Judge blocks most of SF cellphone warning law

Oct 28, 2011 By PAUL ELIAS , Associated Press

(AP) -- A federal judge on Thursday struck down most of a San Francisco ordinance that requires retailers to warn customers about cellphone radiation and its health effects.

U.S. William Alsup ruled that the required warning is misleading because it implies cellphones are dangerous and unregulated, and he ordered city officials to change the wording on the fact sheet that retailers are required to distribute.

The brochures must include a statement that all cellphones must comply with the Federal Communications Commission's safety limits regarding radiation emissions, the judge said.

"The overall impression left is that cell phones are dangerous and that they have somehow escaped the regulatory process," Alsup wrote. "That impression is untrue and misleading, for all of the cell phones sold in the United States must comply with safety limits set by the FCC."

An industry group called CTIA-The Wireless Association had sued the city after its Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 10-1 last year.

The judge also blocked parts of the ordinance that require retailers to put up posters and affix warning stickers on cellphones. He said those items unconstitutionally compel retailers to broadcast the city's opinion of cellphones.

"All consumers who actually purchase a cell phone will receive the handout," Alsup wrote. "There is no reasonable cause for requiring retailers to convert their walls to for the municipal message."

Alsup put the entire ordinance on hold until Nov. 30 to give time for an appeal. He also said that if the city refuses to edit the brochures as ordered, then the entire ordinance will be tossed out.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said he will appeal the judge's decision.

Explore further: Cruising high seas, engineers detect fake GPS signals

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Outrage follows strict Calif. smoking ban

Jan 29, 2007

A proposed strict ordinance seriously limiting the places one can smoke cigarettes in Belmont has caused outrage among many throughout the California city.

NY town enacts tough cell tower limits

Sep 23, 2010

(AP) -- A Long Island township has imposed restrictions on the placement of new cell towers that are among the toughest in the country, and one phone company says it effectively bans new construction.

Cellphone cancer warning falls lightly on US ears

Jun 06, 2011

(AP) -- News last week that an arm of the World Health Organization said cellphones might raise the risk of brain cancer has been greeted by Americans mostly with a shrug of the shoulder - one that's pinning ...

Cellphone alert system announced in NYC

May 10, 2011

(AP) -- An emergency alert system that will send messages to cellphones during disasters could have been used to warn New Yorkers of the tornadoes that hit the city last year, city officials said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0