City of Berkeley, California mandates mobile phone retailers to provide warnings about possible radiation risks

City of Berkeley, California mandates mobile phone retailers to provide warnings about possible radi
Berkeley City Council voted this past week to require mobile phone retailers include notices about the possible health hazards of carrying a smartphone close to the body. Calling it an “important right-to-know issue,” Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates wants these cautionary notices to inform consumers about the possible effects of RF exposure when a device is closely held.

The FCC already mandates that guidelines be included with devices that are sold, but the argument from the city was that this information is noted inside manuals, and other resources that many people do not pay attention to when opening up and turning on their new gadget.

For what it is worth, the official guidelines suggest that users keep a device between 5mm and 25mm from their bodies. Berkeley conducted a poll of residents last month and determined that 74% kept their phones in their pocket, and 66% did not know that manufacturers recommended the devices not be kept in close contact.

The ordinance, if allowed to go into effect in July, will require retailers to post information in view of the public, and include a flyer to be given to buyers. The warning on the flyer and posting would state:

CTIA – The Wireless Association is not in favor of the ordinance, citing that policy from inconclusive scientific study is misleading to consumers. San Francisco attempted a similar ordinance, but it went way beyond what the City of Berkeley is attempting, and was defeated in court.

Other municipalities have tried to pass these types of regulations, but all have fallen short under a court challenge. Berkeley thinks its rule will stand based solely on the notion of disclosure, “It’s about trying to get people to see the actual safety information that the cellphone manufacturers put out,” according to University of California – Berkeley professor, Dr. Joel Moskowitz.

The ordinance will undergo a second reading and vote by the city council on May 26th. Assuming it passes again, and is not challenged in court, the ordinance would go into effect in July

source: The Guardian
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