The Environmental Health Trust (EHT), today urged the City of San Francisco to uphold its “Right to Know” law on the potential dangers of cell phone radiation and resist legal intimidation by CTIA-The Wireless Association. The EHT is also condemned the impending repeal of the City of San Francisco’s “Right to Know” law on the potential dangers of cell phone radiation.
|San Francisco passed the Right to Know law about cell phone radiation last year, but its new city government is on the verge of repeal. Currently, information on the computer-modeled estimate of radiation released by each cell phone—a value known as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)—is found in fine print on packaging. Compelling the SAR to be spotlighted so that more people can actually see it is alleged to violate the cell phone industry’s First Amendment right to free speech, according to the Cellular Telecommunications industry.
“The emperor is naked,” said Ellen Marks of Environmental Health Trust. “For years, the CTIA—the organization that has represented the wireless communications industry since 1984—has been sneaking fine-print warning information into packaging about the SAR. But now that they are required to tell the truth and make this information clear and legible to the public, they argue that this violates their right to free speech. In fact, this is not a matter of free speech but of suppression of basic information about one of the most widely used technologies in modern life.”
CTIA also has been threatening San Francisco with seeking reimbursement for its hefty legal fees—an unprecedented move that is sure to send shivers down the spines of city supervisors strapped with extraordinary budget challenges.
“Major tech-savvy governments around the world, including Israel and France, post the SAR on cell phones,” said Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of EHT and author of the book, Disconnect–The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What Industry Has Done to Hide It and How to Protect Your Family
. “They also require that people be given simple information about reducing directed-microwave radiation from cell phones to their brains and bodies, and taking special precautions with children. Evidence that cell phone radiation can have biological impacts has grown over the past two decades; this is why so many nations have issued precautionary advice, as have major cancer centers such as MD Anderson
and the University of Pittsburgh.” The President’s Cancer Panel
has also urged that research be conducted on this issue.
Among the evidence Davis notes are studies that find that men who regularly use cell phones have significantly lower sperm count and more defective sperm, and reports from Israel of growing rates of rare malignant tumors of the cheek (parotid gland) associated with cellphone use.
“Our government needs to monitor children’s cell phone use and assess their cumulative exposure to cell phone radiation in addition to funding research on the health effects of cell phone use,” said Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Family and Community Health, University of California, Berkeley. “Furthermore, our government should follow the lead taken by Israel, France and many other nations and issue precautionary health warnings regarding children’s use of cell phones.”