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France: New National Law Bans WIFI in Nursery School!

Feb 19, 2015

  • WIFI Banned in Nursery Schools.
  • National Radiofrequency Agency Established.
  • Cell Phones Labeled with SAR Values and Ways to Lower Radiation.
  • WiFi Routers Turned Off in Elementary Schools Except When Needed.
  • Cell Phone Ads Must Recommend Phones be Held Away From the Head.
  • Location of Wireless Routers Must be Posted.
  • Government Report To Be Prepared on Electro-hypersensitivity.

Professor Annie Sasco, MD, DSc former Cancer Prevention Chief of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a distinguished science adviser to Environmental Health Trust sends us her report about France’s new national law regulating electromagnetic field exposure.

On January 29, 2015, the French National Assembly made history by passing a new national law to reduce exposures to wireless radiation electromagnetic fields.

  1. WiFi Banned in Nursery Schools: WIFI and Wireless devices will be banned in  “the spaces dedicated to home, to rest and activities of children under 3 years”.
  2. WiFi Minimized in Schools: In schools for children up to 11 years, WIFI routers should be turned off when not in use for pedagogic purposes.
  3. Schools Will be Informed: The board of the school should be informed when new tech equipment is being installed in schools.
  4. Cell Tower Emission Compliance Will Be Verified: A decree will define the limits of emission of equipments for electronic communications or transmission to which the public is exposed. These values can be verified by accredited organisations and results will be made accessible to the public through a National Radiofrequency Agency.
  5. Citizens Will Have Access to Environmental/Cell Tower Radiation Measurements  Near homes: Every resident may get access  to the results of measurements for their living space. Conditions of information of the public as well as involvement of the local authorities are specified as are the steps to follow in case of disagreement.
  6. Cell Antennae Maps For the Country: A description and map of the places with atypical (higher than the limits) places will be conducted at regular intervals with follow up of the actions being taken to limit the exposure. A map of all antennas will be produced for each town
  7. Continued Evaluation of Health Effects: The National Radiofrequence Agency will be in charge of surveillance and vigilance, evaluating potential risks and setting up scientific research, including information on health effects.
  8. SAR Radiation Labeling Mandated: The SAR of cell phones must be clearly indicated on the package.
  9. Information on Reducing Exposures Mandatory: Information on ways to reduce exposure will be detailed in the contents of the cell phone package. .
  10. WIFI Hotspots will be Labeled: Places where WIFI is provided should be clearly marked with a pictogram.
  11. Advertisements Must Recommend Devices That  Reduce Radiation Exposure to the Brain: Advertising for cell phones should clearly indicate the recommendation of hand free kits for protection of the head of the user and it will be included in the package. Advertising for cell phone not accompanied by such a kit is forbidden. Companies in violation will be fined 75,000 Euros.
  12. Children Must Be Provided Protections: At the request of the buyer, equipment reducing cell phone radiation exposures to the head for children less than 14 years should be provided.
  13. The Public Will Be Informed: Within a year, a policy of information on awareness and information on a responsible and reasonable use of cell phones and other apparatus emitting radiofrequencies will be set up.
  14. Electrohyper-sensitivity Report To Be Submitted: Within a year, a report on electrohyper sensitivity must be given to the Parliament.

This new law represents a significant step forward. Further laws and decrees may reinforce the current law, in particular with a stronger protection in schools.

Dr. Annie Sasco, served the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, for 22 years, including posts as Chief of Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention and Acting Chief of the Cancer Control Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO),  She earned her MA,MS, and DSc from Harvard University and is currently Professor of Epidemiology University of Bordeaux.

Passed bill in French  |  Passed Bill translated into English

Excellent coverage from around the world

Powerwatch Coverage 05/02/2015 – Wifi banned from nurseries in France
Andrew Geller : Author of new French radiofrequency protection law speaks
C4ST Coverage
Dariusz Leszczynski: France limits the spread of the wi-fi by a new law, Finland does not care at all

A Law to Regulate Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields

Translated France News coverage sent from Joel Moskowitz PhD
A Law to Regulate Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields, Pierre Le Hir, Le Monde, Jan 29, 2015
Pierre Le Hir, Le Monde, Jan 29, 2015  (Google Translation)

After two years of development,  the law governing public exposure to electromagnetic fields generated by wireless technology (relay antennas, mobile phones, tablets …) was adopted by the deputies, Thursday, January 29, 2015, in favor of a parliamentary recess of the environmental group. It was passed by all of the majority, while the UDI abstained – except Bertrand Pancher (Meuse) who spoke to – and that the UMP voted against, seeing an obstacle to the development of the digital industries.

This law – the first in France to establish a precautionary approach to addressing potential health risks of radio frequency – went through a serious obstacle course, during which its initial ambitions were seriously revised downwards. The bill was first filed in January 2013 by the member of the Val-de-Marne Laurence Bee (Europe Ecologie-Greens) and had been referred to committee by the Socialists, before returning to the National Assembly in January 2014, under a watered-down form, and then to be adopted in first reading by the Senate in June 2014.

Despite these successive setbacks, the environmental group decided to vote the text as to prevent its return to the Senate where new delays and cuts could have been added.  Its adoption is final and immediate and welcomes M me Bee, “the decrees will be able to be taken without waiting“.

At the end of the month, environmentalists propose a law to the National Assembly to moderate wave exposure. 4G was deployed at full speed in France by the mobile operators.Their health danger is not scientifically proven, but the organizations denounce the lack of study on their possible hazards.

Finally, the  “Law on sobriety, transparency, information and consultation for exposure to electromagnetic waves” appears as a compromise between the supporters of a stricter supervision of the sector and wireless phone operators, opposed them, any regulatory brake. “This text does not fully address all the issues, recognizes the Green MP . However, it is an essential first step.

The major novelty is the introduction into French law of a principle of “sobriety” of public exposure to electromagnetic fields. So virtuous as it is, this principle, however, remains vague and non-binding. It is thus no question of lowering the exposure limits in force, including, according to frequencies between 41 and 61 volts per meter (V / m), while the draft original legislation was aimed at the back “as low as reasonably possible” or 0.6 V / m.

The National Frequency Agency (AFNR) will nevertheless make every year a national census of  “outliers”, that is to say, “places where the level of public exposure substantially exceed those generally observed in nationally “. Operators will have to remedy within six months, “subject to technical feasibility”.
The average exposure in France is now about 1 V / m, but a study of the Operations Committee on waves mobile (Copic), covering sixteen common representative of the French territory and published in 2013, was reported some exposure peaks “up to 10 V / m at maximum transmitter power”, even if the levels remained below 0.7 V / m in 90% of cases. The AFNR considered until now as atypical places where exposure exceeds 6 V / m.
In terms of transparency, the installation of antennas will now be subject to prior information of mayors and presidents of intercommunal structures. And these may in turn – but are not required – to organize a consultation with residents. In addition, a campaign of “awareness and information on the responsible and rational use of mobile devices”  will be conducted.

A section of the Act is devoted to the protection of the young. Wireless devices will be banned in  “the spaces dedicated to home, to rest and activities of children under 3 years”, that is to say, nurseries and day care centers. However, contrary to the initial desire of environmentalists, the Wi-Fi will remain permitted in primary schools. It should be limited to certain areas and disabled outside the  ‘digital educational activities.”

Finally, the dramatic situation of people with EHS receives serious attention. The government will submit  a report on this problem to Parliament on this issue within a year.

Associations “anti-waves” prefer to  consider, too, the glass is half full rather than half empty. “This text, which is the first dedicated to the issue of electromagnetic waves and their impact on the environment and health, marks a first step in the recognition by the law of the need to regulate the development of the mobile and all wireless applications,” says the association for the regulation of mobile phone relay antennas (Priartem). In his view, “the first legislative effort to be an encouragement to go further in protecting people”.

This act takes place in a  context of accelerated development of sources of electromagnetic waves, in particular with the deployment of mobile very high-speed, 4G. At 1st January 2015 ANFR indicates the number of antennas sites authorized in France for 4G  was, all operators, 18 699 – against 12,525 a year earlier – including 15,424 Service.

If there is no scientific consensus about the potential dangers of radio frequencies for health, number of studies and opinions have called for caution. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified them as  “possibly carcinogenic”. And in 2013, the  National Agency Health Safety of Food, Environment and Labour (ANSES) recommended “limit exposure of the population to radio frequencies – especially mobile phones – especially for Children and power users “. It also called for “control the overall exposure from base stations”.