France’s Health Agency Issues Recommendations to Limit Smartphone Radiation and Update PreMarket Compliance Testing of Cell Phone Emissions to Include Body Contact Positions
The French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) has just released a report entitled “Mobile phones close to the body and health.” ANSES recommends that measures be taken to ensure users are no longer exposed to cell phone radiation levels that exceed regulatory limits, consumers are educated about the manufacturers’ instructions for a separation distance and compliance testing of emission be updated so that cell phones’ radiation tests are performed in positions of body contact.
Excerpts from the ANSES Report:
- “Following its expert appraisal, ANSES recommends that measures be taken to ensure that users are no longer subject to high levels of exposure when telephones are carried close to the body.”
- “Tests on nearly 300 telephones positioned near the trunk, in contact with the body or at a distance of 5 mm, were carried out between 2012 and 2016. The results show that a large proportion of the telephones tested had SAR values above 2 W/kg, some exceeding 7 W/kg in contact with the body.”
- “Since 2016, a new European directive, known as the “RED”, has required the SAR to be measured by positioning the mobile telephone no more than 5 mm from the trunk, corresponding to “foreseeable” conditions of use. However, telephones that comply with the earlier regulations, but have high SAR values when placed close to the body, are still on the market, and many of these telephones are still in use.”
- “The Agency also recommends modifying the normative provisions to ensure that measurements to verify “trunk SAR” compliance are carried out with the mobile telephones in contact with the body.”
Dr. Marc Arazi of the Phonegate Association stated in the Association’s press release,”This is undoubtedly a great step forward and a tremendous recognition for our international alert action. The public and industrial authorities are now faced with their responsibilities and must inform mobile phone users of the health risks involved.”
In response, in a joint press release statement published October 25, 2019 the French ministries of Health, Ecology and Economy announced several proposals for action including:
France will ask the European Commission to strengthen the requirements applicable to new mobile phones placed on the market. As recommended by ANSES, the Government will request that the certification tests be carried out in contact with the device, and not at 5 mm as is currently the case.
ANFR will develop tools to inform consumers about the emissions of their phone and manufacturers recommended distance.
The Government will bring together the manufacturers to engage in a voluntary action to update the software of their models so they meet new emission test guidelines.
The Government also reminds users of the governments 6 recommended practices to adopt when using a mobile phone to reduce your exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
- Use a hands-free kit to keep the phone away from your head
- Favor text messages to communicate over voice
- Favor areas of good reception
- Avoid holding your phone to the ear during transport
- Choose a mobile phone with a low SAR rate.
- Avoid long conversations on wireless phones.
Phonegate launched an appeal in Paris in June 2018 calling for the withdrawal or updating of the hundreds of mobile phone models whose SAR exceeded the regulatory limits. They are asking Mrs. Buzyn, Minister for Solidarity and Health, Mrs. Borne, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition and Mr. Lemaire, Minister of Economy and Finance, to immediately follow the recommendations of ANSES regarding the withdrawal and updating of phones in violation and launch an information campaign to encourage reductions in exposure, especially among the youngest users.
“The French health agency recommendations are critical to protecting public health. People use cell phones in body contact positions and the radiation levels should not exceed allowable limits in these positions. In sharp contrast, the US Food and Drug Agency has been informed of the reality that cell phones exceed radiation limits and yet the FDA has taken no action,” stated Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of Environment Health Trust. “It is time for a Congressional hearing in the USA.”
ANSES 2019 Report: Exposure to mobile telephones carried close to the body
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