​For Immediate Release​

Survey of Berkeley Residents Affirms Need for City to Adopt

​​

Cell Phone “Right to Know” Ordinance on May 12

 

Berkeley, Calif. April 30, 2015.

 

Eighty-two percent (82%) of adults in Berkeley, California reported in a recent survey that they want to be informed when they purchase a cell phone about the manufacturer’s recommended minimum distance that the phone should be kept from the user’s body.

 

On May 12, the survey results will be officially presented to the Berkeley City Council when the Council votes on a Cell Phone “Right to Know” ordinance.

 

The proposed Cell Phone Right to Know legislation requires cell phone retailers to provide a city-prepared handout to each consumer at the point of sale that advises them of their phone’s manufacturers’ own directive to never wear or use a cell phone against their body when on (as in a shirt or pants pocket or tucked into a bra). This manufacturer’s separation distance use advisory which is required by the Federal Communications Commission is currently located in the legal fine print of user manuals or on the phone in text menus which are difficult to find.

 

If the Council adopts the ordinance, Berkeley will become the only city in the U.S. to require retailers to provide consumers with this important safety information.

 

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig who helped draft the ordinance will present it to the Council on behalf of City staff. Professor Lessig has offered to defend the ordinance pro bono should the CTIA—The Wireless Association file a lawsuit against the City.

 

Other key survey findings:

 

·  Fully, 70% of Berkeley adults were unaware that the government’s radiation tests to assure the safety of cell phones assume that the phone would not be carried against the user’s body, but instead would be held at least 1 to 15 millimeters from the user’s body.

·  Two out of three (66%) were unaware that cell phone manufacturers recommend that their cell phones be carried away from the body, or used with hands-free devices.

·  Fewer than one in six (15%) have seen the recommendations by cell phone manufacturers about how to best protect against overexposure to cell phone radiation.

·  Almost three out of four (74%) reported that they or their children carry a cell phone against their body—tucked in a shirt or pants pocket while the phone is switched on.

 

Lisa Bailey, M.D., past president of the California Division of the American Cancer Society and a breast cancer surgeon at Alta Bates Medical Center, strongly supports the ordinance:

 

“We have had some anecdotal cases in which the woman’s breast cancer develops directly below the area where her cell phone was carried. I believe that the public has the right to know that there may be potential risks and to use their phone in a way to reduce potential harm. I urge the Berkeley City Council to provide such information to their constituents.”

 

Recent peer-reviewed research has found that cell phone radiation causes sperm damage. The authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of ten studies on the effects of mobile phone radiation on human sperm quality concluded that, “Our analyses indicate negative associations between mobile phone exposure on sperm viability and motility.” (Adams et al., 2014).

 

Several peer-reviewed papers have recommended that cell phones should not be carried or used directly against the body as in a pants pocket. For example:

·  “Keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility” (Agarwal et al. 2009).

·  “Overall, these findings raise a number of related health policy and patient management issues that deserve our immediate attention. Specifically, we recommend that men of reproductive age who engage in high levels of mobile phone use do not keep their phones in receiving mode below waist level” (De Iuliis et al., 2009).

 

The City Council meeting will be held 7:00 PM on May 12 in the City Council Chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley. Supporters of the ordinance will hold a rally in front of the building at 6:00 PM.

 

The survey of Berkeley residents was conducted by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, North Carolina from March 6-8, 2015. The survey was funded by the

​California Brain Tumor Association.

 

Contact:

Ellen Marks, Executive Director, California Brain Tumor Association

925-285-5437

cabtasf@hotmail.com

 

http://www.saferemr.com/2014/11/berkeley-cell-phone-right-to-know.html

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