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Proposed Law Requires Cell Phone Warning Labels

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is proposing legislation that would require SAR warning labels on cell phone and create a research program to study cell hone radiation.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich is preparing legislation to require warning labels on cell phones as well as developing a plan to create a new national research program on cell phones and health.

Noting that he conducted hearings on the issue in 2008, The Ohio Democrat announced this week that he will seek approval to launch a new research program that would be different from the research already carried out by the FCC. Kucinich's action comes after San Francisco city lawmakers voted to require retailers to post the "specific absorption rate" of cell phones.

In a statement this week, Kucinich noted that most research on cell phone radiation has been conducted out of the U.S.

"Some studies find links. Some don't," he said in a release. "But studies funded by the telecommunications industry are significantly less likely to find a link between cell phones and health effects. We need a first-class research program to give us the answers. Until we know for sure, a labeling law will ensure that cell phone users can decide for themselves the level of risk that they will accept. Obviously, cell phone companies should not be the ones making that decision for us."

Kucinich indicated that some research would be focused on the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and whether regulations governing it are outdated. San Francisco lawmakers have been lobbying to post the SAR rate next to mobile phones. The SAR is a measurement of radiation that can be absorbed by the human body.

The mobile phone industry has fought any plans to warn consumers of potential hazards of cell phone users and recently beat back proposed legislation in Maine calling for the posting of the Specific Absorption Rate. Both the Maine House and Senate voted against posting the SAR rate.

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