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San Francisco may require phone radiation warnings

updated 07:50 am EST, Thu December 24, 2009

SF wants phone radiation notice at retail

San Francisco could soon require that all cellphones sold in local stores include an easily visible warning of their radiation levels. Mayor Gavin Newsom says he hopes to pass an ordinance in January that would demand the public display of the possible effects and has backed a city commission that would call on the US government to require such labels on the packaging. The non-binding request would also ask for warnings that phones may cause brain cancer and demand that companies offer headsets to distance the phone from its owner's head.

It's timed with a Maine bill that would require the phones themselves have a radiation level warning.

The San Francisco measures come despite existing concerns as to whether or not typical cellphone use actually triggers cancer or other long-term health effects. A study known as Interphone has been used as the basis for much of the cellphone radiation guidelines worldwide but has yet to provide a definitive answer and has had its creators accused of hiding the real effects of cellphones by, among other things, choosing a demographic less likely to show the results of prolonged exposure.

The CTIA, an industry organization headed primarily by cellular carriers, has rejected both the Maine and San Francisco measures and says it's waiting on harder scientific evidence. The National Cancer Institute has stricken a balance between the two and says there's no certain connection between phones and cancer but that it wants more research.

Regardless of whether the ordinance passes, Newsom and city officials have no plans to ban some or all cellphones and say they primarily want the warnings to let those concerned about the risks choose a potentially safer alternative.

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Getting Specific

    Ever since I was a kid, the tags on products like furniture and mattresses warning that said product was known to be a fire hazard in California, or some such, always made me think, "man, those people must be idiots to catch this on fire." I've obviously gotten the story straight sense then, but even so, requiring stickers on packaging or on the actual product casing is just going to point out how moronic a certain place is.

    Way to go San Fran. Now you've got to wear your bleeding heart badge on your sleeve AND your phone.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    With Cali just weeks away ...

    ... from collapsing under debt and being forced to declare bankruptcy, the only thing San Fran will require is packing some good heat for protection from thugs. No money = no police.

    Oh wait, will that mean the streets will be safer??

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Only In San Francisco

    I'm so glad I don't live there. It's a pretty city, but there's way too many nutcases.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    unproven claims

    there have been numerous studies and none has shown that cell phone or bluetooth use causes cancer. and yet folks still scream it from the rooftops.

    how about a warning that it is unsafe to use a cell phone while driving (distraction factor). Where is that. And we have proof that numerous accidents were caused or intensified by the driver talking on a cell phone, often holding the phone, and/or texting at the time. Some cities have laws against holding the phone but how many folks actually know the law exists. and are the police actually stopping folks (probably not).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why wait for any actual science when we can just slap on warnings. For all people know, bluetooth headsets will kill you quicker than the cell phone.

    Of course, if you use a cell phone so much for it to be a problem, you're more likely to die quicker from walking into traffic, getting into an accident while driving, being shot by your spouse for never getting off the phone, etc.

    Next up, I think San Francisco should require that every source of water, from bottles to the tap, should have warnings on them that consuming too much can cause death.

    Or maybe they can just send out a letter to every citizen saying that life is one big risk and just the act of living could be hazardous to your health.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As the old saying goes...

    When god created California he tipped the country on end and anything not tied down rolled into it.

  1. afaby

    Joined: Dec 1969


    LA's Next

    LA needs signs when you enter the city that say breathing the air will give you cancer.

  1. komentarz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Why wait for any actual science when we can just slap on warnings."

    There have been scientific studies. The Radiation And Nuclear Safety Authority Of Finland did a study over a ten+ year period of people who used cell phones. People in the study were ** 39% ** more likely to get a glioma (brain tumor). Guess where that glioma was? On the same side of the head they held their cell up to. Cell signals are a **much higher power** signal than either bluetooth or Wi-fi. Children under 7 should *never* use a cell as their skulls are not fully 'formed' and the signal passes much further into the brain

    Short video summary here:

    In the 50's they had doctors doing cigarette commercials! Asbestos was also considered a 'break-through' flame retardant. Agent Orange sure defoliates great! Guess we were wrong about those.

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