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03/03/2003 - Paris adopts precautionary limits for microwave exposure from mobile phone base stations

The Parisian Charter: an example

After a long process of discussion the Paris Town Hall and the mobile phone operators have reached an agreement that aims to limit public exposure to the electromagnetic waves generated by Base-station antennae. Although they were at the beginning using as a way out the rather vague French legislation on these matters, the operators finally have committed themselves to lowering significantly the levels of exposure.

These levels will be in a range between 1.2 and 2.5 volts per metre, including within the third generation of mobile phones (UMTS). By running a campaign of measuring levels near to several thousands of sensitive Parisian sites, as well as making the operators respect the regulations in sites where levels of exposure were still too high a month after it had been measured, the Paris Town Hall is making the operators aware of the worries of its fellow citizens. "Agir pour l'environnement" et "Priartem" are delighted that a public authority has succeeded in getting mobile phone operators to agree to reduce quite considerably the exposure levels to which the public is subject, and are calling all French towns to enter into similar negotiations.

The threat of suspending the agreements binding the operators to the Paris Town Hall has without any possible doubt been instrumental in reaching this encouraging agreement. When they go to the office of Mr. Mattei on Monday 10th March 2003, the associations / groups concerned will ask for a generalised lowering of the levels of exposure for the whole of France in the name of the equality of all citizens with regard to potential health risks.

Current levels of emission in France are 41 and 58 volts per metre, (ICNIRP-based) levels that were fixed by a circumstantial law signed on 3rd May 2002.