San Francisco Tells Retailers to Post Cell Phone Radiation Levels

San Francisco, often a trend setter when it comes to environmental issues, now sets another example for the rest of the world by requiring retail stores to post cell phone radiation levels.

A city ordinance, sponsored by San Francisco Mayor Newsom, was adopted in late June in an almost unanimous vote among the city’s board of supervisors to make all stores display the specific absorption rates (SAR) of cell phones.  SAR is the rate at which radio frequencies penetrate your body. It’s important to know how much radiation a cell phone generates, as cell phones have varying intensities of SAR…you, of course, will want to choose the one with the lowest radiation level.

The new legislation brings light to an issue of great concern: the link between mobile phone radiation and cancer. The cell phone industry has tried to block similar laws from passing in the California state legislature and in Maine.

Cell Phone Industry Muddies the Waters

CTIA and TechAmerica, trade groups for cell phone companies, used the flimsy excuse that requiring SAR warning labels on cell phones would cause “confusion” to prevent passage of radiation warning ordinances.  They further argued that science has yet to definitively prove that cell phones aren’t safe; meanwhile these same industries pay for research to show that their products are safe.  This demonstrates clear conflicts of interest; still these cell phone industry tactics serve to muddy the waters—causing actual confusion to consumers who might otherwise be concerned about their own and their children’s mobile phone use.

There are more and more scientists, doctors and researchers going on record to the effect that cell phones are a significant cancer and health risk. A small number of other nations: Great Britain, Germany, France and Israel, for example, are beginning to join the movement to alert cell phone users to potential dangers– especially to more vulnerable children.

It seems reasonable to me that we should expect  and even demand that more legislators in the United States and the rest of the world adopt the same kind of ordinance that San Francisco has so admirably embraced.

Former chairman of the US House telecommunications subcommittee, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) stated: “I look forward to following the implementation of the San Francisco ordinance and…to encourage more scientific studies that advance our understanding in this vital area.”

I say: “Here, here.”  But, don’t wait for lawmakers to protect you.  Follow my recommendations for protecting yourself from harmful cell phone radiation now.

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