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Maine to consider cancer warnings on cell phones

A state legislator is bringing a bill to the 2010 session that would require cell phone vendors to affix cancer warnings on devices.

Although there is no conclusive proof that mobile phones cause cancer, a Maine legislator wants to require all mobile phones sold in the state to carry warnings that say mobile phones may do so.

State Rep. Andrea Boland, a Democrat, told the Associated Press that "numerous studies point to the cancer risk." She has worked her proposal into the upcoming schedule for the 2010 session in Maine's legislature. Boland said that she uses a speaker, so she can keep her mobile phone away from her head. She also keeps it off unless she knows someone will call her.

If Boland's bill makes it through the state legislature, vendors would be forced to place labels on all mobile phones and packaging that tell customers they could get brain cancer from using the device. Those warnings would also recommend those people keep phones as far away from their bodies as possible.

Boland is apparently acting in what she believes is her constituents' best interest. But the debate over whether or not mobile phones really cause brain cancer rages on. So far, there is no conclusive evidence on either side of the debate for legislators to summarily require all mobile phones within the state to carry a cancer warning.

Back in August, "electromagnetic radiation watchdogs," including Powerwatch and the EMR Policy Institute, released the findings of a study that claimed there is a "significant risk of brain tumors from cell phone use."

"Science has shown increased risk of brain tumors from use of cell phones, as well as increased risk of eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia," the report read. "The public must be informed."

The only problem is that several well-known organizations disagree with those watchdogs. Both the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute say that there's no conclusive evidence that mobile phones can cause cancer.