[Interview] Danger of cell phone waves: en route towards a “phonegate”?

[Interview]  Danger of cell phone waves: en route towards a “phonegate”?
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Interview by Emmanuel Lévymarianne.net/,3 July 2017

Marc Arazi, a medical doctor, is constantly alerting the public authorities to the potential health dangers of the waves of our cell phones.  He has just written about this to the new government.

Following your actions, the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) has finally made public the results of its tests on mobile phone radiation.  Are you satisfied?

 My satisfaction is like the publication of these data:  partial.  At the beginning of June, ANFR decided to publish on its site only a part of the SAR* test results that it carried out between 2012 and 2016.  These data confirm that more than a hundred cell phone models made by various manufacturers present a real risk to users.  Some of them show a SAR value measured in contact with the trunk that is three times the maximum standard value.  In my view, the consumer is being “deceived” by the SAR value displayed by the manufacturers and the real SAR value revealed by ANFR.  It is imperative that industry explains its practices and takes measures to inform its customers.  It is significant that Apple, who has doubtless recognized the commercial risk and possible financial loss, is starting to inform its customers to either use a hands-free headset or place the device more than 5 millimeters away from the body.  The measurements provided by ANFR confirm that low-radiation technology exists:  it is possible to produce phones with a low SAR value.

You strongly criticize ANFR.  It is they, however, who, in carrying out these measurements, forced the European Commission to issue a new directive…

That’s right.  But the new directive is a model of hypocrisy.  It does not regulate the failure of international test protocols which dramatically echoes Dieselgate.  The new RED 2014/53 / EU Directive, which entered into force on 13 June 2017 for all new devices, must be revised.  And article 5 does not hesitate to assure manufacturers of the “confidentiality” of collected information.  In addition to this institutionalized lack of transparency, the directive introduces the idea of presumed conformity.  Thus, article 42 states that there may be cases where mobile phones are compliant but present a risk… There is also an important point:  how is the SAR value calculated?  In the United States, the device is tested for 30 minutes on the equivalent of 1 gram of tissue, while Europe carries out this measurement for 6 minutes on 10 grams of tissue, resulting in a three-fold increase between the two measurements… This laxity allows industry to market products posing a risk.  This must change. 

You have thus written a letter to Agnès Buzyn, Minister for Health, and Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological Transition, in order to raise this issue…

We are going to celebrate 10 years of the iPhone.  These devices have become companions of everyday life, and this begins from a very young age.  It is not without significance that the President poses for his official photo with two mobile phones, which are the most obvious symbols of the formidable technological progress that we have experienced in recent years. Still, I repeat, the ANFR measurements show that 9 out of 10 phones are problematic.  In addition to changing the standards, there is work to be done on user habits:  avoiding placing the phone in the pocket; using loudspeakers or headsets; avoiding as far as possible putting younger persons in contact with the devices.  That may sound absurd today.  But this was exactly the case 50 years ago with the initial concerns about cigarettes. Smoking was popular, appreciated, and pleasant… but smoking proved to be especially deadly.  I know that this subject is not easy to address, but it is a question of public health, no more, no less.  This is the purpose of our letter.

*SAR : specific absorption rate.  It is the measure of the amount of energy absorbed by the user generated by a mobile phone operating at full power.

Read also :

Téléphones portables : vers un scandale sanitaire ?

by Emmanuel Lévy, Journalist, economy

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