Congressman Calls For Federal Cellphone Radiation Warnings
Your next cellphone and a carton of smokes may soon have something in common: a cancer warning. That is, if Ohio Democrat and former presidential hopeful Representative Dennis Kucinich has his way.
The congressman on Tuesday (Aug. 7) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would require all new cellphones to come with warning labels detailing their radiation outputs.
Called the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, the bill would also establish a national research program to study cellphones and health and update the specific absorption rate (SAR) standard.
The SAR is the amount of electromagnetic radiation any device emits. Kucinich says the standard is outdated and should be brought up to date with new research.
"It took decades for scientists to be able to say for sure that smoking caused cancer. While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cellphone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation," Kucinich said. "As long as cellphone users may be at increased risk of cancer or reproductive problems, Americans must have the right to know the radiation levels of cellphones."
In a statement, Kucinich pointed to the World Health Organization's decision to classify cellphones as possible carcinogens for humans, right next to lead and mercury.
Whether spending an hour taking on your phone is the same as smoking a pack a day, however, remains to be seen. Various studies on the topic have turned up a wide variety of conclusions.
Part of the reason for the ambiguity is that some of those studies have been funded by the wireless industry, the very companies that would be most hurt by a cellphone radiation warning. That's why Kucinich says the research organization proposed in his bill would be a government-funded rather than privately-funded endeavor.
Kucinich's bill does have one detractor, however: the wireless-industry trade group CTIA, which, as CNET points out, is currently suing the city of San Francisco over a similar law. That civil case is set to go to a federal appeals court this week.
This story was provided by Laptopmag.com, a sister site to SecurityNewsDaily.