Lawmakers could soon vote on a bill that would require handsets sold in Maine to carry warning labels about the potential link between cell phone radiation and brain cancer.
The Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on the issue and plans to review the bill further next week.
“We can do nothing and wait for the body count,” said David Carpenter, a Harvard Medical School researcher and director of the Institute for Health and Environment. “That’s what happened with smoking.”
Several studies over the years have shown no direct correlation between brain cancer and electromagnetic radiation emitted from wireless products. But the bill, if passed, would call for manufacturers to add prominent labels — similar to lung cancer warnings on cigarettes — on devices sold in Maine, recommending that buyers, especially children and pregnant women, keep the handsets away from their heads and bodies.
Democratic representative Andrea Boland, the sponsor of the bill, said the United States has fallen behind other nations that have mandated similar policies alerting its citizens of the possible risks of cell phone use.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has even suggested adding radiation absorption levels on packages, allowing consumers to choose based on the amounts transmitted.
In September, the U.S. Senate Health Committee began investigating the issue, fearing similarities to the cigarette-lung cancer link in the 1970s, which tobacco companies denied for decades.
About 275 million people in the U.S. and 4 billion worldwide use wireless devices.
For a list of radiation levels emitted by cell phones, including rankings for the lowest and highest rated phones, visit our site at CellRisk.com.