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Washington, Jun 30, 2010
Today Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) announced his intent to introduce a bill to create a new national research program to study cell phones and health, require an update of the decades-old Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), and grant a consumer’s right-to-know by providing for warning labels on cell phones.
“Consumers have a right to know whether they are buying the phone with the lowest – or the highest – level of exposure to cell phone radiation. They also deserve to have up to date standards, which are now decades old,” said Kucinich.
Kucinich first called a hearing on the issue in 2008 as Chair of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee. Dr. Ronald Herberman, then Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute testified to the Subcommittee, “I cannot tell this committee that cell phones are dangerous, but I certainly can’t tell you they are safe.”
Last month, the Interphone study, a major inquiry into the potential links between cell phone use and tumors, concluded that when taken as a whole, there was no link. However, when the data was broken down, more risk was found and the picture became clearer. Those using their cell phones only 30 minutes per day or more were found to have a 40% increased risk of a type of brain tumor called glioma. This risk increases to 96% if the phone is used mostly on one side of the head.
“Some studies find links. Some don’t. But studies funded by the telecommunications industry are significantly less likely to find a link between cell phones and health effects. We need a first-class research program to give us answers,” said Kucinich. “Until we know for sure, a labeling law will ensure that cell phone users can decide for themselves the level of risk that they will accept. Obviously, cell phone companies should not be the ones making that decision for us.”