San Francisco Cell Phone Sales to Require Radiation Information

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The little info cards next to the cell phones sold in San Francisco stores will soon contain data on the amount of radiation the handsets give off thanks to a citywide vote that passed yesterday, according to the New York Times.

There’s been conflicting scientific evidence over the years as to whether or not cell phone radiation is truly harmful, but the people of San Francisco have spoken and they feel it’s important enough an issue to bring to light.

Each phone’s “specific absorption rate” (SAR) must be posted in 11-point or higher type once the law goes into effect. While the jury’s still out on whether or not a phone’s SAR can cause long-term damage, it’s important to note that the FCC already imposes a rule in the US that requires every phone to have an SAR of no higher than 1.6 watts per kilogram. That seems to indicate that there’s at least some cause for concern when it comes to radiation levels.

According to the Times “Both the National Cancer Institute and the F.C.C. say that there is no scientific evidence that wireless phones are dangerous, but each agency continues to monitor continuing medical studies.”

“A major study of cellphone use in 13 countries published online last month in the International Journal of Epidemiology found no increased risk for the two most common types of brain tumors, according to the cancer institute. In the most extreme cellphone users, there was a small increase in a type of cancer that attacks the cells that surround nerve cells, though researchers found that finding inconclusive.”

The wireless industry, too, is opposed to the law, citing the apparent lack of scientific evidence and worrying that the mandate “might actually confuse consumers into thinking ‘some phones are safer than others.’”

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