Maine Legislator Wants Warning Labels on Phones
Next month, the U.S. state of Maine's legislature will discuss putting warnings on cell phones
that say they can cause brain cancer, despite the fact that scientists are divided over the risk and manufacturers claim the devices are safe. State Representative Andrea Boland claimed that several studies now show that the radiation emitted by cell phones does pose a cancer risk, and wants manufacturers to put labels on mobiles that warn users - especially pregnant women and small children - to keep their phones away from their heads and bodies.
The idea that the radio frequency (RF) energy emitted by cell phones increases the risk of cancer in the brain is sketchy at best. A recently published study looked at the incidence of brain tumors in Scandinavia between the 1970s and the early 2000s and found no significant change in brain tumor rates in adults 5 to 10 years after cell phone usage went up. The FCC maintains that all cell phones sold in the US are safe, but many people believe that repeated RF exposure, even at low levels, can lead to brain tumors.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Boland uses a speaker so she can keep her phone away from her head and leaves her phone switched off unless she is expecting a call. Under the bill that she is proposing, manufacturers would have to put information on the phones' packaging to warn customers of the potential link between brain cancer and electromagnetic radiation, and would have to put a non-removable black label with "warning" written in red, accompanied by a graphic of a child's brain, on the phone itself.
image via Engadget