San Francisco backtracks on tough mobile phone laws

San Francisco has decided that it does not really need to tell its citizens how their mobile phones are melting their kids’ brains or turning their inner ears to jelly.

The city was all set to force telcos to tell punters how much radiation their gadgets produced, but suddenly got cold feet after it was told that it might be sued into the Pacific Ocean by cash rich telcos.

The San Francisco Chronicle said that the mobile phone radiation disclosure bill has been put on “indefinite hold,” and a “watered-down version” will probably be enacted instead.

The telephone makers do not like the idea of a league table of radiation levels being put on boxes. It would make some of them look like mad scientists experimenting with the brains of children. After all parents everywhere would not give a kid a mobile phone which has a higher radiation rating out of the fear that they might mutate.

They claim that the radiation labels were inaccurate and might lead shoppers to buy phones that emit more radiation than others.

Under US law, telephone manufacturers have to tell the government how much radiation their phones emit. The San Francisco Mayor at the time the bill was bought in, Gavin Newsom, thought it was fair that the great unwashed knew about these figures.

The telcos said that mobiles have different radiation rates depending on what they are doing. If you are running one flat out it might have a Fukushima rating. But if it is in your pocket on standby it might have the same rating as a butterfly at rest.

We are told that one version of the iPhone logs in at 1.19 which is close to the radiation limit when it is being held in a particular way, to just 0.16 if it is used in another.

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos has announced that when the law comes back from the drawing board it will require “somewhat less” information of retailers. It might also order device makers to more prominently post the safety advice that they include in the fine print.