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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 on Thursday May 09, 2013 @07:57AM (#43673835)

    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.

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

    by sootman (158191) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:09AM (#43673935) Homepage Journal

    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?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:14AM (#43673973) Journal

    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 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 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!

  • Re:No effects. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plover (150551) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:10AM (#43674405) Homepage Journal

    That's not entirely true. Cell phones do have adverse health effects. They are known to be substantial contributors to distracted driving accidents that cause thousands of deaths and injuries every year, increasing the risks of accident by a level equal to that created by drunk driving.

    If we limit the scope of the claim to first degree adverse health effects, then cell phones have much less of an impact on people, limited to the blunt force trauma caused by phones thrown by angry spouses and the like. But you still can't accurately state that there are no known adverse effects of cell phones.

    Had you fully qualified your statement with "directly caused by emitted radiation", then you would have been 100% correct.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:16AM (#43674457)

    No one made that claim.

    They only claimed it does not cause cancer. Which it does not. A cell phone is far too weak to do any real heating, nor would that heating go deep enough to get anywhere near your brain.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:55AM (#43675633)

    This whole debate would be a lot more fruitful if at least one side could produce some evidence. There have been many studies on the subject, and I've not heard of one legitimate study that has found any significant statistical link between cell phone usage and cancer.

    These two sentences, when written together, make no sense. If many studies have found no harmful effect, than that is evidence that there is no harm. What other evidence do you expect them to provide?

    Look, this really isn't hard:
    1. There is no theoretical reason why cellphone radiation should be harmful.
    2. There is no empirical evidence that they are harmful.
    3. There is plenty of empirical evidence that they are not harmful.
    4. There is no epidemiological evidence that they are harmful (cellphone owners don't get more brain cancer).

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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