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Maine lawmaker seeking Brain Cancer warning label on cellphones

Maine lawmaker seeking Brain Cancer warning label on cellphones
Lawmakers in Maine and San Francisco are trying to legally force warnings labels to be affixed to cellphones. The proposal by Maine Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford,  would require cellphone manufacturers to place warning labels on phones and packaging, warning that there is a risk that using the device can cause cancer from electromagnetic radiation. The sticker would suggest that users-especially pregnant women and children-keep the cellphone away from the head and body. Boland herself does carry a cellphone, but keeps it away from her head and body and keeps it off unless she is expecting a call. The FCC has decided that cellphones sold in the U.S. are safe and has a standard for the "specific absorption rate" of radioactive energy, but does not require handset makers to release figures showing radiation levels on devices. The Maine representative has persuaded fellow legislators to let the issue come up for discussion in the new legislative session starting in January, a time when only emergency and governor's bills are discussed.

In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom wants the city to be the first to pass a law requiring a brain cancer warning on cellphones. The cities proposal would require the absorption rate to be displayed next to each phone in letters and numbers as big as at least the price. Representative Boland, of Maine, is seeking a different style of warnings with  a permanent, non-removable advisory of risk in black type and the word "warning" which would have to be in red ink. A color graphic of a chilld's brain would be required. Of Maine's 1.3 million residents, 950,000 use cellphones and Boland feels that they, "do not know what the risks are." From 2000 through last year, the number of cellphone users in the U.S. soared from 110 million to 270 million according to the CTIA. James Keller is one of the 270 million and in fact, a cellphone is the only phone he uses. He is skeptical about warning labels and says that it doesn't matter because people, he says, can't live without cellphones.

Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute,sent a memo last year to about 3,000 faculty and staff members saying that children should use thephones only for emergencies because their brains were still developingand that adults should keep the phone away from the head and use aspeakerphone or a wireless headset. Herberman, has endorsed an August report by retired electronics engineer L. Lloyd Morgan that highlights a study that found significantly increased risk of brain tumors from 10 or more years of cell phone or cordless phone use. But the National Cancer Institute says that the results have been inconsistent and wrote on its web site that,  "Although research has not consistently demonstrated a link betweencellular telephone use and cancer, scientists still caution thatfurther surveillance is needed before conclusions can be drawn." 

source: Yahoo

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