San Francisco passes law requiring cell phone retailers to disclose SAR (specific absorption rate) of phones

Our colleagues over at Marketplace covered this on their show last night.

The council passed a measure on a vote of 10 to 1 and Mayor Gavin Newsom has said he'll sign it. SAR measures how much radiation is absorbed by a person using the device. The FCC has limits SAR to 1.6 watts per kilogram of body tissue. The measure is in response to fears about cell phones causing brain cancer.

From the NYT:

"From our perspective, this is a very reasonable and quite modest measure that will provide greater transparency and information to consumers for whom this is an area of interest or concern," said Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for Mr. Newsom. "We're playing a role that we've often played, which is to be at the forefront of a debate."


But a major United Nations study released last month showed no relation between cell phone use and brain cancer. Cell phone industry reps say they're concerned this new law will spread unfounded fears about their products.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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