Environmental Health Trust Supports California State Senator Mark Leno’s Introduction of Statewide Cell Phone Legislation on May 9

The California State Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee is scheduled to conduct a hearing and vote on bill SB 932, introduced by Senator Leno, at 1:30 pm Pacific Time in Room 112 of the State Capitol.

Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and controlling environmental health hazards, today voiced its strong support for California State Senator Mark Leno’s introduction of statewide cell phone legislation today.  The California State Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee is scheduled to conduct a hearing and vote on bill SB 932, introduced by Senator Leno, at 1:30 pm Pacific Time in Room 112 of the State Capitol.

If passed into law, SB 932 would require a specified notice relating to radiofrequency energy emitted by a cell phone to be prominently displayed by the retailer of the cell phone immediately adjacent to the displayed purchase price at the physical retail location and on the retailer’s websites, and on the cell phone’s exterior packaging or on a label attached to that exterior packaging.

Currently, information on the computer-modeled estimate of radiation released by each cell phone—a value known as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)—is found in fine print in packaging. Compelling it to be spotlighted so that more people will see it is alleged to violate the cell phone industry’s First Amendment right to free speech, according to the Cellular Telecommunications industry.

“The emperor is naked,” said Environmental Health Trust’s Ellen Marks, who will be testifying at Monday’s hearing in Sacramento.  “For years, the CTIA—the organization that has represented the wireless communications industry since 1984—has been sneaking fine-print warning information into packaging about the SAR.  But now that they are required to tell the truth and make this information clear and legible to the public, they argue that this violates their right to free speech.  In fact, this is not a matter of free speech but of suppression of basic information about one of the most widely used technologies in modern life.”

“Major tech-savvy governments around the world, including Israel and France, are requiring that the SAR be posted on cell phones,” said Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of EHT.  “They are also requiring that people be given simple information about reducing directed-microwave radiation from cell phones to their brains and bodies, and taking special precautions with children.  Evidence that cell phone radiation can have biological impacts has grown over the past two decades; this is why so many nations have issued precautionary advice, along with major cancer centers such as MD Anderson and the University of Pittsburgh.”

“Our government needs to monitor children’s cell phone use and assess their cumulative exposure to cell phone radiation in addition to funding research on the health effects of cell phone use,” said Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Family and Community Health, University of California, Berkeley.  “Furthermore, our government should follow the lead taken by many other nations and issue precautionary health warnings regarding children’s use of cell phones.”

“With nearly all adults and growing numbers of children using these devices, the need to monitor and evaluate the potential health consequences of cell phones is clear and strong, especially in regard to long-term and frequent use of cell phones held directly against the ear or in contact with other parts of the body,” adds Ronald B. Herberman, M.D., Chairman of the Board of EHT, Founding Director Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Chief Medical Officer, Intrexon Corporation.

About Environmental Health Trust

Environmental Health Trust (EHT) educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. Current multi-media projects include: local and national campaigns to ban smoking and asbestos; working with international physician and worker safety groups to warn about the risks of inappropriate use of diagnostic radiation and cell phones, promoting research and awareness of environmental causes of breast cancer, and building environmental wellness programs in Wyoming and Pennsylvania to address the environmental impacts of energy development, the built environment and radon. EHT was created with the goal of promoting health and preventing disease one person, one community and one nation at a time. Capitalizing on growing public interest in Dr. Devra Lee Davis’s three popular books, When Smoke Ran Like Water, a National Book Award Finalist, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, and Disconnect--The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What Industry Has Done to Hide It and How to Protect Your Family, as well as recent documentary films, the foundation’s website offers clear, science-based information to prevent environmentally based disease and promote health, for the general public, children, and health professionals. For more information about getting involved in the numerous special projects spearheaded by the EHT, please log on to www.ehtrust.org. 

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