nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

San Fran Requires Stores To Post Cell Phone "Radiation" Levels

You can always rely on San Francisco to be way out in front of reality.

Stores have to display data on Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is alleged to be a measure of how much of the cell phone's radio waves are absorbed into a person's tissues.

As the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog (June 16) says,
"it’s not at all clear what people are supposed to do with this information — there’s no conclusive evidence that cellphones do (or don’t) cause any type of cancer, let alone that one SAR level is safer than another."
Well, that sounds REALLY useful.  How about passing a law that says each public bathroom has to display data on how many trees each toilet paper company cuts down to make their product?  I'm REAL interested in that, too.

Despite the quoted statement above (which is true), organizations are already putting out lists of "safer" phones with lower SAR's.  Here's one example from some people who call themselves The Environmental Working Group (they "bring to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know"--that is, a New Age lobbying group).

Just to repeat, SAR is not a standard; it's not accepted by any scientific organization as a measure of human exposure to radiation; it doesn't imply anything about harm or safety.   It's just something that you can measure like the "lumens" that your lightbulb puts out.

So go ahead, spend a lot of your time and money on something that's...made up.  When I'm in the mood for fantasy I usually head for the Brothers Grimm.

Doc D

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