A Law to Regulate Wave Exposure
Une loi pour encadrer l'exposition aux ondes
A mobile relay antenna. | Elsie esq / Flickr.
Expected for two years, the law governing public exposure to electromagnetic waves generated by wireless technologies (relay antennas, mobile phones, tablets ...) was adopted by the deputies, Thursday, January 29 late morning, in favor of a parliamentary recess of the environmental group. It was passed by all of the majority, while the UDI abstained - except Bertrand Pancher (Meuse) who spoke to - and the UMP voted against, seeing an obstacle to the development of the digital industries.
This article - the first in France to establish a precautionary approach to addressing potential health risks of radio frequency - is the result of a real obstacle course, during which its initial ambitions were seriously downgraded. The bill, filed in January 2013 by the member of the Val-de-Marne Laurence Bee (Europe Ecologie-Greens), had been referred to committee by the Socialists, before returning to the National Assembly in January 2014, under a watered down form and then be adopted at first reading by the Senate in June 2014, in an even planed release.
Despite these successive setbacks, the environmental group decided to vote on the text as to prevent his return to the Senate source of new delays and probably additional cuts. Its adoption is final and welcomes Ms. Bee, "the decrees will be taken without delay."
NOT LOWERING THE LIMITS
In the end, the "Law on sobriety, transparency, information and consultation for exposure to electromagnetic waves" appears as a compromise between supporters of a stricter supervision of the sector and wireless phone operators, opposed them, any regulatory brake. "This text does not fully address all the issues, recognizes the Green MP. However, it is an essential first step." The major novelty is the introduction into French law, a principle of "sobriety" of public exposure to electromagnetic fields. So virtuous as it is, this principle, however, remains vague and non-binding. It is thus no question of lowering the limits of current exposure, including, according to frequencies between 41 and 61 volts per meter (V / m), while the original bill was to bring the "as low as reasonably possible" or 0.6 V / m.
The National Frequency Agency (AFNR) will nevertheless make every year a national census of "outliers", that is to say, "places where the level of public exposure substantially exceed those generally observed in nationally ". Operators will have to address it within six months, "subject to technical feasibility."
The average exposure in France is now about 1 V / m, but a study of the Operations Committee on mobile phone waves (Copic), covering sixteen common representative of the French territory and published in 2013, was reported some exposure peaks "up to 10 V / m at maximum transmitter power," even if the levels remained below 0.7 V / m in 90% of cases. The AFNR considered until now as atypical places where exposure exceeds 6 V / m.
In terms of transparency, the installation of antennas will now be subject to prior information of mayors and presidents of intercommunal structures. And these may in turn - but 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.
WI-FI PROHIBITED IN CRIBS
A section of the Act is devoted to the protection of the young. Wireless devices will be banned in "the spaces dedicated to home, to rest and activities of children under 3 years", that is to say, nurseries and day care centers. However, contrary to the initial desire of environmentalists, the Wi-Fi will remain permitted in primary schools. It should however be disabled outside the "digital educational activities."
Finally, the situation often dramatic, people with EHS receives an early account. The government will submit a report to Parliament on this issue within a year.
The "anti-waves" associations prefer to consider, too, the glass is half full rather than half empty. "This text, which is the first dedicated to the electromagnetic wave file and their impact on the environment and health, is a first step in the legal recognition of the need to regulate the development of mobile telephony and all wireless applications, "commented the association for the regulation of mobile phone relay antennas (Priartem). In his view, "the first legislative effort to be an encouragement to go further in protecting people."
CALLS FOR CAUTION
This act takes place in a context of accelerated development of sources of electromagnetic waves, in particular with the deployment of mobile very high-speed, 4G. On 1 January 2015, indicates ANFR, the number of antennas sites authorized in France for 4G was, all operators, 18 699 - against 12,525 a year earlier - including 15 424 service.
If there is no scientific consensus about the potential dangers of radio frequencies for health, number of studies and opinions have called for caution. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified them as "possibly carcinogenic". And in 2013, the National Agency Health Safety of Food, Environment and Labour (Anses) recommended "limit the population exposures to RF - especially mobile phones - especially for children and power users. "It also recommended to "control the overall exposure from base stations."
"The Autonomic system is affected by microwaves of the centimeter wave length band. These waves affect circulation, respiration, temperature control, water balance, albumin and sugar concentration in the cerebro-spinal fluid, hydrogen ion concentration, EEG, GSR, sleep, conscious awareness, etc." - W. Bergman
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