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EWG Urges Apple to Back Cell Phone Radiation Disclosure at San Francisco Retailers

202-667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, June 3, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, June 3 – Environmental Working Group (EWG), which published the first consumer-friendly guide to the radiation emitted by cellphones >, has requested that Apple lend its support to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposal, which would require all wireless devices sold in the City to display at the point of sale the level of radiation they emit. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider the Mayor’s legislation Tuesday, June 8th.

“Apple is among the most respected brands in America, known not just for its technological innovation but for the company’s growing commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of its products,” wrote EWG president Ken Cook in a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “Given your undisputed leadership position in the cell phone industry, we hope Apple will publicly endorse Mayor Newsom’s consumer right to know proposal for cell phone radiation.”

Cook noted that although the science is far from settled as to whether

radiation exposure through long-term use of a wireless device causes brain tumors, there is enough evidence to raise serious concerns. He argued Newsom’s common-sense initiative would simply provide consumers with the information they need to make the best for choice for themselves.

“While the science proceeds, we argue, consumers have a right to know about electromagnetic radiation levels as they shop for cell phones,” added Cook.

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-District 3) has authored a bill similar to Newsom’s, SB 1212, which would require disclosure of wireless devices’ radiation levels at the point of sale throughout California.

The text of Cook’s letter to Mr. Jobs follows this release.

# # #

EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. http://www.ewg.org

Dear Mr. Jobs:

Last September Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report ranking over 1,000 mobile phones and other wireless devices by the levels of radiation each emits, according to information provided to the Federal Communications Commission by manufacturers, but not easily available to the consumer. We updated that report earlier this year.

The thrust of EWG’s accompanying state-of-the-science review was straightforward: while the research is far from definitive as to whether radiation exposure through regular use of a wireless device increases the risk of brain tumors, on balance the latest evidence does raise significant health concerns about cell phone radiation. While the science proceeds, we argue, consumers have a right to know about electromagnetic radiation levels as they shop for cell phones.

Our report drew heavy media coverage and the interest of elected officials in California, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Mayor Newsom has sent a proposed ordinance to the city’s Board of Supervisors that would require wireless retailers in the City to disclose the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), of each device to the consumer. The Mayor’s proposal has advanced through a key subcommittee and is expected to go before the full Board of Supervisors on June 8.

We are writing on behalf of the nearly 6,000 EWG supporters in the City of San Francisco to request Apple’s support for the ordinance.

Apple is among the most respected brands in America, known not just for its technological innovation but for the company’s growing commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of its products. (EWG, a nonprofit leader in the use of information technology, has been powered by Apple computers since our inception in 1993.) The iPhone, in particular, has become an iconic tool in the realms of business, culture and lifestyle. I can’t imagine doing business without my 3G. (For the record, the iPhone 3GS ranks in the middle of the pack of the newest smartphones, with a SAR rating of 1.19 watts per kilogram of the user’s body weight.)

Given your undisputed leadership position in the cell phone industry, we hope Apple will publicly endorse Mayor Newsom’s consumer right to know proposal for cell phone radiation. If there are any questions regarding the Mayor’s plan or EWG’s research, please do not hesitate to call me – on my iPhone – at any time. Thank you for your time and consideration.

And I wish you and Apple the very best for the WWDC on June 7.

 

Sincerely,

Kenneth A. Cook

President