Cellular Phones To Carry Radiation Level Label

Cellular Phone To Carry Radiation Level Label
New York Times
Journalist: Simon Romero
July 19, 2000

Moving to ease concern over possible health risks from cell phones, the largest manufacturers of cellular telephones are planning to disclose on their packages the radiation levels emitted from the devices they sell.

Under a proposal submitted by the Cellular Telephone Industry Association, which represents several hundred wireless carriers and manufacturers, cell phone manufacturers will begin on Aug. 1 to seek the trade group’s certification.

According to guidelines established in 1996, cell phone manufacturers already disclose the information to the Federal Communications Commission, but it is not easily available to consumers when they buy the devices.

Concern over the radiation levels of cell phones has grown as the devices have increased in popularity, with the number of cellular subscribers in the United States nearly tripling over five years.

While no link has been established between cell-phone use and cancer, the move is seen as protecting manufacturers from the type of legal action that has recently shaken the tobacco industry.

“This is a smart, proactive move on their part,” said Mitchell Lazarus, a lawyer at Fletcher, Heald & Hindreth, a law firm based in Arlington, Va., that specializes in the telecommunications industry.

Companies like Nokia of Finland, Ericsson of Sweden and Motorola of Schaumberg, Ill., the three largest cell phone manufacturers, will disclose the information, which is expected to appear on new devices the next three to six months.