Senator calls for cell phones with warning labels

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Feb 18 2014 12:00:00 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 06:28:00 PM HST

Your cell phone will come with a warning label, sort of like a pack of cigarettes, if one Hawaii lawmaker gets his way. KITV4's Paul Drewes has more on this story generating a lot of buzz.

HONOLULU -

Your cell phone will come with a warning label, sort of like a pack of cigarettes, if one Hawaii lawmaker gets his way.

Everywhere you look, people are on their cell phones.

Click here to see Paul Drewes' report.

Many may worry about their reception but not about the Radio Frequency energy being absorbed by their body.

"There's probably a lot of studies out there that have a correlation to putting it up to your ear and the amount of usage people have, but it is not something that goes through my mind when I am talking on the phone," said East Oahu resident Casey Lovern.

Sen. Josh Green not only wants people to think about that electromagnetic radiation but also to change their cell phone habits because of it.

"Keep your cell phone at least a centimeter away for health purposes," said Green.

Studies so far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues but many organizations want more research done.

"This is the first generation to have kids from age 10 up to adulthood with cell phones right next to their heads and brains. Brains are developing up to age 22 to 25, so I think we have to be safe," stated Green.

To raise awareness of RF exposure, Green introduced a measure calling for cell phones sold in Hawaii to come with a prominent warning -- similar to what smokers see on the sides of cigarette packages.

The warnings are already on your phone. Under the legal section on an iPhone you'll find this:

"To reduce exposure to RF energy, use a hands-free option, such as the built-in speakerphone, the supplied headphones or other similar accessories."

It also recommends carrying the cell phone one centimeter away from your body to keep radiation levels at or below approved levels.

Green worries that most cell phone users won't read the recommendations because they don't know about them.

"If you don't have a sticker that this is a potential health hazard then no one will ever know," said Green.

The label bill really has cell phone users talking.

"I hardly talk on the phone but a label could change my mind about where I hold it," said Honolulu resident Kendal Thomas.

"I kind of worry about it, but it is too late for me. We've already used cell phones for so many years already," said Kalihi Valley resident Ruel Marshall.

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The bill has already passed out of the Senate Health Committee and could be heard next in the Consumer Protection Committee by the end of the month.

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