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In an unprecedented move, France passed a law on exposing children to wireless technologies, completely banning Wi-Fi in nursery / daycare environments and restricting use in primary schools for educational purposes only.

This not only demonstrates awareness and a proactive attitude to mitigate the potential damage from exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, but also demonstrates the first application of the precautionary principle regarding wireless intrusion management and mastery .

Key points of the bill:

– Access points / routers should be banned from nurseries and day care centers;

– Wireless access points / routers should be disabled in primary schools when not in active use;

– Mobile ads should include a recommendation of devices (such as headsets) to reduce exposure to their users’ heads;

– All public places offering Wi-Fi must clearly announce the fact, at the entrance of the places;

– All wireless devices should contain clear instructions on how to disable their wireless functionality.

After two years, the law regulating the exposure of the population to electromagnetic fields generated by wireless technologies (base stations, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) was adopted by members of the National Assembly, Thursday 29 January late in the morning. . It was voted by the majority while the UDI Party abstained – except Bertrand Pancher (Meuse) who voted in favor – and the UMP voted against it as a barrier to the development of the digital sector.

This law – the first in France to take a precautionary approach to the potential health risks of radio frequencies – is a real obstacle course during which its initial ambitions were seriously undermined. The proposal, tabled in January 2013 by the Val-de-Marne MNA Laurence Abeille (Europe Ecologie-Greens) was forwarded to the committee by the Socialists, before returning to the National Assembly in January 2014 in an attenuated form, and after being approved at first reading by the Senate in June 2014.

Despite these successive setbacks, the environmental group decided to put the bill to a vote to prevent its return to the Senate, where it would likely have suffered further delays and cuts. Their adoption is therefore final and, Mr Abeille welcomes, ‘the decrees should be implemented without further delay’.

Do not lower the limits

Finally, the “Law on sobriety, transparency, information and consultation for exposure to electromagnetic waves” appears as a compromise among advocates of stricter supervision of wireless operators, contrary to any regulatory obstacle. “This text does not fully answer all the questions, recognizes the Green MNA, but it is nevertheless an essential first step.”

The main novelty is the introduction in French law of a principle of “sobriety” of the exposure of the population to electromagnetic fields. Virtuous as this principle is, however, it remains vague and not binding. It is therefore no longer a matter of reducing existing exposure limits, which, depending on the frequencies involved, are between 41 and 61 volts per meter (V / m), while the original proposal was intended to lower them back. to “as low as reasonably possible”, or 0.6 V / m.

Hot spots

The National Frequency Agency (AFNR) will, however, make a national census of “atypical points” or “places where the level of public exposure is substantially higher than what is generally observed on a national scale” each year. Operators will have to remedy them within six months, “subject to technical feasibility”.

The average exposure in France is now around 1 V / m, but a study by the Mobile Waves Operations Committee (Copic), covering sixteen representative municipalities of French territory and published in 2013, reported some exposure peaks “of up to 10 V / m at maximum transmitter power ”, even though the levels remained below 0.7 V / m in 90% of cases. AFNR now considers these places as atypical, where exposure exceeds 6 V / m.

Regarding transparency, the installation of antennas will now be subject to prior notice to the presidents of inter-municipal entities. And these may in turn – but not necessarily – arrange an appointment with residents. In addition, an “awareness and information campaign on the responsible and rational use of mobile devices” should be conducted.

Wi-Fi banned in nurseries

One section of the law is dedicated to the protection of babies. Wireless devices will be banned in “spaces dedicated to the care, rest and activities of children under three,” ie nurseries and day care centers . However, contrary to the initial desire of environmentalists, Wi-Fi will remain allowed in elementary schools. However, it will have to be disabled outside of “digital educational activities”.

Finally, the often dramatic situation of people suffering from electrosensitivity receives priority consideration. The government will have to report to Parliament on this issue within a year.

“Electromagnetic radiation” associations prefer to consider a glass half full rather than half empty. “ This act , which is the first to address the issue of electromagnetic waves and their impact on the environment and health, marks a first step towards legal recognition of the need to regulate communications development. and all wireless technologies , ”says the association for the regulation of mobile base stations (Priartem). In his view, “this first legislative effort should be an incentive to go further to protecting people”.

Precautionary Statement

This act comes in the context of accelerated development of electromagnetic field sources, in particular with the deployment of very high speed 4G mobile communications. As of January 1, 2015, ANFR indicates the number of authorized 4G base stations in France for all operators, 18,699 – compared to 12,525 in the previous year – and 15,424 are already in service.

If there is no scientific consensus about the potential health risks from radio frequency exposure, many studies and opinions recommend caution. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified them as “possibly carcinogenic “. And in 2013, the National Food, Environment and Workplace Safety and Health Agency (ANSES) recommended: “limit population exposure to radio frequencies – especially from mobile phones and particularly to children and frequent users” . ANSES also recommended: “controlling the global radiation exposure of mobile base stations”.

Source : Text translated / adapted from https://camposeletromagneticos.wordpress.com | http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/2015-02-05-france-wifi-restrictions.asp?pf=1