The Cell Phone Right to Know ToolKit
In a historic win for consumers, the City of Berkeley, California unanimously passed a Cell Phone Right to Know Ordinance in 2015. In 2019 the US Supreme Court rejected the telecommunications industry challenge. This means your community can pass a Cell Phone Right to Know Act without the threat of a telecommunications lawsuit provided the regulation is exactly the same as the Berkeley law.
WHAT IS A CELL PHONE RIGHT TO KNOW ORDINANCE?
A cell phone right to know ordinance simply informs consumers about the fact that their phone emits radiation and that the phone has specific instructions that detail how to meet federal radiation guidelines. Most consumers are unaware of such information which is why an ordinance is so important.
A Cell Phone Right to Know Ordinance like Berkeley’s would require cell phone retailers to provide the following safety notice to their customers:
“To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”
- All cell phones and wireless devices have fine print instructions buried in user manuals detailing the distance the device needs to be held away from the body in order to meet federal radiation guidelines. See some warnings here.
- Consumer Reports recommends that cell phone users be informed of this safety information.
- Most people are unaware of this information and hold their phones and wireless devices in a manner whereby they could be absorbing radiation levels that are far higher than federal guidelines.
- When phones are radiation tested in positions of body contact, they more often exceed federal safety limits as documented in a Chicago Tribune investigation.
Documentation That Phones Exceed US FCC Limits
Chicago Tribune. We tested popular cellphones for radiofrequency radiation. Now the FCC is investigating. 2019
Gandhi, O. P. (2019). Microwave Emissions From Cell Phones Exceed Safety Limits in Europe and the US When Touching the Body. IEEE Access, 7, 47050-47052.
CBC News. (2017). The secret inside your cellphone (CBC Marketplace)
Briefing Materials from the Berkeley Cell Phone Right To Know
Please click here to download the Cell Phone Right To Know Briefing Materials which were supported by California Brain Tumor Association and Voices Against Brain Cancer.
LINKS TO LEARN MORE
Sep 2015 – NBC News Story about Consumer Reports Recommendations to keep the cell phone away from head and body, including interview with Joel Moskowitz, Director and Principal Investigator of UC Berkeley’s Center for Family and Community Health
Bob Egelko, SF Gate, Aug 20, 2015