It's always a big problem when science gets politicized. All of these things are pretty complex issues and we do have a choice to not use anything until definitive and unarguable science has classified that thing. In a modern world, that simply isn't realistic.
We depend on technology for pretty much everything. Our federal regulatory agencies do miss quite a few things (some pretty big), but that's because we're all learning all of the time. For all of the misses, I think there are a lot more hits. On balance, we have a pretty safe modern world. Do cell phones increase the chances of developing cancer? It's hard to say with so much of the published information coming from people with an agenda. From the best that I can interpret out of the morass is that cancer death rates have been going down steadily for quite some time.
If someday they are found to promote cancer, it will likely be a case of increasing your chances of getting certain types by a few percentage points. Given that minimal impact, how many people would be willing to give up their phones?
I'm not that sure your examples are instructive.
First off, all those mistakes you mention were expected to be benign and were only subject to rudimentary testing. RF has been thought to be potentially dangerous and has been through orders of magnitude more testing.
Secondly, the testing levels required today far exceed those of twenty+ years ago.
Thirdly, DDT probably does not deserve all the bad rap it got. DDT is still used in many parts of the world - primarily to combat malaria.
The judge has done a good thing to keep away those institutions trying to create undue fear among the mobile users about the potential( may not be supported by the adequate research) health hazards.
many a times it has been the that one reasearch contradicts other and the consumer is left confused .
In order to gain an FCC license, a phone's maximum Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) level must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg). In 2000, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) ordered cell-phone manufacturers to place labels on phones disclosing radiation levels. In actual fact, that information is obtainable thru the phones FCC ID Number.
To find the specific absorption rate of your phone, you can visit this FCC Web site: http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/
Your phone should have an FCC identification (FCC ID) code. Type that code in the correct fields and the site should offer information on your device.
I tried it on my own phone, and the SAR report can be found under the DETAIL button on the search results. There was a Certificate of Compliance (SAR Evaluation) PDF file published by an independent 3rd party test house. My phone was listed as follows:
0.276 W/kg Cellular GSM Head SAR
0.299 W/kg Cellular GSM GPRS Body SAR
0.178 W/kg PCS GSM Head SAR
0.331 W/kg PCS GSM GPRS Body SAR
0.005 W/kg Bluetooth Body SAR
The highest SAR number was about 1/5 the FCC limit.
This FCC website link should be in any pamphlet, if one were published.
Also, any such pamphlet should stress that multiple studies have not conclusively shown a connection between cell phone radiation and any specific cell damage.
All of the above information does not mean I am in favor of what the City of San Francisco is doing. I am not in favor of it. I think they have bigger problems to solve. But if they want to provide factual information about SAR, instead of scare tactics, then do it right.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by