Filed under: News
Yes, seriously. The city has been busy in recent weeks, pushing for this in the name of “the consumer's right to know.” The law will require visible warnings to be posted right next to phones in stores so that shoppers can read — in mandated 11-point or higher type — each unit's specific absorption rate.
The specific absorption rate, or SAR (a soon-to-be buzzword) [it's only one letter away from SARS -Ed], measures the amount of radiation absorbed into the user's body. Now, the funny thing about the SAR of a mobile phone is that the FCC already mandates that 1.6 W/kg is the maximum rating a phone can have and still be sold in the United States; in Europe, it's 2 W/kg. The sort of people that are the most likely to make a scene about their phone's SAR won't bother to look that up, though. You know the type, … they sneer at you if you don't drive a hybrid, and they snoop through their neighbors' recycling bins at night to be sure they're following all the rules.
As you may have guessed, the wireless carriers and phone manufacturers aren't too happy about this, since it has a high likelihood of spreading to other cities. This, however, isn't like the old Big Tobacco vs. The People unpleasantness of the past. Even the National Cancer Institute says that cell phone radiation poses no threat to health. This is from their own website:
Research suggests that the amount of RF energy produced by cell phones is too low to cause significant tissue heating or an increase in body temperature
Research studies have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancer.
In case you're curious or in need of some perspective, the iPhone 3GS has a SAR of 0.79 W/kg, while the Nexus One rates at 0.37 W/kg (both are head-level measurements, FCC rating system).
All this law will actually do is cause consumers to start thinking that some phones are healthier than others, and that will, in turn, spur a whole slew of new marketing campaigns that try to sell phones to people on the merit of their SAR. What's really odd about this whole thing is that the city's mayor, Gavin Newsom, is so attached to his own iPhone that it may actually be grafted to his hand. The guy's got 1.3 million followers on Twitter! Does he really want to start making people who live in and around a tech-absorbed city fear their cell phones?
tweetmeme_url = 'http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/06/17/san-francisco-first-city-cell-phone-radiation-warning-law'; tweetmeme_source='DownloadSquad'; tweetmeme_style = 'compact'; Share San Francisco becomes first US city to pass radiation warning law for cell phones
Fuente: Download Squad