There has been an on-going debate regarding the lawsuit between the city of Berkeley (California) and the CTIA (Wireless Association) over an ordinance that would require warning labels on cell phones. The warning would express that the legal limits for electromagnetic radiation exposure can be exceeded if held too closely to the body and children are at a higher risk.
The New York Times published an extremely skewed article in response to this stating that the warning was “not actually backed by science” with a very strong tone against the “so-called Right to Know ordinance.”
They attack the warning by saying that there is no scientific evidence for its claims:
“‘The potential risk,’ the warning continues, ‘is greater for children.’”
On top of this, the radiation guidelines for cell phones do not account for children since the testing model is crafted after a large adult male, meaning that phones are only tested at safety levels for large adults.
Next, the article brings up cancer:
“The American Cancer Society says that cases of people developing cancer after carrying cellphones may be coincidental or anecdotal.”
Possible carcinogen ring a bell? The United Nations classified cell phones as a “possible carcinogen” in 2011, in the same field as the pesticide DDT and gasoline exhaust. Additionally, just this May, about 200 scientists submitted an appeal to the World Health Organization, United Nations, and United Nations member states requesting that there are more regulations and public education regarding the damaging effects of mobile radiation.
What more proof do you need to initiate a warning? It took years to actually prove that smoking causes cancer, what would make cell phones any different? There are many cases of breast cancer involving young women with no family history of cancer who keep their phones in their bras and develop tumors in the same location where their phones resided day after day. Coincidence…probably not. Either way, it’s just a warning–not a ban.
Besides, the warning said nothing about cancer or any other damaging effect on health. It just said that the guidelines would be exceeded if held too closely to the body. Yet, the article argues:
“Berkeley warning is carefully written to reflect that language, albeit with additional cautionary words.”
Do you see any additional cautionary words?
“To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked away into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. This potential risk is greater for children. Refer to instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”
The warning states what is in the tiny-printed iPhone manual below and adds that children greater potential for risk, which has been proven:
“For body-worn operation, iPhone’s SAR measurement may exceed the FCC Guidelines if positioned less than 5/8 inch (15mm) away from the body. For optimal mobile device performance and to make sure than human exposure to RF energy does not exceed the FCC Guidelines always follow these instructions and precautions…For body-worn operation, keep phone at least 5/8 inch (15mm) away from the body and only use carrying cases, belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and maintain at least 5/8 inch away separation between the iPhone and the body.”
The warning does not exaggerate at all–it just makes what’s in the tiny print more accessible.
The craziest part of this whole lawsuit is that the CTIA is suing under the grounds that they don’t want to be forced to put “false” information on their product, yet they stated that “there was no safety concern no matter how the phone is worn,” which is a complete lie. Refer to your own product manuals (see above)!
The CTIA is simply trying to distract from the point: even if we haven’t proven that cell phones cause cancer yet, they are literally trying to hide what is already proven inside cell phone manuals.
Finally, the end of the article includes:
“Max Anderson, right, a Berkeley City Council member, helped write the ordinance on cellphone warnings. ‘Even if the science isn’t firm,’ he said, ‘if there’s a risk, we should proceed with caution.’”
The hearing will take place on August 6 in San Francisco.
Whose side are you on?
Share you thoughts in the comment section below!
You may also be interested in…
- What cell phone suppliers don’t want us to know
- The truth is hidden in the small print
- 200 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Picking Up the Phone