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28/08/2009 - French Judge prohibits phone mast

Next Up have run a story citing a "judgement given against the installation by Orange SA of relay antennas in the name of the precautionary principle, illegal nuisance and the health risk for nearby residents", along with an injunction against the telecommunications giant and a 5000 Euro fine for every day it isn't adhered to.

Orange SA were planning to install a pair of relay antennas on the roof of the hotel Ibis, but had not reckoned with the tenacity of two elderly residents of nearby flats, whose bedroom was located less than 15 metres away from the planned location of the antennas.

The Créteil Court passed judgement citing the precautionary principle, legal nuisance, and the obligation of the operator to consider unknown risks prudently:

"It is clear from the numerous scientific studies cited in the dossier that there exists at the least a risk to the health of people living nearby from the propagation of radiation emitted by these antennas ... Even if present scientific knowledge does not enable us to determine precisely the impact of electromagnetic radiation when it penetrates the communal parts of the building, there exists a risk that cannot be ignored of repercussions from this radiation on the state of health of the residents who live in it ... the risk of causing damage to the health of the plaintiffs, aged respectively 71 and 83, persons who are particularly vulnerable, as well as to all the occupants of the apartment block ... are contravening their duty to act prudently and the precautionary principle, both of which should be upheld in this matter ... In contrast to the claims of Orange SA, it is the duty of the presiding judge to ensure the due regard of the precautionary principle, as part of the obligation of prudence with regard to third parties which is an essential part of the rule of law."

Links

Next Up website - Next Up organisation

Also in the news

The Health Protection Agency finally publish their WiFi data

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) have finally completed and published the data from their £300,000 study into the typical exposures from WiFi.

When the study was announced, we explained why it would be a complete waste of time, revisiting ground already done by formal testing laboratories elsewhere in Europe. As expected, they agreed not only with the figures done by the Swiss ITIS lab who did the formal tests, but also with the measurements we took on the Panorama programme we got so badly criticised for (actually, the HPA found readings about 20% higher for 0.7 metres away from the laptop than we did, but they are still very close).

Despite finding these fields, they still missed the point (as we were concerned they would, hence the criticisim two years ago), that just because these exposure levels are way below ICNIRP general guidance levels, that does not make them safe. The literature is still hinting that levels of 0.6 V/m upwards, typical for those using the wirelessly enabled laptops measured by the HPA, may increase the risk of cancer [Wolf 2004,Eger 2004] and a number of other somatic neurological symptoms [Santini 2002,Santini 2003,Navarro 2003,Bortkiewicz 2004,Nikolova 2005,Yurekli 2006,Abdel-Rassoul 2007,Preece 2007,Augner 2008].

At least their advice on handset use remains precautionary, according to point 15 in the minutes of one of their board meetings in June

Links

BEMS session where the data was presented - BEMS 2009 Davos session where the data was presented
IT'IS website - Independent Swiss IT'IS dosimetry laboratory
IT'IS exposure assessment data - IT'IS slides on wireless exposure assessment data
Panorama programme story - Powerwatch's Panorama programme story
Response to Ben Goldacre - Response to Ben Goldacre's criticism

References

1. P Wolf R, Wolf D, (April 2004) Increased incidence of cancer near a cell-phone transmitter station, International Journal of Cancer Prevention, 1(2) April 2004 [View Author's abstract conclusions]
 
2. P Eger H et al, (November 2004) The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone Transmission Mast on the Incidence of Cancer, Umwelt Medizin Gesellschaft 17,4 2004 [View Author's abstract conclusions]
 
3. P Santini R et al, (July 2002) Investigation on the health of people living near mobile telephone relay stations: I/Incidence according to distance and sex, Pathol Biol (Paris) 2002 Jul;50(6):369-73 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
4. P Santini R et al, (September 2003) Symptoms experienced by people in vicinity of base stations: II/ Incidences of age, duration of exposure, location of subjects in relation to the antennas and other electromagnetic factors, Pathol Biol (Paris). 2003 Sep;51(7):412-5 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
5. P Navarro EA et al, (December 2003) The Microwave Syndrome: A Preliminary Study in Spain, Electromagn Biol Med 22(2-3): 161-169 [View Author's abstract conclusions]
 
6. P Bortkiewicz A et al, (2004) Subjective symptoms reported by people living in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations: review, Med Pr. 2004;55(4):345-51 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
7. P Nikolova T et al, (October 2005) Electromagnetic fields affect transcript levels of apoptosis-related genes in embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells, FASEB J. 2005 Oct;19(12):1686-8 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
8. P Yurekli A et al, (2006) GSM base station electromagnetic radiation and oxidative stress in rats, Electromagn Biol Med 25(3):177-88 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
9. P Abdel-Rassoul G et al, (March 2007) Neurobehavioral effects among inhabitants around mobile phone base stations, Neurotoxicology. 2007 Mar;28(2):434-40 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
10. P Preece AW et al, (June 2007) Health response of two communities to military antennae in Cyprus, Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jun;64(6):402-8 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 
11. P Augner C et al, (September 2008) GSM base stations: Short-term effects on well-being, Bioelectromagnetics. 2008 Sep 19. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]
 

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