We talked about San Francisco’s move to make retailers label the amount of radiation given off by cell phones yesterday and we wanted to dive into the full text of the proposed legislation.
The San Francisco cell phone move would make retailers display signs about the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) that each cell phone has. This number is already disclosed when a handset maker pushes the device through the Federal Communications Commission. Retailers will have to post a sign explaining what SAR is, the value of SAR of each make and model, as well as a statement which says more SAR educational material can be obtained.
The ordinance passed the local Board of Supervisors with a 10-1 vote and it is expected to be signed into law by the mayor sometime next week.
According the to proposed ordinance (PDF):
Beginning November 1, 2010, any cell phone service provider that sells its service through a retailer in the City must provide those retailers with the SAR value for each make and model of cell phone sold or leased at that location in connection with cell phone service from the provider. The service provider must update the information it provides to retailers whenever new makes and models of cell phones covered by the service provider are added or old makes and models dropped, or whenever the service provider receives new information on the SAR values of any of the phones.
In terms of enforcement, retailers not complying will be subject to a written warning and then fines for violations. The first fine starts at $100, then goes to $250, and then $500. It also looks like each individual handset will constitute a separate violation, so those fines could add up quickly.
So, you’ve heard my take on the San Francisco cell phone ordinance, but we want to know what you think about this type of law. Is this just giving consumers more information to make an informed choice or is it going to mislead phone buyers and potentially damage businesses?
[Read the full ordinance (PDF)]