Maine House of Representatives Passes Bill Requiring Cell Phone Radiation Warning Labels – Now which states are next for it to take effect?

Maine’s House of Representatives has passed “The Wireless Information Act” with a House vote of 83 in favor and 56 opposed.  This bill will require all cell phones sold retail (for-profit) in Maine by law will force cell phone manufacturer’s information about radio-frequency exposure (Cell Phone Radiation) to be plainly visible on the outside of the cell phone’s packaging.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford  has taken several years to get where it has today.   The honorable dedication to having labels to advise consumers of a heightened risk to children and advise all consumers to hold cell phones away from their heads when using them has paid off.  The people of Maine should be very happy knowing their Representatives have taken such measures to protect the growing number of children cell phone users who may be putting themselves at great risk.
Soon cell phone users in Maine may see the following warning on labels for all cell phones sold in the state, putting a very serious focus on the manufacturer’s radiation safety warnings:
“RF EXPOSURE: To find information relating to radio-frequency exposure, refer to information supplied by the manufacturer” and language directing consumers to the page or pages of the owner’s manual or other insert or location where the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information may be found.”

But not soon enough, the law will take effect only after four other states, in addition to Maine, have adopted legislation requiring cell phone warning labels or cell phone packaging relating to radio-frequency radiation exposure.

It’s OK, Other States Have Taken Notice Too!

Hawaii Senator D-Sen. Josh Green of Kona, Ka‘u introduced Senate Bill SB 2571, a measure calling for cell phones sold in Hawaii to come with a prominent health warning — similar to what smokers see on the sides of cigarette packages to warn them of danger.

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

Senate Bill SB 2571 has already passed out of the Senate Health Committee in February 2014, and could be heard next by the Consumer Protection Committee very soon. If passed there it paves the way for Hawaii to be first state to put into effect laws requiring that consumers are made aware of potentially dangerous cell phone radiation emissions from wireless devices with cell phone radiation warning labels.

The city of San Francisco adopted a similar cellphone “right-to-know” law several years ago. But the city last year abandoned the law in a legal settlement because of opposition from the wireless industry being against it.

The wireless industry apparently does not want consumers to read the cellphone radiation safety warnings that cell phone manufacturers bury in very fine print within cell phone user manuals.  Oregon, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, have also tried to adopt cell phone warning label laws but have been blocked by intense opposition from the cell phone industry.

John Coates Founded RF Safe in 1998 long before most were aware of any risk from non-ionizing radiation. RF Safe specializes is reducing exposure to cell phone radiation by offering several innovative smartphone accessories to make using a cell phone safer.

Coates said, “The perfect combination for cell phone radiation safety is using an RF Safe Air-tube Headset and Flip Case Radiation Shield. The air tube headset lets users talk privately or enjoy listening to music without exposing their brain to microwave radiation. Equally important is the flip case that provides a shield between the user and cell phone whenever the front of the phone is facing them with cover closed- even when talking normally with the phone to their ear.”

RF Safe claims using an air-tube headset is the safest way to use a cell phone when speaker phone or texting isn’t an option.

As for the the exact words of the bill passed in Maine to protect consumers from cell phone radiation.  See below.

LD 1013 (HP 711)
‘An Act To Create the Wireless Information Act’
Sec. 1.  22 MRSA c. 261-B  is enacted to read:
CHAPTER 261-B
THE WIRELESS INFORMATION ACT
§ 1537. Short title
This chapter may be known and cited as “the Wireless Information Act.”
§ 1538. Labels for cellular telephones
1 Definitions.     As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A“Cellular telephone” means a device used to access a wireless telephone service.
2 Prominence of instructions.     If a cellular telephone manufacturer includes guidelines or instructions or general information relating to radio-frequency exposure in any literature distributed or made available to consumers in connection with its products, the cellular telephone manufacturer shall ensure that:
AThe full language of the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information is plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging; or
BA label is plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging alerting consumers to the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information. The body of the notice must be in letters not less than 1/16 inch in height. The initial words “RF EXPOSURE” must appear in capital letters and in bold type at least 1/8 inch in height, followed by: “To find information relating to radio-frequency exposure, refer to information supplied by the manufacturer” and language directing consumers to the page or pages of the owner’s manual or other insert or location where the radio-frequency exposure guidelines or instructions or general information may be found.
3 Violation.    A violation of this chapter is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.
SUMMARY

This amendment replaces the bill. It requires that any notification related to radio-frequency exposure supplied by a cellular telephone manufacturer must have the language of the notification plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging or a label, plainly visible on the outside of the product packaging, directing the consumer where to find the information. A violation of this provision is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

AMENDMENT
Amend the amendment in section 1 in §1538 by inserting after subsection 2 the following:
3 Application.    This section applies only to cellular telephones sold at retail in this State.
Amend the amendment in section 1 in §1538 by renumbering the subsections to read consecutively.
Amend the amendment by inserting after section 1 the following:
Sec. 2. Contingent effective date; repeal.
1. Effective date. The chair of the Public Utilities Commission shall monitor legislative activities in other states and certify to the Secretary of State and the Revisor of Statutes when 4 states, in addition to Maine, have adopted legislation requiring labeling of cellular telephones or cellular telephone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure. The chair shall notify the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities matters when certification is made. That section of this Act that enacts the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 261-B takes effect 30 days after the date of the chair’s certification.
2. Repeal. If no certification has been made by the chair of the Public Utilities Commission under subsection 1 before January 1, 2024, the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 261-B is repealed on that date.’
 SUMMARY
This amendment provides that the requirements governing the labeling of cellular telephones or cellular telephone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure applies only to cellular telephones sold at retail in Maine. This amendment also requires that before this legislation takes effect, 4 other states must adopt legislation requiring labeling of cellular telephones or cellular telephone packaging relating to radio-frequency exposure.