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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Advocates Petition FDA to Abide by Law on Non-Ionizing Radiation

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023   

A New York nonprofit group is petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to abide by a law passed in 1968, which addresses how the FDA is supposed to inform people about non-ionizing radiation. This type of radiation is commonly found in wireless devices, like cellphones and WiFi routers. Americans for Responsible Technology is among the organizations petitioning the FDA, saying the agency has not been following the law.

Doug Wood, national director for Americans for Responsible Technology, said Congress created this law to demand requirements of the FDA.

"To conduct studies and research to find out how people are exposed," Wood said. "They want to have the FDA develop and test methods for people to reduce their exposure. And then, they want the FDA to make all this available to the public in a way that helps the public reduce their exposure."

Numerous studies have shown a broad range of health impacts this kind of radiation can have. Despite those findings, both the and American Cancer Society have said there is not a conclusive link between cellphone use and development of tumors. The FDA has 180 days to evaluate the petition. If rejected, the petitioners would have the option to file suit.

Wood hopes a firm set of regulations on devices that emit non-ionizing radiation will come from this rule, and is optimistic that it will raise public awareness of these issues so people will take cellphone use more seriously.

"For instance, the FDA should be telling people - men, especially - don't put the cellphone in your pocket, because we know it causes testicular cancer, as well as DNA damage, which can impact a future pregnancy."

The Environmental Protection Agency noted people can reduce their exposure by limiting cellphone use, texting instead of calling, and increasing the distance between a wireless device and a person's body.


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