ALEC Resolution Opposing State and Local Mandates Requiring Warning Labels on Wireless Devices and Packaging

ALEC Resolution Opposing State and Local Mandates Requiring Warning Labels on Wireless Devices and Packaging

Summary

For the purpose of opposing state and local legislation and regulations that would require either health-related warning labeling, including but not limited to specific absorption rate levels, on wireless devices and packaging, or mandate disclosure of any health-related information about wireless devices at the point-of-sale.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set limits on public exposure of radiofrequency (RF) energy absorbed by users of wireless devices;

WHEREAS these limits are given in terms of a unit referred to as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a wireless device;

WHEREAS the FCC’s safety limit for public exposure from wireless devices is a SARs level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg);

WHEREAS this safety limit is based on American National Standards Institute/IEEE and the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements guidelines;

WHEREAS the FCC requires wireless device manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with the SARs safety limit before the FCC grants approval for marketing any wireless device in the United States;

WHEREAS these demonstrations ensure that devices comply with these objective limits for safe exposure before they are marketed to consumers in the United States;

WHEREAS the FCC provides consumers information on its website at www.fcc.gov/oet/fccid detailing the SARs levels for devices sold in the United States;

WHEREAS several federal agencies have reviewed and endorsed the FCC’s guidelines, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH);

WHEREAS the FDA has stated that continuous human exposure to RF fields up to and including 100 percent of the FCC limit is considered safe;

WHEREAS the FDA states on its website that “[t]he weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems”;

WHEREAS the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) in 2009 stated that the scientific literature published since the 1998 guidelines has “provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions”;

WHEREAS the American Cancer Society has concluded that “there is now considerable epidemiologic evidence that shows no consistent association between cell phone use and overall risk of brain cancer”;

WHEREAS some organizations and individuals are now urging state and local lawmakers to pass laws to require health-related warning labeling on wireless devices and packaging and mandate the disclosure of health-related information about wireless devices at the point-of-sale;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Legislative Exchange Council supports sound public policy in the area of health effects and wireless devices that is based on the weight of scientific research in this area to ensure that consumer confusion is avoided; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ALEC opposes all state and local legislation and regulations that would require either health-related warning labeling, including but not limited to specific absorption rate levels, on wireless devices and packaging, or mandate disclosure of any health-related information about wireless devices at the point-of-sale.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on May 26, 2010.

Keyword Tags: Consumer Protection, Regulation, Wireless