Judge Orders Controversial Cell-Phone Radiation Law Rewritten

A federal judge says wording that warns San Franciscans about cell-phone radiation goes a little too far.

The California city is the first in the nation to require wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon to post warnings about radiation being a potential threat to your health. But U.S. District Judge William Alsup says the wording is too strong. Before the caution signs go up, Alsup says they should be changed to read that cell-phone radiation is a “possible” carcinogen as opposed to one that is “known” or probable,” Bloomberg reported. They should also say that the issue is being further studied.

In addition, Alsup wants the warnings to say all wireless phones in the U.S. have to meet FCC safety standards before going on sale. The new law won’t go into effect until the changes are made, the judge said.

Claims that long-term exposure to cell-phone emissions could cause cancer have long been made, but the issue made global headlines again earlier this year when a World Health Organization report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association named cell-phone emissions as a possible carcinogen. That notion was quickly rebuked by some researchers who said the claim “has no valid experimental support.”

It’s a debate that’s likely to rage for many years to come. Will San Francisco’s law be a test case for other parts of the country, and perhaps the world? Or is this just a city well known as a liberal bastion getting its dander up?

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