In 2010, Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, president of the Environmental Health Trust, and former White House adviser, wrote the book titled, “Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What The Industry Has Done To Hide It, and How To Protect Your Family.” Dr. Davis shares her concerns, “If the industry doesn’t make a positive move soon, we may have a global epidemic on our hands within the next two decades.
This global epidemic is not a scare tactic. There is study after study, over 500, on the ill effects of exposure to cell phone radiation.
Dr. Davis just wants the industry to be responsible. “We are asking the industry to give people the facts about known health risks from cell phone radiation exposure to children’s brains and ensure people know how to best use these devices.
In 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), released the statement that cell phone radiation is a “possible human carcinogen.” Other “possible human carcinogens” include the exhaust from diesel engines and the banned (in this country) pesticide DDT.
Has this made a difference? Well, yes and no. Many other countries, including Canada, France, Turkey, and Israel have come out with safety guidelines, age appropriate advertising, and introduced an institute to conduct research on the subject, respectively.
In this country, a federal office has put out a public acknowledgment three times in the past almost 20 years in regards to the necessity of studying the health implications created by cell phones. Unfortunately, the funds for such research are neither there nor have the potential to be there anytime soon.
The CTIA and the Right-to -Know
Numerous local governments spread out across the country are sitting on drafts for cell phone Right-To-Know ordinances which would eventually become laws if passed.
Cell phone Right-to-Know laws are simple and succinct. It’s the consumers right to know about any risks associated with using a cell phone and how to use the phone safely before the phone is actually purchased.
So, what is going on? Here’s some insight. In the summer of 2010 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance giving residents of the community who purchased and used cell phones the right to know about the health risks and safety user guidelines associated with using the phone. The ordinance was signed into law by then mayor Gavin Newsom, the first of its kind.
The CTIA then sued San Francisco, both the city and the county, under the premise of violating cell phone company’s first amendment rights. Some amendments were made to the law; however, the CTIA was not satisfied and has taken the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. CTIA is waiting to see if the decision will stand or be appealed.
According to their website, “CTIA is the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, Dedicated to Expanding the Wireless frontier. The association advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government.” CTIA has represented its members, the wireless communications industry, since 1984.
The industry seems to be hiding behind two things:
1. They contend they have never said cell phones were safe.
2. The manual which accompanies the cell phone states in tiny wording that a cell phone should never be held next to the body in order to avoid exceeding the exposure limits set by the FCC.
This is akin to lying by omission and supplying the public with information the industry knows the consumer will never get. Clearly, telecommunication companies don’t want cell phone users to be fully informed or question the safety of cell phones.
Sources for this article include: