Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

21 May 2018

France: New Draft Decrees on SAR from Ministry of Health: Comments and Proposals by Association Phonegate Alert

New draft decrees on SAR from French Ministry of Health: Comments and Proposals by Association Phonegate Alert

On May 13. 2018, the association « Phonegate Alert » sent its opinion and comments on the consultation organized by the French Ministry of Health and Solidarity with regard to the draft decrees on information to consumers of radioelectric terminal devices and display of Specific Absorption Rates (SAR). Below is a summary translation of these comments with a link to the full text of the document in French.

New decrees on SAR: The French Ministry of Health in troubled waters
phonegatealert.org, 15 May 2018

On May 13. 2018, our association « Phonegate Alert » sent its opinion and comments on the consultation organized by the French Ministry of Health and Solidarity with regard to the draft decrees on information to consumers of radioelectric terminal devices and display of Specific Absorption Rates (SAR).

In the midst of the Phonegate health and industrial scandal, all these initial drafts by the Ministry seem to be disappointing to say the least and, more seriously, aimed mainly at protecting the manufacturers rather than the users of mobile phones, tablets and other connected devices.

We are calling on the State to take responsibility and on Minister Agnès Buzyn to ensure that our various proposals are integrated into these drafts so that public health issues are really taken into account, especially concerning children.

Do not hesitate to share your remarks and proposals concerning these decrees and our recommendations.

Please note that the text below is a summary translation of the French text.

Link to French text in full:
https://www.phonegatealert.org/2018/05/15/nouveaux-arretes-sur-le-das-le-ministere-de-la-sante-en-eaux-troubles/


Contribution to the public consultation on draft decrees relating to : information for consumers on radioelectric devices, display of specific absorption rates of radioelectric terminal devices, and the decree fixing technical specifications applicable to radioelectric terminal devices

Summary of Comments and Proposals by Association Phonegate Alert, 15 May 2018

2. Deletion of word “terminals” in the three decrees

“Radioelectric terminal devices” is more pertinent for a regulation applying to connected devices like cell phones (connection to network is crucial).

Future regulations without the word “terminal” would exclude cell phones and other connected devices from the scope of the application of the future regulations. This seems to us to totally contradict the ANSES recommendations. We also see here the wish to minimize the role of the mobile phone operators with regard to the level of exposure of radiation of mobile phones and thus, their possible legal responsibility.

The Association Phonegate Alert proposes: The word “terminals” should be maintained.

3. Changes in the decree of 8 October 2003 relating to information for consumers on radioelectric terminal devices

3.1 Changes to Article 1


The new draft for article 1 proposes the following wording: « The value or values of the specific absorption rate of radioelectric devices, the power of which is greater than 20mW and likely to be used in a reasonably foreseeable manner near the head or at a distance of less than or equal to 20cm from the human body, shall appear in a legible, intelligible and visible manner in the instructions for use of radioelectric devices put into service for use in France.”

It is evident from reading the ANSES report, particularly the results of the measurements conducted on 95 mobile phones tested by the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) in 2015, that modification of article 1 should refer to the notion of distance in relation to the human body. It is important to define the devices concerned by the decree and with regard to the protection of users from radiation. Many devices are used in contact with the body: mobile phones, tablets, connected watches etc. Such a notion should thus be included.

The association Phonegate Alert proposes the following wording:

"The values of the specific absorption rates of radioelectric devices, the power of which is greater than 20mW and likely to be used in contact or at a distance of less than or equal to 20cm from the head or human body, shall appear in a legible, intelligible and visible manner in the instructions for use of radioelectric devices put into service for use in France".

3.2 Modifications of the annex of the decree of 8 October 2003 relating to information for consumers on radioelectric terminal devices

The annex which concerns safety measures with regard to use of devices should be entirely rewritten. Deletion of the words “telephone” and “mobile phones” creates a real and total vagueness with regard to devices covered in the decree. It seems preferable to create an “A” regarding safety measures for all radioelectric terminal devices and a “B” for those regarding mobile phones.

In “B”, it would seem more pertinent to list the recommendations which the manufacturers could include in their information notice. This list could be inspired by that of the California Department of Public Health of December 1, 2017:

1. Keep the cell phone at a distance from the body, including the head, neck and hand, and never in the pants pocket or bra;

2. Reduce phone use when the signal is weak or when one is moving;

3. Reduce phone use when one is using streaming or watching a video or music, or when downloading large quantities of documents;

4. Keep the phone out of the bed at night and at a distance;

5. Remove headsets from the phone and ears when not calling because they concentrate radiation at the level of the ear; use them only for short conversations.

It is particularly important for the public authorities to withdraw the recommendation of using a hands-free kit as this accessory may be more of a risk to the health of users. It is far better to replace it with a recommendation to use the speakerphone function of the mobile phone.

In parallel to these general recommendations, specific recommendations for persons at risk (people with heart disease, those with pacemakers, pregnant women, children etc.) should be included.

The association moreover questions the deletion in the decree of recommendations concerning pregnant women while ANSES had clearly identified the potential risks of radiofrequency radiation for them/their fetuses in its expert report. Moreover, ANSES recommended “discouraging the use by children of all mobile communications devices, for example, extending regulations regarding these devices to banning advertising whose direct purpose is to promote the sale, availability, and use of mobile phones to children under age 14”.

A mention of “the use or usage of a mobile phone is not suited to children under age 14” could also be included in the notice.

Finally, the reference which states, “this advice is given as a precautionary measure only, as no danger associated with the use of a mobile phone has been identified" should be deleted. Such a negation cannot flourish in a decree while a certain number of recent studies show the contrary such as the March 2018 conclusions of the Peer Review of the study on cell phone radiation by the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Even ANSES does not have a clear position on the subject in its July 2016 report where it considers that the current data do not in any way make it possible to conclude that there are no radiofrequency radiation effects on individuals and even less regarding children.

4. Modifications of the decree of 8 October 2003 decree fixing technical specifications applicable to radioelectric terminal devices and of the decree of 12 October 2010 relating to display of SAR for these devices

Modification of article 1 of the decree of 8 October 2003 seems to totally contradict the positive evolution of SAR measurements established in 2016. In fact, by its decision of April 5, 2016, the European Commission had recognized that the standard EN 50566 : 2013 regarding the requirements to demonstrate compliance of radio frequency fields produced by hand-held or body-held wireless communication devices did not meet safety requirements. It issued a "warning" to industry that SAR trunk measurements (2 W/kg) should not exceed a separation distance of a “few millimetres" and for SAR limbs (4 W/kg), no separation distance could be used (device in contact).

ANFR recalls, “From June 13, only the directive RED 2014/53/UE applies, which foresees that SAR measurements take into account distances of use that are “reasonably foreseeable”. No minimum distance to demonstrate the conformity of devices is therefore currently proposed in the applicable legislative and regulatory texts (Ordinance No. 2016-493 of 21 April 2016 on the placing on the market of radio equipment and Decree No. 2017-599 of 21 April 2017 on the making available on the market of radio equipment). It is therefore important to introduce the nuances made to the Directive on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States concerning the making available on the market of radioelectric equipment and repealing Directive 1999/5/EC known as the "RED" Directive by the above-mentioned Commission Decision and advocated by ANFR.

Phonegate Alert thus proposes to introduce into the decree requirements demonstrating the conformity of radioelectric terminal devices:

“The radioelectric devices, the power of which is greater than 20mW and likely to be used in contact with the head or at a distance less than or equal to 5mm from the human body, may only be put into service if they comply with the technical specifications annexed to this decree".

5. Modifications to the decree of 12 October 2010 relating to display of SAR of radioelectric terminal devices

Modification of “a” of article 1 of the decree is based on a desire to inform the public about the devices it purchases. It could be rewritten as proposed in point 3.

The association Phonegate Alert proposes the following version:

Article 1: "The values of the specific absorption rate of radio equipment, the power of which is greater than 20mW and likely to be used in contact or at a distance of less than or equal to 20cm from the head or the human body, should be included in immediate proximity to the device to which they relate.”

Finally, the second paragraph of Article 2 should add to the definition of the SAR: "It only takes into account the thermal effects of mobile phones" in order to best inform users of what is being measured.

Dr. Marc Arazi
President
contact@phonegatealert.org

Link to French text in full: 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.