[Press release] Phonegate : Warnings from the California Department of Public Health

[Press release] Phonegate : Warnings from the California Department of Public Health
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Another fight for transparency of the health risks associated with the use of the cell phone has been waged since 2009 on the other side of the Atlantic, in California, the world’s sixth economic power.  This battle has obliged the California Department of Public Health to make public through a press release a series of important recommendations for all users of smartphones. (Read the San Francisco Chronicle article explaining the actions led by Dr. Joel Moscowitz.)

Hulot can do better…

These recommendations which come a few days after the announcement in France of a campaign for the six proper uses of cell phones launched by Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, and the ban on cell phones in schools and colleges by Jean-.Michel Blanquer, Minister for National Education, show to what extent this subject is important, particularly for young persons and children.

This is confirmed by Dr. Annie J Sasco, MD, DrPH, former Chief of Unit of Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention at the International Agency for Research on Cancer – World Health Organization : « In May 2011, the IARC classified the EMF exposure as a possible carcinogen. Since then new studies were published, both epidemiological and experimental ones, reinforcing the evidence of carcinogenicity and several other detrimental health effects were described. With the new data on SAR measured in contact with the body, it becomes more than ever necessary to strengthen the safety recommendations to preserve the health of every one in particular of fetuses, babies and children. The California guidelines move exactly in the right direction. »

No cell phone in the pants pocket or bra

And the first of these recommendations is totally hidden by the French and European public authorities, including until recently by the Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition :

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
  • Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.

The committed responsibility of  manufacturers and regulators

In this context, the total failure of the international regulatory system raises many serious questions. For over twenty years, it has enabled mobile phone manufacturers to put their mobile phones on the world market under deceptive conditions for hundreds of millions of users. By disregarding actual uses in calculating Specific Absorption Rates (SAR), and especially for body SARs, users were overexposed daily and over the long term to risks for their health and their security.

When will there be a withdrawal from the market of phones at risk

We now know the risk of actual use of cell phones since the partial publication of the results of tests conducted by the NationalFrequencies Agency (ANFR) on 379 mobile phones between 2012 and 2016. Tests showed that the SAR values posted by the manufacturers are on average more than 10 times above the value indicated in the user manuals.

With these new recommendations from the United States, it is essential to inform all users in Europe and Switzerland of this new health and industrial scandal and to draw the consequences without waiting, namely the withdrawal or reconditioning of all mobile phones with SAR values that do not respect the limits authorized in actual use** (2W/kg).

* the origin of the term Phonegate comes from Pierre Le Hir (Le Monde, 23 December 2016) « Soupçons sur les ondes des téléphones portables »

** maximum 5 millimeters

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