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San Francisco Passes Cellphone Radiation Law

We all use cell phones numerous times throughout the day. Even if it's not to make a call, we're still checking our email or sending texts. But some are concerned at what all that wireless activity, so close to our bodies, are doing to us. That's why the FCC regulates that all phones sold in the U.S. must have a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.6 watts per kilogram or less.

Now San Francisco is taking it another step further by mandating that all retailers in the city must display in 11-point font or larger the SAR rating of each handset sold, according to the New York Times.

While there still hasn't been any conclusive evidence that cell phone radiation causes any harm, the administration of SF mayor Gavin Newsom, believes that having the information readily available to consumers is a good thing for those who care about the SAR when buying phones.

"It’s information that’s out there if you’re willing to look hard enough," said Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for Mr. Newsom. "And we think that for the consumer for whom this is an area of concern, it ought to be easier to find."

This information is listed in the documentation for the phone and can also be found online, but through this new law, consumers will be able to see it listed near the same place where they find out how many megapixels the camera can capture.

The trade group responsible for the wireless association doesn't like the new law, however, as it may cast a negative light on phones with a higher SAR.

"We believe there is an overwhelming consensus of scientific belief that there is no adverse health effect by using wireless devices," John Walls, a spokesman for C.T.I.A., said, "and this kind of labeling gets away from what the F.C.C.’s standard actually represents."

Would you base your phone buying choice partially on SAR?