San Francisco requires radiation notification on cell phones
Cell phones sold in San Francisco now will be labeled with information about the amount of radiation they emit in relation to federal health standards. Under the “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance, cell phone retailers must post the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for each model of phone they sell, along with the maximum allowable SAR set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). That SAR maximum is “1.6 watts per kilogram for spatial peak (local) SAR, such as SAR in the user’s head, as averaged over any 1 gram of tissue,” according to the ordinance.
As the reason for the law, the ordinance cites concerns government agencies and scientific bodies in the European Union and Israel have regarding the effects of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation. “You see all these kids literally glued to their phones,” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. “And, candidly, my wife was pregnant [at the time we conceived of the ordinance] and on her cell phone nonstop. So I dusted off some studies and started doing research.”
The new law also requires cell phone retailers to provide an explanation of FCC’s SAR standards, and to make more information on SAR available to consumers.