San Francisco Mandates Cell Phone Radiation Labels

Much like nutritional information on food, warnings of the risk of smoking by the surgeon general on cigarettes, and signs stating that building materials may cause cancer and birth defects on buildings before you enter them, the city and county of San Francisco, California has now passed a law that will require cell phone displays in stores to prominently display cell phone radiation information. While other locales have attempted to pass similar laws and ordinances, San Francisco’s law will be the first in the nation despite controversy and uncertainty if cell phone radiations do cause cancer. According to Mayor Gavin Newsome’s office, the law is more about making information freely and readily available to consumers: “It’s information that’s out there if you’re willing to look hard enough. And we think that for the consumer for whom this is an area of concern, it ought to be easier to find.”

However, this free information does have opponents, including members of The Wireless Association, otherwise known as CTIA. According to a spokesman for the CTIA, “We believe there is an overwhelming consensus of scientific belief that there is no adverse health effect by using wireless devices, and this kind of labeling gets away from what the F.C.C.’s standard actually represents.”

The San Francisco law will require the SAR rating to be displayed. According to the LA Times, “The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 10 to 1 on Tuesday to approve the ordinance, which would require stores to provide each phone’s “specific absorption rate” — a measurement of radiation absorbed by a phone user’s body tissue that each manufacturer is required to register with the Federal Communications Commission.”

(via: NYT)

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Chuong Nguyen