The Cell Phone Right to Know ToolKit


The Cell Phone Right to Know

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 the Berkeley Ordinace stands.

If you live in California, you 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 the 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.”

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Additional Documents

EHT’s Doctor’s Advice Printable Brochure

Please click here to download the letter from expert scientists to Senator Rosalyn Baker on Hawaii’s proposed Cell Phone Fine Print Awareness Law.

Click here to read the declaration of 240 scientists from 40 countries urging precautionary actions be taken to reduce radiation


The Berkeley Cell Phone Ordinance EHT Page

Listen to Stories by Cell Phone Survivors & Non-survivors

November 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine on cell phones.

Lecture at George Washington University on Cell phones and Policy


Reuters, U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to Berkeley cell phone law 2019

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

Judge suggests he may side with most of Berkeley’s cell phone law

Bob Egelko, SF Gate, Aug 20, 2015

Cell phones radiation is making headlines again with Berkeley’s Right to Know ordinance

By Lulu Chang, Digital Trends, August 1, 2015

LEGAL BUT LETHAL: Read Dr. Davis’s article in San Francisco Medicine: “Flying Blind: The Public Health Impacts of Wireless Radiation”

PC Magazine: The Government Accountability Office asks the FCC to revise safety limits

The American Academy of Pediatrics asks FCC to revise their safety limits



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