Monday, 20 May 2019

Californian city’s aim to put cancer warnings on mobile phones is based on a misunderstanding says US peak body


Undeterred by a failed attempt by San Francisco, the nearby Californian city of Berkeley is considering a law forcing local retailers to place warnings mobile phone boxes to warn consumers “of the risk of brain cancer when using cell phones within a 10 mm distance of their body.” But the city’s proposal is based on a misunderstanding says the US wireless association – the CTIA.

“Cell phones are a risk, and I believe the public has a right to information that's credible, readable and understandable about the device they're using,” Berkeley City Councilman Max Anderson, who's co-sponsoring the law, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I'm not intimidated by the cell phone industry. The legal department might be, but I'm not.”
The recommendation to introduce the law – by Councilman Kriss Worthington – claimed manufacturers already put hidden warnings in mobile phone manuals.
In a recent letter to the Mayor of Berkeley the CTIA explained that the recommendation is based on a misunderstanding about the compliance statements – not warnings – which the FCC requires mobile phone manufacturers to place in manuals.
“As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently noted in a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits issued in 2013, ‘[w]e take this opportunity to clarify a misconception, apparently held by some in the public, of our policy dealing with separation distance between portable devices and the body. Some cell phone users apparently believe that certain devices need to be kept a specified distance (up to 2.5 cm) from the head during normal use to ensure compliance with our [FCC] limits. Such a requirement does not exist and would clearly be impractical.’ Accordingly, the claims in the background material are based on a complete misunderstanding of the FCC’s role and guidelines,” wrote Gerald Keegan, senior director of legislative affairs for the CTIA.
“Moreover, the statements included in device manuals are not warnings as claimed in the background materials. In fact, they are compliance statements to show that devices have been tested in compliance with FCC guidelines. The FCC recommends language that manufacturers include in device manuals to show compliance with the FCC testing protocols.”



Published 13/11/2014

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