Tuesday, July 12, 2016

France issues scientific report calling for protection of children from wireless device radiation

France issues scientific report calling for protection of children from wireless device radiation

France issues scientific report calling for protection of children from wireless device radiation: What's wrong with the FCC?

Joel's comments: 
In 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office and in the following year the American Academy of Pediatrics raised concerns that the FCC standards for radio frequency (RF) radiation exposure adopted in 1996 do not adequately protect children from cell phone radiation. 
The FCC has yet to address these concerns. The FCC and federal health agencies have ignored the growing body of evidence that current levels of wireless radiation are harmful, especially to children. Now the FCC plans to open up more spectrum to the wireless industry for 5G.  See my open letter (July 11) to the FCC commissioners calling for a moratorium on new commercial applications of RF radiation.
In contrast to the U.S., France has begun to address the problems due to exposure of their youngest citizens to wireless radiation.
Radio frequency: ANSES highlights a possible effect on the cognitive functions of children

Coine Garre, Le Quotidien du Medecin, Jul 8, 2016  (Google translation)

Radio frequencies are a "possible" effect on cognitive function in children under 6 years, says the French National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment, and Labor (ANSES), in the opinion of the collective expertise " Exhibition radiofrequency and children's health ", released July 8 in response to a referral from 2011 and in line with previous reports on radio frequencies in 2009 and 2013.
Despite the small number of studies on children under 6 years, this population is highly exposed to radio frequencies, and will be even more so over time as an adult. ANSES has been a "boom in the use of new technologies" for the game (tablets, walkie-talkies, radio-controlled toys) or a purpose of surveillance (baby-phones), at home or at school and in other public places.
Exposed and vulnerable
They are also particularly sensitive because of the ongoing development of their bodies and their physiological functions. "In the case of environmental exposures linked to distant sources, the small children (<1 .30="" adults="" average="" body="" by="" effect="" em="" exposures="" higher="" lead="" m="" may="" over="" resonance="" than="" the="" to="" whole=""> , reads. Exceeding the specific absorption rate (SAR) can be up to 40% when the exposure reaches the maximum permitted level for adults.
The morphological, anatomical, and the nature of children's tissues, also make them more vulnerable to localized exposures (like mobile phone).
The experts committee has analyzed several studies on various health effects of radio frequencies.If the current data do not suggest the existence or not of an effect in the child's behavior, sleep, hearing loss, teratogenicity and development, the male reproductive system and female effects carcinogens, immune system, systemic toxicity, the experts note a possible effect on cognitive function.
Disrupting telephone use for wellbeing
Experts further notes the effects on well-being, which could be linked to advantage in mobile phone usage, rather than radio frequencies. "It seems plausible that children and adolescents who use their mobile phone after turning off the light and betweenmidnight and 3 am are more tired, irritable and have a headache the next day or the year after, " one reads.
ANSES also cites three large studies with adolescents on the "mobile phone problem use"indicating associations with depression, risky behaviors, low self-esteem and impaired health mental, to suicide. But these cross-sectional studies do not explore the causality of associations, besides phone usage may be only indicative. Also the agency she directs launch new studies.
Experts point out finally unable to conclude whether or not a carcinogenic effect of radio frequency in children. "Since children's tumors are not comparable to those of adults, conclusions of the 2013 report showing a limited effect in adults are difficult to extrapolate to the child " , reads.
Reassess the adequacy of actual exposure and SAR
ANSES does not rule in favor of a ban on phones and other radio tools for less than six years, included in the Grenelle II law in January 2010, and the source of the referral to the DGS in 2011.
But the agency recommends revising the regulatory exposure limit values ​​and exposure indicators.These values ​​should be adapted to the specificities of children, whether for electromagnetic fields near and far. ANSES considers it necessary to reassess the relevance of the DAS used for the establishment of people exposure limits, and develop a representative indicator of the real exposure of mobile users.
ANSES also recommends extending to all sources of artificial radiation emissions, regulations for controlling the exposure of the general population in the fields related to telecommunications.
The agency advises parents to limit use by children electronic emitting devices, and not to let a phone call, in contact with the body. It invites them to train their child to a reasonable use of the phone (avoid night communications, limit the frequency and duration of calls, use the handsfree kit).
Finally, it calls for more research, and to launch studies on the characterization of exposures and their health effects in particular to explore the links between intensive use of cell and risk behavior, depression or suicidal thoughts.
"These recommendations are going in the right direction," responded the Priartém association, which now returns the ball to the political authorities for their implementation. The association says it will require, on the basis of this report, a reassessment of the normal process and concrete measures to protect children, including the judgment of the school plan involving digital distribution of tablets in classrooms . The association finally calls for a public debate on digital development.



The electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phones, tablets or connected toys can have effects on cognitive functions - memory, attention, coordination - children, said Friday a report by the health agency (ANSES).
France Soir, Jul 8, 2016 (Google translation)

The experts, who recommend limiting exposure of young people, also identified negative effects on well-being (fatigue, sleep disorders, stress, anxiety), they not attribute to the waves themselves, but intensive mobile phone use.

In his state of our knowledge, the national health safety agency says, however, that " current data from the international literature does not suggest the existence or absence of effects in children's behavior, hearing loss, development, reproductive or immune system, or carcinogenic effects . "

In some cases, such as the reproductive system or cancers, " there are virtually no studies available for children ", told AFP Olivier Merkel, head of the risk assessment of new technologies to ANSES.

In other cases, such as hearing loss, " there is nothing obvious in terms of negative impact ," he said. On the effects on welfare (fatigue, anxiety), "the observed effect could be more related to the use made of radio frequency mobile phones rather than themselves," says the specialist.

Some studies have also associated " heavy use of mobile phones by young people and mental health affected ," which translates into risk behavior, depression or suicidal thoughts, notes the Anses, hoping that further work be made to verify the relationship of cause and effect.

Based on these findings, ANSES reiterates its recommendation from 2013 to stick to " moderate use " of mobile phones and use as often as possible the hands-free kit. " The mobile phone is still the major source of exposure to radio frequency, this is the most intense ," said Olivier Merkel.

This is due to the intrinsic power of the waves emitted by the phones and the fact that they are placed directly against the body (in the ear or in a pocket). These counsels of moderation, valid for adults, particularly target children who are more susceptible to wave their elders for physiological reasons.

" We are now certain that children are more vulnerable than adults because of their morphological and anatomical differences ," says Olivier Merkel. " These are not small adults ," he insists. In the brain, in particular, some areas still in transformation are more sensitive to air.

But very young children - under age six - are now exposed very early - even in utero - to more and more waves because of the all-round development of wireless technologies (tablets, connected toys, wifi. ..).

Hence the recommendations of the Anses to apply to all wave-emitting devices " the same regulatory obligations " for the phones. Mainly measuring the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is the amount of energy absorbed by the body, and the publicity of this information. " We have questions about the tablets, especially those that work in wifi but not 3G or 4G ," said the expert of the Anses.

The health agency also wants that the conditions of these measures be revised to be closer to the conditions and the level of overall exposure to the waves to be " reconsidered " to ensure greater safety margins, especially for children.

The experts however rejected a ban on mobile phones in less than six years, passed in 2010 but the decree has never appeared. " There is no health data to justify such action ," said Olivier Merkel. If use at a young age of mobile phones is " fortunately rare ", it recommends " delaying the age of first use ."



Exhibition of children's RF: for moderate use and mentored wireless technologies
Press Release, ANSES-National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment and Labour, Jul 8, 2016  (Google translation)

ANSES is today publishing expertise on children's exposure to radiofrequency and its potential effects on their health. In its conclusions, the Agency points out that children may be more susceptible than adults because of their morphological and anatomical characteristics, including their small size and the characteristics of some of their tissues. It makes a series of recommendations to adapt the regulatory limit values to reduce children's exposure to electromagnetic fields, which starts from an early age due to the expansion of the use of new technologies. ANSES recommends in this context a moderate use of the box and wireless communication technologies by children.
The ANSES by the authorities as to whether the regulations currently in force for the marketing of radio equipment for children, are sufficiently protective of health and vis-à-vis security children under six years. A preliminary report was the subject of a public consultation on the website of the Agency from June 9 to August 21, 2015, to gather comments from interested stakeholders. The Agency has today published its opinion on this issue and the final report following an expert review of all comments received from the scientific community and interested stakeholders.
The possible effects on cognition and well-being
The expert work done by the Agency on the basis of current data from the international scientific literature does not suggest the existence or absence of effects of RF energy in the child's behavior, hearing loss, the development, the male and female reproductive system, immune system and systemic toxicity nor carcinogenic or teratogenic effects.
However, the Agency concludes with a possible effect of radiofrequency exposure on the welfare of children and their cognitive functions (memory, executive functions and attention). The observed effects on well-being, however, could be more related to the use of mobile phones rather than radio frequencies they emit.
 Children exposed more and earlier to radio frequency electromagnetic fields 
Available data on the exhibition show a strong expansion of the use of new wireless technologies, particularly in very young children. The multiplicity and diversity of places frequented by children generate multiple situations of exhibitions, even as the use of radio devices (tablets, connected toys, etc .) Are rapidly evolving. Children also have their own mobile phone increasingly early.
Moreover, unlike previous generations, children are exposed today mostly multiple RF sources at a young age and even potentially from the development phase in utero . In addition, the expert work showed that children could be more vulnerable than adults, due to their small size, their morphological and anatomical characteristics and the characteristics of some of their tissues.
The recommendations of the Agency
Based on the results of the expertise, the Agency recommends to change the regulation:
  • quel'ensemble for radio devices, including those for children (tablets, babies sleep-connected toys, etc .) are subject to the same regulatory obligations in monitoring exposure levels and public information those framing mobile phones;
  • so that compliance with regulatory exposure limits are insured, regardless of the mobile transmitter devices used by reasonably foreseeable conditions of use (eg positioning in contact with the body).
It also appears necessary:
  • reference levels for limiting environmental exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields be reconsidered to ensure sufficiently large safety margins to protect the health and safety of the general population, particularly those of children;
  • to reassess the relevance of the specific absorption rate (SAR) used for the establishment of human exposure limit values ​​for the purpose of protection against the health effects known and proven (thermal effects) of radio frequencies, and develop a representative indicator of the real exposure of mobile phone users, whatever the conditions: signal used, good or bad reception, mode of use (call, data loading, etc .).
Specifically for mobile phones, ANSES reiterates its recommendation, already made, inviting to reduce exposure of children, advocating moderate use and favoring the use of hands-free kit.
Lastly, the assessment identified several studies showing an association between intensive and inappropriate use of mobile phones by young people and affected mental health (risk behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc .). However, these studies do not allow to explore the causality of the observed associations.
ANSES recommends that further studies evaluating the health and psychosocial impact (academic learning, social and family relationships, etc .) In children related to the use of mobile communication technologies, particularly because of addictive phenomena, disorders circadian rhythms, etc . Pending these results, the Agency recommends that parents encourage their children to a reasonable use of the mobile phone, avoiding nighttime communications and reducing the frequency and duration of calls .
ANSES statement (in French): http://bit.ly/29KR1OO


Other news coverage (in French): http://bit.ly/29zb6pk
Environmental Health Trust press release: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3001486

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
Website:               http://www.saferemr.com
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