International Policy Actions on Wireless
Radiofrequency radiation and public health policy. International Policy Actions on Wireless by governments, health authorities and schools worldwide
Governments and Health Authorities are Taking ActionFrance: 2016 The National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment and Labour Report recommends the following
- regulatory changes to ensure “sufficiently large safety margins” to protect the health of young children.
- “ALL wireless devices, including tablets, cordless phones, remote controlled toys, wireless toys, baby monitors and surveillance bracelets, should be subjected to the same regulatory obligations as cell phones.”
- 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”.
- WiFi on “OFF” as Default to Minimize Exposures in Schools: In elementary schools,WIFI routers should be turned off when not in use.
- Schools Will be Informed: The school board should be informed when new tech equipment is being installed.
- 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 organizations and results will be made accessible to the public through a National Radiofrequency Agency.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- SAR Radiation Labeling Mandated: The SAR of cell phones must be clearly indicated on the package.
- Information on Reducing Exposures Mandatory: Information on ways to reduce exposure will be detailed in the contents of the cell phone package. .
- WIFI Hotspots will be Labeled: Places where WIFI is provided should be clearly marked with a pictogram.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Electrohyper-sensitivity Report To Be Submitted: Within a year, a report on electrohyper-sensitivity must be given to the Parliament.
France: As of January 2017, new regulations aimed to protect employees from electromagnetic fields emitted by the electronic devices present in the workplace. A decree was issued by the French Government on 6 August 2016:
- Specific precautions will be taken regarding pregnant women.
- It is forbidden to place workers under age 18 in posts where EMF is apt to exceed limit values
- each employer has to evaluate EMF risks.
- When exposure exceeding limit values is detected or when an undesirable or unexpected health effect from exposure to EMF is reported, the worker will benefit from a medical visit.
- The employer must provide information and training to his employees regarding the characteristics of EMF emissions, the direct and indirect biophysical effects that could result from exposure to EMF, etc.
- The employer must adapt as much as possible the post in order to limit exposure to EMF.
- Read about it here.
- Merchants must display SAR Radiation levels for different phone models, all phones must be sold with a headset, cell phone ads aimed at children younger than 14 are banned and phones made for children under 6 are banned.
- Recommends hands free phones, SAR labeling, and “limiting the population’s exposure to radiofrequencies… especially for children and intensive users, and controlling the overall exposure that results from relay antennas.”
- The French National Library along with other libraries in Paris, and a number of universities have removed all Wi-Fi networks.
- Herouville-Saint-Clair has removed all Wi-Fi equipment installed in municipalities.
Belgium: Cell phones and cell phone ads are banned for young children and SAR labeling is mandatory. Official government recommendations to reduce exposures are on the government website. Some municipalities have banned wifi for young children.
Federal Public Health Regulations passed on March 2013 due to Health Concerns for Children.
- Phones designed for children under 7 years old are prohibited from sale.
- Total Advertising Ban on cell phones aimed at children.
- Mandatory Radiation SAR levels must be available for consumers at point of sale.
- Warning label on phones: “Think about your health – use your mobile phone moderately, make your calls wearing an earpiece and choose a set with a lower SAR value.”
- Recommendations include use of hands-free methods to keep the phone away from the body such as text messaging and not making calls when the signal is weak, such as in elevator/vehicle.
- See examples of the posters that shops must display.
- Read Belgium’s frequently asked questions about the new law.
- Powerpoint Presentation IMPLEMENTATION OF the Council Recommendations in Belgium Introduction of new rules for mobile phone sales Presentation by Dr.Marina Lukovnikova (Ministry of Public Health, Belgium)
- Read the Belgium Health Food and Safety Brochure on Wireless devices here.
- Read Dr. Moskowitz Press Release on the Belgium Law.
- Read the News article Flanders Today: Belgium bans sale of mobile phones designed for children
- The Belgian Foundation Against Cancer warns that intensive use of a mobile phone can increase the risk of contracting cancer. They suggest that children younger than 12 should not use a mobile phone, and that using a mobile phone as an alarm clock is not desirable because the phone is in close proximity to the head the entire night. The Cancer Foundation also strongly advises people not to use a mobile phone in the car or a train. Read it here.
- Read the World Health Organization Belgium Report detailing the Law here.
Belgium Health Agency Recommendations to Reduce Exposure
- Read Belgium’s Statement on Wireless Networks: “to reduce your exposure” which includes specific tips for Wi-Fi installations and I quote, “ In order to limit the exposure, the following simple measures can be taken: Only switch on your wireless network connection when it is needed. This concerns the wifi adapter in your laptop in particular. Otherwise, your laptop tries to continually connect to the network, and that leads to unnecessary exposure and decreases the life expectancy of the batteries. Place the access point away from places where you spend lots of time.”
- Read Belgium’s Tips for Reducing Cell Phone Exposure HERE; “Experts – including those on the Superior Health Council(link is external) – advise everyone to limit their exposure to mobile phone radiation. The following simple tips will help you.”
- Children and Cell Phones: “The use of the mobile phone by children is a special point of attention. Children may be more sensitive to radio waves. Children absorb twice as much radiation in the brain than adults do, and 10 times more in the bone marrow of the skull. In addition, due to the popularity of the mobile phone, the cumulative exposure of the current generation of children will be much higher by the time they reach their adulthood than that of the current adults.”
Belgiums Ghent Municipality: Wireless internet is banned from spaces that cater to children between 0 and three: preschools and daycares to reduce exposure to microwave radiation. Read news article about the ban here.
Spain: Several municipalities have passed resolutions urging the removal of wireless networks in schools and public places and recommending a precautionary approach with children and information campaigns to educate the public.
- The Parliament of Navarra voted to urge removal of WIFI in schools and to apply the precautionary principle in relation to exposure limits to electromagnetic fields whose boundaries have become “obsolete”.
- The Parliament voted to adopt a resolution which calls to implement the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe resolution 1815 of 2011, which recommends to “review the scientific basis for the standards of exposure to electromagnetic fields” and ” set thresholds for levels of preventive long-term exposure in all indoor areas not exceeding 0.6 volts per meter “.
- 2016 The High Court of Madrid recognizes “Electrosensitivity” as grounds for disability: A telecommunications engineer who worked at Ericsson had his sensitivity recognized. “This is the first we have achieved total disability due exclusively to this syndrome,” says attorney Jaume Cortés, the Col·lectiu Ronda. Read the news article here.
- The Vitoria City Council unanimously approved a precautionary approach with wireless: Citizens will be informed of the location of wireless transmitters are in civic centers and municipal buildings. It is recommended that children’s spaces such as playgrounds and family libraries, will be free of WiFi or have decreased wifi and wifi free zones will be established in playgrounds and building entrances.
- The Basque Parliament joined the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe in 2011, which warns of the “potential risk” of electromagnetic fields and their effects on the environment and urged the promotion of campaigns against “excessive use “mobile phones among children.In a statement, the parliamentary Aralar, Dani Maeztustated, “To protect children’s health, recommends the implementation of information campaigns and portable devices that emit microwaves, and prioritizes the use of cable connections in schools.”
- City of Tarragona Municipal Government (Tarragona is a major city 100 kilometres south of Barcelona) approved the “Institutional Declaration of support for people with Central Sensitivity Syndromes”
- Carry out (with a yearly update) a diagnosis and census of those affected by CSS in the City of Tarragona, showing what is the actual situation and the specific needs of these patients and their families.
- An intervention protocol for the staff of the Area of Services to Citizens of the Tarragona City Government to look after those with CSS- including a list of economic subsidies for food, first necessity elements, reduced water bill, and home help specific to the needs of these patients.
- Housing protocol for people with CSS, especially those who have MCS and/or EHS, those threatened by eviction or those who are forced to leave their home. This protocol has to include a series of safe social housing (green/white spaces: free of xenobiotics and electromagnetic waves).
- Create green/white spaces in all municipal buildings (free of xenobiotics and electromagnetic waves).
- Eliminate, as much as possible, the use of pesticides in the whole of the municipality. In the case when this is not possible, establish a communication protocol to contact those affected and the press regarding the places and dates of the interventions with preventive advice.
- Training for social workers and educators about CSS, its social, health and economic reality. Elaboration of information and education to increase the knowledge about these illnesses amongst the general population and of the city workers in particular, with the objective of diminishing the stigma that is now present regarding these illnesses.
- Protocol for adapting working conditions of the municipal workers who have CSS with specific measures of support when having a flare up. These would be the measures: work schedule flexibility, encourage work from home through internet (teleworking), reserved parking spaces and include in the collective agreement not deduct the salary of the first 20 days of sick leave.
- Read the full article detailing the actions here.
Canada: The health agency offers”practical advice” to reduce exposure to children. The Parliament issued a Radiofrequency Report recommending action to protect public health. A law was introduced to label wireless devices with health warnings.
- Canadian Parliament Standing Committee on Health of the House of Commons issued a report “Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Health of Canadians” on June, 2015 after holding public hearings regarding Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 recommended limits. They made 12 recommendations including an awareness campaign on reducing exposures, improved information collecting and policy measures regarding the marketing of radiation emitting devices to children under the age of 14, “in order to ensure they are aware of the health risks and how they can be avoided.”
- Health Canada offers “Practical Advice” on reducing exposure to wireless radiation: 1. Limit the length of cell phone calls, 2. Replace cell phone calls with text, use “hands-free” devices and 3. Encourage children under the age of 18 to limit their cell phone usage. Read it here.
- 2015: National Bill C-648 Introduced into the House Of Commons,“An Act Respecting the Prevention of Potential Health Risks From Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation” would require manufacturers of all wireless devices to place specific health warning labels clearly on packaging, or face daily penalties /fines and/or imprisonment. Press Conference for Bill C-648 Video.
Australia: The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has issued a Fact Sheet titled How to Reduce exposure from mobile phones and other wireless devices and recommends reducing exposure to children.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has issued a Fact Sheet titled How to Reduce exposure from mobile phones and other wireless devices.
- “Due to the lack of sufficient evidence ARPANSA recommends parents encourage their children to use exposure-reduction measures such as those provided in this fact sheet.”
- Reduce the risk from WiFi devices by “keeping them at a distance, for example placing the wireless router away from where people spend time”, and “reducing the amount of time you use them”.
- ARPANSA recommends that parents encourage their children to limit their exposure stating that “It is recommended that, due to the lack of sufficient data relating to children and their long term use of mobile phones, parents encourage their children to limit their exposure by reducing call time, by making calls where reception is good, by using hands-free devices or speaker options, or by texting.” Read it HERE.
Italy: A Parliament voted to enact the precautionary principle and reduce wireless exposures whenever possible. The Supreme Court ruled a man’s brain tumor was caused by his cell phone use.
- On June 10, 2015, the Italian State Parliament of South Tyrol voted to allow the application of the precautionary principle mandating the state government to:
- To replace existing wireless networks whenever possible with networks that emit less radiation at schools, preschools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other public facilities.
- Establish a working group whose mandate it is to assess these new technologies and their exposure levels. With regard to wireless communication technologies, mobile Internet access, and public health, the working group shall clarify which technologies emit less radiation and provide sustainable technology options and
- To start an education and awareness campaign that informs about possible health risks, especially regarding the unborn, infants, children, and adolescents and that develops guidelines for a safer use of cell phones, smartphones, and Wi-Fi …Discussion at the Plenary Session, 10 June 2015 (in German) ///////Official Files, Resolutions (in German) ////////Previous Hearing at the Parliament of South Tyrol, 29 April 2015 (in German)
- The Italian Supreme Court ruled a man’s brain tumor was caused by his cell phone use in 2012. The National Institute for Workmen’s Compensation must compensate a worker with head tumor due to cell use. Read news article with details here.
- Mayor of Borgofranco d’Ivrea has ordered Wi-Fi to be turned off in schools. “Mayor Livio Tola told the town’s high school and elementary school to return to using cables to connect to the internet after reading that the electromagnetic waves given off by wireless routers were especially harmful to young children.” Read the newspaper article here.
- A school In Lecce, Italy, “Istituto Comprensivo Alighieri- Diaz” banned wifi. Their two resolutions decided: a) to ban wifi in school and install a wired system for the use of internet and b) Reject the request of the local government (Municipality) to install an antenna on the school roof for the wireless signal providing for the “Wireless city” program. The resolution also asks the Municipality to install the antenna at a reasonable distance from school. Read the official resolutions number 1 here and Resolution 2 here.
- The Piemonte Region has adopted a resolution to limit EMF exposure, to limit the use of wifi in schools and be considerate to the problem of EHS people. Read about it here.
- The Italian Society for Preventive and Social Pediatrics has officially called to prohibit cell phones for children under 10 years old. Giuseppe Di Mauro, president of the Italian Society of social and preventive pediatrics [Società italiana di pediatria preventiva e sociale (www.sipps.it)] “We do not know all the consequences associated with cell phone use, but excessive use could can lead to concentration and memory loss, increase in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances.” and he cites electromagnetic fields stating“The damage to health are increasingly evident” Read it here.
Finland: The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority officially recommends reduced exposure for children since 2009 and details advice to reduce exposure to the public.
- The page Mobile phones are a major source of radio frequency radiation states that, ‘The level of exposure to radiation from a mobile phone held next to user’s ear can approach the exposure limits. Never before have humans been exposed to equally strong sources of radiation in their living environments. Identifying any health impacts is highly important because practically everybody uses a mobile phone today.”
- Read STUK Recommendations to reduce cell phone exposure HERE: Use a hands free device, don’t use phones reception is poor, the phone should be kept on a table or similar location instead of in the user’s pocket.
- “STUK recommends that unnecessary exposure to radiation from mobile phones be avoided. In particular, children’s unnecessary exposure should be avoided as their life-long exposure will be longer than that of those who begin using mobile phone as adults and as only scant research exists on health effects to children.”
In 2009 the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) initially issued recommendations to reduce exposure with more explicit cautionary language.
- Read the information posted on the STUK website in 2009– now removed.
- Read a policy position paper by STUK from 2009 detailing why “It would be good to restrict children’s use of mobile phones.”
- Read the 2011 policy position from STUK.
- Read a news article from 2009 when STUK first recommended restricting the use of mobile phones by children.
Israel: The Ministry of Health states “Precautions should be strictly enforced with regard to children, who are more sensitive to developing cancer. The Israeli Government created the public education webpage National Information Ctr for Non-Ionizing Radiation. The Israeli Ministry Of Education has issued guidelines limiting WiFi and cell phone use in schools.
- The Israeli Government created the EMF public education webpage National Information Ctr for Non-Ionizing Radiation The Israeli Ministry Of Education has issued guidelines limiting WiFi and cell phone use in schools.
- Preschool through 2nd grade have banned the use of wireless networks. In third and fourth grade class internet is restricted to 3 hours per week.
- A hard wired direct cable connection is required if the teacher has a computer in the class.
- Magnetic fields below 4 mG are being reduced in schools representing the government’s position that international guidelines are NOT protective of children.
- The Israeli Supreme Court ordered the Israeli government to reply on ceasing Wifi installations
- In third and fourth grade class internet is restricted to 3 hours per week.
- The Education Ministryhas instructed all schools to perform radiation tests.
- Israel’s Minister of Health Rabi Litzman stated that he supports a ban on Wi-Fi in schools.
- A hard wired direct cable connection is required if the teacher has a computer in the class.
Read the official ISRAEL 2015 RF Safety Report with actions being taken to reduce EMF.
The Ministry of Health published Environmental Health in Israel 2014 which states that “Precautions should be strictly enforced with regard to children, who are more sensitive to developing cancer” and that “wireless communication networks in schools be reduced.” The Health Ministry recommends “sensible use of cellular and wireless technology, including: considering alternatives like landline telephones, use of a speaker while talking on a cellphone, and refraining from installing the base of wireless phones in a bedroom, work room, or children’s room.” The Report states that “Findings in Israel clearly indicated a link between cellphone use for more than 10 years and the development of tumors in the salivary glands, particularly among people who held the telephone on the same side where the tumor developed and individuals in the highest category of exposure (heavy use in rural areas).”
- Linda S. Birnbaum, Director, USA National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program wrote in the Israeli Report final chapter that, “ If some of the om studies turn out to be harbingers of things to come, we may have major health consequences from the nearly ubiquitous presence of wireless equipment.”
Haifa (Israel’s third largest city) removes Wi-fi from all schools.
“The roots of the decision go back to a 2013 petition by parents in four schools who claim that such networks are harmful. The case eventually made its way to the High Court, which has postponed a final decision on the matter…The movement has spread from Haifa to other cities as well, and petitions have been signed by parents in dozens of cities demanding the removal of the networks. Haifa is the first city to take action on the matter.Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said that the city would replace the wireless network with a wired connection that will provide safer options to students.” Read the news article here. This action occurred after this news report aired.
Switzerland: The Switzerland Federal Office for the Environment has issued specific guidelines to reduce exposure and has created factsheets for the public. The Governing Council of Thurgau Canton recommends for schools” to forgo the use of wireless networks when the structural makeup of a given school building allows for a wired network.
- The Switzerland Federal Office for the Environment FOEN has a webpage on Wi-Fi which states “caution should be exercised primarily when using devices held close to the body, such as laptops, PDAs and Internet telephones..” and gives recommendations on how to reduce exposure including turning the Wi-Fi off when not in use, installing the access point one metre away from places where you work, sit or rest for long periods of time and keeping laptops off laps.
- The Switzerland Federal Office for the Environment FOEN has a webpage on Cell Phones which details ways to reduce mobile phone radiation. FOEN also has additional EMF factsheets on various EMF sources including on baby monitors where they state that “it is advisable to reduce the infant’s exposure to emissions as far as possible.”
- The 2015 Environmental Report Chapter 17 on Electrosmog states “Effects can also be detected for weak radiation intensity. For example, weak high-frequency radiation can alter electric brain activity and influence brain metabolism and blood flow. Whether these effects have an impact on health is still unclear” and recommends the precautionary principle to reduce risk “Because major gaps still exist in our knowledge about the health impacts of long-term exposure to weak non-ionising radiation, the adopted protective strategy should be pursued consistently.” Read it here.
- Switzerland FOEN 2012 Radiation of radio transmitters and Health “In view of the fact that there are gaps in the available data, the absence of proof of health risks does not automatically also mean proof of their absence. From the scientific point of view, a cautious approach in dealing with non-ionising radiation is still called for. There remains a need for extensive research into the potential long-term effects”
- The Governing Council of Thurgau Canton 2008 “The Governing Council recommends for schools to forgo the use of wireless networks when the structural makeup of a given school building allows for a wired network.” Read a letter by the Council here.
Germany: The Federal Office for Radiation Protection provides tips for reducing radiation exposure to smartphones, tablets and wireless devices and several states recommend wired rather than wireless installations in schools.
- The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (FORP) provides tips for reducing radiation exposure to smartphones, tablets and wireless devices stating, “Since long term effects could not be sufficiently examined up to now the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) recommends to keep exposures to these fields as low as reasonably achievable.” Read the precautionary advice here.
- The FORP recommends landline phone instead of mobile phone base stations and that schools should not connect wirelessly to the internet. Read a 2015 statement here.
- The German Federal Ministry for Radiation Protection stated in 2007 ,”supplementary precautionary measures such as wired cable alternatives are to be preferred to the WLAN system.” See original German Bundestag document here, and an English translation here.
- Bavaria: The State Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs: “For precautionary reasons the Federal Office for Radiation Protection recommends for schools that if a wireless network is used to place its components in suitable locations and to prefer the use of wired network solutions whenever possible.” In 2007 Parliament recommendation to all schools to not install wireless LAN networks.
- Frankfurt: “In Frankfurt’s schools there will be no wireless networks in the short or mid term. The Local Education Authority did not wish to conduct a “large scale human experiment,” said Michael Damian, spokesperson of the Head of the School Department Jutta Ebeling.
Austria: The Public Health Department of Salzburg Region recommends against wireless in schools. No Wi-Fi in Salzberg Schools and many schools are Wi-Fi free. The Austrian Medical Society has issued cell phone safety guidelines.
No Wi-Fi in Salzberg Schools: “The official advice of the Public Health Department of the Salzburg Region is not to use WLAN and DECT in Schools or Kindergartens.” -Gerd Oberfeld, MD.
- The Austrian Medical Society has issued cell phone safety guidelines stating that cell phones should be used for as short of a time as possible and that children under 16 should not use cell phones at all. They also state that “wireless LAN leads to high microwave exposure”.
January 2016: Vienna Medical Association has issued new Ten Cell Phone Guidelines. They are:
- Make calls as short and little as possible – use a landline or write SMS. Children and teenagers under 16 years old should carry cell phones only for emergencies!
- Distance is your friend- Keep the phone away from body during connection of Phone. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s safer distance recommendation in the manual, keep a distance during the call set-up from the head and body. Take advantage of the built-in speakerphone or a headset!
- When using headsets or integrated hands-free, do not position mobile phones directly on the body – special caution applies here for pregnant women. For men, mobile phones are a risk to fertility if Mobile is stowed in Trouser pockets. Persons with electronic implants (pacemakers, insulin pumps et cetera) must pay attention to distance. Unless otherwise possible, use coat pocket, backpack or purse.
- Not in vehicles (car, bus, train) calls – without an external antenna, the radiation in the vehicle is higher. In addition, you will be distracted and you bother in public transport the other passengers!
- During the car when driving should be an absolute ban on SMS and internetworking – the distraction leads to self-endangerment and endangering other road users!
- Make calls at home and at work via the fixed corded (not wireless) network – Internet access via LAN cable (eg via ADSL, VDSL, fiber optic) no Radiation, is fast and secure data transfer. Constant radiation emitters like DECT cordless telephones, WLAN access points, data sticks and LTE Home base stations (Box, Cube etc.) should be avoided!
- Go offline more often or use Airplane mode – Remember that for functions such as listening to music, camera, alarm clock, calculator or offline games an internet connection is not always required!
- Fewer apps means less radiation – Minimize the number of apps and disable the most unnecessary background services on your smartphone. Disabling “Mobile services” / “data network mode” turns the smartphone again into a cell phone. You can still be reached, but avoid a lot of unnecessary radiation by background traffic!
- Avoid Mobile phone calls in places with poor reception (basement, elevator etc) as it increases transmission power. Use in poor reception Area a headset or the speakerphone!
- For buyers of mobile phones, Look out for a very low SAR value and an external antenna connection!
Read the Press release (in German): http://www2.aekwien.at/1964.py?Page=1&id_news=8972
See The Poster (in German): http://www.aekwien.at/aekmedia/Medizinische-Handy-Regeln.pdf
Austria’s” Highest Health Council of the Ministry of Health” has a brochure with advice to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation. It states that since the long term research is still not completed, it is advisable to take simple precautions to reduce exposure. Read the Brochure here. See the WHO Report on Austria’s EMF activities and research studies underway here.
India: Official “Precautionary Guidelines for mobile users” detail steps to reduce exposures. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has issued EMF guidelines with Exposure Limits lowered to 1/10 of the ICNIRP level, SAR labeling on phones. Some states have banned cell towers from schools. Many reports have been issued detailing research showing impacts to the environment.
- Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the civic body that governs the capital city of Mumbai in Maharashtra (India‘s richest municipal organization) in 2016 in its new policy on mobile towers, no longer allows cell towers on playgrounds, recreational grounds, gardens and parks.
- 2012 The Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued new EMF guidelines with new Exposure Limits lowered to 1/10 of the ICNIRP level, and SAR labeling on phones.
- Official guidelines Precautionary Guidelines for mobile users: 1. Keep distance – Hold the cell phone away from body to the extent possible. 2. Use a headset (wired or Bluetooth) to keep the handset away from your head. 3. Do not press the phone handset against your head. Radio Frequency (RF) energy is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source — being very close increases energy absorption much more. 4. Limit the length of mobile calls. 5. Use text as compared to voice wherever possible. 6. Put the cell phone on speaker mode. 7. If the radio signal is weak, a mobile phone will increase its transmission power. Find a strong signal and avoid movement – Use your phone where reception is good. 8. Metal & water are good conductors of radio waves so avoid using a mobile phone while wearing metal-framed glasses or having wet hair. 9. Let the call connect before putting the handset on your ear or start speaking and listening – A mobile phone first makes the communication at higher power and then reduces power to an adequate level. More power is radiated during call connecting time. 10. If you have a choice, use a landline (wired) phone, not a mobile phone. 11. When your phone is ON, don’t carry it in chest/breast or pants pocket. When a mobile phone is ON, it automatically transmits at high power every one or two minutes to check (poll) the network. 12. Reduce mobile phone use by children as a younger person will likely have a longer lifetime exposure to radiation from cell phones. 13.People having active medical implants should preferably keep the cell phone at least 15 cm away from the implant.
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests issued a report in the Rajya Sabha on July 23, 2015, recommending “indigenous methodology and techniques to check the alarming increase in radiation from radio-active signals, RF and Electro-magnetic Fields (EMFs).” The committee said “Indians were more prone to risk from radiations as compared to Europeans because of their low body mass index (BMI) and low fat content. Therefore, comprehensive scientific studies must be conducted to “conclusively establish the level of risks and adverse health effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) of cell towers”.
- 2013: Supreme Court of India upheld the High Court of the State of Rajasthan decision to remove all cell towers from the vicinity of schools, hospitals and playgrounds because of radiation “hazardous to life.” Two hundred and four mobile towers installed on the school premises of Rajasthan have been removed in compliance.
- The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has developed an EMF webpage
- Zilla Parishad orders removal of all cellphone towers near schools citing exposure to “harmful radiation”.
- Read a Document prepared by Dr. Sharma, Sr. Deputy Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research on Indian Research Studies.
- See the Colorful graphic created by the Government Ensuring Safety from Radiations : Mobile Towers and Handsets
Russia: The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has issued strong recommendations to reduce exposure to children and issued several reports.
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection in ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS FROM MOBILE PHONES: HEALTH EFFECT ON CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS has repeatedly warned about electromagnetic radiation impacts on children and recommended WiFi not be used in schools.
- Official Recommendations: The Russian Federation specifically advises that those under the age of 18 should not use a mobile phone at all, recommends low- emission phones; and requires the following: on-device labelling notifying users that it is a source of RF-EMF, user guide information advising that ‘‘it is a source of harmful RF-EMF exposure’’ and the inclusion of courses in schools regarding mobile phones use and RF-EMF exposure issues. “Thus, for the first time in the human history, children using mobile telecommunications along with the adult population are included into the health risk group due to the RF EMF exposure.”
- “In children, the amount of so-called stem cells is larger than in adults and the stem cells were shown to be the most sensitive to RF EMF exposure.”
- “It is reasonable to set limits on mobile telecommunications use by children and adolescents, including ban on all types of advertisement of mobile telecommunications for children.”
- Decision of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection 2008, “Children and Mobile Phones: The Health of the Following Generations is in Danger”
European Environment Agency: The agency recommends reducing exposures to protect public health and has published reports detailing the rationale for these recommendations.
- The European Environment Agency has issued 2013 Late Lessons From Early Warnings: Chapter 12: Mobile phone use and brain tumour risk: early warnings, early actions? which concludes that “ Precautionary actions now to reduce head exposures, as pointed out by the EEA in 2007, and many others since, would limit the size and seriousness of any brain tumour risk that may exist. Reducing exposures may also help to reduce the other possible harms…” Read it here.
- In 2007 Professor Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA’s executive director issued a statement that “Recent research and reviews on the long-term effects of radiations from mobile telecommunications suggest that it would be prudent for health authorities to recommend actions to reduce exposures, especially to vulnerable groups, such as children.” Read it here.
- In 2011 David Gee, EEA Senior Advisor on Science, Policy and Emerging Issues stated in a press release that “We recommend using the precautionary principle to guide policy decisions in cases like this. This means that although our understanding is incomplete, this should not prevent policy makers from taking preventative action.” Read it here.
United Kingdom: The UK National Health Service offers specific recommendations to reduce cell phone radiation exposure to children to lower long term potential risks.
The UK National Health Service has changed it’s advice. Here is the story. In 2011 it offered specific Recommendations to reduce cell phone radiation exposure to children. Read the 2011 recommendations which state;
- “Children are thought to be at higher risk of health implications from the use of mobile phones. This is because their skulls and cells are still growing and tend to absorb radiation more easily. It is recommended that children use mobile phones only if absolutely necessary.”
- The NHS had a website section called Mobiles and mums-to-be about research showing cell phone was linked to behavioral issues in children. Read it here.
- In the Q and A section they stated: “Do scientists know everything about mobile phones and health? No, and research is continuing. There is little research on the effects of using mobile phones for more than 10 years, so it is impossible to be certain that long-term use is 100% safe. There is also little research on the effects of mobile phones on children, who are more sensitive than adults to many environmental agents, such as lead pollution and sunlight. Government advice is to be on the safe side and limit mobile phone use by children.” This statement has been removed.
- For the public they had “recommendations to help lower any potential long-term risks” which include keeping calls short, keep phone away from the body on standby mode, only use it when the reception is strong and use a phone with an external antenna.
- 2002 The Stewart Report commissioned by the UK Government found that exposure to RF radiation below guidelines has not been “proven” to cause adverse health effects but it is not possible to say “that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects” as “there is some scientific evidence which suggests that there may be biological effects and gaps in knowledge justify a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies until much more detailed and scientifically robust information on any health effects becomes available.”
- Check out a slide presentation on people and wireless radiation by NHS here.
Then, the National Health service changed the public advice text. Everything noted above was removed. Now they state:
- “If there are any health risks from the use of mobile phones, children might be more vulnerable because their bodies and nervous systems are still developing. Research carried out to date hasn’t supported a link between mobile phone use and childhood cancers such as leukaemia. However, if you have any concerns, you can lower your child’s exposure to radio waves by only allowing them to use mobile phones for essential purposes and keeping calls short.” Read the new text here.
- See the brochure (2011) entitled “Mobile phones and base stations: Health advice on using mobile phones” which states: The body and nervous system are still developing into the teenage years. Therefore, as a precaution, the UK Chief Medical Officers advise that children and young people under 16 should be encouraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only, and to keep calls short.
2016 The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 (CEFAW) requires employers to assess the levels of EMFs their employees may be exposed to, ensure compliance, provide information on risks and take action if necessary. Legislation http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/588/pdfs/uksi_20160588_en.pdf
“You must ensure you take workers at particular risk, such as expectant mothers and workers with active or passive implanted or body worn medical devices, into account when appropriate, devise and implement an action plan to ensure compliance with the exposure limits.” Read news article on regulations.
Cyprus: The Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Child Health warns the public that using mobile devices could be potentially harmful to children and has issued recommendations and resources as part of a awareness campaign for the public to reduce exposures specifically to children and pregnant women.
- “Be Precautionary and reduce exposure to phones, Wi-Fi and other wireless devices,” states the Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Child Health (ECH). Dr. Stella Michaelidou, President of the ECH, states that society should respond by taking precautions because “Documentation of other potential and more serious biological side effects are on the tip of an emerging iceberg.” This stance was documented in a recent news article that quotes Michaelidou stating that “multiple and frequent exposure to this kind of radiation, which falls below the acceptable levels of thermal effects, pose a health risk to a developing embryo.” and children who use their mobile phone more frequently face a higher risk at having a weaker memory, attention deficit disorder, and similar issues
Official Statements and Documents
- Protecting children from radiation emitted by Wi-Fi, mobile phones and wireless by Dr. Stella Kanna Michailidou of the National Committee Chairman “Environment and Children’s Health”
- See the Commission’s EMF brochure on reducing the risks to children from exposure to the Non Ionizing Radiation (mobile phones, Wi-Fi, tablets, etc.).
- The National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health Website Information on EMFs can be acessed at http://www.cyprus-child-environment.org/easyconsole.cfm/id/324
PSA Video Children’s Health and Wi-Fi
- The Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Child Health created a short PSA for citizens about children and wireless radiation and how to reduce Wi-Fi exposure.
- Watch the greek version here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=996vzcCYCnE
- Watch the video translated into english here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=996vzcCYCnE
- See the 12/2015 Powerpoint Slide Presentation by the President of the Commission, Dr. Stella Kanna Michaelides on EMFs (in Greek) by clicking here and Dr Michalis Tornaritis on media use (in Greek) by clicking here.
- IOANNINA UNIVERSITY COURSES IN PATHOLOGY Neurological and behavior effects οf Non Ionizing Radiation emitted from mobile devices on children: Steps to be taken ASAP for the protection of children and future generation by Dr. Michaelidou of the Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Health. English slides at this link.
- Watch the President of the Cyprus National Committee ” Environment and Health of the Child” presents the issue of Electromagnetic radiation and its effects on children’s health. April 2016
- Sigma TV News Report on children and Wi-fi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WumF2qOUKrU
- Watch the president of the National Committee “Environment and Child Health” with Professor Loukas Margaritis speaking in a news piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WumF2qOUKrU
- 2015 In-Cyprus News Report: Mobile devices could harm kids
- 9/2015 News Report Cyprus Mail: ‘Technology harming our children’ MPs say
Taiwan: In 2015 the government Updated their Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act to include a complete ban on children under the age of two from using electronic devices such as iPads, televisions and smartphones.
- Taiwan: In 2015 the government Updated their Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act to ban cell phones for young children. Read it here.
- Complete ban on children under the age of two from using electronic devices such as iPads, televisions and smartphones.
- Parents can be fined NT$50,000 (about $1600 US Dollars)
- The new law also states that parents must ensure that under-18s only use electronic products for a ‘reasonable’ length of time.
European Parliament: Issued Resolution 1815: In 2011 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe issued The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment.
- Resolution 1815: In 2011 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe issued The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment.
- A call to European governments to “take all reasonable measures” to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields “particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours.” The Resolution calls for member states to:
- Implement “information campaigns about the risk of biological effects on the environment and human health, especially targeting children and young people of reproductive age.”
- “As regards standards or threshold values for emissions of electromagnetic fields of all types and frequencies, the Assembly strongly recommends that the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle is applied, covering both the so-called thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation. Moreover, the precautionary principle should be applied when scientific evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty. Given the context of growing exposure of the population, in particular that of vulnerable groups such as young people and children, there could be extremely high human and economic costs if early warnings are neglected.”
- “For children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises.” Read Resolution 1815
- Read the 2009 Resolution: Health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields calling for a review of the issue.
United States: Cell phone radiation Right to Know and Wireless labeling legislation has been passed at a local level and introduced at the state and national level. Some Communities have issued proclamations, resolutions and and started initiatives to inform the public of wireless health issues. Berkeley is the first city in the nation to require cell phone retailers to provide those who purchase a new phone an informational fact sheet which informs buyers to read the user manual to learn the cell phone’s minimum separation distance from the body. US Proposed Legislation
US Proposed Legislation
Greece: The Greek government's website recommends reducing cell phone radiation to children under 16 and they inform citizens of non-ionizing radiation power levels in their community. Greek Law mandates lower RF exposures near schools, nurseries and hospitals. Cell antennae are prohibited from being on top of schools and nurseries. Greek law mandates lower RF exposures near schools, nurseries and hospitals: The exposure limits in Greece are the 70% of the official European limits. In areas less than 300 m from schools, hospitals and nurseries the exposure limit is lower at 60% of the official European limits. Cell antennae are prohibited from being on top of schools and nurseries. 2012: The Greek government website materials recommend reducing cell phone radiation to children under 16 and they inform citizens of non-ionizing radiation power levels in their community. “Even though it hasn’t been proven conclusively that children are more sensitive/reactive than adults to exposure to radiation, nevertheless, the direct/pointed recommendation of international organizations is that children be discouraged from [literally translated, learn not to trust] using cell phones. The above statement is supported by the following: Note: This document does not cover ALL EMF policy but is simply a sampling. Please feel free to contact EHT to send documentation of other policy actions.
Greek law mandates lower RF exposures near schools, nurseries and hospitals: The exposure limits in Greece are the 70% of the official European limits. In areas less than 300 m from schools, hospitals and nurseries the exposure limit is lower at 60% of the official European limits. Cell antennae are prohibited from being on top of schools and nurseries.
2012: The Greek government website materials recommend reducing cell phone radiation to children under 16 and they inform citizens of non-ionizing radiation power levels in their community.
“Even though it hasn’t been proven conclusively that children are more sensitive/reactive than adults to exposure to radiation, nevertheless, the direct/pointed recommendation of international organizations is that children be discouraged from [literally translated, learn not to trust] using cell phones. The above statement is supported by the following:
Note: This document does not cover ALL EMF policy but is simply a sampling. Please feel free to contact EHT to send documentation of other policy actions.
Singapore: Singapore’s National Environmental Agency specifically advises precautions. Below is the exact text found on the Frequently asked Questions About Radiation Protection.
“What is NEA’s advice to the public on the proper way of using mobile phones amidst all the concerns?
While further research is being carried out to study the long-term health effects of RF field, individuals could take precautionary measures to reduce RF exposure to themselves or their children by limiting the length of calls, or using ‘hands-free’ devices to keep the mobile phones away from the head and body.”
Turkey: The Ministry of Health has issued public information brochures that recommend limiting exposure especially for pregnant women and children. In addition the Ministry is developing regulation on prohibiting phone use for children. The EMF in schools is monitored and the public can get measurements on EMF levels from cell towers and schools at a national site. The Ministry of Communications and Maritime Affairs monitors Electromagnetic fields around the schools and homes. See the website here http://ema-olcum.btk.gov.tr/.
The Ministry of Communications and Maritime Affairs monitors Electromagnetic fields around the schools and homes. See the website here http://ema-olcum.btk.gov.tr/.
Namibia: Namibia’s atomic energy review report states that current so called “safety” standards DO NOT protect citizens from long term health effects.
“ICNIRP guidelines do not guarantee adequate protection against the long term effects of exposure, such as increased risk of cancer. “ -Republic of Namibia: Atomic Energy Board: The Atomic Energy Review
Doctors and Scientists Appeal for Stricter Wireless Technology Regulations
- Vienna Resolution 1998
- Salzburg Resolution 2000
- Stewart Report, UK 2000
- Declaration of Alcalá 2002
- Catania Resolution 2002
- Freiburger Appeal 2002
- Bamberger Appeal 2004
- Maintaler Appeal 2004
- International Association of
- Fire Fighters Resolution on Cell Towers 2004
- Coburger Appeal 2005
- Oberammergauer Appeal 2005
- Haibacher Appeal 2005
- Pfarrkirchener Appeal 2005
- Freienbacher Appeal 2005
- Lichtenfelser Appeal 2005
- Hofer Appeal 2005
- Helsinki Appeal 2005
- Parish Kirchner Appeal 2005
- Saarlander Appeal 2005
- Stockacher Appeal 2005
- Vancouver School Resolution 2005
- Benevento Resolution 2006
- Allgäuer Appeal 2006
- WiMax Appeal 2006
- Schlüchterner appeal
- Brussels Appeal 2007
- Venice Resolution 2008
- Porto Alegre Resolution 2009
- European Parliament
- EMF Resolution 2009
- Dutch Appeal 2009
- Int’l Appeal of Würzburg 2010
- Copenhagen Resolution 2010
- Seletun Consensus Statement 2010
- Russian National Committee on
- Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection 2011
- Potenza Picena Resolution 2011
- World Health Organization 2011
- Austrian Medical Association 2012
- Resolution on Electromagnetic Health 2012
- British Doctor Initiative 2013
- BabySafe Project: Joint Statement on Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation 2014
- Canadian Doctors Declaration to Health Canada 2014
- Scientific Declaration to Health Canada (International Doctors) 2014
- International Scientists Appeal to U.N. to Protect Humans and Wildlife from Electromagnetic Fields and Wireless Technology 2015. Over 200 Scientists