CTIA sues San Francisco over cell phone radiation law

CTIA's battle against the city of San Francisco over cell phone radiation policy just escalated into a lawsuit. On Friday CTIA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco seeking to block enforcement of the city's "Cell Phone Right-to-Know" ordinance. The trade association said the ordinance is at odds with FCC standards that are used to ensure cell phone safety.

Specifically, CTIA said the ordinance, which requires retailers to display a phone's specific absorption rate (SAR) at the point of sale, causes confusion and misleads consumers into thinking some phones are safer than others. "The FCC has determined that all wireless phones legally sold in the United States are 'safe,'" CTIA spokesman John Walls said in a press release.

Nevertheless, some scientists and public advocacy groups have questioned the limits set by the FCC on how much radiation can be absorbed by body tissue. They argue that the limits set by the FCC in 1997 are outdated and were established for adult males. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement that the ordinance is not an attack on the cell phone industry but an effort to better inform consumers about the devices they are purchasing.

CTIA has already protested the ordinance by saying that it will no longer hold its CTIA Enterprise and Applications conferences in San Francisco. The conference will be held in San Francisco this October, but will be in San Diego in 2011. 

For more:
- see this Washington Post article
- see this release

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CTIA snubbing San Francisco over cell phone radiation law