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San Francisco's efforts to label cellphones with radiation warnings meet their end

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cell tower stock 1024
cell tower stock 1024

The City of San Francisco's efforts to label every cellphone for sale with a warning of potentially dangerous radiation levels have come to an end. As reported by Reuters, city officials have agreed to withdraw the ordinance after facing much opposition from the cellphone industry. The original ordinance from 2011 would require shop owners to put stickers on phones that labeled them as "possibly carcinogenic," much in the way that cigarette cartons are already labeled.

The Wireless Association of America (CTIA) fought the proposed bill in court, stating that it violated free speech and it misled consumers about the potential risks posed by cellphone use. Scientists have not been able to agree if cellphones do indeed present a cancer risk or not, which weakened the city's case against the CTIA. The Federal Communications Commission has long said that all cellphones sold in the US are safe for use, but the controversy surrounding this case prompted the FCC to reevaluate its findings. In its report, the FCC maintained its stance on RF exposure limits for cellphones, but extended its definition of "extremities" to the outer ear, meaning the outer ear is considered to be able to absorb more radiation than under earlier guidelines.

Courts decided in favor of the CTIA last year, upholding a preliminary injunction against the ordinance, and that prompted the city to give up on its efforts to continue to push the bill forward in court. The city settled its case with the CTIA instead of potentially having to pay out large court fees if the case was lost.