Judge Tells San Francisco to Chillax on Cell Phone Radiation Warnings

Paul Lilly

A San Francisco judge on Thursday ruled that a city-wide ordinance mandating that cell phone vendors warn customers about radiation are a little too strict, the San Francisco Chronicle reports . The judge took issue with both the specific warning messages and how they have to be posted, and then ordered the city to change both.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup said the warnings give off an "untrue and misleading" impression that "cell phones are dangerous and they have somehow escaped the regulatory process." He also pointed out that every single mobile phone sold in the U.S. must meet certain federally regulated safety standards set forth by the FCC.

The ordinance was to go into effect next week and require that cell phone dealers give each customer a fact sheet pointing out that RF emissions from mobile handsets have been classified as a "possible carcinogen" by the World Health Organization. Similar warnings would also have to appear on wall posters and stickers attached to display ads.

Alsup didn't overturn the entire ordinance, but did order the city to rewrite the fact sheet and remove the display requirements.

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