投稿者 佐藤雅彦 日時 2001 年 3 月 13 日 04:56:57:
Kyocera Recalls Cell Phones
by Elisa Batista
3:00 p.m. Mar. 6, 2001 PST
Kyocera Wireless, which is now recalling a handset that may exceed federal radiation emission standards, says the phone shouldn't adversely affect the health of the 11,000 Qwest Communications customers who use it.
But the debate on whether cell phone emissions pose a health risk to users is far from being put to rest.
The recall began Monday on its QCP-3035 handsets -- which have been available since December -- because they may exceed Federal Communications Commission emission standards when the phones are in both the analog roaming mode and on certain channels.
This means a person using the phone outside of a digital network or "most likely areas outside of major metropolitan corridors" and under "limited circumstances" could be absorbing higher volumes of radio frequency energy, said Kyocera spokesman Rick Goetter.
According to Goetter, the phone manufacturer's researchers said that emissions would rise to excessive levels only under rare circumstances, so it is unlikely users would be adversely affected.
However, the bigger question of whether cell phone emissions are safe is an ongoing source of contention. Research released in June 2000 by the Wireless Technology Research program, which is funded by the wireless phone industry, shows that radiation from cell phones is not strong enough to break DNA, although it causes genetic changes in the blood.
Phone manufacturers now include the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels -- the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the head of a person who uses the phone -- on the products' boxes or in pamphlets.
"Most carriers and most users, they'll be in digital mode most of the time so the phones would very rarely -- if ever ・ be in non-compliant mode," Goetter said.
Goetter said the QCP-3035 has met the FCC's requirement, which is a SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram or lower. Goetter also said the company will replace the recalled QCP-3035 phones with the same model, and that the QCP-3035 will continue to be sold. In a routine quality check, Kyocera engineers found that some of the phones exceeded the FCC's requirement, and so the company "voluntarily" recalled the phones.
The company is also arranging for customers to receive a credit for a month of free basic service through Qwest.
The QCP-3035 sells for $200 without a service plan and has such features as voice-activated dialing, a built-in speaker phone, Internet browsing, a directory that can hold 1,000 phone numbers and an eight-line display for graphics.
The phones are in the hands of at least 11,000 Qwest Communications customers who live in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Qwest will automatically deactivate the recalled phones and activate new phones, a task it will finish by 6:00 a.m. Friday. Users whose phones have been shut off can still use them for 911 emergency services, Kyocera said.
The customer service lines of Kyocera and Qwest have been busy and giving delayed service.