Consequences of cell phone radiation factor into product sales with new bill

Claire Fahy
Asst. Sports Editor

San Francisco’s new law requiring cell phone radiation levels to be posted by retailers was signed in June, however the Cellular Telephone Industries Association is suing San Francisco in an attempt to block the law’s implementation, citing the legislation could lead consumers to believe some cell phones are better to use than others.

“I am surprised that industry representatives would choose to spend untold sums of money to fight this in the courts, instead of cooperatively working with San Francisco to comply with a reasonable law that provides greater transparency and information without putting any undue burdens on small businesses or discourage cell phone use in any way,”  Mayor Newsom said in a press release.
Cell phones transmit calls through radio frequencies that emit low levels of radiation. High levels of radiation necessary to operate X-Rays are known to cause cancer, but since cell phones are more recent advancements, the effects of their radiation are highly speculated, but believed to cause brain and salivary cancer.

If the bill does indeed go into effect, retailers will be required to provide consumers with the information about the effects of their cell phones’ radiation levels before choosing to purchase them.
“In addition to protecting the consumers’ right to know this legislation will encourage telephone manufacturers to redesign their devices to function at lower radiation levels,” Newsom said.

Wing Wong, an employee of Citicomm Wireless on Folsom Street, says making the information public will effect customers’ decisions in more ways than one. Cellphones emitting high levels of radiation also provide their user with higher reception.

“I would recommend [cellphones with] higher reception,” Wang said, “if customers can’t get calls, they will complain even though those phones may have higher radiation.”
Director of Technology Hoover Chan, PhD, says although the long-term effects of cell phone radiation have not been determined, he worries about the effects of the radiation in the school, especially since younger children may be exposed.

Use the lowest [amounts] of radiation that satisfy [your] needs, but be very conscious about the amount of time you spend [on your phone],” Chan said. “Lessen the impact [by] using hands-free or corded headsets.”

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