Congress may consider bill requiring cancer warning on cellphones

10 07 2010

Kucinich to introduce bill for cell phone radiation research, warning label

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) said Wednesday that he will introduce a bill for a federal research program on the affects of cellphone radiation on users. The bill will also call for a warning label for mobile phones, as a growing body of research around the world indicate potential links between long-term use and cancer.

The bill comes after The Post’s report Tuesday outlining the growing controversy over cellphones and health. The story looks into the lobbying effort against bills across the country that would require warning and radiation data labels for cellphone retailers and San Francisco’s move as the first place in the nation to require retailers to disclose radiation levels of the phones they sell.

“Some studies find links. Some don’t. But studies funded by the telecommunications industry are significantly less likely to find a link between cellphones and health effects. We need a first-class research program to give us answers,” Kucinich said in a statement. “Until we know for sure, a labeling law will ensure that cellphone users can decide for themselves the level of risk that they will accept”

Kucinich, who held a hearing on the topic in 2008, said much of the current research on cellphone radiation is being done outside the United States. Federal regulations on how much radiation devices can emit – such as the Specific Absorption Rate set by the Federal Communications Commission – are outdated.

His bill will call for a fresh look at regulatory standards on how much radiation a cellphone can emit. The FCC’s guidelines for SAR, an absorption limit set at 1.6 watts per kilogram of tissue, were determined in 1997 and were designed around testing for a male adult model. Those standards, according to some epidemiologists, do not take into account other affects of radiation on tissue and do not take into account the fastest-growing segment of cellphone users: children.

Kucinich cited the 13-nation Interphone study (the U.S. did not participate) that found that while there is no conclusive link that long-term cellphone users were more prone to cancer, the heaviest users could be more vulnerable.

“Consumers have a right to know whether they are buying the phone with the lowest – or the highest – level of exposure to cellphone radiation. They also deserve to have up-to-date standards, which are now decades old,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich said in an interview that he will introduce his bill when Congress resumes session in two weeks. He said he has several co-sponsors.

“There is a high degree of interest in this among my colleagues,” he said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Cecilia Kang | June 30, 2010; 2:36 PM ET

Congress may consider bill requiring cancer warning on cellphones..


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Scientists warn US Congress of cancer risk for cell phone use

26 09 2008

The potential link between mobile telephones and brain cancer could be similar to the link between lung cancer and smoking — something tobacco companies took 50 years to recognize, according to US scientists’ warning.

Scientists are currently split on the level of danger the biological effects of the magnetic field emitted by cellular telephones poses to humans.

However, society “must not repeat the situation we had with the relationship between smoking and lung cancer where we … waited until every ‘i’ was dotted and ‘t’ was crossed before warnings were issued,” said David Carpenter, director of the Institute of Health and Environment at the University of Albany, in testimony before a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“Precaution is warranted even in the absence of absolutely final evidence concerning the magnitude of the risk” — especially for children, said Carpenter.

Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute — one of the top US cancer research centers — said that most studies “claiming that there is no link between cell phones and brain tumors are outdated, had methodological concerns and did not include sufficient numbers of long-term cell phone users.

Many studies denying a link defined regular cell phone use as “once a week,” he said.

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Scientists warn US Congress of cancer risk for cell phone use