updated 10:00 am EDT, Wed June 16, 2010
San Fran stores must show phone radiation data
San Francisco late Tuesday passed its proposed cellphone radiation law in a move that could impact how the devices are sold in the city. Under the new rules, stores will be required to show the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of radiation next to phones they sell with a clearly readable 11-point or larger font. The rules are cast not as an attempt to discourage phone use but to help those who were already looking for SAR levels as a factor.
"We think that for the consumer for whom this is an area of concern, it ought to be easier to find," Mayor Gavin Newsom's spokesman Tony Winnicker said.
Wireless carriers have objected to the rules as they want to persuade users that cellphones have no adverse long-term health effects. They also believe that the levels give the false impression that choosing a phone with a lower radiation level automatically guarantees a safer device.
Earlier this year, the final version of the Interphone study was released and didn't provide conclusive answers as to the effect of sustained cellphone use. Critics, however, have said the study was selective in its results and didn't include those who may have been the worst affected by any possible cancers or other illnesses. [via NYT]