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Maine Rep. Andrea Boland (D-Sanford) has proposed that the state of Maine become the first in the country to require cancer warnings on cell phones.

The now-ubiquitous devices carry such warnings in some countries, though no U.S. states require them, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. A similar effort is afoot in San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom wants his city to be the nation’s first to require the warnings.

Maine Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford, said numerous studies point to the cancer risk, and she has persuaded legislative leaders to allow her proposal to come up for discussion during the 2010 session that begins in January, a session usually reserved for emergency and governors’ bills. –AP

While studies investigating a possible link between regular cell phone use and increased brain cancer risk have often conflicted (some find a significantly increased risk and some don’t), many scientists advocate erring on the side of caution, and support a warning label. Conversely, the cell phone industry insists that there is not enough proof of an increased cancer risk to warrant the label, and suggests that it be left off until a greater consensus is reached.

This quibbling will no doubt go on for quite awhile. In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to limit your cell phone use if you are worried about developing brain cancer from the electromagnetic radiation. If you must talk on your cell phone frequently, use speaker phone (keeping the device away from your head) as much as possible; get a dorky bluetooth headset; or use radiation-reducing wired headphones.

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