This is huge; thank you Angela Flynn for bring to our attention.
Mayor Gavin Newsom’s idea to require stores to post how much radio frequency energy is emitted by cell phones hit a legal snag today.
The industry trade group CTIA — The Wireless Association filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The ordinance, “misleads consumers by creating the false impression that the FCC’s standards are insufficient and that some phones are ‘safer’ than others,” the group said in a press release.
The FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radiation, which are calculated in terms of a unit called the Specific Absorption Rate that signifies the amount of radio frequency energy a person absorbs into his or her body and brain when talking on a cell phone.
Newsom expected his legislation would be challenged and told the Insider’s Heather Knight in December that “If we prevail, and I believe we will prevail, other cities will follow suit.”
The FCC requires that cell phone manufacturers ensure their phones are at or below a SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram of body tissue to be legally sold in this country. Some phones emit as little as 0.2 watts per kilogram.
The ordinance, which was passed by the Board of Supervisors, would make San Francisco the first city in the nation to require cell phone retailers to display the SAR level next to each phone. Retailers would also have to provide information about what SAR values mean.
UPDATE: Newsom said in a statement that he’s “disappointed” with the legal challenge. “This law is not an attack on the wireless industry or their products…This is a modest, common sense measure which merely takes information already made available by these companies and makes it more accessible and easier to find by the point-of-sale consumer.”