Industry pressure and the opposition of Maine Gov. John Baldacci force changes to a proposed law that would have required cell phone makers to put labels on their devices warning consumers of possible brain cancer risks due to electromagnetic radiation.
The Maine House of Representatives has voted to reject an alternative
version of a law to require a cancer warning on cell phones. Under the
proposal, Maine state officials
would have been required to add links to their Websites about the connection
between cell phones and brain cancer.
The original proposal would have required cell phone makers to affix labels
to their devices warning consumers of possible brain cancer risks due to
electromagnetic radiation. Industry pressure and the opposition of Maine Gov.
John Baldacci forced the changes.
The World Health Organization and National Cancer Institute have said there
is little clear evidence to prove a linkage between cell phones and cancer. The
Federal Communications Commission says cell phones are safe and maintains a
standard for the specific absorption rate of radio frequency energy, but doesn't
require manufacturers to reveal radiation levels.
Maine State Rep. Andrea Boland said she is convinced warning labels are
needed based on what she had read about the possible linkage between cell
phones and cancer.
"The main thing is that the warning labels get on there, and when
people go to purchase something, they have a heads-up that they need to really
think about it," Boland told the New York Times. "This is a big
important industry, and it's a small modification to assure people that they
should handle them properly."
More than 270 million people currently subscribe to cellular telephone
service in the United States,
according to industry trade group CTIA.
"With respect to the matter of health effects associated with wireless
base stations and the use of wireless devices, CTIA and the wireless industry
have always been guided by science and the views of impartial health
organizations," CTIA spokesperson John Walls told the Associated Press. "The
peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless
devices do not pose a public health risk."