San Francisco board passes cell phone emission law

Philip Miller Tate Philmt59 at
Wed Jun 23 13:55:48 CDT 2010

It is vitally important in this day and age to keep the ignorant  
informed of the unlikely consequences of things that they can neither  
comprehend nor influence, based on unsound data gathered by well- 
meaning pseudo-sophisters. That way, we can distract everyone from  
the tax hikes.

Luckily, in Britain we are now £160 billion past giving a damn.

Phil M1GWZ

PS The EM radiation from my laptop screen has left me feeling tired  
and drawn, so I'm going for a compost and a lie down.

On 23 Jun 2010, at 16:01, Karl W4KRL wrote:

> San Francisco board passes cell phone emission law
> SAN FRANCISCO - In this city known for producing laws both path- 
> breaking and contentious, legislators have forcefully stepped into  
> another debate - this time over the potential danger of cell phone  
> use.
> With the Board of Supervisors' 10-1 vote in favor of an ordinance  
> Mayor Gavin Newsom has indicated he will sign, San Francisco has  
> waded into the as-yet unresolved debate over the relationship  
> between long-term use of cell phones and health problems such as  
> brain tumors.
> It would be the country's first law requiring cell phone retailers  
> to disclose the phones' specific absorption rate, or SAR, to  
> customers.
> SAR measures the maximum amount of radiation absorbed by a person  
> using a handset. The Federal Communications Commission limits SAR  
> to an average of 1.6 watts per kilogram of body tissue, but  
> information about radiation levels is not usually readily available  
> when people purchase phones at stores.
> "From our perspective, this is a very reasonable and quite modest  
> measure that will provide greater transparency and information to  
> consumers for whom this is an area of interest or concern," said  
> Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker, who noted that the mayor is an  
> iPhone user. "We're playing a role that we've often played, which  
> is to be at the forefront of a debate."
> The city has produced reams of novel legislation and other  
> regulations, banning plastic grocery bags, ending municipal use of  
> bottled water, making composting mandatory, and requiring the  
> posting of nutrition information in restaurants.
> Still after a number of scientific inquiries into this issue, no  
> conclusions have been reached.
> A major U.N. study released last month, for instance, found no  
> clear link between cell phones and the risk of developing brain  
> cancer.
> Industry representatives see that as a reason to oppose a law like  
> this.
> "They're just responding to unfounded concern," said John Walls, a  
> spokesman for industry trade group CTIA-The Wireless Association.  
> He said the law "could very likely confuse and mislead consumers."
> But advocates said they see the ordinance primarily as an effort to  
> inform consumers.
> Renee Sharp, the California director of the Washington-based  
> Environmental Working Group, also said she hoped the law would  
> dissuade consumers from buying relatively high radiation phones  
> until their effect on the human body is fully understood. The  
> advocacy group provided reports and other counsel to the city's  
> Department of the Environment as they developed the policy.
> "We're also hoping it will spur greater debate about whether the  
> current federal standards are adequate or not," Sharp said. "We  
> certainly don't think that people are not going to buy cell phones  
> because of radiation."
> Industry officials would not speculate on the impact to their  
> business, but many of the nation's most popular cell phones have  
> relatively high SAR levels.
> This is because many of those popular phones are smart phones,  
> which have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receivers, as well as basic cellular  
> capability, that add to their total SAR rating, according to Walls.
> Under the law, larger chains will have to place SAR notices  
> starting in February, while other stores will have until 2012.
> While the supervisors were largely unanimous, reaction outside of  
> City Hall and across the country was mixed.
> "This is a response to public fear, not actual evidence of a risk,"  
> said David Ropeik, a Harvard University instructor who studies risk  
> perception. "That's all precaution based on suggestions of risk  
> that come as much from our innate alarm bells as from conclusive  
> evidence. And precaution argues, 'Don't wait until the evidence is  
> conclusive,' which is a fine idea except sometimes there's no smoke  
> underneath the fire."
> By TREVOR HUNNICUTT Associated Press Writer
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