Tuesday, January 18, 2011

smart meters add to magnetic smog

The COST report on smart meters as usual suggested more research is needed to decide effect of smart meters used to tell the electricity or gas company how much of these energy each household uses. Havas Wants more research too But people need to have the knowledge of the dangers already known. People need the right to say `no´ to placing smart meters in their home space, or where they will pollute their home, school, institutional space. This is Professor Magda Havas Comment to the COST Report. Comments and disagreeing statements and comments were denied a place in the report.
EASY READING. If it is too long look at her webpage and find her You Tube presentation

Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 1
Havas Submission to CCST “Report on Smart Meters”.
For those interested, below is my invited submission to CCST as part of a Technical Response
Date: October 12, 2010
From: Magda Havas, BSc, PhD
Submission on Smart Meters.
Item 1. Whether FCC standards for Smart Meters are sufficiently protective of public health
taking into account current exposure levels to radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields.
In my opinion, the FCC standard for Smart Meters is not sufficient to protect public health. This
is based on the following facts:
1.1 The thermal vs. non-thermal debate is largely a
red herring
that has been perpetuated for decades and has influenced the type of
research done in the United States. The FCC standard is based on a thermal effect. It
was originally based on the amount of radiation that would heat an adult male in the
US military exposed to radar. While the heating effect is not disputed, biological
effects, some of which have adverse health consequences, occur well below the
thermal guideline (Inglis 1970). As a consequence various countries in the world are
opting for a “biologically” based guideline rather than a “thermal” guideline, which
takes into account not only adult males in peak physical conditions but children,
pregnant women, the elderly, and those who have developed electrohypersensitivity
(EHS). I will return to the concept of EHS later.
1.2 Guidelines in Russia, Switzerland, Poland, and China are well below the FCC
standard (i.e. 10 vs. 1000 microW/cm2 or 1% of FCC guidelines).
Some military and
government insiders tried to get U.S. guidelines reduced decades ago but were not
successful (Pollack and Healer 1967, Dodge 1969). Steneck et al. (1980) provides an
excellent account of how the U.S. standards were established for radio frequency
1.3 Our exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) is increasing exponentially as
we design more equipment that relies on higher frequencies in the electromagnetic
spectrum. Prior to World War II, this type of radiation was negligible. Today we have
radar (military, marine, aviation, and weather), we have cell phone antennas, radio and
TV broadcast antennas, and a growing number of WiFi hotspots, citywide WiFi and
Wi-Max antennas. Inside buildings we have cordless phones, many of which emit
microwave radiation even when they are not being used; wireless alarm systems;
wireless baby monitors, wireless computers, iPads, and Smart Phones that can connect
to wireless internet or WiFi. More children are playing wireless video games than
ever before and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) are placed into
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 2
merchandise to provide information to the manufacturer about consumer habits. The
“smart meter” is just another source of exposure that will be placed on every home and
in every apartment. Smart meters are being used to monitor use of electricity, gas and
water. As part of this system, appliances are being designed to communicate directly
with smart meters, all in a wireless mode, which will ultimately increase levels of
radiation in the home.
1.4 I work with people who have become electrically hypersensitive (EHS) and I have
received emails and phone calls from those who have had smart meters placed on their
homes. They complain of ill health and many are unable to use the room closest to the
smart meter. These individuals have no place to “hide” from the growing levels of
electrosmog especially in densely populated urban centers. Sickness contributes to
time off work and away from school, growing medical costs and a general poorer
quality of life. Children are particularly vulnerable as are pregnant women and those
with compromised immune systems.
The presence of metal implants in the body
(such as metal pins in bones) may concentrate the absorption of radiation at the
location of implantation, inducing thermal effects from lower power densities than
would ordinarily cause such harm (Massey 1979). Some implants, such as pace
makers and deep brain stimulators for Parkinson’s disease, may malfunction and this
can be fatal. In Switzerland about 5% of the population has EHS. If the same fraction
of the population has EHS in the US that would come to a staggering 15 million
The symptoms following exposure to radio frequency radiation were labeled
radiowave sickness and were first reported for those occupationally exposed in the
former Soviet Union. These same symptoms are now referred to as
electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and are experienced by a growing fraction of the
population. They include . . .
“. . . headache, eyestrain and tearing, fatigue and weakness, vertigo, sleeplessness at
night and drowsiness during the day, moodiness, irritability, hypochondria, paranoia,
either nervous tension or mental depression and memory impairment. After longer
periods of exposure, additional complaints may include sluggishness, inability to make
decisions, loss of hair, pain in muscles and in the heart region, breathlessness, sexual
problems and even a decrease in lactation in nursing mothers. Clinically observed effects
in persons voicing these complaints include trembling of the eyelids, fingers and tongue,
increased perspiration of the extremities, [and] rashes . . .” (Massey, 1979).
1.5 In addition to sensitive people, Switzerland also identifies Places of Sensitive Use
(German acronym is OMEN). These places include: living rooms; classrooms and
kindergartens; hospitals and nursing homes; permanent jobs (where people spend
more than 2.5 days per week); and playgrounds. For these OMEN sites, the Swiss
government recommends that greater precaution be taken for long-term exposure to
weak radiation. In these places, radiation from wireless microwave base stations (such
as cordless phones or WLAN/WiFi) may exceed radiation from nearby cell phone
base stations and hence these devices must generate emissions as low as possible. For
more information visit http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/strahlung/00053/index.html?lang=en
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 3
Item 2. Whether additional technology specific standards are needed for Smart Meters and other
devices that are commonly found in and around homes, to ensure adequate protection from
adverse health effects.
2.1 Technology specific standards are definitely needed for Smart meters as well as
cordless phones, DECT baby monitors, wireless routers, and all of the other devices that
emit radio frequency radiation.

Massey, in a report published by Duke Law Journal in 1979, identifies nine variables
that need to be considered when determining the impact of microwave radiation. These
are “power density, intensity and relative phase of all field components, specific
frequency ranges, waveform characteristics, exposure regimes, specific occupations,
level of control over exposed populations, individual differences (age, sex, health,
specific predisposing factors) and presence of other environmental stressors.” The
current FCC guidelines do NOT take these into consideration.
2.2 We have evidence that pulsed microwave frequencies, that are generated by WiFi and
cordless phones are more harmful than continuous wave and yet this is not considered in
the FCC guidelines (Reno 1975).

The key microwave emitting devices in the home/office/school environment are:
Cordless phones (some are labeled DECT and others pulsed digital 2.4 GHz). These
radiate all the time even when no one is using them. They should be replaced by wired
phones or cordless phones currently available in Europe, which are “on-demand” phones
that radiate only when the handset is not in the cradle of the base station. These phones
are so dangerous that I recently submitted a Petition to the Auditor General of Canada to
have DECT phones banned (Havas 2008).
The DECT baby monitor also radiates all the time, as does the receiver that is often
carried on the Mother’s waist. Here we need a voice-activated baby monitor that is used
in Europe.
Wireless Internet (WiFi or WLan) is not as common in Europe as they are in North
America. There they prefer using wired service in the form of fiber optic and Ethernet
connections. Germany hotels ask that you bring an Ethernet cables with you, as they
don’t provide WiFi. The Swiss government is providing free fiber optics to schools
provided they don’t install wireless routers.

2.3 An additional point I would like to make relates to dirty electricity.
Wires can act like antennas and the radiation produced by radio frequency generating
devices can flow along and reradiate from wires both inside and outside the home. This
contributes to dirty electricity and localized radiation exposure. Dirty electricity has been
associated with cancers (Milham and Morgan 2008); health and behavior problems in
schools (Havas and Olstad 2008); and both diabetes and multiple sclerosis (Havas 2006).
From a human health perspective and to protect sensitive electronic equipment it is
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 4

important to maintain good power quality and to prevent radiation from smart meters
flowing along wires.
In conclusion, I have great concern regarding the current levels of microwave radiation in
North America. Instead of promoting wireless technology, we should be promoting wired
technology and reserving wireless for situations where wired in not possible (while one is
traveling for example). Shortly after X-rays were discovered, they were used in shoe stores to
determine shoe-size for young children. Fortunately, we recognized that X-rays were harmful
and we restricted their use to essential medical diagnoses. We need to recognize that microwaves
are also harmful and we cannot use this technology in a frivolous manner. With more frequencies
being used, with the levels of radiation increasing, and with so little research on the long-term,
low-level effects of this technology we are creating a potential time bomb. If smart meters are
placed on every home, they will contribute significantly to our exposure and this is both unwise
and unsafe.

Dodge, CH. 1969. Clinical and Hygienic Aspects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: A
Review of the Soviet and Eastern European Literature. Biological Effects and Health
Implications of Microwave Radiation, Symposium Proceedings, Richmond, Virginia, September
17-19, 1969 (BRH/DBE 70-2) (PB 193 898). http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/
Havas, M 2006. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological effects of dirty electricity with
emphasis on diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 25: 259-
268. http://www.electricalpollution.com/documents/Havas2006.pdf
Havas, M 2008. Request that first generation DECT Phones be Banned in Canada, Environment
Petition, Auditor General of Canada, 15 pp. http://www.oagbvg.
Havas, M and A Olstad. 2008. Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in
three Minnesota Schools. Science of the Total Environment, Volume 402, Issues 2-3, 1
September 2008, pp. 157-162.
Inglis, L.P. 1970. Why the double standard? – A critical review of Russian work on hazards of
microwave radiation. IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, July 14-
16. 1970. http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/2010/08/Inglis.pdf
Massey, KA. 1979. The Challenge of Nonionizing Radiation: A Proposal for Legislation. Duke
Law Journal, Volume 1979, No. 1. 86 pp. http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/
Milham, S and LL Morgan. 2008. A New Electromagnetic Exposure Metric: High Frequency
Voltage Transients Associated With Increased Cancer Incidence in Teachers in a California
School. Amer. J. Ind. Med. 8 pp. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.20598/abstract
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 5
Pollack, H. and J. Healer. 1967. Review of the Information on Hazards to Personnel from High-
Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Institute for Defense Analyses, Research and Engineering
Support Division. Internal Note N-451, IDA/HQ 67-6211, Series B, copy 5 of 15, 15
Reno, VR. 1975. Some considerations concerning the use of magnetron generators in microwave
biological research. Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Pensacola, Florida.
Approved for Public release. Distribution unlimited. 11 pp.
Steneck, NH, HJ Cook, AJ Vander and GL Kane. 1980. The Origins of U.S. Safety Standards for
Microwave Radiation. Science, Vol. 208, 13 June 1980.
On July 30, 2010, California State Assembly Member Jared Huffman (San Rafael) asked the
California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to provide an assessment of the safety of
Smart Meters.
On August 16, 2010, CCST agreed to compile and assess the evidence available to address the
following two issues:
1. Whether FCC standards for Smart Meters are sufficiently protective of public health taking
into account current exposure levels to radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields.
2. Whether additional technology specific standards are needed for Smart Meters and other
devices that are commonly found in and around homes, to ensure adequate protection from
adverse health effects.
On October 4, 2010, I was invited to be part of a Technical Response Team and, as part of that
team, I was asked to provide a written response to two key concerns mentioned above.
On October 12, 2010, I submitted my report to CCST.
On December 13, 2010, I was informed that CCST was not appending any documents to their
report, nor were they making these documents available to others, but they were recognizing
those who contributed.
On January 11, 2011, CCST released their report “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from
Smart Meters” on their website: http://www.ccst.us/news/2011/20110111smart.php. CCST is
receiving public comments until January 31, 2011.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Laptop use on laps might reduce sperm quality: report
Mon Nov 08 03:34:19 UTC 2010

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Using a laptop computer as the name suggests may not be good for male reproductive health, according to a study.
And there is little that can be done about it, aside from using the laptop on a desk, said Yelim Sheynkin, a urologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook who led the study published in Fertility and Sterility.
In the study, thermometers were used to measure the temperature of the scrotums of 29 young men balancing a laptop on their knees. Even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly.
"Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range," said Sheynkin.
"Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but they don't feel it."
According to the American Urological Association, nearly one in six couples in the United States have trouble conceiving. About half the time this is due to male infertility.
Under normal circumstances, the position of the testicles outside the body keeps them a few degrees cooler than the inside of the body, which is necessary for sperm production.
No studies have yet researched how laptops affect male fertility and there is no strong evidence that it would, Sheynkin added. But earlier research has showed that warming the scrotum even more than one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is enough to damage sperm.
Though both general health and lifestyle factors such as nutrition and drug use can affect reproductive health, tight jeans and briefs are generally not considered a risk factor since people are moving around.
Holding a laptop on the knees, though, requires keeping the legs still and closed. After one hour in this position, the researchers found that the men's testicle temperature had risen by up to 2.5 C.
A lap pad kept the computer cool and meant that less heat was transmitted to the skin, but Sheynkin warned it didn't do much to cool the testicles and might give a false sense of security.
"I wouldn't say that if someone starts to use laptops they will become infertile," Sheynkin told Reuters Health, though he warned that frequent use might contribute to reproductive problems because "the scrotum doesn't have time to cool down."
When the men sat with their legs spread wide -- made possible only by placing the computer on a large lap pad -- they could keep their testicles cooler. But it still took less than 30 minutes before they began overheating.
"No matter what you do, even with the legs spread wide apart, the temperature is still going to be higher than what we call safe," said Sheynkin.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Wifi in Schools and the Dangers of non-ionizing radiation: crazed anti-science parents, or a Cold War failure of Normal Science?
September 9, 2010 by northernsong


The CBC has run stories on parents groups who are concerned about the possible health effects of WIFI in elementary schools. Individual reports of increased heart rate and headaches, from parents and from the children themselves, are are concerning – but intuitively one wishes to trust Health Canada who dismiss the complaints as subjective. The peer reviewed literature, according to Health Canada, overwhelmingly confirms that the thermal effects of WIFI are negligible, and that no causal relation has been found between those thermal effects and any health problems.
The fact that scientists remain opposed to a scientific consensus is not a reason to distrust the consensus - if this were true, the presence of a single reputable climate denier in the peer reviewed literature would be a reason to refrain from belief in global warming. However, there are two reasons why the wifi case is different from climate denial. First: the precautionary principle runs in the opposite direction – whereas a slight doubt that human Co2 output will threaten the survival of the species is not a good reason to take action to stop Co2 emissions, a significant doubt that wifi causes health problems in children is not a good reason to take cheap and easy action to limit children’s exposure to wifi. Second, there is a structural bias behind Health Canada’s appraisal of the research into the effects of small levels of microwave radiation. This surprising claim comes from a study by Leo P. Inglis,surveyed here by Magda Havas, surveying the literature on microwave radiation’s health effects:

“In the U.S., the thermal effects are generally believed to be the only ones of significance; other contentions are usually dismissed as lacking a provable basis. In the USSR, non-thermal effects are considered the most significant and are overwhelmingly the ones most studied.”

This indicates a structural difference between scientific assumptions in US and USSR have swayed the directions of research, determined which studies got funding, what students took interest in, etc… This claim undercuts Health Canada’s statements which concern only the thermal effects of microwave radiation – if non thermal effects exist, Health Canada is not even looking for them.
Significant differences in the direction of scientific research between closed off communities are expected by constructivists like Kuhn, who believes that the basic assumptions of a scientific community are determined by the appearance of fruitfulness in future research rather than through normal scientific inquiry itself. In the past I have taken interest in Scientific research done under the Nazi regime, and research done in secrecy for the US military during the cold war. Such research programs demonstrate the power of dollars over freedom – how a research program, even when the researchers are cut off from their peers – can make tremendous strides if given a set of goals and unlimited resources. This gulf between Soviet and American research is an example of the opposite, and much less controversial hypothesis: that a lack of democracy is harmful for scientific research. The lack of proper collaboration between American and Soviet researchers into the effects of microwave radiation allowed Soviet research to ignore the importance of thermal effects, whereas the converse allowed US scientists and regulators to ignore the importance of non-thermal effects.
So, while the Bio-Initiative report is rejected by Health Canada as not being in conformity with the scientific consensus, it might not be rejected by Health Moscow. For example, whereas in 2008 and 2009 Health Canada continued to hold that there was no evidence that cell phone use could have any health effects, the Russian Naitonal Committee on non-ionizing ratiation protection made this statement about risks posed to children’s health by cell phone radiation (similar to WIFI, but much stronger)

Potential risk for the children’s health is very high:
─ the absorption of the electromagnetic energy in a child’s head is considerably higher than that in
the head of an adult (children’s brain has higher conductivity, smaller size, thin skull bones,
smaller distance from the antenna etc.);
─ children’s organism has more sensitivity to the EMF, than the adult’s;
─ children’s brain has higher sensitivity to the accumulation of the adverse effects under
conditions of chronic exposure to the EMF;
─ EMF affects the formation of the process of the higher nervous activity;
─ today’s children will spend essentially longer time using mobile phones, than today’s adults will.

Health Canada continues to hold that the risks from cell phone use do not include any of the risks advised by Russian, British, German, Belgian, Israeli, and Indian health agencies.
The basic question boils down to this: is it up to skeptics to prove that electronic devices are unsafe, or is it up to corporations trying to expand their markets by creating new needs to prove they are safe? If you ask Health Canada – the onus is on scientists to prove that a risk can be statistically proven, i.e. people must already have been hurt by the product. In other words – should the precautionary principle be applied to new electronic devices as it is to new medicine?


Friday, April 9, 2010

Resolution on radiation protection

This resolution was ADOPTED on 3/23/2010 by the Board of Supervisors of the City and
County of San Francisco

FILE NO. 100043
1 [Potential Health Impacts of Wireless Facilities]
3 Resolution urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the health
4 impacts of wireless facilities and, if appropriate, to establish a safe level of exposure to
5 radio frequency radiation emissions; urging the Federal Communications Commission
6 to update its existing standards; and urging the California Congressional Delegation to
7 introduce federal legislation to repeal limitations on state and local authority imposed
8 by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
10 WHEREAS, The health and safety of our residents are fundamental concerns of the
11 San Francisco Board of Supervisors; and
12 WHEREAS, There continues to be considerable debate and uncertainty within the
13 scientific community as to the potential health effects to individuals, especially children, from
14 exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic and radio-frequency radiation, and
15 .WHEREAS, The desire of the wireless companies to market new wireless services has
16 since led to a proliferation of cellular facilities targeting residential areas and areas near
17 schools, and
18 WHEREAS, Section 704 of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempts
19 local communities from regulating the placement, construction, and modification of personal
20 wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio-frequency
21 emissions to the extent that the proposed facilities comply with the Federal Communications
22 Commission regulations concerning such emissions, and
23 WHEREAS, Based upon new and emerging scientific evidence there continues to be
24 considerable debate as to the adequacy of existing public exposure standards including those
25 promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission, and
Supervisor David Campos, John Avalos, Carmen chu, Eric Mar
1 WHEREAS, The scientific community and most health officials agree that more
2 research is needed to provide a definitive answer as to the effects of extremely low frequency
3 electromagnetic and radio-frequency radiation on our health and recommend the prudent
4 avoidance of equipment which generates non-ionizing radiation, and
5 WHEREAS, The full Parliament of the European Union has raised concerns about the
6 exposure of children and young people to electromagnetic fields and continuing uncertainties
7 about possible health risks; and therefore, adopted on April 2, 2009 a resolution encouraging
8 1) the establishment of setback criteria for wireless antennas, mobile phone masts and other
9 electromagnetic emitting devices to be set within a specific distance from schools and health
10 institutions, 2) stricter regulations and protections for residents and Consumers and 3) more
11 reliable information be made available about the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields
12 to citizens in an effort to prevent a "proliferation of poorly positioned masts and transmitters,"
13 and
14 WHEREAS, The Federal Communications Commission is obliged to conduct periodic
15 reviews of current research and analysis of the health implications associated with radio-
16 frequency exposures in cooperation with industry, agency, and organizations responsible for
17 community health and safety to ensure exposure guidelines are appropriate and scientifically
18 valid, now, therefore, be it
19 RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Board of Supervisors urges the U.S.
20 Environmental Protection Agency to perform the appropriate research and experimentation to
21 determine the effects of non-ionizing radiation on the health of adults and children and, if
22 appropriate, establish a safe level of exposure, and be it
23 FURTHER RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Board of Supervisors urges the
24 Federal Communications Commission to pursue a comprehensive global analysis of best
Supervisor David Campos, John Avalos, Carmen Chu
1 practices and scientific evidence in order to update its existing standards and to adequately
2 measure the health impacts of wireless facilities, and be it
3 FURTHER RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Board of Supervisors encourages the
4 California Congressional delegation to introduce federal legislation to repeal limitations on
5 state and local authority imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that infringe upon
6 the authority of local governments to regulate the placement, construction and modification of
7 telecommunications towers and other personal wireless services facilities on the basis of the
8 health and environmental effects of these facilities, and be it
9 FURTHER RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hereby directs
10 the Clerk of the Board to send a copy of this resolution to the offices of Senator Barbara
11 Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, the
12 Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Supervisor David Campos, John Avalos, Carmen Chu
City and County of San Francisco
City Hall
J Dr. CarltonB. GoodlettPlace
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689
File Number: 100043 Date Passed: March 23, 2010
Resolution urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the health impacts of wireless
facilities and, if appropriate, to establish a safe level of exposure to radiofrequency radiation emissions;
urging the Federal Communications Commission to update its existing standards; and urging the
California Congressional Delegation to introduce federal legislation to repeal limitations on state and
local authority imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996,
March 23, 2010 Board of Supervisors - ADOPTED
Ayes: 10 - Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Chu, Daly, Dufty, Elsbernd, Mar, Maxwell and
Excused: 1 - Alioto-Pier
File No.1 00043 I hereby certify that the foregoing
Resolution was ADOPTED on 3/23/2010 by
the Board of Supervisors of the City and
County of San Francisco.
Angela Calvillo
Clerk of the Board
Mayor Gavin Newsom
City ami County ofSalt Francisco Page4 Printed at 9:23 am 011 3/24/10

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Radiation danger

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/mobilephone.html Pregnant women need to reduce near contact with mobile phone radiation. New research and pressure to reveal this has forced them to protect the public rather than industry

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Press release
Avoiding potential risks of electromagnetic fields
(Plenary sessions)
Public health - 02-04-2009 - 12:34
Download the article in PDF format

Antennas, mobile phone masts and other electromagnetic emitting devices should be set within a specific distance from schools and health institutions, according to a report adopted by the European Parliament. The Commission should make more reliable information available about the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields to citizens who feel that they are not well informed. The report was adopted with 559 votes in favour, 22 against and 8 abstentions.
The report acknowledges the wide use of wireless technologies and other electromagnetic emitting technologies and their benefits to society, but also raises concerns over their "continuing uncertainties about possible health risks." In particular, there are concerns about the exposure of children and young people to electromagnetic fields. Therefore, MEPs call for stricter regulation and protection for residents and consumers.

Better protection for EU citizens through "optimal placement of devices"

The report, drafted by Frédérique RIES (ALDE, BE), notes that industry stakeholders can already influence a number of safety factors, including the direction of the transmitting antenna in relation to living spaces, and the distance between the site and the transmitter. Industry actors are being encouraged to use this power to give better protection to people living nearby, and to prevent a "proliferation of poorly positioned masts and transmitters."

The placement of antennas, mobile phone masts and high-voltage power lines should be negotiated between industry actors, public authorities and residents' associations in order to minimise health risks and legal action cases. This will also ensure that EMF-transmitting devices are kept clear of schools, crèches, retirement homes and health care institutions. In addition to this, the House recommends that mobile telephone operators should negotiate to share infrastructure in order to reduce "the exposure of the public to EMFs."

Increased access to reliable information

A recently published Eurobarometer study suggests that "the majority of citizens do not feel that the public authorities inform them adequately on measures to protect them from EMFs." In light of this, the report makes a number of suggestions to improve EU citizen's access to reliable information. These suggestions include making maps available on the internet, which show areas of exposure to EMF transmitting devices. In conjunction with this, the Commission should produce a yearly report on the "level of electromagnetic radiation in the EU" and its sources.

MEPs also call for an improvement to consumer information, by amending the technical standards of the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation to impose labelling requirements, which would show the transmitting power of every wireless-operated device.

Review of EMF limits and Interphone findings

The Commission is urged to review "the scientific basis and adequacy of the EMF limits as laid down in Recommendation 1999/519/EC" and to then report back to Parliament. This is in light of the fact that many member states have voluntarily introduced much stricter regulations than are required by the EU.

The report also refers to the Interphone study, which began in 2000, and which is a wide ranging scientific project to look into the links between mobile phones and certain types of cancer, including brain, auditory and parotid gland tumours. The results have been expected since 2006, but have been repeatedly postponed. The European Parliament is particularly concerned by the "appeal for caution" from Elisabeth Cardis, the coordinator of the Interphone study, that "as far as children are concerned, mobile phones should not be used beyond reasonable limits."

The report therefore calls on the Commission, who has made significant financial contributions towards this study, to ask those who are in charge of the project "why no definitive findings have been published." Parliament and Member States should be informed without delay if a response is given.

Children and young people

Children and young people aged 10 to 20 are amongst the highest users of mobile phones, which is of concern to the House as there are uncertainties remaining about the possible health risks, "particularly to young people whose brains are still developing." The report suggests that in order to raise awareness of the dangers of mobile phones, and to encourage good mobile phone techniques, such as using hands-free kits, keeping calls short and switching off phones, that "the Community funding earmarked for studies on EMFs be partly switched to finance" an awareness raising campaign.

Aggressive marketing campaigns by telephone operators, including "the sale of mobile phones designed solely for children or free call time packages aimed at teenagers" are also condemned by MEPs.

REF. : 20090401IPR53233

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