Cell Phone Radiation Versus the City of San Francisco

Last Updated Jul 2, 2010 9:27 AM EDT

Watch out -- warning labels might soon come to a cell phone near you.

Two weeks ago, San Francisco passed a law requiring all retailer to display a warning indicating the radiation generated by any cell phones it sells. And while this fringe law -- passed without any evidence that there's a health risk posed by cell phone radiation -- is currently limited to the Rice-A-Roni city, it might be headed for nationwide adoption as well.


The New York Times reports that under the San Francisco law, retailers will be required to post materials -- in at least 11-point type -- next to phones, listing their specific absorption rate (called SAR), which is the amount of radio waves absorbed into the cellphone user's body tissue.

I don't mean to be dismissive of this law, but, well, I'm very dismissive of this law. All phones sold in the United States must already have a SAR rate no greater than 1.6 watts per kilogram -- about 25% less than the limit in Europe, incidentally -- and even so, there's never been a reputable study in which there has ever been shown to be a correlation between radiation and health risks.

San Francisco might as well have passed a law requiring all ice cream retailers to clearly identify the amount of vanilla used in the manufacturing process. Of course, requiring such a thing would confuse consumers because it would strongly suggest there must surely be some risk of eating too much vanilla. Why else would the government require a warning?

And the fun doesn't stop there. According to sfgate.com, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich said he plans to introduce a bill into Congress that would require similar warning labels for cell phones nationwide. Let the arbitrary, anti-scientific nannyism continue!

Photo by Ernst Moeksis

Comments

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App