Health and the mobile phone
In progress from 03-01-2002 to 06-11-2002
Expert-based, Health, Innovation, IT & communication, Parliament involvement, Risk
The authors of this report aimed at putting an end to the paradoxical situation which is a feature of the public's perception of hazards associated with mobile telephony : in spite of the fact that no health risk, has been demonstrated, members of the public do express, often forcibly, their fears about base stations rather than about mobile telephones themselves.
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To facilitate greater transparency for both the public and the local elected representatives, the authors propose three types of action:
- The scientific problems should be dealt with scientifically, with support given for research in biology, epidemiology and dosimetry, the research being suitably adapted to developments in technology, with information on electromagnetic fields directed at young people and the medical profession, with the collection of epidemiological data made more systematic by making cancer records more widely available.
- The problems of society should be dealt with in a social manner by introducing facilities for dialogue on the subject of base station antennas (discussion groups; forums providing training and information, etc...) together with means for individual actions (e.g. a campaign to raise awareness about risks of car accident on the road and a ban on the use of mobile telephones by drivers; making it compulsory for advertising matter at the point of sale of mobile telephones to indicate their Specific Absorption Rate; recommendations for the use of earpieces appropriate to the telephones; and an investigation of the feasibility of domestic dosimeters for measuring the integrated exposure of family members to electromagnetic fields).
It is also essential to provide information to local elected representatives :
- Mayors should have at their disposal a "Roof usage plan" for their community covering all antennas including those under four metres in size.
- Mayors should have means of evaluating and managing any problems that may be related to base station antennas in their town: the report proposes a standard agreement for use between mayors and mobile telephone operators.
Finally, the authors propose that a "Mobile telephony and Health" Foundation should be established under the auspices of the Academies, with the task of guiding the relevant scientific research and publicising its results. To this end, the Foundation will annually list the funding available from the French association of mobile telephone operators and public authorities, and would arrange appropriate funds for each project according to the order of priority drawn up by its scientific advisory committee.