Environmental Health Trust Urges City of San Francisco to Stand for the Truth and Uphold “Right to Know” Law on Cell Phone Radiation

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EHT Blasts Move to Repeal Law as “Repealing the Laws of Physics and Common Sense”

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,

Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and controlling environmental health hazards,today urged the City of San Francisco to uphold its “Right to Know” law on the potential dangers of cell phone radiation and resist legal intimidation by CTIA-The Wireless Association. The EHT is also condemned the impending repeal of the City of San Francisco’s “Right to Know” law on the potential dangers of cell phone radiation.

San Francisco passed the Right to Know law about cell phone radiation last year, but its new city government is on the verge of repeal. 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 on packaging. Compelling the SAR to be spotlighted so that more people can actually 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 Ellen Marks of Environmental Health Trust. “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.”

CTIA also has been threatening San Francisco with seeking reimbursement for its hefty legal fees—an unprecedented move that is sure to send shivers down the spines of city supervisors strapped with extraordinary budget challenges.

“Major tech-savvy governments around the world, including Israel and France, post the SAR on cell phones,” said Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of EHT and author of the book, Disconnect--The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What Industry Has Done to Hide It and How to Protect Your Family. “They also require 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, as have major cancer centers such as MD Anderson and the University of Pittsburgh.” The President's Cancer Panel has also urged that research be conducted on this issue.

Among the evidence Davis notes are studies that find that men who regularly use cell phones have significantly lower sperm count and more defective sperm, and reports from Israel of growing rates of rare malignant tumors of the cheek (parotid gland) associated with cellphone use.

“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 Israel, France and 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 http://www.ehtrust.org.

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Janet Vasquez
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