Health and Safety Information
I. Exposure To Radio Frequency (RF) Signals Certification Information
GreatCall devices are radio transmitters and receivers. They are designed and manufactured not to exceed the exposure limits for radio frequency (RF) energy set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the U.S. government. These limits are part of comprehensive guidelines and establish permitted levels of RF energy for the general population.
These FCC exposure limits are derived primarily from the recommendations of two expert organizations, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In both cases, the recommendations were developed by scientific and engineering experts drawn from industry, government and academia after extensive reviews of the scientific literature related to the biological effects of RF energy.
The exposure limit set by the FCC for wireless devices employs a unit of measurement known as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is a measure of the rate of absorption of RF energy by the human body expressed in units of watts per kilogram (W/kg). The FCC requires wireless devices to comply with a safety limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg).
Although the SAR is determined at the highest certified power level, the actual SAR level of the device while operating can be well below the maximum value. This is because the device is designed to operate at multiple power levels to use as little power as possible to reach the network. In general, the closer you are to a wireless base station antenna, the lower the power output.
Before a new device is available for sale to the public, it must be tested and certified by the FCC to ensure that it does not exceed the exposure limit established by the FCC. Tests for each device are performed in positions and locations (e.g. at the ear and worn on the body) as required by the FCC. All GreatCall devices comply with SAR for general population /uncontrolled exposure limits in ANSI/IEEE C95.1-1992 and had been tested in accordance with the measurement methods and procedures specified in IEEE1528.
While there may be differences between the SAR levels of various devices and at various positions, all GreatCall devices meet the government requirement for RF exposure.
The following paragraph applies to the Lively Mobile Plus:
For body-worn operation, Lively Mobile Plus devices meet FCC RF exposure guidelines provided that they are used with a non-metallic accessory with the device at least 5 mm from the body. Use of other accessories may not ensure compliance with FCC RF exposure guidelines.
SAR information on GreatCall devices can be viewed online at www.fcc.gov/oet/ea . To find information that pertains to a particular model device, this site uses the device FCC ID number which is usually printed somewhere on the case of the device or in the packaging. Once you have the FCC ID number for a particular device, follow the instructions on the website and it should provide values for typical or maximum SAR for a particular device.
Additional product specific SAR information can also be obtained at www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cell-phones-what-it-means-you .
II. Consumer Information On Wireless Devices
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a series of Questions and Answers for consumers relating to radio frequency (RF) exposure from wireless devices.
The FDA publication includes the following information:
What kinds of devices are the subject of this update?
The term wireless device refers here to hand–held wireless devices with built–in antennas, often called “cell,” “mobile” or “PCS” devices. These types of wireless devices can expose the user to measurable radio frequency energy (RF) because of the short distance between the device and the user’s head. These RF exposures are limited by Federal Communications Commission safety guidelines that were developed with the advice of FDA and other federal health and safety agencies. When the device is located at greater distances from the user, the exposure to RF is drastically lower because a person’s RF exposure decreases rapidly with increasing distance from the source. The so–called “cordless devices,” which have a base unit connected to the teledevice wiring in a house, typically operate at far lower levels and thus produce RF exposures well within the FCC’s compliance limits.
Do wireless devices pose a health hazard?
The available scientific evidence does not show that any health problems are associated with using wireless devices. There is no proof, however, that wireless devices are absolutely safe. Wireless devices emit low levels of radio frequency energy (RF) in the microwave range while being used. They also emit very low levels of RF when in the stand–by mode. Whereas high levels of RF can produce health effects (by heating tissue), exposure to low level RF that does not produce heating effects causes no known adverse health effects. Many studies of low level RF exposures have not found any biological effects. Some studies have suggested that some biological effects may occur, but such findings have not been confirmed by additional research. In some cases, other researchers have had difficulty in reproducing those studies or in determining the reasons for inconsistent results.
What is FDA’s role concerning the safety of wireless devices?
Under the law, FDA does not review the safety of radiation–emitting consumer products such as wireless devices before they can be sold, as it does with new drugs or medical devices. However, the agency has authority to take action if wireless devices are shown to emit radio frequency energy (RF) at a level that is hazardous to the user. In such a case, FDA could require the manufacturers of wireless devices to notify users of the health hazard and to repair, replace or recall the devices so that the hazard no longer exists.
Although the existing scientific data do not justify FDA regulatory actions, FDA has urged the wireless device industry to take a number of steps, including the following:
- Support needed research into possible biological effects of RF of the type emitted by wireless devices.
- Design wireless devices in a way that minimizes any RF exposure to the user that is not necessary for device function.
- Cooperate in providing users of wireless devices with the best possible information on possible effects of wireless device use on human health. FDA belongs to an interagency working group of the federal agencies that have responsibility for different aspects of RF safety to ensure coordinated efforts at the federal level. The following agencies belong to this working group:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Federal Communications Commission
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The National Institutes of Health participates in some interagency working group activities, as well. FDA shares regulatory responsibilities for wireless devices with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All devices that are sold in the United States must comply with FCC safety guidelines that limit RF exposure. FCC relies on FDA and other health agencies for safety questions about wireless devices.
The FCC also regulates the base stations that the wireless device networks rely upon. While these base stations operate at higher power than do the wireless devices themselves, the RF exposures that people get from these base stations are typically thousands of times lower than those they can get from wireless devices. Base stations are thus not the primary subject of the safety questions discussed in this document.
What are the results of the research done already?
The research done thus far has produced conflicting results and many studies have suffered from flaws in their research methods. Animal experiments investigating the effects of radio frequency energy (RF) exposures characteristic of wireless devices have yielded conflicting results that often cannot be repeated in other laboratories. A few animal studies, however, have suggested that low levels of RF could accelerate the development of cancer in laboratory animals. However, many of the studies that showed increased tumor development used animals that had been genetically engineered or treated with cancer–causing chemicals so as to be pre–disposed to develop cancer in absence of RF exposure. Other studies exposed the animals to RF for up to 22 hours per day. These conditions are not similar to the conditions under which people use wireless devices, so we don’t know with certainty what the results of such studies mean for human health. Three large epidemiology studies have been published since December 2000. Between them, the studies investigated any possible association between the use of wireless devices and primary brain cancer, glioma, meningioma or acoustic neuroma, tumors of the brain or salivary gland, leukemia or other cancers. None of the studies demonstrated the existence of any harmful health effects from wireless devices RF exposures. However, none of the studies can answer questions about long–term exposures, since the average period of device use in these studies was around three years.
What research is needed to decide whether RF exposure from wireless devices poses a health risk?
A combination of laboratory studies and epidemiological studies of people actually using wireless devices would provide some of the data that are needed. Lifetime animal exposure studies could be completed in a few years. However, very large numbers of animals would be needed to provide reliable proof of a cancer promoting effect if one exists. Epidemiological studies can provide data that is directly applicable to human populations, but ten or more years’ follow–up may be needed to provide answers about some health effects, such as cancer. This is because the interval between the time of exposure to a cancer–causing agent and the time tumors develop if they do may be many, many years. The interpretation of epidemiological studies is hampered by difficulties in measuring actual RF exposure during day–to–day use of wireless devices. Many factors affect this measurement, such as the angle at which the device is held or which model of device is used.
What is FDA doing to find out more about the possible health effects of wireless device RF?
The FDA is working with the U.S. National Toxicology Program and groups of investigators around the world to ensure that high priority animal studies are conducted to address important questions about the effects of exposure to radio frequency energy (RF). The FDA has been a leading participant in the World Health Organization international Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project since its inception in 1996. An influential result of this work has been the development of a detailed agenda of research needs that has driven the establishment of new research programs around the world. The Project has also helped develop a series of public information documents on EMF issues. The FDA and Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) have a formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to do research on wireless device safety. The FDA provides the scientific oversight, obtaining input from experts in government, industry and academic organizations. CTIA–funded research is conducted through contracts to independent investigators. The initial research will include both laboratory studies and studies of wireless device users. The CRADA will also include a broad assessment of additional research needs in the context of the latest research developments around the world.
What steps can I take to reduce my exposure to radio frequency energy from my wireless device?
If there is a risk from these products, and at this point we do not know that there is, it is probably very small. But if you are concerned about avoiding even potential risks, you can take a few simple steps to minimize your exposure to radio frequency energy (RF). Since time is a key factor in how much exposure a person receives, reducing the amount of time spent using a wireless device will reduce RF exposure. If you must conduct extended conversations by wireless device every day, you could place more distance between your body and the source of the RF, since the exposure level drops off dramatically with distance. For example, you could carry the wireless device away from your body. Again, the scientific data available does not confirm do not demonstrate that wireless devices are harmful. But if you are concerned about the RF exposure from these products, you can use measures like those described above to reduce your RF exposure from wireless device use.
What about children using wireless devices?
The scientific evidence does not show a danger to users of wireless devices, including children and teenagers. If you want to take steps to lower exposure to radio frequency energy (RF), the measures described above would apply to children and teenagers using wireless devices. Reducing the time of wireless device use and increasing the distance between the user and the RF source will reduce RF exposure. Some groups sponsored by other national governments have advised that children be discouraged from using wireless devices. For example, the government in the United Kingdom distributed leaflets containing such a recommendation in December 2000. They noted that no evidence exists that using a wireless device causes brain tumors or other ill effects. Their recommendation to limit wireless device use by children was strictly precautionary.
Do hands–free kits for wireless devices reduce risks from exposure to RF emissions?
Since there are no known risks from exposure to RF emissions from wireless devices, there is no reason to believe that hands–free kits reduce risks. Hands–free kits can be used with wireless devices for convenience and comfort. These systems reduce the absorption of RF energy in the head because the device, which is the source of the RF emissions, will not be placed against the head. On the other hand, if the device is mounted against the waist or other part of the body during use, then that part of the body will absorb more RF energy. Wireless devices marketed in the U.S. are required to meet safety requirements regardless of whether they are used against the head or against the body. Either configuration should result in compliance with the safety limit.
Do wireless device accessories that claim to shield the head from RF radiation work?
Since there are no known risks from exposure to RF emissions from wireless devices, there is no reason to believe that accessories that claim to shield the head from those emissions reduce risks. Some products that claim to shield the user from RF absorption use special device cases, while others involve nothing more than a metallic accessory attached to the device. Studies have shown that these products generally do not work as advertised. Unlike “hand–free” kits, these so–called “shields” may interfere with proper operation of the device. The device may be forced to boost its power to compensate, leading to an increase in RF absorption. In February 2002, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged two companies that sold devices that claimed to protect wireless device users from radiation with making false and unsubstantiated claims. According to the FTC, these defendants lacked a reasonable basis to substantiate their claim.
What about wireless device interference with medical equipment?
Radio frequency energy (RF) from wireless devices can interact with some electronic devices. For this reason, The FDA helped develop a detailed test method to measure electromagnetic interference (EMI) of implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators from wireless teledevices. This test method is now part of a standard sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). The final draft, a joint effort by FDA, medical device manufacturers and many other groups, was completed in late 2000.
This standard will allow manufacturers to ensure that cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators are safe from wireless device EMI. The FDA has tested wireless devices and helped develop a voluntary standard sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). This standard specifies test methods and performance requirements for hearing aids and wireless devices so that no interference occurs when a person uses a compatible device and a compatible hearing aid at the same time. This standard was approved by the IEEE in 2000.
The FDA continues to monitor the use of wireless devices for possible interactions with other medical devices. Should harmful interference be found to occur, The FDA will conduct testing to assess the interference and work to resolve the problem.
Additional information on the safety of RF exposures from various sources can be obtained from the following organizations
- FCC RF Safety Program: www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): www.epa.gov/radiation
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA): www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiofrequencyradiation
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): www.cdc.gov/niosh
- World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int/peh-emf
- International Commission on Non–Ionizing Radiation Protection: www.icnirp.de
- National Radiation Protection Board (UK): www.hpa.org.uk/radiation
- US Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts
III. Road Safety
Your wireless device gives you the powerful ability to communicate by voice, almost anywhere, anytime. But an important responsibility accompanies the benefits of wireless devices, one that every user must uphold. When driving a car, driving is your first responsibility. When using your wireless device behind the wheel of a car, practice good common sense and remember the following tips:
- Get to know your wireless device and its features so you can place your call without taking your attention off the road.
- Position your wireless device within easy reach. Be able to access your wireless device without removing your eyes from the road. If you get an incoming call at an inconvenient time, let it ring until you can safely answer it.
- Let the person you are speaking with know you are driving; if necessary, suspend the call in heavy traffic or hazardous weather conditions. Rain, sleet, snow, ice and even heavy traffic can be hazardous.
- Do not take notes or look up device numbers while driving.
- If possible, place calls when you are not moving or before pulling into traffic. Try to plan calls when your car will be stationary. If you need to make a call while moving, check the road and your mirrors, then continue.
- Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may be distracting.
- Make people you are talking with aware you are driving and suspend conversations that have the potential to divert your attention from the road.
- Use your wireless device to call for help. Contact 9-1-1 in the case of fire, traffic accident or medical emergencies.
- Use your wireless device to help others in emergencies. If you see an auto accident, crime in progress or other serious emergency where lives are in danger, contact 9-1-1 as you would want others to do for you.
- If you see a broken–down vehicle posing no serious hazard, a broken traffic signal, a minor traffic accident where no one appears injured, or a vehicle you know to be stolen, call 5Star.
“The wireless industry reminds you to use your GreatCall device safely when driving.”
For more information, please call 1–888–901–SAFE, or visit www.ctia.org . If you are using a handset other than a standard numeric keypad, please call 1–888–901–7233. Provided by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).
IV. Operating Environment
Remember to follow any special regulations in any area and always switch your GreatCall device off whenever it is forbidden to use it or when it may cause interference or danger. As with other mobile radio transmitting equipment, users are advised that for the satisfactory operation of the equipment and for the safety of personnel, it is recommended that the equipment should only be used in the normal operating position.
V. Using Your GreatCall device Near Other Electronic Devices
Most modern electronic equipment is shielded from radio frequency (RF) signals. However, certain electronic equipment may not be shielded against the RF signals from your wireless device. Consult the manufacturer to discuss alternatives.
Implantable Medical Devices
A minimum separation of six (6) inches should be maintained between a handheld wireless device and an implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, to avoid potential interference with the device.
- Should ALWAYS keep the device more than six (6) inches from their implantable medical device when the device is turned ON.
- Should not carry the device in a breast pocket.
- Should use the ear opposite the implantable medical device to minimize the potential for interference.
- Should turn the device OFF immediately if there is any reason to suspect that interference is taking place.
- Should read and follow the directions from the manufacturer of your implantable medical device. If you have any questions about using your wireless device with such a device, consult your health care provider.
Persons who have implanted medical devices:
For more information visit: www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety .
V. Other Medical Devices
If you use any other personal medical devices, consult the manufacturer of your device to determine if it is adequately shielded from external RF energy. Your physician may be able to assist you in obtaining this information. Switch your GreatCall device OFF in health care facilities when any regulations posted in these areas instruct you to do so. Hospitals or health care facilities may be using equipment that could be sensitive to external RF energy.
RF signals may affect improperly installed or inadequately shielded electronic systems in motor vehicles. Check with the manufacturer or its representative regarding your vehicle. You should also consult the manufacturer of any equipment that has been added to your vehicle.
Switch your GreatCall device OFF in any facility where posted notices require you to do so.
VI. Potentially Explosive Environments
Switch your GreatCall device OFF when in any area with a potentially explosive atmosphere and obey all signs and instructions. Sparks in such areas could cause an explosion or fire resulting in bodily injury or even death.
Users are advised to switch the device OFF while at a refueling point (service station). Users are reminded of the need to observe restrictions on the use of radio equipment in fuel depots (fuel storage and distribution areas), chemical plants or where blasting operations are in progress.
Areas with a potentially explosive atmosphere are often but not always clearly marked. They include below deck on boats, chemical transfer or storage facilities, vehicles using liquefied petroleum gas (such as propane or butane), areas where the air contains chemicals or particles (such as grain, dust or metal powders) and any other area where you would normally be advised to turn OFF your vehicle engine.
VII. Emergency Calls
The GreatCall device, like any wireless device, operates using radio signals, wireless and landline networks as well as user–programmed functions, which cannot guarantee connection in all conditions. Therefore, you should never rely solely on any wireless device for essential communications (medical emergencies, for example).
Remember, to make or receive any calls, the device must be switched on and in a service area with adequate signal strength. Emergency calls may not be possible on all wireless device networks or when certain network services and/or device features are in use. Check with local service providers.
To make an emergency call:
- If your GreatCall device is not on, turn it on.
- Press and hold the Call Button for at least 5 seconds until you hear “Calling 911 Now” to connect directly to 9-1-1 emergency services.
If certain features are in use (call barring, for example), you may first need to deactivate those features before you can make an emergency call. Consult this document and your local cellular service provider. When making an emergency call, remember to give all the necessary information as accurately as possible. Remember that your 5Star Responder may be the only means of communication at the scene of an accident. Do not cut off the call until given permission to do so.
Restricting children’s access to your GreatCall device
Your GreatCall device is not a toy. Children should not be allowed to play with it because they could hurt themselves and others, damage the device or make calls that could increase your device bill.
VIII. FCC Notice And Cautions
The device may cause TV or radio interference if used in close proximity to receiving equipment. The FCC can require you to stop using the device if such interference cannot be eliminated. Vehicles using liquefied petroleum gas (such as propane or butane) must comply with the National Fire Protection Standard (NFPA–58). For a copy of this standard, contact: National Fire Protection Association, Attn: Publication Sales Division, One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269
Any changes or modifications to your GreatCall device not expressly approved in this document could void your warranty for this equipment and void your authority to operate this equipment. Only use approved batteries, antennas and chargers. The use of any unauthorized accessories may be dangerous and void the device warranty if said accessories cause damage or a defect to the device. Although your GreatCall device is quite sturdy, it is a complex piece of equipment and can be broken. Avoid dropping, hitting, bending or sitting on it.
IX. Other Important Safety Information
- Only qualified personnel should service the device or install the device in a vehicle. Faulty installation or service may be dangerous and may invalidate any warranty applicable to the device.
- Check regularly that all wireless device equipment in your vehicle is mounted and operating properly.
- Do not store or carry flammable liquids, gases or explosive materials in the same compartment as the device, its parts or accessories.
- For vehicles equipped with an air bag, remember that an air bag inflates with great force. Do not place objects, including both installed or portable wireless equipment in the area over the air bag or in the air bag deployment area. If wireless equipment is improperly installed and the air bag inflates, serious injury could result.
- Switch your GreatCall device off before boarding an aircraft. The use of wireless device in aircraft is illegal and may be dangerous to the aircraft’s operation.
- Failure to observe these instructions may lead to the suspension or denial of teledevice services to the offender or legal action, or both.
X. Product Performance
Getting The Most Out Of Your Signal Reception
The quality of each call you make or receive depends on the signal strength in your area. If you’re inside a building, being near a window may give you better reception.
Understanding How Your GreatCall device Works
Your GreatCall device is basically a radio transmitter and receiver. When it’s turned on, it receives and transmits radio frequency (RF) signals. When you use your GreatCall device, the system handling your call controls the power level. This power can range from 0.006 watts to 0.2 watts in digital mode.
Maintaining Your GreatCall device’s Peak Performance
For the best care of your GreatCall device, only authorized personnel should service your GreatCall device and accessories. Faulty service may void the warranty. There are several simple guidelines to operating your GreatCall device properly and maintaining safe, satisfactory service.
- Speak directly into the device’s microphone.
- Avoid exposing your GreatCall device and accessories to rain or liquid spills. If your GreatCall device does get wet, immediately turn the power off. If it is inoperable, call GreatCall Customer Service.
XI. Battery Standby And Talk Time
Standby and talk times will vary depending on device usage patterns and conditions. Battery power consumption depends on factors such as network configuration, signal strength, operating temperature, features selected, frequency of calls and voice, data and other application usage patterns.
XII. Battery Precautions
- Avoid dropping the device. Dropping it, especially on a hard surface, can potentially cause damage to the device and battery. If you suspect damage to the device or battery, contact GreatCall Customer Service.
- Never use any charger that is damaged in any way.
- If you use the device near the network’s base station, it uses less power; talk and standby time are greatly affected by the signal strength on the cellular network and the parameters set by the network operator.
- Battery charging time depends on the remaining battery charge and the type of battery and charger used. The battery can be charged and discharged hundreds of times, but it will gradually wear out.
- If left unused, a fully charged battery will discharge itself over time.
- Use only GreatCall–approved chargers. When a charger is not in use, disconnect it from the power source.
- Do not leave the device connected to a charger for more than a week, since overcharging may shorten its life.
- Do not use incompatible device chargers. Some web sites and second–hand dealers, not associated with reputable manufacturers and carriers, might be selling incompatible or even counterfeit chargers. Consumers should purchase manufacturer or carrier recommended products and accessories. If unsure about whether a charger is compatible, contact the manufacturer of the charger.
- Misuse or use of incompatible devices and charging devices could result in damage to the equipment and a possible risk of fire, explosion, leakage or other serious hazards.
- Extreme temperatures will affect the charging capacity of your device, it may require cooling or warming first.
- Do not leave the device in hot or cold places, such as in a car in summer or winter conditions, as you will reduce the capacity and lifetime of the battery. Always try to keep the device at room temperature. A device with a hot or cold battery may temporarily not work, even when the battery is fully charged. Li–ion batteries are particularly affected by temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F).
- Do not place the device in areas that may get very hot, such as on or near a cooking surface, cooking appliance, iron or radiator.
- Do not get your GreatCall device wet. Even though they will dry and appear to operate normally, the circuitry could slowly corrode and pose a safety hazard.
- Do not crush, puncture or put a high degree of pressure on the device as this can cause an internal short–circuit, resulting in overheating.
XIII. Care And Maintenance
Your GreatCall device is a product of superior design and craftsmanship and should be treated with care. The suggestions below will help you fulfill any warranty obligations and allow you to enjoy this product for many years.
- Keep the device and all its parts and accessories out of the reach of small children.
- Keep the device dry. Precipitation, humidity and liquids contain minerals that will corrode electronic circuits.
- Do not use the device with a wet hand. Doing so may cause an electric shock to you or damage to the device.
- Do not use or store the device in dusty, dirty areas, as its moving parts may be damaged.
- Do not store the device in hot areas. High temperatures can shorten the life of electronic devices, damage batteries, and warp or melt certain plastics.
- Do not store the device in cold areas. When the device warms up to its normal operating temperature, moisture can form inside the device, which may damage the device’s electronic circuit boards.
- Do not drop, knock or shake the device. Rough handling can break internal circuit boards.
- Do not use harsh chemicals, cleaning solvents or strong detergents to clean the device. Wipe it with a soft cloth slightly dampened in a mild soap–and–water solution.
- Do not paint the device. Paint can clog the device’s moving parts and prevent proper operation.
- Do not put the device in or on heating devices, such as a microwave oven, a stove or a radiator. The device may explode when overheated.
- If the device, charger or any accessory is not working properly, arrange for service by calling GreatCall Customer Service.