The cell phone industry is striking back after San Francisco last week voted to require cell phone retailers to post the amount of radiation the phones on their shelves emit. The industry is concerned that the landmark requirement will spark fears that cell phone radiation causes cancer, though the word is not mentioned in the law, The Washington Post reports.
After the law was passed, CTIA, the industry group, cancelled its October trade show, which was supposed to be held in San Francisco.
“San Francisco has gotten out front on a number of issues historically,” CTIA spokesman John Walls told the Post, “but in this case, we are concerned they are leading the pack down a wrong and misleading road.”
The cell phone makers and telecom companies also lobbied successfully against similar state legislation in California and Maine earlier this year.
Scientists have yet to conclusively prove the health effects of mobile phone use, though they have conducted plenty of studies on the subject. A 2006 report by researchers at the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden found that adults who used cell phones for more than 10 years had an increased risk of some forms of brain cancer. The study prompted warning labels and advertisements in other countries, like Britain and France, but not in the U.S.
The same scientist published a study in 2009 that claimed teen cell phone users increased their chances of getting brain cancer by four times.
But, according to the World Health Organization, “To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use.”
The National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program is set to begin a $20 million study on the effects of cell phone use in rodents, but animal studies are of limited use, the article said.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission recommend that consumers who want to limit their exposure to radiation limit the amount of time they spend on the phone and use hands-free devices.