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Congressman introduces new bill for cell-radiation warning labels

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduces proposed legislation as a federal appeals court prepares to hear arguments on a similar San Francisco ordinance.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a democrat from Ohio, introduced a federal bill today that would put warning labels on cell phones and create a national research program to study cell phone radiation levels.

H.R. 6358, named the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, would also require the Environmental Protection Agency to update the standards for specific absorption rate, or SAR, the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a cell phone.

"It took decades for scientists to be able to say for sure that smoking caused cancer. During those decades, the false impression created by industry supporters was that there was no connection between smoking and cancer, a deception which cost many lives. While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cell phone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation," Kucinich said in a statement. "As long as cell phone users may be at increased risk of cancer or reproductive problems, Americans must have the right to know the radiation levels of cell phones."

The wireless industry is currently fighting a similar San Francisco law. A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments on Thursday. CNET will be there to bring you more information.

Supported by health groups, the San Francisco law was the first of its kind in the country and spawned similar legislation in other cities and a few states. But, the CTIA quickly sued San Francisco on the grounds that the SAR labeling provision was unconstitutional, misleading to consumers, and that it infringed on the First Amendment rights of retailers.

Correction, August 7 at 3:56 p.m. PT: An earlier version of this story referred incorrectly to Rep. Dennis Kucinich's legislation. It is a bill, not a law.