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27/05/2009 - French Government imposes phone ban on all primary schools
The French Government today announced their decision to take some strongly precautionary measures with regards to mobile telecommunications technology. From an outright ban of mobile phones in primary schools, to a requirement on operators to provide "stripped" down handsets only capable of texting or without a loudspeaker, this is a clear indication that in the absence of certainty, France is willing to act on the steadily increasing level of public concern.
The measures, which emerged from a six-week review of mobile phone and wi-fi radiation, have been attacked as inadequate by campaigners who accuse the State of playing down dangers from phones and transmitter masts. The campaign groups, which walked out on the government consultation on Monday, wanted a ban on mobile use by children under 14 and drastic measures to limit the power and location of masts. The Government refused to act against masts, citing the absence of any evidence that they affected human or animal health.
Chantal Jouanno, the new Secretary of State for Ecology, stated in an interview that she is in favour of trying out a reduction of relay antenna emissions in certain towns to 0.6 V/m while awaiting the results of a new study from AFFSET, but she continued to insist that there was "a need to distinguish between mobile phones, about which we know there are uncertainties, and relay antennas, for which nobody has been able to conclude that there is a risk". Experiments are to be carried out in three cities to test the feasibility of reducing the power of transmissions.
- View final report summary on Next Up
- View coverage on Times Online
- View coverage in the Irish Independent
Also in the news
Mayor of Clamart disconnects Orange base station in the name of the precationary principle
Also in France, the Clamart Town Council have disconnected an Orange relay antenna on the roof of their council offices in the name of the precautionary principle. The present mayor Philippe Kaltenbach has overruled the contract of the previous mayor that had agreed to the installation of an antenna for the Orange mobile network on the roof of the Town Hall and on another building.
Philippe Kaltenbach has decided not to let the mobile phone companies keep the antennas on the roof of these two buildings, and to allow antennas only on private buildings that are at least 100m away from two nearby schools and a creche. This is another in a long line of local French rulings demonstrating a precautionary approach not to the usage of the phones, but to a precautionary placement of the base stations as well.
- View news summary on Next Up
"From China with Love", Dariusz Leszczynski's Blog
Dariusz Leszczynski, a researcher from the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), has started a new blog covering Mobile Phone Safety. Covering an interesting background of his recent experiences in China, Dariusz talks at good length about the inconsistency and lack of transparency with which ICNIRP and WHO requirements for evidence. He also covers the flaws with the "weight of evidence" system and how it can easily be abused, where improved designs of up-to-date studies with modern equipment are valued equally with large quantites of older, potentially less relevant studies, with the result that they can be "lost in the noise". A good and information read so far - hopefully there will be further interesting entries to come!
- View Dariusz Leszczynski's Blog
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