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San Francisco Cell Phone Law Contested By CTIA

The wireless industry group has filed suit to nullify the first in the nation legislation designed to alert consumers to radiation levels of wireless devices.

The cellphone industry is settling in for a long fight over the safety of mobile phones in litigation it filed contesting a San Francisco law that requires retailers to display radiation levels of wireless devices.

The CTIA filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco seeking to nullify the legislation that is the first in the nation designed to alert consumers to potential dangers of cell phone usage.

Earlier, the industry thwarted attempts by California and Maine legislators, who had proposed legislation requiring warnings on mobile phone packaging that the devices could cause cancer, especially in children. The industry has long maintained that there is no evidence that cell phone usage can cause health problems among users.

However, a large study of cell phone users released in May indicated there were "suggestions" that excessive use of cell phones could increase the risk of some forms of brain cancer. The study's data was inconclusive and further studies are underway.

The San Francisco Broad of Supervisors voted 10-1 in June to approval the proposal, which was later approved by Major Gavin Newsom, who has been a long time supporter of legislation warning of potential cell phone use hazards.

"CTIA's objection to the ordinance is that displaying a phone's SAR (specific absorption rate) value at the point-of-sale suggests to the consumer that there is a meaningful safety distinction between FCC-compliant devices with different SAR levels," said a CTIA spokesman in a statement. "The FCC has determined that all wireless phones legally sold in the United States are 'safe.'"

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