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

10 February 2017

Letter to Mrs. Esther Alder, Administrative Councillor, City of Geneva, on Wireless Technology

Letter to Mrs. Esther Alder, Administrative Councillor in charge of the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity, City of Geneva, from a member of the Committee, Association Romande Alerte aux ondes électromagnétiques (translated from French) :

7 February 2017


I thank you for all that you are doing for the city of Geneva.  Your support for activities for seniors is particularly appreciated.

As a senior, I have often attended events organized by Cité Seniors.  The variety of activities is enriching.

We have noticed that the program for February - June 2017 offers many digital courses, which is very good.  Some of these technologies, however, especially Wi-Fi and smartphones - which emit radiofrequency radiation classified as  "possibly carcinogenic" for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer / World Health Organization - present health risks.

Users such as pregnant women, children and elderly persons are more vulnerable to radiation.  Are the health risks and recommendations to reduce exposure a part of these courses?  We have already asked the responsible person at Cité Seniors this question who suggested a debate, but it seems to us that it would be more useful to simply incorporate these recommendations into the courses and distribute an information brochure to each participant.

We have also suggested to Dr. Sophia Achab at the Department of Addictology, HUG [Geneva University Hospital], responsible for an inquiry concerning use of the Internet by seniors, to organize a talk at Cité Seniors on Web addiction and other psychological and physiological risks associated with use of wireless technology.

Digital courses encourage the purchase and use of connected objects.  The proliferation of these tools increases the suffering of electrohypersensitive persons, estimated to be 5% of the population, and can even trigger this condition from one day to the next.  Personally, I know persons who, suffering from this condition, cannot remain or sleep at home due to the electromagnetic pollution radiating from neighboring habitations day and night;  no more can they leave their homes due to the omnipresence of Wi-Fi in the city.

As you know, last December, the Council of States voted against increase in limit values of mobile phone antennas, precisely because of health risks.  Certain senators - those from cantons Geneva and Vaud, for example - were aware of the dangers.  Two groups of doctors also expressed concern regarding the potential harm of this technology:  the FMH and the Association of Doctors for the Protection of the Environment.

We consider that awareness-raising of seniors is an effective way to inform young members of their families and the population in general about this important public health issue.  Other means are conferences for parents and teachers.  We have already raised this issue with the persons responsible for public education and some medical groups.  Mrs. Anne Emery-Torracinta has assured us that use of Wi-Fi in schools would be limited, however this message was accompanied by regulations on use of the Wi-Fi network in schools, dated 8 June 2015:

"The OFSP [Swiss Federal Office for Public Health] observes that the radiation generated by wireless networks is too weak to cause detectable health effects, this equally applying to children and adolescents.  And concludes that currently there is no need to regulate either the growing number of public access points or the radiation and health consequences." [unofficial translation]

This same message regarding Wi-Fi is on the site of the City of Geneva.

The City of Geneva can better protect the health of its inhabitants by providing more up-to-date information according to recent independent scientific studies.  For more information, we invite you to contact responsible persons in the Association Romande Alerte aux ondes électromagnétiques or visit its site.

In the name of the protection of the health of all the inhabitants of Geneva, I thank you for your attention in this regard. Please accept, Madam, the assurances of my highest consideration,

Member of the ARA Committee

[Swiss Parliament]
Mr. Robert Cramer, State Councillor
Mrs.  Liliane Maury Pasquier, State Councillor
Mrs. Géraldine Savary, State Councillor

Dr. Sophia Achab, HUG
Mr. Philippe Demierre, Cité Seniors

[Consumer groups]
Ms. Sophie Michaud Gigon, FRC
Ms. Zeynep Ersan Berdoz, Bon à Savoir

ARA Association Romande Alerte aux ondes électromagnétiques
Case postale 87
1110 Morges

Email : secretariat@alerte.ch

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