Mobile phone trade group sues the city of San Francisco

Posted by Mark Raby

San Francisco is known for doing some pretty crazy things, and now it has really peeved off the organization that represents the mobile phone industry with a crazy new radiation law.

The city known for banning plastic bags and bottled water has just passed an ordinance that requires electronics retailers to display how much radiation is emitted by wireless devices. This is San Francisco's attempt at letting consumers know which cell phones are the safest, although there are many arguments that say radiation from any mobile phone is unlikely to cause any damage in humans.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has now filed a lawsuit seeking to make sure this ordinance never gets put into place. The CTIA says this would directly conflict with the guidelines in place by the Federal Communications Commission.

"CTIA's objection to the ordinance is that displaying a phone's [specific absorption rate] value at the point-of-sale suggests to the consumer that there is a meaningful safety distinction" when it comes to radiation, said CTIA spokesperson John Walls in a statement.

Of course, any cell phone that is sold in the US already has to be certified by the FCC to ensure that it is not emitting a crazy level of radiation. The level of difficulty involved with getting this information and displaying it at every single retailer for every device across the city is just not worth it.

In response, San Francisco's highly liberal mayor said, "I'm surprised these industry representatives would choose to spend untold sums of money fighting this in courtrooms instead of cooperatively working with our city and county to comply with a reasonable law providing greater transparency."