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Maine Proposes WARNING labels on cell phones

New research suggests the long term use of cell phones may be linked to brain cancer. Maine is the first state to propose legislation that would place warning labels on cell phone packaging because of possible connections to brain disorders, such as tumors and cancer.

The proposed warning label would advise children and pregnant women to keep the cell phone devices away from their heads and bodies, according to Business Week. Cell phones use electromagnetic radiation, which is thought to cause brain tumors. Electromagnetic radiation is able to penetrate a child’s brain more deeply than an adult brain, leaving children vulnerable to long-term damage.

Cell phone radiation is measured and reported as SAR, or specific absorption rate. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permits cell phone SAR ratings between 0.0 and 1.60. The Environmental Working Group published a consumer guide on radiation emission of more than 1,000 handheld devices. The iPhone 3G rates in at 1.19 SAR, while the myTouch 3G comes in even higher at 1.55 SAR.

Representative Andrea Boland of Maine – who proposed the legislation – believes that overexposure to cell phones increases the chance of getting brain cancer. In California, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco feels that the radiation levels emitted by a phone should be printed on the box. Cell phone companies are also advised against creating marketing campaigns that show pregnant women and children using cell phones.

To reduce any potential health risks of long term cell phone use, choose wired headsets over Bluetooth or the speakerphone setting on your mobile device.

According to the Swedish National Institute for Working Life, research showed that there is a link between the electromagnetic waves given off by cell phones and damaged brain tissue because of the close contact between the ear and brain. A new study overseen by the World Health Organization – who in 2005 found no evidence of increased cancer risk – may conclude that people who used cell phones for more than 10 years are at an increased risk of developing brain cancer.

The BioInitiative Working Group, a group of European scientists, has already begun taking the initiative to educate the public about the possible relation with cell phones and brain cancer. Also, the European Union Parliament has passed a resolution calling for government action concerning health risks from cell phone use.

However, the FCC maintains their position that cell phones are safe and that no scientific evidence proves wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other health issues.

To reduce any potential health risks of long term cell phone use, choose wired headsets over Bluetooth or the speakerphone setting on your mobile device. The current generation has another solution: JUST TEXT IT!

As of this issue’s print date, the newest information from the 10-year INTERPHONE study – a multinational investigation on the subject of cell phone health risks – was not yet made public.

Learn how to limit your exposure to cell phone radiation:


[box] Cell Phones with Low Radiation:

  • Samsung Impression 0.15 – 0.35 SAR
  • Motorola RAZR V8 0.36 SAR
  • T-Mobile Sidekick 0.50 SAR [/box]

[box] Cell Phones with High Radiation:

  • T-Mobile myTouch 3G 1.55 SAR
  • BlackBerry Curve 8330 1.54 SAR
  • BlackBerry Bold 9000 1.39-1.55 SAR [/box]

-Information compiled from EWG’s radiation guide

By Jessica Moulite

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