Maine lawmakers mull cancer warning for cell phones

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While the scientific community continues to study the possible relationship between cell phone radiation and brain tumors—there is no consensus on the subject as of yet—state legislators in Maine are considering a proposal that would require cell phones to carry warnings that they may cause brain cancer. Democrat Andrea Boland is leading the charge, citing studies that have shown a link between cancer and cell phone use, according to the Associated Press.

If passed, Boland’s bill would mandate that cell phone manufacturers put warning labels on mobile phones and packaging, indicating the risk of cancer from exposure to low-grade electromagnetic radiation. The permanent labels on phones would be written in black ink, except for the word “warning,” which would appear in red. Warnings would also include recommendations that people not hold the devices too closely to their bodies or heads.

A recent study from the Danish Cancer Society found that cell phone use did not increase brain tumor rates. But study authors suggested that it may be too early to determine the true impact of regular exposure to low-grade radiation, as brain tumors are slow to develop and cell phones only came into wide use in the 1990s. While research into the cancer risk posed by cell phone use is ongoing, the mobile devices continue to grow in popularity—some 270 million Americans currently own a cell phone, up from 110 million nearly a decade ago.

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