How Are Other Countries Protecting People?

LOG: WiFi & Cell Phone Related International Actions

(continually updated—please send in recommended updates)

This is a working list of notes of what is occurring in other countries to protect people from the biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields, and will be updated periodically. Please send any advisories to Info@ManhattanNeighbors.org.

 
France: In 2013, the National Agency Health Safety of Food, Environment and Labour (ANSES) recommended to “limit exposure of the population to radiofrequencies – especially from mobile phones – especially for children and heavy users “. It also called for “controlling the overall exposure from base stations”.

Ambient RF:

  • Reduce the exposure of children by encouraging only moderate use of mobile phones;
  • Continue to improve characterization of population exposure in outdoor and indoor environments through the use of measurement campaigns;
  • New mobile phone network infrastructures be subject to prior studies concerning the characterization of exposures
  • Study of consequences of multiplying the number of relay antennas in order to reduce levels of environmental exposure;
  • Documenting existing installations causing the highest exposure to the public and investigating how these exposures can be reduced by technical means.

In January 2015, The French National Assembly adopted a bill to limit exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by wireless technologies – cell phones, tablets, Wi-Fi etc., called the “Law on sobriety, transparency, information and consultation for exposure to electromagnetic waves”. Includes:

  • Wireless devices will be banned in “the spaces dedicated to the care, resting and activities of children under 3 years”
  • Wireless access points / routers must be disabled in primary schools when not in active use with electronic education
  • Any advertisement for mobile telephony must include a recommendation of devices (such as earphones) to reduce exposure to the head
  • All public places offering WiFi must clearly advertise the fact at the entrance to the property
  • All wireless devices must contain clear instructions on how to disable their wireless functionality
  • The National Frequency Agency (AFNR) will conduct an annual national census of “atypical points” or “places where the level of public exposure substantially exceeds that generally observed at the national scale”. Operators will have to remedy them within six months, “subject to technical feasibility”.
  • In matters of transparency, the installation of antennas will now be subject to prior notice to mayors and presidents of intercommunicipal bodies. And these may in turn – but are not required – to organize a consultation with residents.
  • In addition, a campaign of “awareness and information on the responsible and rational use of mobile devices” will be conducted.
  • Finally, the often-dramatic situation of people suffering from electrohypersensitivity receives a first consideration. The government will have to submit a report to Parliament on this issue within a year.

On July 8, 2016 the French National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment and Labour (ANSES) published a new scientific report “Radiofrequency Exposure and the Health of Children” stating children are more vulnerable to radio frequency (RF) radiation and recommending immediately reducing children’s exposure to wireless radiation. ANSES is calling for change to the present exposure guidelines to assure a sufficiently large safety margin to protect young children. They say all wireless devices should be subject to the same regulation as cell phones, that compliance with the safety limits should be assured for the ways in which devices are actually used, such as positioned in contact with the body, and exposure limits should be tightened to ensure sufficiently large safety margins to protect the health and safety of the general population, as well. The report says the present limited method to set safety guidelines, SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, should be replaced by a measure that can assess more accurate exposures for cell phone users, taking into account different scenarios that change exposures, such as good or bad reception conditions, mode of use (phone call, data loading, video etc.) and location of the device relative to the body. They said there should be better pre-market testing methods to fully assess human exposure to RF from wireless devices. ANSES reiterated its previous recommendations to minimize use of cell phones and use a headset.

ANSES Press Release

Le Monde France: Warning about the dangers of radio frequencies for children

CNET And radiofrequency waves: caution with children, said ANSES

Libraries, including the French National Library, and libraries in Paris and several universities, have long ago removed WiFi.

 
Australia: Recommends parents encourage children to limit wireless exposures; encourages placing routers away from where people spend time, and reducing total exposures.

With regard to children, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANNSA) states: “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 handsfree devices or speaker options, or by texting.”

 

Austria: Official advice of the Public Health Department of the Salzburg region is to not use WLAN and DECT in schools or kindergartens.

Austrian Medical Society says children under 16 should not use cellular devices at all.

The Vienna Medical Association (2016) has issued 10 guidelines on cell phone use:

  1. 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!
  2. 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 setup from the head and body. Take advantage of the built-in speakerphone or a headset!
  3. When using headsets or integrated handsfree, 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.
  4. Not in vehicles (car, bus, train) calls without an external antenna, as the radiation in the vehicle is higher. In addition, you will be distracted and you bother, in public transport, the other passengers!
  5. During the car when driving should be an absolute ban on SMS and internetworking as the distraction leads to self-endangerment and endangering other road users!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. Avoid Mobile phone calls in places with poor reception (basement, elevator etc) as it increases transmission power. Use a headset or the speakerphone in areas of poor reception!
  10. For buyers of mobile phones, look out for a very low SAR value and an external antenna connection!

 
Belgium: Ghent municipality bans WiFi in spaces that cater to newborns and toddlers, and calls for preschools and daycare to reduce exposures.

Belgium banned cell phones manufactured for children (Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment)

  • Citing IARC decision to classify RF as Group 2B Possible Human Carcinogen, cell phones designed for children under 7 yrs may not be sold.
  • Advertising also prohibited to children < 7 yrs
  • Specific absorption rate (SAR) required at point of sale and on internet

Qualified the new rules with extra warning: “But it is not the intention to use it for hours at a time: the way in which you use your mobile phone also determines your exposure.”

On 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. Therefore, caution is called for.”

On reducing wireless radiation exposure:

“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.”

Belgium’s answers to Frequently Asked Questions

 
India: Minister of Communications and Information Technology lowers RF exposure limits to 1/10th previous levels. Largest geographic region in India, Rajasthan, bans cell towers near schools and colleges due to the health hazard (2012), prevailing in a Supreme Court battle initiated by the telcom industry on grounds that “radiation is hazardous to life”. Several hundred RF emitting towers have been turned off.

In 2016, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai established a policy to no longer allow cell towers in playgrounds, recreational spaces, gardens and parks.

Official Indian Cell Phone Precautionary Guidelines:

  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 greatly increases energy absorption.
  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.

In 2015, the parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests issued a report recommending: “indigenous methodology and techniques to check the alarming increase in radiation from radioactive signals, RF and Electromagnetic

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”.

Indian government, Department of Telecom- Flyer on Precautionary Guidelines

 
Israel: The Israeli Ministry of Health has initiated a major public awareness effort to reduce wireless and electromagnetic radiation exposures to children. All Israel schools now instructed to perform radiation tests; Minister of Health supports ban on WiFi in schools, but Supreme Court rejected; hard-wire direct cable connection required if the teacher has a computer in the class; Preschool-2nd grade ban on WiFi; in 3rd and 4th grade internet restricted to 3 hours per week.

Minister of Health Rabi Yaakov Litzman says, regarding WiFi in schools: “I do fear that there will come a day that we will all cry because the irreversible damage that we, in our own hands cause the future generation.”

In April 2016, the Mayor of the City of Haifa in Israel called for immediate removal of WiFi in schools and replacement with wired internet. Mayor Yona Yahav said “When there is a doubt, when it comes to our children, there is no doubt”. This initiative is being contested and is not yet in effect. Haifa is the 3rd largest city in Israel.

Tel-Aviv municipality is to replace all school routers with on-demand routers that will not be on every day, all day; all teachers have the option of wired connection.

In 2014, the Ministry of Health published “Environmental Health in Israel 2014”. The conclusion of this report was contributed by American Linda S. Birnbaum, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program. The report stated “Precautions should be strictly enforced with regard to children, who are more sensitive to developing cancer”…”wireless communication networks in schools be reduced”…“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”…“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).”

The Israeli government has created the online National Information Center for Non-Ionizing Radiation. Details of Israeli EMF research and activities can be found in its National Activity report (2015).

 
Switzerland: Thurgau Canton recommends schools forego the use of wireless networks when wired is otherwise possible.

The Switzerland Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) maintains cautionary websites on WiFi and on Cell Phones and other EMF-emitting devices. Its 2015 Environment Report on Electrosmog says: “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” The precautionary principle is recommended to reduce risk “because major gaps still exist in our knowledge about the health impacts of long term exposure to weak nonionising radiation, the adopted protective strategy should be pursued consistently.”

The highly regarded and successful CEO of Swisscom, Carsten Schloter, committed suicide in July 2013. Weeks earlier, in media interviews, he said he felt he was a victim of modern telecommunications, and had lost himself in the constant stream of information.

 
Germany: German Federal Ministry for Radiation Protection says wired cable is preferred to WiFi. Bavaria State Ministry of Education recommends schools use wired networks whenever possible, and Parliament recommends that schools not use wireless networks; Frankfurt Local Education Authority says, “not wanting to conduct a large scale human experiment”, Frankfurt schools “will have no wireless networks”.

 
Russia: Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation has warned for many years about the serious and irreparable impacts from radiofrequency radiation on children and recommends WiFi not be used in schools. Russian research has shown dramatic reduction in school performance in children using wireless devices. Professor Yury Grigoriev, Chairman of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, and a member of the WHO’s International Advisory Committee on “EMF and Health”, says: “Our recent 4-year monitoring of effects from cell phone radiation on children, demonstrates an increase in phonemic perception disorders, abatement of efficiency, reduced indicators for the arbitrary and semantic memory, and increased fatigue. Over the four-year monitoring of 196 children ages 7-12 who were users of mobile communication devices, a steady decline in these parameters from high values to bottom standards, compared to controls, was observed.”

The official Russian Federation position is that persons under 18 should not use mobile phones at all, use low power phones, manuals must mention EMF is dangerous, and there must be courses in school for children advising of the risks.

Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection statement on “Children and Mobile Phones: The Health of the Following Generations is in Danger” (2008)

 
Chile: “Ley de Torres” Towers Act Passed by Chilean Congress (6/12)

1) Strictly limits the power of antennas

2) Reduces urban impact through ‘infrastructure sharing’

3) Citizen participation in the approval or denial process, effectively requiring prior permission, and terms, from local residents prior to municipal permits;

4) Reassessment of tax valuation of properties

5) Community compensation from telecoms via improvement to neighborhood public spaces

6) Retroactive component establishing mitigation in areas saturated with antennas, including those close to homes or institutions, such as kindergartens, health centers or schools.

 
Cyprus:

The Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health takes a strong stand on RF risks to children, issuing a video “Protect the Children from the Radiation of Mobile Phones and WiFi”

English translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H43IKNjTvRM

 

Argentina:

A Bill has been presented to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies (March 2016) to limit radiation levels and to require schools and hospitals to use hard wired internet connections by Deputy Gabriela Troiano with Deputies Carlos Rubin, Diana Conti and Gailard Carolina co-sponsoring. The bill aims to provide a regulatory framework to address all sources of potential electromagnetic radiation exposure “to ensure the protection of public health” and considers both the thermal and non-thermal biological effects. The Bill builds on previous attempts at legislation, with many NGOs supporting. It seeks to address public concern and “hundreds of protests, lawsuits and petitions to the authorities against uncontrolled deployment of cellular antennas, power lines and other factors”.

–Limits maximum radiation

–Installing infrastructure capable of emitting radiation or generate electromagnetic fields within and less than one hundred (100) meters of green spaces, health, educational, sporting and cultural institutions with public access is prohibited.

–In education and health facilities only wired connections to data networks and Internet access may be used.

–In hospitals, cell phones may not be used in areas that health authorities have said have higher health risk.

–Manufacturers of radiating equipment must include warning labels that exposure to such levels can cause consequences.

–Phone manufacturers must include headsets

–Packaging for cell phones must say the phones are not recommended for children.

–Environmental impact assessments must be conducted before installing new antennas, residents (owners and tenants) within 100 meters must be notified about it in advance by letter and the wireless companies must advertise widely the technical specs and call a public hearing.

–Installed antenna equipment not in compliance must be retrofitted to comply.

–Registry of Emission Sources Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation to be established and wireless companies must keep updated information re. emissions on a website.

–Advisory Council on Electromagnetic Pollution would also be created, “whose function is to provide the same scientific, technical and socio-economic and recommend action and control measures conducive to the achievement of the objectives of this law. The Council shall be composed of scientists, experts and renowned researchers on electromagnetic fields and their effects on health.”

Google translation of article on the proposed Bill.

 
Canada: Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario with 76,000 elementary school teachers says school Boards must stop hiding WiFi transmitters in the ceiling, and label them as part of a hazard control program. Want radiation from cell phones and WiFi to be recognized as a potential workplace hazard for teachers. Canadian Teacher Federation with 200,000 members calling for public education on ways to avoid WiFi exposures, and ways to meet school needs without it. Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association with 45,000 teachers calling for wired infrastructure in schools. British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC), representing over 500,000 parents, passed resolution calling on Board of Education to have one public school at each education level that is free of WiFi and to stop installing WiFi when hard-wired technology alternatives are an option.

2015 Bill C-648 introduced into the House of Commons calling for warning labels on cell phones, WiFi routers, iPads, baby monitors. Retailers not in compliance would be fined up to a hundred thousand dollars per day. View video of MP Terrence Young at press conference introducing the Bill.

Health Canada – Practical advice on cell phones, including limiting the length of cell phone calls, replacing cell phone calls with text messages or using “hands-free” devices and encourage children under the age of 18 to limit their cell phone usage.

 
China: It is estimated there are more than 24 million children who are “web junkies” in China today. There are 250 internet addiction camps tackling under-18 internet addiction. There are over 500mm smart phone users.

Shanghai’s government introduced laws in December 2013 stating that, “parents or other custodians should prevent and stop minors smoking, drinking alcohol, roaming the streets, or being overindulgent with online and electronic games”.

In the province of Zhejiang, parents are told to follow guidelines by which they must “instruct and educate minors to correctly choose and use internet material and not to be overindulgent” with their use of such systems.

 
Taiwan: Electronic devices are banned under the age of two (January 2015). Those under the age of 18 must not constantly use electronic products, and parents can be fined up to approximately £1,000 for non-compliance. The member of Parliament who proposed limiting electronic time envisioned a 30 minute limit, but the time was not legislated.

Electronics are now in the same category of potentially dangerous vices as cigarettes and alcohol.

Research published in December 2014 found 7.1 per cent of the population in Asia is addicted to the internet.

 
Japan: Japan’s Ministry of Education conducted research in 2014 associating online time in junior high school students with lower grades. Those who admitted to using the internet 4 hours or more a day got an average of 68% on a math test, compared with those who spent an hour or less a day online, who got an average of 79.5%.

Local education authorities in one region have concluded children spend too much time playing games on mobile phones, computers or hand-held tablets, and that grades are suffering. They are instituting “No Game Days” two days a month, and encouraging parents to engage in family activities, including outdoors activities, and to role model the abstinence.

In February 2017, the Japan Pediatric Association and the Japan Medical Association introduced a poster warning against the dangers of the excessive use of smart phones. The poster will be sent to approximately 170,000 members of the two associations to be put up at clinics nationwide. The poster poses the question, “What do I sacrifice with time spent on my smart phone?” and responds with six answers: sleep, academic performance, brain function, physical strength, vision, and communication ability. The effects of smart phone use in these six areas were explained using data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

 
South Korea:

Reporting that one in five students are addicted to their smartphones, South Korea, the world’s most tech-savvy nation, is aggressively tackling the problem, establishing more than 100 Internet addiction camps.

South Korean medical researchers released a recent report that illuminates the experiment in which we are all unwitting participants. Neuroscientists there reported a rise in digital dementia – the tendency of the young to be so obsessed with smartphones that they can’t remember phone numbers, produce legible handwriting, or look people in the eye, all signs of a type of brain damage. In a nation where 20 percent of 10 to 19-year-olds spends seven hours a day on smartphones and tablets, exposures are the highest in the world, and reports of lop-sided brain development are increasing. Psychiatrist Dr. Byun Gi-Won, of the Balance Brain Center in Seoul, South Korea, explained, “Young people who are heavy technology users are likely to have a properly developed left hemisphere of the brain while the right hemisphere will be unused and underdeveloped.”

The Atlantic Monthly reported that in Korea, a cottage industry of internet addiction treatment centers has surfaced.

 
Tanzania: Scientists from The Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology and The University of Dodoma,Tanzania describe the math to determining risk from a cell tower. In the study, “SAFETY ZONE DETERMINATION FOR WIRELESS CELLULAR TOWER – A CASE STUDY FROM TANZANIA”, published in the International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology, the scientists said that a safe distance from a cell tower depends on several factors, including the power transmitted by the antenna(s) and the height of the antennas. For the weakest power evaluated, the safety zone demarcation was 120m from the tower, and as power increased, the radius where health impacts could occur also increases. Download Study Here.

 
Italy: The Italian State Parliament of South Tyrol has voted (6/10/15) to allow the application of the precautionary principle to replace existing wireless networks whenever possible with wired networks or those that emit less radiation.

The decision mandates the state government, among other things:

  1. Replace existing wireless networks whenever possible with networks that emit less radiation at schools, preschools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other public facilities…
  1. 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…
  1. 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 …

In 2012, the Italian Supreme Court ruled a man’s brain tumor was caused by cell phone and portable phone use at his job. He used the cell and portable phones for 5-6 hours per day over 12 years. Italy’s National Institute for Workmen’s Compensation must provide workers compensation to the worker. This is the first workers comp ruling re. cell phone use.

In 2016, the Italian Society for Preventive and Social Pediatrics called for a ban on cell phones for children under 10 years old, citing loss of concentration, difficulty learning and aggressiveness among the harmful health effects provoked by smart phone use in children. Giuseppe Di Mauro, President of the Italian Society of Social and Preventive Pediatrics (www.sipps.it)] says “we do not know all the consequences associated with cell phone use, but excessive use can lead to concentration and memory loss, increase in aggressiveness and sleep disturbances. Children don’t have to use cell phones. If their parents can not help but give their children this object, I hope that it is used for a short time, avoiding use of many hours, exchanging text messages, chatting or surfing.” Di Mauro also pointed to the addictive nature of the technology, and anti-social behavior that ensues fixating on the phone. “If we do not put a stop to this veritable invasion, the new generations will be increasingly isolated.”

In 2016, “Instituto Comprensivo AlighieriDiaz” in Lecce, Italy banned wifi, deciding to install a wired system for internet access. They also rejected the request of the local government to install an antenna on the school roof for the wireless signal providing for the “Wireless city” program, asking the local government to install the antenna at a reasonable distance from school.

The Mayor of Borgofranco d’Ivrea in Torino has ordered WiFi 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.”
Article in English

The Piedmonte Region in Italy has adopted a resolution to limit EMF exposures, to limit WiFi in schools, and calling for consideration to the problem of electrosensitive persons.

In 2011, The Supreme Court of Italy ordered Vatican Radio to compensate Cesano, a town near Rome, following allegations the broadcaster’s high-powered transmitters put children at a higher risk of cancer. A health authority released a study claiming that children in the area were six times more likely to develop leukemia. The 300-page report prepared by Italy’s most prestigious cancer research hospital called the connection between Vatican antennas and childhood cancer “coherent and significant.” Radio stations, cell phones and WiFi all emit Radiofrequency radiation.

 
United Arab Emirates: Dr. C.B. Binu, chief psychiatrist at Al Fasht Medical Centre in Al Nahda, Sharjah, outlines the importance of monitoring time allotted for gadgets and gaming consoles. “If children are allowed unlimited gadget access, they will eventually be unable to disconnect from the virtual space and step into the real world. They become ill-equipped to understand and adapt to the actual environment around them. It could lead to permanent derailment of the brain development. And, could even develop into ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).” Dr Binu explains why the digital zone becomes more exciting. “The virtual world is very engaging, with images changing every few seconds. So, when the changes are slower outside the virtual reality they get disinterested and begin to object.” The digital detox program at the Al Fasht Medical Centre in UAE starts with the parents switching off their gadgets and limiting their screen-time. “Children are a reflection of their parents. So, if the parents are hooked on their laptops and mobiles, then they are sending the wrong signal to their kids. This is why we parents must set an example.

 
U.K.: Private school goes 100% tech free.

“The ‘no-tech’ school where screens are off limits – even at home”

A new private school, The London Acorn School, opened in 2013, and offers a new brand of “lo-tech/no-tech” education, which bans computers, the internet, TV and films, including in school, at home and during vacations. Says one parent, “It’s a big ask for parents. But it’s worth it, because the results in terms of how the children are is very special. We are absolutely thrilled.”

UK National Health Service provides recommendations for reducing cell phone radiation exposure to children, saying cell phones should only be used for essential purposes and be brief.

An Appeal judge in the U.K. awarded Employment and Award Allowance in a case of EHS, using surrogate terms due to lack of legal recognition of EHS.

 
Poland: The Polish government is preparing an Act on protection of the population from the radiation emitted by mobile base stations. The Minister of Digitalization expects the Act to be ready by the end of 2016. Discussions are being held on public concerns related to EMFs under the patronage of the President’s office. The new Act is expected to enforce supervision of emissions standards, tightening sanctions and increasing the influence of local communities in the siting process of new radio communications devices.

The action of the Polish government was instigated by NIK, Poland’s top audit chamber, which issued a report criticizing current procedures for giving permits, where the health and quality of life of residents was not being evaluated and considered. A scientific report, evaluating published scientific studies concerning mobile tower mobile phone radiation and human health, is being prepared, in parallel with the development of the language of the Act, by Jagiellonian University. There are concerns about possible conflicts of interest, and calls that the new EU rules and procedures for the selection of members of Advisory Scientific Panels be applied in Poland in this case.

Krakow, Poland’s Mayor, Jacek Maichrowski, a law professor and first mayor to be elected by popular ballot, has initiated forums for citizens to discuss the growing concern about electosmog (Ecologist, Jan. 2016). He is also making electromagnetic field meters available for public use; hosted an international conference there in 2016 on EMF pollution and citizens’ ‘Right to Know’; and is re-zoning cell phone towers.

 
Spain:

A High Court of Madrid ruling (No. 588/2016) dated 6 July 2016 recognizes “Electrosensitivity” for the first time as grounds for total professional disability in a telecommunications worker. Distinct from a total permanent disability, the court found that while the man is unable to work at his workplace he could work in so-called unpolluted ‘white zones’. The man’s symptoms in the presence of electromagnetic fields, which included headache, tinnitus, insomnia, mood changes, nervousness, irritability, etc., were documented in a report from the Hospital of Guadalajara, which indicated that the symptoms “improved by moving away from their exposure.”
The Spanish Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid in 2016 pronounced a former telecom engineer permanently disabled by electrosensitivity.

 
USA: The U.S. National Toxicology Program released partial results of an animal study showing cell phone radiation boosts cancer risk in animals (May 27, 2016.) More results of the $25mm study expected in Fall 2016, and full results by the end of 2017. Louis Slesin of Microwave News says, “The new results contradict the conventional wisdom, advanced by doctors, biologists, physicists, epidemiologists, engineers, journalists and government officials, among other pundits, that such effects are impossible.” It is not yet clear what precautionary actions will be taken by the FDA and FCC.

National Education Association (U.S.) The National Education Association (NEA), the ‘voice of education professionals’ in the public education system, with 3 million members, includes the following language in its 2013-2014 Resolutions:

C-19. Environmentally Safe Schools

“The National Education Association believes that all educational facilities must have healthy indoor air quality, be smoke-free, be safe from environmental and chemical hazards, and be safe from hazardous electromagnetic fields.”

USA/Berkeley, CA. Berkeley City Council unanimously passed a cell phone right to know ordinance requiring RF risk warnings at the point of sale. With the help of Harvard Law Professor, and Presidential candidate, Lawrence Lessig, and Robert Post, Dean of the Yale University Law School, the City of Berkeley has thus far successfully defeated a wireless industry request for injunction. The language at point of sale is essentially the language already in user manuals, indicating that the way one uses a phone, such as if against the body, can potentially lead to thermal exposures above FCC limits. Two previous attempts to require warning labels on cell phones have failed, first in Maine, and later in San Francisco, where that city’s determination caved with the threat of industry lawsuits and very high legal fees. In the case of Berkeley’s ordinance, note, Professor Lawrence Lessig, along with Dean of the Yale Law School, Robert Post, have agreed to defend the city of Berkeley against the cell phone and wireless industry, pro bono.

Ashland, MA becomes the first U.S. public school district to set WiFi “best practices for mobile devices”, limiting WiFi exposure to students, faculty and staff.

Instructions for “Best Practices” are posted in every classroom:

  • Turn off the device when not in use
  • Turn Wi-Fi on only when needed
  • Always place the mobile device on a solid surface
  • Viewing distance should be a minimum of 12 inches from the screen
  • Specific product information guides are available through the IT department
  • All classrooms will have Best Practices posted
  • Contact the IT Department if you have any questions or need any assistance with any mobile device or in implementing the best practices.
  • We ask that staff members regularly remind and instruct students in using best practices in regards to mobile devices,

Suffolk County in New York voted to label wireless routers in all public buildings including schools.

Lawsuit seeking accommodation for child’s electrosensitivity symptoms at private school in MA, under Americans With Disabilities Act, in process. Court dates summer 2016.

The US United Federation of Teachers Union now hosts a webpage on how to reduce exposures to protect pregnant women, other staff members and students.

 

Help Us Update this List, Please!

If you know of additional actions or developments, please send us links with a brief summary in the email to info@manhattanneighbors.org Thanks very much for your help!

 
Download (PDF)

 
Notes:

This document is a compilation of facts derived from many sources, including media outlets, EMF news organizations, research publications, international scientists, and communiques from activist and educational groups throughout the world (A list of 117 International groups by country are maintained by the International EMF Alliance). Where we were provided with a link to a study, court decision, news article, government action, we include it, when in English, and sometimes when not. The list is not meant to be a definitive or comprehensive list but to give a sense that there are steps being taken overseas, and that these steps for the most part are not being taken in the U.S. We are sharing the facts as reported.

Another group, Environmental Health Trust, maintains a similar list which may contain other actions being taken internationally which you may want to peruse, as well.

Based on review of the steps being taken in over two dozen countries around the world, the following document was submitted to the FCC in February 2017, “33 Recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission”. Please share it with your representatives in Congress.

We encourage you to continue updating us on facts related to EMF steps being take in different countries, as we can use this information well.
Please send information to info@manhattanneighbors.org

Comments are closed.