Government Technology

California Cities Eye San Francisco Cell Phone Radiation Disclosure Law



July 14, 2010 By

On the heels of San Francisco's historic yet contentious law requiring cell phone retailers to post radiation information, two small California towns are considering similar disclosure laws.

The cities -- Arcata and Burlingame -- quickly took note of San Francisco's recently signed "Cell Phone Right-to-Know" law and are moving to research how such requirements would play out locally. But the cell phone industry isn't pleased with the San Francisco law -- thought to be the first of its kind in the nation -- and contends the ordinance is based on speculation.

"It's probably only natural for some other areas to look at this because of the nature of the action," said John Walls, a spokesman for CTIA-The Wireless Association. "But at the same time, we would hope that anyone who looks at this issue -- whether a consumer or policymaker -- would look at science and facts and base a decision on that."

The Washington, D.C.-based CTIA, which represents the cell phone industry, maintains that mobile devices are safe for consumers, as their radiation levels are regulated by the FCC. Retailers, under San Francisco's law, must post information next to phones in at least 11-point type, listing their specific absorption rate (SAR) -- which measures the rate at which radio waves from a cell phone are absorbed by a user's body. The FCC capped these rates at no more than 1.6 watts per kilogram -- and rates vary from phone to phone.

Arcata and Burlingame officials who are pushing for SAR disclosure laws say they are trying to protect the public.

"It's not about starting a war with the cell phone industry, it's about giving people the information they need to make responsible choices in their lives," said Arcata City Councilman Shane Brinton, who recently asked the council to consider reviewing San Francisco's ordinance and possibly enact a similar law. "Obviously I'm not a scientist. I'm a public policymaker, and I have to base my legislative efforts on the best science I can find ... and the best science out there is contradictory and unclear."

Those contradictions are seemingly at the heart of the debate. While the FCC and National Cancer Institute both concluded there is no direct link between cell phone use and increased cancer risk, research on the question continues.

Walls, who issued a bold statement following the passage of San Francisco's law, said the FCC and National Cancer Institute studies were "conveniently overlooked" for the sake of passing a law with unclear motives. "It certainly isn't based on the scientific evidence that exists today, and we think that's unfortunate and reckless actually."

That's debatable, according to the Environmental Working Group -- a nonprofit public policy advocacy group -- which urges consumers to purchase cell phones with the lowest SARs possible. "We at [EWG] can't be pried from our cell phones. But we're troubled by recent studies that have found significantly higher risks for brain and salivary gland tumors among people using cell phones for 10 years or longer," the group's website states. "More research is crucial."

That's why Burlingame City Councilman Michael Brownrigg is pushing for city staff to research the issue. "If all cell phones emitted the same amount of radiation, you might say, 'What's the point?' but that's not the case," he said. "That makes the publication of this information even more relevant to


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Comments

jail bush    |    Commented July 24, 2010

There is more and more discussion about the health effects of wireless technology and non-ionizing radiation. Even the American media can't stop the snowballing of one study after another that confirms the devastating health and environmental problems we will soon be facing if something isn't done to reel in this nightmare. Enough is not being done by cities, counties, states and the Federal Government. What is being done is everything to shield the telecoms from responsibility and liability. Initially cell phones were released with no pre-market safety testing. Health studies were suppressed and the 4 trillion dollar a year industry was given a pass with no consideration of the carnage that is and will be facing us. It is said that city governments are "not allowed" to discuss health issues when licensing the placement of towers. They should anyway. Is it not the moral and legal obligation of our governments to look after and protect our health and welfare?? When did this become an obsolete concept? On it's face, the 1996 telecommunications act is unconstitutional, a cover-up and a license to kill. A cell tower is a microwave weapon capable of causing cancer, genetic damage and a host of other very serious health problems. The telecoms are shielded from "health concerns" as a valid consideration when challenging the location of a cell tower. Free speech? We don't use it anyway. "Health Concerns" why? What do they know and when did they know it? The Government and the Military have known for over 50 years that radio frequency is harmful to all biological systems. Bees, bats, humans, plants and trees are all affected by it. While people complain about cell towers going in next to schools we allow the school board to install wi fi in all the schools and irradiate our kids for 6-7 hours each day before they go home and let their parents finish the job with DECT portable phones, wi fi and Wii's. A tsunami of cancers and early alzheimer's await our kids while the Portland School Board won't even consider adding to the health curriculum information on "safer" cell phone use and the dangers of wireless technology. We teach about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and safe sex but not about cell phone use. Young people under the age of 20 are 420% more at risk of forming brain tumors because of their soft skulls, brain size and cell turn over time. We are in a wireless trance and many scientists are in a state of panic as they see this thing expand with no safety testing or public education programs in place. Related topics: http://www.wirelesswatchblog.com

jail bush    |    Commented July 24, 2010

There is more and more discussion about the health effects of wireless technology and non-ionizing radiation. Even the American media can't stop the snowballing of one study after another that confirms the devastating health and environmental problems we will soon be facing if something isn't done to reel in this nightmare. Enough is not being done by cities, counties, states and the Federal Government. What is being done is everything to shield the telecoms from responsibility and liability. Initially cell phones were released with no pre-market safety testing. Health studies were suppressed and the 4 trillion dollar a year industry was given a pass with no consideration of the carnage that is and will be facing us. It is said that city governments are "not allowed" to discuss health issues when licensing the placement of towers. They should anyway. Is it not the moral and legal obligation of our governments to look after and protect our health and welfare?? When did this become an obsolete concept? On it's face, the 1996 telecommunications act is unconstitutional, a cover-up and a license to kill. A cell tower is a microwave weapon capable of causing cancer, genetic damage and a host of other very serious health problems. The telecoms are shielded from "health concerns" as a valid consideration when challenging the location of a cell tower. Free speech? We don't use it anyway. "Health Concerns" why? What do they know and when did they know it? The Government and the Military have known for over 50 years that radio frequency is harmful to all biological systems. Bees, bats, humans, plants and trees are all affected by it. While people complain about cell towers going in next to schools we allow the school board to install wi fi in all the schools and irradiate our kids for 6-7 hours each day before they go home and let their parents finish the job with DECT portable phones, wi fi and Wii's. A tsunami of cancers and early alzheimer's await our kids while the Portland School Board won't even consider adding to the health curriculum information on "safer" cell phone use and the dangers of wireless technology. We teach about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and safe sex but not about cell phone use. Young people under the age of 20 are 420% more at risk of forming brain tumors because of their soft skulls, brain size and cell turn over time. We are in a wireless trance and many scientists are in a state of panic as they see this thing expand with no safety testing or public education programs in place. Related topics: http://www.wirelesswatchblog.com

jail bush    |    Commented July 24, 2010

There is more and more discussion about the health effects of wireless technology and non-ionizing radiation. Even the American media can't stop the snowballing of one study after another that confirms the devastating health and environmental problems we will soon be facing if something isn't done to reel in this nightmare. Enough is not being done by cities, counties, states and the Federal Government. What is being done is everything to shield the telecoms from responsibility and liability. Initially cell phones were released with no pre-market safety testing. Health studies were suppressed and the 4 trillion dollar a year industry was given a pass with no consideration of the carnage that is and will be facing us. It is said that city governments are "not allowed" to discuss health issues when licensing the placement of towers. They should anyway. Is it not the moral and legal obligation of our governments to look after and protect our health and welfare?? When did this become an obsolete concept? On it's face, the 1996 telecommunications act is unconstitutional, a cover-up and a license to kill. A cell tower is a microwave weapon capable of causing cancer, genetic damage and a host of other very serious health problems. The telecoms are shielded from "health concerns" as a valid consideration when challenging the location of a cell tower. Free speech? We don't use it anyway. "Health Concerns" why? What do they know and when did they know it? The Government and the Military have known for over 50 years that radio frequency is harmful to all biological systems. Bees, bats, humans, plants and trees are all affected by it. While people complain about cell towers going in next to schools we allow the school board to install wi fi in all the schools and irradiate our kids for 6-7 hours each day before they go home and let their parents finish the job with DECT portable phones, wi fi and Wii's. A tsunami of cancers and early alzheimer's await our kids while the Portland School Board won't even consider adding to the health curriculum information on "safer" cell phone use and the dangers of wireless technology. We teach about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and safe sex but not about cell phone use. Young people under the age of 20 are 420% more at risk of forming brain tumors because of their soft skulls, brain size and cell turn over time. We are in a wireless trance and many scientists are in a state of panic as they see this thing expand with no safety testing or public education programs in place. Related topics: http://www.wirelesswatchblog.com

Winston Court    |    Commented July 26, 2010

Everyone does realize that the frequencies of radio waves which are used by cell phones have many of the same qualities as those frequencies of radio waves your microwave oven uses, right? And, among those qualities is the quality to cook food, or specifically meat! Although the power levels that phones emit are only a small fraction of the power levels used in microwave ovens, I would personally consider it nice to know the levels the phones are emitting. And, yes, those levels might influence my purchases of phones. One example would be, in the city with easy access to cell towers, why not go with the lowest possible emission levels and worry about my health. However, if I lived in a remote location I would have to accept higher levels and use a bluetooth device to keep the phone away. But yes, I think the cell makers should have the radiation levels available for their phones. If not a sticker right on the phone, then the phones documentation should contain these specifications. And, there should be standards in play, so one phone can be compared against another in a meaningful way. As, I would highly suspect that cell manufacturers would want to play games with these figures. But, figure it out for yourself. The cost of cell phone manufacturers to provide this data would amount to a penny or two per phone, so why are they so loath to provide the data? And, yes, I do know there are federal regulations which set allowable levels. Having been involved in industries utilizing various levels of radio frequencies in the microwave bands, I am also aware that these levels of radiation allowed are MUCH TOO HIGH, in my opinion. And, maybe cooking your head will cause cancer, maybe it won't, and once your head is cooked, maybe you won't care. ROFLOL

Winston Court    |    Commented July 26, 2010

Everyone does realize that the frequencies of radio waves which are used by cell phones have many of the same qualities as those frequencies of radio waves your microwave oven uses, right? And, among those qualities is the quality to cook food, or specifically meat! Although the power levels that phones emit are only a small fraction of the power levels used in microwave ovens, I would personally consider it nice to know the levels the phones are emitting. And, yes, those levels might influence my purchases of phones. One example would be, in the city with easy access to cell towers, why not go with the lowest possible emission levels and worry about my health. However, if I lived in a remote location I would have to accept higher levels and use a bluetooth device to keep the phone away. But yes, I think the cell makers should have the radiation levels available for their phones. If not a sticker right on the phone, then the phones documentation should contain these specifications. And, there should be standards in play, so one phone can be compared against another in a meaningful way. As, I would highly suspect that cell manufacturers would want to play games with these figures. But, figure it out for yourself. The cost of cell phone manufacturers to provide this data would amount to a penny or two per phone, so why are they so loath to provide the data? And, yes, I do know there are federal regulations which set allowable levels. Having been involved in industries utilizing various levels of radio frequencies in the microwave bands, I am also aware that these levels of radiation allowed are MUCH TOO HIGH, in my opinion. And, maybe cooking your head will cause cancer, maybe it won't, and once your head is cooked, maybe you won't care. ROFLOL

Winston Court    |    Commented July 26, 2010

Everyone does realize that the frequencies of radio waves which are used by cell phones have many of the same qualities as those frequencies of radio waves your microwave oven uses, right? And, among those qualities is the quality to cook food, or specifically meat! Although the power levels that phones emit are only a small fraction of the power levels used in microwave ovens, I would personally consider it nice to know the levels the phones are emitting. And, yes, those levels might influence my purchases of phones. One example would be, in the city with easy access to cell towers, why not go with the lowest possible emission levels and worry about my health. However, if I lived in a remote location I would have to accept higher levels and use a bluetooth device to keep the phone away. But yes, I think the cell makers should have the radiation levels available for their phones. If not a sticker right on the phone, then the phones documentation should contain these specifications. And, there should be standards in play, so one phone can be compared against another in a meaningful way. As, I would highly suspect that cell manufacturers would want to play games with these figures. But, figure it out for yourself. The cost of cell phone manufacturers to provide this data would amount to a penny or two per phone, so why are they so loath to provide the data? And, yes, I do know there are federal regulations which set allowable levels. Having been involved in industries utilizing various levels of radio frequencies in the microwave bands, I am also aware that these levels of radiation allowed are MUCH TOO HIGH, in my opinion. And, maybe cooking your head will cause cancer, maybe it won't, and once your head is cooked, maybe you won't care. ROFLOL


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