U.S. Lags Behind Other Countries in Regulating Cell Phone

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Lawmakers in Israel have passed initial legislation that would make it illegal to market cell phones to children and warns of holding the devices too close to the body for extended periods of time due to a risk of radiation exposure that can led to cancer.

According to a release from Environmental Health Trust (EHT), Israel’s Knesset deserves credit for passing a law two weeks ago which notes the radiation dangers posed by cell phones. All cell phones sold in the country now must carry a health warning on labels and product packaging. The warning will read: “Warning – the Health Ministry cautions that heavy use and carrying the device next to the body may increase the risk of cancer, especially among children.”

This is the latest example of a nation taking a proactive approach to the radiation dangers posed by cell phones. Though the devices have probably always posed some danger of exposing consumers to unknown levels of radiation, only recently has there been an effort to call more attention to these dangers, specifically through the application of warning labels on the packages for phones and including those dangers in user manuals included with the devices.

In places like Canada and France, the release from EHT notes, certain restrictions apply to the marketing of cell phones to children. In France, all cell phones must be sold with a headset to encourage keeping the phones away from the body.

Most recently, health officials in England urged women to keep cell phones out of their pants and shirt pockets because they could pose serious risks to health, including encouraging the growth of malignant cancer tumors.

These efforts have not taken hold across the U.S. with only the City of San Francisco passing any meaningful legislation that would require cell phone makers to specifically note on the outside of product packaging and on product literature the dangers of radiation posed to a prospective buyer. This law has been challenged in court by cell phone makers and lobby groups working on their behalf.