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San Francisco Board of Supervisors to Vote on New Cell Phone Radiation Ordinance

Jul 13, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will try one more time to make sure consumers in that city have easy access to information about cell phone radiation.  The Board is scheduled to vote on another version of a cell phone radiation ordinance, months after an industry group filed suit and scared the city into abandoning an earlier measure.

According to, the new version would require retailers to display an information placard informing customers that cell phones emit radiation. Retailers would also have to provide tip sheets on how to reduce exposure, said.

The original ordinance, which passed by a 10-1 vote, would have mandated that stores selling the devices post the specific absorption rates (SAR) – the levels at which radio frequencies penetrate body tissue – near cell phones in at least 11-point type. It was never enacted because of a lawsuit filed by industry group CTIA, which claimed the ordinance was over-reaching and infringed on the industry's First Amendment.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the new ordinance on July 19 and July 26, and it's expected to pass easily, according to  The city's Mayor would have 10 days to sign it.

Despite the fact that this new version is watered-down compared to what the Board originally approved, CTIA is still opposed.  The group argues that it places an undue burden on retailers, and continues to insist the link between cell phones and cancer is unsubstantiated. 

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