A report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) urges the FCC to reassess its current radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits for wireless handsets that were enacted in 1996, stressing that the FCC “cannot ensure it is using a limit that reflects the latest research on RF energy exposure.” The report, issued on Tuesday, caps a year-long study that was conducted at the behest of ranking House Energy and Commerce Committee member Henry Waxman (D-CA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Prodded by members of Congress and environmental activists, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski began circulating a draft notice of inquiry among the FCC’s commissioners in June that would seek comment on potential modifications of the agency’s RF exposure standards for wireless devices. Notwithstanding the FCC’s recent effort, the GAO report stresses that the FCC’s current testing requirements as they pertain to the nearly two-decade old RF exposure limits “may not identify maximum exposure in all possible usage conditions.” Among the conditions not currently tested by the FCC is the usage and storage of cell phones against the body, which the GAO warned “could result in RF energy exposure higher than the FCC limit.” While acknowledging that scientific research to date has not conclusively demonstrated harmful health effects from RF emissions emanating from wireless handsets, the GAO stressed that “research is ongoing that may increase understanding of any possible effects.” As such, the GAO recommended that the FCC “formally reassess the current RF energy exposure limit” and determine “whether mobile phone testing requirements result in the identification of maximum RF energy exposure in likely usage configurations, particularly when mobile phones are held against the body.” Simultaneously with the release of the GAO report, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require labels on wireless handsets that identify the level of RF emissions. Dubbed the Cell Phone Right to Know Act (HR 6358), the bill would also establish a research program on cell phones and health and require the Environmental Protection Agency to update specific absorption rate standards. Declaring, “consumers have a right to know the radiation levels of cell phones,” Kucinich told reporters that wireless subscribers “also deserve to have up-to-date exposure standards that are put together by health professionals without conflicts of interest.”