Last updated April 12, 2019
A law requiring stores that sell used cell phones to give consumers advice on how to reduce their level of exposure to the phone’s radiation has been passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Industry groups have denounced the move, but Supervisor John Avalos was unimpressed by their ire, stating that the law could “save lives”.
This is the second time that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have attempted to pass such a law; the first, which was attempted last year, would have forced stores to give out information about each and every specific cell phone they sold, fell apart after the wireless telecommunications association, CTIA, filed a lawsuit.
“There’s no black or white here,” says nonprofit environmental advocacy group Environmental Working Group’s director for the state of California, Renee Sharp. “If you use a headset, it’s definitely better, but maybe it’s not better if you’re putting your phone in your pocket. If it’s not your head, it’s your reproductive organs.”
Melanie Nutter, who works as director of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment, which will be ensuring that stores follow the new law, says it is a move more than worth the inconvenience the industry might feel as a result. “It really is a minimal impact on the retailers with a huge public benefit of providing the “right to know” information,” she notes.