Image source: motherjones.com
Berkeley city’s “Right to Know” ordinance was given the green light by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after CTIA, a wireless trade industry group, challenged the local legislation citing the violation of the First Amendment.
Just last week, a split decision from the Ninth Circuit panel upheld the city government’s ordinance. According to reports, the court viewed the “required disclosure” as factual, accurate and in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which all smartphone makers are subjected to.
The city ordinance in question, which was legislated in 2015, compels smartphone retailers to post a warning about surpassing the set limit on radio frequency (RF) exposure. However, CTIA protested the provision by referring to the infraction of the First Amendment and pre-empting the federal law.
What’s Wrong with Your Cell Phone?
“The potential risk of exposure to RF radiation is greater for children.”
According to the cell phone warning law, carrying our cell phones in our shirt pocket or tucking it in a bra while the phone is on and connected to a wireless network greatly increases our exposure to RF radiation.
What’s more is that the effects of RF radiation are more serious in children. But for CTIA, such claim promotes fear considering that the city government’s basis for the ordinance are misinterpreted federal cell phone guidelines.
In a statement, CTIA said that “the city’s unsubstantiated compelled disclosure is designed to convey a particular message that will stoke fear in consumers about the dangers of cell phones.”
Image source: rfsafe.com
Before, the government only deemed RF radiation from cell phones as a potential health risk for its heating property; that the consumer may get burned. But this changed after a multi-million dollar government funded research showed that the male rats subjected to RF radiation, which is similar to those emitted by cell phones, developed malignant gliomas and schwannomas. Having said that, some still think that it is too soon to correlate tumor progression with cell phone use.
In 2015, a U.S. District Judge found that only parts of the original ordinance measured up with the constitution. As a result, Berkeley adopted an amended version of the law that is in agreement with the judge’s ruling. But as per the city’s lawyer Zach Cowan, the ordinance was crafted in such a way that it is in accordance with the constitution.
The three-member Ninth Circuit panel, on a split decision, adjudicated in favor of the Berkeley city government. According to Judge William Fletcher, the cell phone warning law does not violate the First Amendment, and, in fact, “purely factual” and promotes public safety.
Judge Morgan Christen also concurred with Judge Fletcher’s standpoint. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Michelle Friedland said that the city ordinance pushes a misleading message about the health risks associated with carrying your phone, for instance, in your pockets.
Protecting Yourself from RF Radiation
Berkeley’s “Right to Know” ordinance is a good initial step in promoting public safety against RF radiation. Having said that, the burden of prevention lies with us consumers.
One way of protecting yourself from the harmful RF radiation is by using radiation-blocking smartphone cases. Safesleeve offers radiation-blocking smartphone cases, which are lab tested and proven to block up to 99 percent of RF radiation. Get yours now here!