San Francisco Approves Cell Phone Radiation Disclosure Law
Retailers will be required to post the amount of radiation emitted by a cell phone or face fines under regulation given preliminary approval by the City Board of Supervisors.
San Francisco is close to becoming the first city in the nation to require retailers to post next to cell phones the amount of radiation emitted by the devices.
The city's Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 Tuesday to give preliminary approval to the proposal. The board is expected to give final approval next week, and Mayor Gavin Newsom, an early proponent, is expected to sign the proposal into law.
Potential health risks from cell phone radiation has been debated for years. Despite numerous studies, there's no clear scientific evidence that mobile phones increase risks for cancer or any other illness. Last month, for example, a 10-year study released by the World Health Organization failed to turn up any conclusive evidence.
The San Francisco proposal would require retailers to post the "specific absorption rate" next to mobile phones. The Federal Communications Commission require cell phone makers to register the SAR, which is a measurement of the amount of radiation absorbed by the human body.
In addition, retailers would be required to post information on where consumers can get educational materials on cell phone radiation. If signed the proposal is signed by Newsom, it would take effect beginning in February 2011. Violators would face fines up to $300.
Proponents say the proposal would little more than provide consumers with additional information in making a decision on which mobile phone to buy. "While research continues, this is a simple, inexpensive, common-sense idea that will ensure that San Franciscans have the information they need to choose the right phone for themselves and their families," Renee Sharp, director of the California office of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. The EWG is a national nonprofit research and advocacy group.
However, opponents of the proposal, including many San Francisco businesses, argue that the notices would be misleading, because consumers would assume that less radiation means lower health risk. In fact, all cell phones sold in the U.S. meet federal requirements, and there's no clear evidence that radiation under those levels presents a health risk.
A similar proposal died in the California Legislature this year, following intense lobbying by the mobile phone industry. Lawmakers in Maine killed a similar bill this year, even after the proposal had been watered down in an attempt to attract industry support.
This. Is. Freaking. RIDICULOUS.
It's not even proven to cause problems, and you receive FAR more harmful radiation going to the beach than you do talking on your cell phone! It's all part of the same damn spectrum!
And why just cell phones? Nearly every device these days has a wireless signal - what, you think those aren't transmitted via the electromagnetic spectrum? Your car's antenna receives radio waves beamed all over the place by radio towers; and yes, that is electromagnetic radiation: radios merely "translate" it into sound waves that we hear (think this is insane? Radio waves are used to view certain objects in astronomy with gigantic radio telescopes). Your computer is using waves in the electromagnetic spectrum to connect wirelessly to the internet (and internet services are even provided by cell phone companies using your cell service!!!). Your iPod Touch that has wireless internet is also beaming and receiving such signals. TVs with satellite dishes or radio antennas are receiving radiation. And don't even get me started on the other far more important and omnipresent forms of electromagnetic radiation, such as "visible" light (yes, THAT IS FREAKING RADIATION), ultraviolet light (not only beamed by the Sun, but also by the fluorescent lights that are always present in classrooms), and the background microwave radiation in the universe (aka "the leftover heat/energy from the Big Bang") that is EVERYWHERE, including Earth. AND radiation from space (X-rays and gamma rays are blocked by the atmosphere, but all of the ones with bigger wavelengths totally get through and stop at certain points).
Unless our cell phones happen to be running on portable nuclear reactors (or we switched to using X-rays for communication), there's no way they can put out "harmful" radiation, otherwise we would've had mass cancer outbreaks many years ago from the invention and spread of the freaking radio, not to mention the sheer amount of electronics that we're constantly living around. And did I mention constant radiation from space?
The people in San Fransisco are so ungodly stupid if they think this is making them healthier or somehow stopping them from dropping like flies (not that they are to begin with). This is only going to add more meaningless numbers to the packaging and raise costs for manufacturers and those who sell cell phones in the area.
STUPID. STUPID. MORONS.