2020 is fast approaching! We have therefore decided to draw up a retrospective of this year’s milestones. How is the danger of our exposure to the airwaves now taken into account? What progress has been made on the subject? What can we hope for the future? A brief overview of current events.
Justice recognises a disease linked to the airwaves
The beginning of the year began with a strong signal sent to the public authorities: the administrative court of Cergy-Pontoise (Val-d’Oise) recognised as an occupational disease a case of electro-sensitivity in a research technician. The agent was repeatedly exposed to the airwaves at his workplace. We talked about it on the blog.
Earlier in 2018, a technician working in a telecommunications company had obtained, from the Social Security Court of Versailles, the recognition as an accident at work of a malaise that had occurred in his workplace. Indeed, since 2017 companies must protect their employees from the airwaves
Two important decisions that point the way to more recognition and care for electrosensitive workers in the future.
Smartphones that emit too many waves
Summer 2019, 60 Million consumers unveil a list of 17 smartphones sold in the hexagon still displaying SARs exceeding regulatory limits.
What is DAS?
The specific absorption rate is an indicator used to quantify the proportion of energy of electromagnetic waves (emitted by radio equipment) absorbed by the human body. As a reminder, the regulatory limits are 2W/kg for the head and trunk. Very popular models have sometimes exceeded these limits.
The ANFR, the French National Frequency Agency, has conducted tests that reveal abnormal electromagnetic radiation on several smartphones.
The problem is usually solved with a simple update, otherwise the product is then withdrawn from the market (to date, two models have already been banned from sale in France). To find out if your smartphone presents a risk and to proceed with the latest update available, see the association’s list
This blacklist is not unlike the Phonegate scandal that occurred a few months earlier: Manufacturers who market smartphones that exceed regulatory limits on wave emissions, thus presenting risks to the health of users.
Rennes measures electromagnetic waves
This year, the city of Rennes has updated its mapping of wave exposure levels. This 3D map, initially created in 2012, allows to know the levels of exposure to electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phone antennas in public spaces. It shows where electromagnetic fields would be too high. If this is the case, the city can then request modifications from the telephone operators.
Residents also have the possibility to assess the exposure inside their own homes. All they have to do is request a measurement from the town hall.
A beautiful initiative! The cartography of these waves is available online
(Source: France3 Régions)
High-voltage power lines: “possible” risk to children’s health
June 2019, following a new expert appraisal, the National Health Security Agency (Anses) reiterates its recommendations issued in 2010.
Low-frequency magnetic fields, emitted in particular by high-voltage power lines, represent a possible risk of leukaemia in children living nearby.
It recommends not to build a crèche in the vicinity of these facilities. As a precautionary measure, do not install or develop new facilities such as hospitals or schools near very high voltage lines, or install new lines above such facilities.
The health agency also stresses “the need to better control exposure in the workplace for certain professionals likely to be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields, particularly pregnant women”. Indeed, “experimental studies have highlighted the possibility of biological effects (oxidative stress, genotoxic effects, effects on cell physiology)”.
(Source: Ouest France)
Connected objects: the public will soon be better informed about exposure to the airwaves
Exposure to electromagnetic waves is not limited to the use of mobile phones.
In order to better inform users, the obligation to display the SAR will apply from 1 July 2020 to all radio equipment intended for use close to the body. Currently, the specific absorption rate display only applies to mobile phones.
Smartwatch, connected headphones, radio-controlled toys, ‘the values must be displayed in the immediate vicinity of all such equipment to which they relate at points of sale and in all advertising’, explain Ministers Agnès Buzyn and Bruno Le Maire in a press release.
In order to verify the compliance of the equipment concerned with the new regulations, the ANFR (National Frequency Agency) will carry out checks on a wide range of radio products from July 2020.
Consumers will thus be able to make a more informed choice of connected objects.
Electromagnetic waves, a subject that is increasingly in the news and which raises questions and suspicions among citizens. We therefore expect an even greater awareness in the coming year. Hopefully there will be significant changes to better protect and inform the public.
We are also curious and impatient to read in 2020, “Le livre noir des ondes” (The Black Book of the Airwaves) to be published by Les Arènes.
The first major study on the dangers of new wireless technologies and how to protect oneself from them. Eight independent contributors (cancer specialist, hospital director, biochemists, electrical engineering scientist, doctor of animal physiology and environmental lawyers) contribute their knowledge about the difficult to establish causality between electromagnetic fields and damage to human health’.
If, like us, you are concerned about the effects of the waves, wish to deepen your knowledge on the subject, to know the state of the art of scientific and medical studies, here are some recommendations for reading:
The site of the National Assistance Service on magnetic fields: To consult the latest French and European regulatory texts on the health effects of electromagnetic fields and on metrology..
The ANSES report and opinion of April 2019 on health effects related to exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields.
The book “Electromagnetic Fields, Environment and Health” Anne Perrin and Martine Souques, EDP Sciences..
The Phonegate Alert site allows users of mobile phones and other connected objects to find out if they are overexposed to the airwaves. The association also helps to defend victims and patients from the consequences of deception by manufacturers. Also can be followed on Twitter
So much for our 2019 selection. As this list is not exhaustive, please feel free to share other highlights about the airwaves in comments.
The entire Sycy team wishes you all the best for the holiday season!
Take care of yourself and your loved ones