The 411 on Cell Phones

There are more than four billion cell phone users across the world, and sometimes it seems as if most of them are in your child’s class, since she often complains that EVERYONE has a cell phone except her.


Still, scientists still don’t fully understand long-term health risks from cell phone radiation. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), cell phone radiation exposure has been linked to brain cancer, salivary gland tumors, behavioral problems, migraines and vertigo in adults who have used cell phones for 10 years or longer. Children are also being exposed to this radiation at early ages when their growing bodies and thinner, softer skulls are more susceptible to its damaging effects. 


In late January, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced legislation to the Board of Supervisors requiring retailers who sell cell phones in San Francisco to post the radiation level of each phone next to its price. This law could be passed sometime in early May. Following on the heels of this first-of-its-kind endeavor in the Bay Area, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) authored a bill introduced at the state capitol in late February that would require manufacturers to print radiation information on packaging and instruction manuals for retailers to display on the sales floor.


Because the cell phone industry is opposed to such measures, expect a contentious hearing process on the state level.


– Tiffany Carboni
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