Should cell phone providers warn customers of health risks? Berkeley says yes
BY LYNNE PEEPLES, FairWarning.org,
11 July 2018
|The scientific community has not reached consensus on|
the risks of cellular phone use, but the California health
department said research suggests long-term extensive
use may affect health.
Concerned about the lack of public awareness, Berkeley, California passed a law in 2015 calling for cellphone stores to post warning signs. The signs caution that if you carry a phone in a pocket or tucked into a bra when the device is on, “you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure’’ to radio-frequency radiation.
That advisory is intended to sum up the information the Federal Communications Commission requires cellphone manufacturers to disclose in phones, owner manuals or packaging material, and it’s milder than warnings given by such organizations as the American Academy of Pediatrics. But eager to squelch its aversion to unfavorable information, the wireless industry — led by the trade group CTIA —has waged a high-powered legal battle to take down the signs. In court filings, CTIA has called the advisory “inflammatory” and has argued that the Berkeley law violates retailers' First Amendment rights by compelling them to disclose misleading information.
Berkeley won the first round in federal district court, and then again in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But it suffered a setback on June 28 when the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the appeals court ruling, and sent the case back to the 9th Circuit for further consideration.