San Francisco's cell phone radiation law gets preliminary OK

San Francisco may soon require cell phone retailers to post notices telling how much radiation is emitted by each model.

It's still unclear about the health effects of long-term use of wireless devices. A World Health Organization study released last month that looked at data from 13 countries over 10 years was inconclusive.

And yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that the most scientific evidence hasn't linked cell phones with any health problems. Cell phones emit low levels of radio frequency energy, which causes no known health impact, the agency says.

The city's Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to the measure Tuesday, and Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it into law after a comment period and a final board vote. Once the cell phone radiation law goes into effect in February, it will carry up to a $300 fine for violators.

PC World
is reporting that proposals to require warning labels on cell phones that they may cause brain cancer have been considered or may be coming at the federal level as well as in California, Maine, New York and Oregon.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group applauded San Francisco's measure on cell phone radiation, saying it hopes to see more places enact such rules.

"While research continues, this is a simple, inexpensive, common-sense idea that will ensure that San Franciscans have the information they need to choose the right phone for themselves and their families," said EWG's Renee Sharp, director of its California office in a statement.