PRESS RELEASE: Environmental Health Trust Lauds San Francisco For Enacting Nation’s First Cell Phone Ordinance

Acknowledges Significant Milestone Toward Cell Phone Safety Awareness

JACKSON, WY – October 4, 2011 – Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of Environmental Health Trust, today praised the City of San Francisco as its Department of the Environment put into effect the nation’s first cell phone ordinance.

This month the Department will distribute materials and educate local cell phone retailers about the ordinance. Retailers must comply with the ordinance by the end of October.

The materials required under the ordinance include a fact sheet, poster and stickers. The materials are now available online at www.sfenvironment.org/our_programs/interests.html?ssi=2&ti=3&ii=250.

The fact sheet makes the following five recommendations:

  • Limiting cell phone use by children. Developing brains and thinner skulls lead to higher absorption in children.
  • Using a headset, speakerphone or text instead. Exposure decreases rapidly with increasing distance from the phone.
  • Using belt clips and purses to keep distance between your phone and body. Do not carry on your body to at least meet the distance specified in your phone’s user manual.
  • Avoiding cell phones in areas with weak signals (elevators, on transit, etc.). Using a cell phone in areas of good reception decreases exposure by allowing the phone to transmit at reduced power.
  • Reducing the number and length of calls. Turn off your cell phone when not in use.

“Ellen Marks, EHT’s governmental affairs chief, worked tirelessly to see that San Francisco acquired the basic right to know how to practice safe phone,” Dr. Davis said. “With the passing of this ordinance, the City of San Francisco has taken a significant leap forward in promoting the awareness of health risks posed by cell phone use. The progressive thinking that led to this event should serve as an inspiration to other cities and towns around the nation as they propose similar ordinances. In addition, it is to be hoped that its passage will spur the federal government to consider a national cell phone ordinance, which would allow the U.S. to adhere to the safety standards recognized by an increasing number of governments around the globe.”

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