San Francisco backs away from cellphone radiation law, will distribute common sense instead

Science! It's the heady stuff that keeps the looneys in check and our feet planted on the earth. Back it up with a powerful CTIA lobbying effort and science can even move San Francisco policy. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that The City's law requiring cellphone retailers to label each device's SAR level as tested by the FCC has been put on indefinite hold, with a watered-down version likely taking its place. Surely, this is yet another example of big business and government colluding to the detriment of man? Not really, not this time. As Joel Moskowitz, director at the IC Berkeley Center for Family and Community Health, and even the FCC will tell you, the SAR value is a poor measurement of radiation intake for consumers:

"The specific absorption rate isn't a very useful measure because it's the peak reading on a variety of tests conducted on cell phones to measure their radiation, but doesn't indicate the average amount of radiation a user would generally be exposed to. You could buy a lower SAR phone, but on average it could produce more radiation than a higher SAR phone."

Although changes to the law have not yet been formally introduced, they'll likely result in retailers handing out "tip sheets" to customers that explain how to minimize radiation exposure from their new handsets. Ok, you win this time, reason, but we can still debate image artifacting on certain long-form birth certificates... to the choppa!