SFO to Require Cell Phone Radiation Disclosures

June 17, 2010

Theories about cell phone use being hazardous to our health have been around nearly as long as the phones themselves, but now one city wants to help protect citizens. Specifically, the city of San Francisco, California could soon start requiring retailers to post notices showing how much radiation is emitted by the cell phones they sell.

In a 10-1 vote, the Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to the ordinance, which would require cellular phone retailers to provide the “specific absorption rate” – a measure of radiation registered with the FCC – for each phone offered for sale.

It is expected that Mayor Newsom will sign the measure into law after a ten-day comment period.

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, chief sponsor of the legislation says this measure is all about “…helping people make informed choices,” but representatives of the cell phone industry disagree. They feel such an ordinance could mislead customers into believing that some phones are less dangerous than others. As well, there are issues about how such disclosures might affect cell phone manufacturers’ liability.