The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its wireless radiation guidelines -set in 1996- adequately protect against all harmful effects of exposure. The legal case brought by Environmental Health Trust (EHT) challenged the agency’s 2019 decision not to change its 1996 health and safety guidelines regarding wireless-based technologies (including 5G).
The Court ordered the FCC to review the record which has thousands of pages of scientific research and testimony and make a reasoned determination as to whether the evidence regarding health risks relating to non-cancer conditions, children, and environmental issues warrants reconsidering the existing emission exposure limits and rules regarding for wireless radiation.
The Court found that the FCC did not adequately review record evidence of people harmed by wireless radiation. More than 180 people submitted evidence to the FCC of illness from wireless radiation as detailed in our opening brief. Examples include Wood, Hertz, Sheehan, Burke, Seward, Finley and the numerous personal declarations in one of the EMF Safety Network Submissions. Medical experts also submitted testimony with case histories such as Dr. Jetler’s testimony with case histories of children, Susan Foster’s documentation of injuries to firefighters and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine Recommendations Regarding Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Exposure. The FCC also ignored the scientific documentation on electromagnetic sensitivity submitted to the record such as Belyaev 2015.pdf, McCarty 2011, Isaac Jamieson’s Presentation and the Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Summary by Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe.
The Court found the FCC ignored the scientific evidence indicating harmful biological impacts. The record contained hundreds of science-based submissions documenting genetic damage, brain damage, headaches, sleep impacts, reproductive effects and more. These are referenced in our opening brief and all of these documents are downloadable in 27 Appendices.
The FCC was sent extensive research compilations by the BioInitiative, Dr. Moskowitz, Powerwatch, EHT, Environmental Working Group, Dr. Henry Lai, EMR Policy Institute and numerous other scientific experts. The BioInitiative Charts documenting effects at intensities from cell tower, Wi-Fi, wireless laptop and ‘smart’ meters were submitted in numerous filings.
Several U.S. government/military reports documenting biological effects from decades ago—when the U.S. had robust funded research—were also included such as EPA’s 1984 Report on Biological Effects, a Navy 1969 Report Reviewing Soviet and Eastern European Research and a Navy 1971 Report on Biological Effects. A 2012 review on biological effects by a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences scientist cautioned that studies showing harm at low levels should not be ignored until there was “sufficient proof that the effects of microwaves on the brain and central nervous system are not detrimental to the health and well-being of our people.”
A 1965 Report by Ford Motor Company on the record details numerous effects on the central nervous system as well as changes to blood sugar and sleep “which by no means can be attributed to the effect of heat.”
In addition, the full text of numerous individual scientific papers were placed on the record. For example, Belpomme 2018 documents the science on cognitive and neurobehavioral problems in children, microwave illness, impacts of combined exposures, oxidative stress and genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Nittby 2009 documents blood-brain barrier impacts. Yakymenko 2015 finds more than 90% of studies show oxidative impacts. Pall 2015 reviews neuropsychiatric effects. Dr. Lai summarized research on neurological effects published from 2007 to 2017 and DNA breaks.
EHT webpage on Environmental Health Trust et. al v. the FCC
Important Video Resources
Where can I see court filings and FCC documents?
Has the court ruling been covered by the press?
- Washington Spectator, “Federal Court Instructs FCC to Review Electromagnetic Radiation Standards” by Barbara Koeppel (PDF)
- Jackson Hole News Guide, Jackson Hole-based Environmental Health Trust wins lawsuit against FCC over radiation guidelines, Tom Halberg, August 17, 2021
- National Law Review, “Telecom Alert: DC Circuit Remands RF Rules” August 25, 2021
- Consumer Electronics Daily, RF Safety Advocates Urge FCC to Hire New Experts, Build Revised Record, Howard Buskirk, August 18, 2021
- Consumer Electronics Daily Divided DC Circuit Remands 2019 RF Order to FCC, by Howard Buskirk, August 16, 2021
- Public News Service, Advocates Press for New Cell-Phone Radiation Limits After Court Victory Suzanne Potter, Aug 16, 2021
- Bloomberg Law: FCC Ordered to Explain Cell Phone Radiation Guidelines (2) by Maya Earls, August 13, 2021
- TR Daily: D.C. Circuit Remands Wireless RF Radiation Case to FCC for Reasoned Explanation of Order, by Paul Kirby August 13, 2021
- Multichannel News, D.C. Court Smacks Down FCC Decision to Keep 5G RF Emission Standards by John Eggerton August 13, 2021