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San Francisco Requires Cell Phone Radiation Warnings 258

Lord Ender writes "Poor phone reception may soon be a selling point in San Francisco. A city ordinance was just approved which requires those selling phones to indicate the 'specific absorption rate' (SAR) caused by the radio transmitters in the phones. Cell phone industry groups opposed the law. The FCC already requires phones sold in the US to have SAR levels below 1.6 W/kg, though adverse health effects from such levels of radio exposure have never been conclusively demonstrated."
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San Francisco Requires Cell Phone Radiation Warnings

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:19PM (#32591430) Journal
    Recently it was reported widely that “airport scanners, power lines, cell phones and microwaves” ain't got nothin' on medical scanning radiation [google.com]. Now people are asking for tracking systems [jsonline.com] and calling them a threat [newsinferno.com].

    I'm not really worried about cell phones as much as when I roll into my new dentist's, get 18+ x-rays of my entire mouth for their record. Find out I need two inlays on the lower left. Come back in two weeks and get two more xrays so they know where to drill. Come back in two weeks to get the inlays put in only to have them re x-ray the inlays after they were in to make sure they were in properly since they couldn't floss between them. What. the. hell? Can't you use regular light and your eyeballs to set those in there? I mean, I'm glad you did a good job, I just don't know what to do about this malignant jaw tumor now ...
  • poor reception (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trisha-Beth (9231) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:23PM (#32591468)

    Poor reception means that the phone has to transmit at higher power to reach the cell base station.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:27PM (#32591506)

    -The sky

  • Re:important psa (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Caledfwlch (1434813) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:40PM (#32591656)
    I don't think they have Sun in San Francisco (Fog City)
  • Re:Hey Gavin (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:47PM (#32591722)
    You think he doesn't know? Gavin is a politician. Reality is just a pesky annoyance to his life's great devotion to feeding his own ego. This is the guy that blamed the NRA for a triple murder which then turned out to have been committed by an illegal alien with a long rap sheet who was still in SF thanks to Newsom's sanctuary city policy. He continued to defend the policy after the shooting, saying he hopes to "outrage" people. The man is utter scum who should be spit on by everyone who passes him.
  • Re:Threatened? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gninnor (792931) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:51PM (#32591782)

    If everything is labeled "warning" including things that have shaky evidence to support it, eventually warnings become less useful and ignored.

    That being said, I really do not see what "information" is being provided.

  • by wsanders (114993) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @12:56PM (#32591830) Homepage

    ... not just a crown. They drill a screw down into your jaw or skull bone, then mount a tooth on it.

    I would *definitely* not want to have problems with that, they could take as many X-rays as they want. At 0.005 millisieverts (see parent's link) that's still 1/20th the amount of a chest Xray.

    Now off to brush my teeth compulsively for the next hour.

  • Re:Threatened? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dwillden (521345) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:04PM (#32591914) Homepage
    And semi-coincidently California now has so many warnings on so much stuff that the warnings do get ignored.

    CA should just save time and require everyone and everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) within the magical borders of CA to be labeled as being possibly cancerous.
  • by wsanders (114993) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:06PM (#32591946) Homepage

    You have to realize SF's Board of Supes is way into touchy feeley useless laws, it's easier than fixing their broken water mains, potholes, clogged storm drains, unreliable transit system, intractable homeless problem, and enormous budget deficit.

    This law just requires sellers to post SAR levels where they can be easily evaluated. Verizon already posts SARs on the little price cards next to the phone. Whatever, SAR is a completely meaningless figure anyway.

    It isn't nearly as nutty as the City of Sebastopol which refused to consider municipal WiFi, citing radiation concerns:

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=6082680 [go.com]

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:21PM (#32592132) Journal

    So, San Francisco passed a law that required a sticker on a common product showing a rating of something most people do not understand or even know about, that has not been shown to have any health consequences, and offers no guidance or explanation. And, it is all to placate some paranoid idiots and will result in ignorant hypochondriacs going bonkers.

    This isn't FUD. It is blatant fear mongering and deliberate risk miscommunication.

  • by Rooked_One (591287) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:36PM (#32592352) Journal
    its better safe than sorry. Take the oil rig disaster. Had *PROPER* precautions been taken, it wouldn't have happened. Same with that brain cancer you are hoping not to get. It might hit your testicles as well - think about where that iPhone that never stops transmitting data is right now.

    Count me in with the "nut jobs" who would rather think in FUTURE tense and could be wrong than thinking only in present tense and thinking the outcome is always going to be "on my side."

    Ignorance may be bliss, but its no way to live your life. Hey, I just came up with that - I would say that's a pretty good notable quotable, eh?
  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:45PM (#32592468)
    Light bulbs and sun light? I mean the photos in both of those have large numbers of photons in the visible range. Those are quite a bit more energetic than microwaves so logically you'd think they'd be more dangerous. (Oh I'm sorry, logic doesn't come into it.)
  • Re:Threatened? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:48PM (#32592494)

    What's interesting is that there have been several studies (one in particular on the propensity of pickup trucks to overturn when cornering too fast) that have proven that even dire warning labels do not change consumer behavior in any statistically meaningful way. As a group, consumers don't give a greasy shit until after they're hurt, regardless of labels.

  • by joeyblades (785896) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:56PM (#32592588)

    I always marvel at those people who are concerned about cell phones and cancer...

    These are the same people who insit on driving and carrying on a conference call at the same time. I got news for you. There is a high probability that your cell phone will be a direct cause of your death... but it has nothing to do with radiation.

    And you pedestrians, don't act so smug. A few weeks ago I saw a walkin' talkin' fool step out in front of a bus without looking (lucky for him, a conscious observer yanked him back from the clutches of death).

    Believe me, radiation is the least of your worries...

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @01:57PM (#32592610) Homepage

    > its better safe than sorry.

    Right. What if living in houses causes cancer? It's never been proven that it doesn't. Better live outside.

    > Count me in with the "nut jobs"...


  • by Dan Ost (415913) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:05PM (#32592712)

    Beyond burns, what risks are associated with non-ionizing radiation?

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gma i l . com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:23PM (#32592894)

    They're scary. Seems as though some people have an RF phobia. Probably stems from them never taking a physics class in their life, I blame the public school system.

  • Mexican Dentists (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wsanders (114993) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:12PM (#32593524) Homepage

    Actually, you should check out Mexican dentists (and doctors.) Sailboat liveaboards and other adventurers who spend extended periods of time down there swear by them. A good many are reported to have US training, speak English, and your cash expense could be less than your insurance deductible.

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gma i l . com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:51PM (#32594068)

    I love how slashdot is so anti-intellectual these days that mentioning facts is considered to be trolling.

  • by ImABanker (1439821) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:09PM (#32594304)
    Studies have shown that nearly all of people who contracted cancer had lived in a house within the past 5 years. I'm surprised there isnt more of an uproar.
  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:57PM (#32595032) Journal

    Apparently, logic doesn't come into discussions about cell phone radiation either. They do have warnings against sunlight, which has its dangers, as I'm sure you know. Even light bulbs are suspect. It's thought that light bulbs enable too much nighttime activity, which combined with the light itself throws off our circadian rhythms.

    We ought to find out just what cell phones do to us. It may not be all bad news either. One study showed it actually helps rats with Alzheimer's. Still bad in a way, because such a study shows that the radiation does have effects, contrary to what the telecom industry wants to believe. Another study suggested it could be the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder. Maybe. The only thing that is obvious is that the industry has a motive to suppress research about possible harmful effects. And would they do that? You bet! And they've been far too successful in confusing the issue, or we'd likely know much more.

    There's a long track record of business foolishly squelching such science. Used to be that no one knew of the dangers of tobacco and radiation. We should have known sooner than we did. As late as the 1990's, when everyone knew better, tobacco companies were still trying to deny that their products were harmful [youtube.com]. In the early 1900s, the Radium Girls were assured that their work environment was safe, even when the management knew it wasn't-- and protected themselves but not their workers. All the Radium Girls died of cancer. Watches with dials that glow in the dark because they are radioactive, are not made any more. The entertainment industry is still demonizing sharing as "piracy", and still doing all they can to prop up a broken and dead business model. Builders build too close to creeks with designs that are not adequate, then leave the owners and the cities to deal with the foundation problems this causes down the road. I still see creeks being straightened and turned into drainage ditches, to "reclaim" land, despite abundant research showing it's a bad idea, as it causes greater erosion, and magnifies flash floods. Exxon and peers tried to deny climate change, and have had entirely too much success. They studied the tobacco companies not for a lesson in business ethics, but to use and improve upon their methods of obscuring the issues! They love blaming government for "not doing their jobs", after they themselves did all they could to undermine the government's ability to police them. Need I do more than mention the financial industry? There are many honest businesses out there, but as a whole, the business world has little sense of responsibility to anything other than the immediate bottom line, and it's a real shame.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller