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Burlingame Passes Cell Phone Radiation Bill

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oakland, CA – The Burlingame, Calif., city council has passed a motion to post guidelines on the city’s website to advise consumers how they can minimize their exposure to cell phone radiation.

Burlingame’s action comes days after San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee signed an ordinance aimed at protecting the consumer’s right to know about the potential risks of cell phone radiation. The San Francisco ordinance, the first of its kind nationwide, requires retail shops to display posters and distribute fact sheets to inform cell phone buyers about cell phone radiation and how to reduce their exposure to those emissions.

“San Francisco and Burlingame are true leaders in consumers’ rights,” said Renée Sharp, director of the Environmental Working Group California office. “We hope this movement will spread throughout the state and nation. Cell phone users everywhere have, at the very least, a right to be informed about their potential exposure to radiation and how they can minimize it.”

Last May, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Scientists convened by the agency cited evidence that long-term cell phone use might be associated with an increased risk for glioma, a type of malignant brain tumor.

Two months later, a study on cell phones' impacts on children’s health led by Swiss scientists found that children who used a cell phone for more than 2.8 years had an increased risk of brain tumors.

An article published July 28 in the Journal of Andrology linked cell phone radiation exposure to decreased sperm concentration, motility and quality in humans.

EWG has investigated the potential health effects of cell phone radiation for years. EWG’s free tip sheet lays out simple ways cell phone users can reduce their exposure to this radiation.

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment and can be found at www.ewg.org.