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07/04/2011 - Maine bill requiring mobile phone warning labels

Maine State Representative Andrea Boland has re-introduced bill requiring warning labels on cell phones with focus on non-thermal effects. LD 1014, The Children's Wireless Protection Act calling for warning labels on cell phones and an advisory notice to be posted in all cell phone retailers warning users of the potential health hazards associated with cells phones and how to use them more safely.

Text of the warning label is as follows:

WARNING: Federal health safety standards have yet to be established for nonthermal effects of cellular telephone radiation, which have been identified as reasons for health safety concerns, such as brain tumors.

SIGNAGE: A retailer of cellular telephones must post a sign that is at least 8 1/2 inches by 11 3/4 inches in size where cellular telephones are displayed that reads:

ADVISORY: Cellular telephones should be used with care.

  1. Federal health safety standards have yet to be established for nonthermal effects of cellular telephone radiation.
  2. Nonthermal effects of cellular telephone radiation have been identified as reasons for health safety concerns, such as brain tumors, fertility issues and other consequences of genetic damage.
  3. Avoid contact with head and body.
  4. Avoid proximity to reproductive organs.
  5. Limit use by children.
  6. Pregnant women should avoid use.

In response to the bill, the CTIA filed a lawsuit claiming that the bill is an infringement of the first amendment, stating that any abridgement of free speech (including compelling the retailers to provide information) is unlawful. With a new Mayor in town that doesn't have such a passionate interest in this particularly issue, and the possibility of a protracted and potentially expensive federal court case to defend the bill, it seems likely that the bill will be repealed.

Powerwatch Comments We can't actually see the strength of the case here, as the material in the bill is precautionary and within the bounds of the current state of the science, and appears to be no different to side effect warnings on pharmaceutical products. We applaud the idea of any additional information presented to the consumer in the interests of empowering the public to make informed choices of the risks they choose take, even if we feel that the SAR is a relatively valueless piece of information with respect to actual RF exposure.

» View press release in full from the American Association For Cell PhoneSafety

Also in the news

Vatican Radio is told to pay out over cancer risk scare

Italy's supreme Court has ordered Vatican Radio to compensate a small town near Rome following claims that children there were at a higher risk of cancer because of the broadcaster's high-powered transmitters.

Reports emerged in 2001 that electro-magnetic radiation produced by Vatican Radio's transmitters near Cesano was above the legal limit. The station cut the strength of its signals, but the case went to court when a health authority released a study claiming that children in the area were six times more likely to develop leukaemia than youngsters elsewhere. Rome's Court of Appeal will now decide how much Vatican Radio will have to pay in damages.

» View full story in The Independent

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