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San Francisco Abandons Mobile Phone Radiation Labels 132

Posted by timothy
from the this-sticker-is-a-choking-hazard dept.
judgecorp writes "The city of San Francisco has abandoned a law proposed in 2010 which would have required mobile phones to be labelled with their radiation level. Mobile phone industry body the CTIA fought the bill in court, arguing that there is not enough evidence of harm. The city is not convinced phones are safe — it says its decision to abandon the law is simply based on the legal costs."
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San Francisco Abandons Mobile Phone Radiation Labels

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can't figure out what is good and bad data with this topic. Seems like everything I read is spin.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:07AM (#43673909)

      The data:

      There has not been a larger increase in head cancers over the past thirty years despite a more than billion-fold increase in mobile phone use. This means that if there is an effect, it is too small to worry about.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I can't figure out what is good and bad data with this topic. Seems like everything I read is spin.

      Luckily, now that the labeling has been abandoned, you don't know your dosage level anyway, so no need to worry!

      Honestly, that's what most annoys me about these sorts of cases(this, GMO labelling, 'organic' labeling, etc.) The evidence for harm or harmlessness is often rather equivocal; but the relevant trade association pressure groups scream like babies at the idea that customers would even be in the position to make an informed decision(foolish or otherwise).

      • by plover (150551)

        Honestly, that's what most annoys me about these sorts of cases(this, GMO labelling, 'organic' labeling, etc.) The evidence for harm or harmlessness is often rather equivocal; but the relevant trade association pressure groups scream like babies at the idea that customers would even be in the position to make an informed decision(foolish or otherwise).

        Because it's ludicrous. Consider the same idea applied to a packaged cookie: "our whole wheat cookies contain less than 0.0001% arsenic, less than 1 picogram of lead, fewer than 15 anthrax spores per cookie, no more than 150 million viable microbes, below 72,000,000 mold spores," etc. The world is filled with trace amounts of stuff that humanity has ingested since the dawn of our species. It's only recently that we've even been able to recognize and measure it. And those are scientifically proven harmful i

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        You are right - we should let any nutjob group put useless information on our products. Each cell phone can come with a 50-page list of grievances. PETA can put whether animals were used in it's production. Al Gore can slap the carbon footprint on there. Greenpeace can list the natural resources used on there, and score the phone for it's environmental impact. UNICEF can score it for child welfare. Then of course, you will have religious groups who want to score it for thetan count and whatnot. (Thank you,

        • Sure let churches put labels on the phones. Soon enough the iPhone will have a catholic church buddy Jesus on the side, and all android phones will be rated 4 or 5 Satans (of course they will reserve the 10 Satan rating for windows phones). your just advocating to hand more power over to apple.
    • by plover (150551)

      I'll paraphrase this particular story then, which might help.

      "The city of San Francisco once again vowed to remain steadfast in their commitment to ignorance, but today acknowledged that, because so many people have refused to remain as stupid as they are, the list of like-minded idiots willing to agree with them has plummeted to the point where creating an effective scare tactic campaign is well beyond their admittedly meager level of competence.

      Jenny McCarthy is said to be fraught with disappointment, and

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:02AM (#43673867)
    Sales of Reynold's Wrap spike in the Bay Area.
    • Sales of Reynold's Wrap spike in the Bay Area.

      If only they'd use Stretch-N-Seal instead... Or Cling Wrap, or something that would increase the average IQ of the area.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One gigantic warning label covering every square centimetre of San Francisco, listing all of the potential hazards you are exposed to by being anywhere near the place.

    • One gigantic warning label covering every square centimetre of San Francisco, listing all of the potential hazards you are exposed to by being anywhere near the place.

      San Francisco: The City that Waits to Die" [blogspot.com.es]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Warning: This device contains matter, which is known by the state of California to cause warpage of space and time. This device also contains extraordinary amounts of stored energy in its physical matrix. Handle with care.

  • Warnings don't seem to be very effective for cigarettes. I'm sure they would be much less effective when it comes to cell phones, especially when expressed in terms that 99% of the population doesn't understand (it's just some number). Actually, it might even have opposite effect - buyers might purchase cell phones that have a greater radiation level, with the assumption that more radiation means greater range.

    • by Goaway (82658)

      Actually, it might even have opposite effect - buyers might purchase cell phones that have a greater radiation level, with the assumption that more radiation means greater range.

      This would be largely correct, and in fact would be a good choice, as the radiation is harmless.

    • WARNING: This product could very likely kill you at some point. The only reason we are allowed to sell it is because we throw countless millions at politicians.
  • so consistent (Score:2, Interesting)

    by argStyopa (232550)

    Casual, recreational use of a variety of brain-altering drugs: fine.
    Anonymous bathhouses where one can - hetero or homo - have sex with a variety of strangers: lifestyle choice.

    Cellphones: "We should make sure we warn people about the dangers!"

    • Considering all the other radiation sources we're being exposed to lately.....kind of pointless.
    • Re:so consistent (Score:5, Informative)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:20AM (#43674003) Homepage

      Casual, recreational use of a variety of brain-altering drugs: fine.
      Anonymous bathhouses where one can - hetero or homo - have sex with a variety of strangers: lifestyle choice.

      Cellphones: "We should make sure we warn people about the dangers!"

      Nope. I'd like to reassure you that the first two things also have plenty of lunatics trying to ban them.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        In the first two cases though, the usual lunatic trying to ban them is doing so because it goes against their morals, ethics, beliefs, etc. It's not (usually) based on scientific fact of any dangers that could be lessened, minimized, or eliminated prevented with basic precautions and regulations. While they are entitled to have their own beliefs, they aren't necessarily those of everyone else.

        The lunatic trying to ban cell phones is doing so based on unproven scientific "facts", not because of their belie

  • Well then... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191)

    If "the city is not convinced phones are safe" then they should immediately pull all phones that were issued by the city to civil workers, police, the mayor's office, etc., right?

  • All San Francisco can do is mandate that cell phones sold in San Francisco have that label. This would most likely simply result in no cell phones being sold in SF; you'd have to go outside the city when you wanted to buy one.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:15AM (#43673983)
    Here's what that kind of labelling does:

    Case 1: Company A labels their phone, company B doesn't. Customers looking at a phone from A get scared, look at phone from B and buy it because it doesn't come with the scary warning.

    Case 2: Customer looks at various phones in a shop in San Francisco. They all have the scary warning, so the customer doesn't buy. Next time he visits Los Angeles, he goes to a phone shop, looks at all the wonderful phones without a scary warning, and buys one that he likes.

    In the end, if mobile phones emit radiation that is dangerous for you, the perfect solution is to use the phone less.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Case 1: Company A labels their phone, company B doesn't. Customers looking at a phone from A get scared, look at phone from B and buy it because it doesn't come with the scary warning.

      Me? I want one with high radiation. The higher the better. High radiation means better coverage!

    • Better yet, they sell cases that block cell phone radiation now. Not phone skins, but cases to store the phone in. When they're not in use. To block the radiation that they're not giving off.

      • Hah, then you'd never receive a call

      • I need to get their customer list, I have a whole yard full of tiger rocks to sell that are specially crafted to protect them from tiger attacks. I know they work because my family has never been attacked by a tiger.
  • California really doesn't care about science behind labeling, hence the signs in stores that say, "This product contains products known to the state of California to cause cancer." The sign doesn't say known to science, accepted by science, proven by some scientific method - it says that the legislature voted one day and decided it was bad. This causes truly bad chemicals to be mixed in with a larger body of not-so-bad chemicals and that just causes people to ignore all the warnings.

    Pretty soon they'll ha

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Di-hydrogen monoxide!

    • by Narcocide (102829)

      Uh, those signs are to say that the *building* contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.

      Also, Radon isn't exactly what I'd call a "not-so-bad" chemical.

  • I want them to advertise radiation levels. It might help me identify the phones with the stronger transmitter. Living in rural state having a phone with a stronger transmitter is a good thing...
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:52AM (#43674257) Homepage Journal

    Even if it's not harmful, what reason could you have to be against letting me choose whether or not my GMO food was farmed by Jews? All I'm asking, is that GMO food made on farms where Jewish workers are employed be labeled, and that cell phones manufactured in a facility which employs coloreds be labeled. I just think we should have an informed free marketplace. That's good for everybody, and even chinks have shown a preference for an informed free marketplace.

    It's not like I'm trying to outlaw those peoples' products or infringe on your right to do business with Jews, colored, towel-heads, or Catholics. If you're ok with doing business with those people, I don't have any problem with that. It's a free country and I hope your daughter brings one of them home with her. All I'm asking for, is a harmless label and the right to choose. Why's everyone acting like I'm some kind of unreasonable asshole?!? I don't get it!

    • *slow clap*

      Very nice job walking the razor's edge between incisive sarcasm and trolling. I feel that you succeeded in making an insightful point (just no mod points left this week). That was positively channeling Jonathan Swift in short form right there.

    • Hell of a way to validate Godwin's Law... Let's argue against it with science and reduce to their level.

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      I suppose it depends on if the labeling is forced, optional, or prohibited. Optional is the most free. Forced is sometimes appropriate for some dangerous products. I can't think of a good reason to prohibit informative labeling.

    • by nbauman (624611)

      Some Jews want to choose food that was farmed by other Jews. Specifically, they want to choose food that was farmed and processed by Jews who were supervised by their own rabbi.* And most state laws let them do that.
      ___
      *It would take more time than I have to properly make fun of these rabbis.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      If you or the people who modded you up can't see the difference between singling out one particular group of people for no scientific or rational reason and labelling products that there is at least some convincing evidence should be used with care then I'm not sure it's even worth arguing.

  • We should be ashamed these ever existed in the first place.

  • Attach this to every Californian's forehead:

    "This user is too stupid to act responsibly to protect self, do not sell product to this user".

  • Regardless of the science behind effects of the radiation, its pretty sad to have another instance of corporations throwing money at what was (presumably) the will of the people until it goes away.

    Arguably labeling laws are an effective way to provide the individual with power in capitalist system. Individually people don't have power to sway manufacturers, but when provided with information consumers can decide whether they feel its important and if enough people feel similarly it asserts influence on the

  • Seriously, I dont give a damn how much my cellphone radiates as long as it is below the (sane) legal limit for total output power.
  • Cell phone usage is a level 2b carcinogen, the same as coffee, pickled vegetables and talcum powder. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142790/ [nih.gov]
  • Phones use less RF energy the closer they are to a grid antenna.

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