Unless you live and breath all things cellular, you might not know what CTIA is, or what they do. Prior to becoming a mobile blogger, I knew CTIA as “those dudes that throw the big cell phone trade shows a few times a year”. Now that I’ve been a mobile blogger for a few years, I know CTIA as “those dudes that throw the big cell phone trade shows a few times a year, do some hardware certification stuff, and represent companies within the wireless industry whenever stuff goes crazy.”
And now, they’ll be known as “those dudes who sued the city of San Francisco over their new wireless laws”.
CTIA is suggesting that SF’s new “Right-to-know” ordinance, which requires cell phone retailers to display the SAR rating (too-long-didn’t-read-version: how much RF energy makes it from a handset into the user’s body) of any handset they sell, is unnecessary and will just confuse consumers. “The FCC has determined that all wireless phones legally sold in the United States are ‘safe.'”, they say, adding that these signs will lead consumers to believe “that some phones are “safer” than others based on their radiofrequency (RF) emissions.” — a point which, after dozens of conflicting studies, hasn’t been conclusively proven.
It’s a sticky issue, to say the least. In a perfect world, a sentence posted on the label reading “There is no conclusive evidence indicating that a lower or higher SAR rating within the FCC’s limitations is better or worse for your health. The FCC has determined all approved cell phones to be equally safe.” would be the win-win solution; in the real world, however, people might just see the fact that a sign was posted as a reason to steer clear.
What do you think: signs, or no signs? Let us know in the comments below.