) promote the safety of life and property;
  • (2) improve the efficiency of spectrum use and reduce the regulatory burden upon spectrum users, based upon sound engineering principles, user operational requirements, and marketplace demands;
  • (3) encourage competition and provide services to the largest feasible number of users; or
  • (4) increase interservice sharing opportunities between private mobile services and other services.

Thank you for giving consideration to these comments.
/s/ Professor Trevor G. Marshall
Autoimmunity Research Inc. (a California Corporation)