Cellphone Safety Lawsuits Proceed

Score one for consumers today, as the Supreme Court refused to throw out lawsuits in five states that blame cellular phone manufacturers for their products exposing people to unsafe radiation levels.

After a divided ruling at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia in favor of consumers, Nokia and other cellular phone makers appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.

Because the mobiles in question were built to federal guidelines, phone makers framed their argument on a very basic premise. Lawsuits were filed in state courts in Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, Georgia and Maryland, based on consumer complaints. So do state laws trump federal laws governing a regulated product like cellular phones when it comes to protecting consumers?

While the court battles go on, however, patients remain in harm's way, especially those who use a mobile as their primary voice line. And that surprises me, considering the body of evidence is growing to demonstrate how problematic cellular phone use can truly be.

If you use a cellular phone, here's four things you can do to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation:

  • Use your mobile sparingly.
  • Don't multi-task by trying to use one while driving a car.
  • Find a phone that has a good speakerphone feature.
  • Consider buying a headset equipped with a ferrite bead.

USA Today October 31, 2005

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