How safe is your cell phone? - Page 2

The fight to require cell phone companies to post the level of radiowave energy coming out of their products

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Cell phone manufacturers aren't required to disclose SAR information directly to phone buyers; they send the data to the FCC. Although the FCC makes this information available on its website, the information is incomplete and hard to find. A list of cell phone SARs information compiled by the Environmental Working Group is at www.ewg.org/cellphoneradiation/Get-a-Safer-Phone.

The telecommunications industry strongly oppose Leno's bill. Joe Gregorich, a lobbyist for Tech America, an industry group, told us that the requirement in Leno's bill "has an assumption that a lower SAR is safer than a higher SAR. The FCC, FDA, and Inter Agency Working Group regulate the SAR and have set a SAR threshold where cell phones are considered safe. All cell phone manufacturers make cell phones below this SAR threshold."

According to Sharp, the FCC's standards are out of date. "The FCC set SAR standards 14 years ago and has not updated them since," Sharp said. "This was before we found out that children have thinner skulls and are more susceptible to radiation effects, and before phones developed and exploded into what they are now."