San Francisco eases away from cell phone radiation mandate

It appears the city of San Francisco is backing down on a proposal that would have required retailers to display a cell phone's specific absorption rate (SAR). According to Cnet, city officials have indefinitely delayed implementation of the ordinance, and amended legislation likely will remove the requirement.

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom said last year that the city's "Cell Phone Right-to-Know" ordinance was not an attack on the cell phone industry but an effort to better inform consumers about the devices they are purchasing. However, 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 They argue that the limits set by the FCC in 1997 are outdated and were established for adult males.

Wireless trade group CTIA blasted San Francisco's "Right-to-Know" ordinance; the group filed a lawsuit against the city and moved its annual tradeshow to San Diego. CTIA argues the ordinance causes confusion and misleads consumers into thinking some phones are safer than others. The FCC must approve all radio frequency devices for sale in the United States.

According to Cnet, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has delayed implementation of the ordinance several times, and has held closed-door meetings about the issue. A representative for the city's supervisor said amended legislation likely will be introduced that removes the SAR provisions.

For more:
- see this Cnet article

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