Last week the French Parliament passed a law to control exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by wireless technologies like, cell phones, computer tablets and Wi-Fi. This move has been long overdue.
Because, as we all know, it was Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who proclaimed “first do no harm”. So, finally with this new law, the French government embraces the same ideal by using the ‘precautionary principle’.
This new law makes far-reaching changes concerning EMF exposures
As reported in the newspaper Le Monde newspaper, WiFi is banned outright for preschoolers. In addition, wireless internet is prohibited in places dedicated to the welcome, rest, and activities of children under the age of 3 years old. With this new restriction, one can only wonder what they really know about the dangers of wireless technology.
At primary school level WiFi must be disabled when not in use for teaching and any establishment offering public access to WiFi must put show a sign at the entrance indicating the presence of WiFi.
Cell towers installations come under scrutiny
For any new cell tower installations, the ANFR (France’s equivalent of the FCC) if requested by the local mayor, must submit to the local government calculations of EMFs that will be generated. This information must be made available to the public.
A new national committee will be created under the remit of the ANFR. This committee has to make a yearly report showing “atypical” exposures. That’s to say areas where the level of public exposure to EMFs substantially exceeds national exposures.
Telecom operators will then be given six months to remedy these hotspots subject to “technical feasibility”. And, within one year, the ANFR is required to produce a municipal-level map of all cell towers in France.
Tough measures to protect children from cell phone radiation
Anyone selling a cell phone to a child aged under 14 must be also able to provide an accessory, headset or other, designed to reduce exposure of radio frequency (RF) radiation to the head. Similarly any cell phone related advertising must recommend the use of such an accessory device.
Believe it or not, advertisements promoting the use of cell phones without these accessories are prohibited. Plus, where the law is not respected, a fine of 75,000 euros (that’s over $85,000 US) may be applied to violators.
Finally, a recognition of ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’
There are a growing number of people that suffer adverse health reactions when exposed to EMFs. Conservative estimates are that between 3% and 5% of the population are electro-sensitive, but the true figure may be much higher. This new law requires that the French government submit a report on electromagnetic hypersensitivity to Parliament within one year.
Although there is no scientific consensus on the issue of EMFs there is now a substantial body of scientific evidence showing the adverse effects on our health of these exposures. This is reflected in the declarations made by important institutions.
National and international bodies gradually move to protect citizens
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified EMFs of the type used by cell phones and WiFi as possibly carcinogenic. Then in 2013, the French National Agency Health Safety of Food, Environment and Labour (ANSES) recommended to limit exposure of cell towers.
In 2015, the EU’s European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) issued an important document giving recommendations on how to protect people generally from EMFs with specific recommendations on how to help people that are already suffering from these exposures.
EMF exposures are dangerous and a threat to the public. Though perceived as a compromise this law is seen as an important first step. It’s the first law in France to deal exclusively with the question of EMFs.
Although, at this point, it remains to be seen whether this national law will be another case of ‘l’exception francaise’ or whether other countries will follow suit.
About the author: Lloyd Burrell is the founder of ElectricSense.com. His website offers solutions to the growing number of people whose health is being compromised by exposure to wireless and similar technologies. Download his free EMF Health Report today!