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France Bans Cell Phones in Primary Schools

Image Credit: Eco Warrior

Image Credit: Eco Warrior

Article by Camilla Rees

France has banned cell phones in primary schools. In addition, France is requiring manufacturers to create handsets that allow only texting to reduce health risks to children.

France is also requiring manufacturers to offer phones that work only with headsets to reduce exposure to radiation experienced with current cellphones, where radiation is knowingly put directly against the brain.

The limitation on children's use of mobile phones is pending a formal decree from the Education Ministry in the fall.

According to The Times Online, "The Government and telephone operators have been thrown on the defensive by hundreds of groups around the country that are demanding the removal of phone masts near schools, hospitals and homes." The current ban disappointed health advocates who were calling for a complete ban on mobile use for children under age 14 and for measures to limit the power and location of neighborhood cell phone antennas.

The move to protect children by France comes on the heels of a decision by France's Secretary of State for Ecology, Chantal Jouanno, to ‘try out' a reduction in antenna emissions in certain towns to 0.6 V/m, the level recommended by the BioInitiative Report, pending results of a new study from AFFSET. This effort is intended to "test the feasibility of reducing the power of transmissions".

While Jouanna contends there has been no conclusion drawn regarding risks from antennas, as distinguished from cell phones, calls your attention to research included in "Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution" from Santini 2001, La Presse Medical. The research outlines symptoms of people in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations. See "PDF iconFrequency of Electro-Hypersensitivity Symptoms Based on Distance to Cell Phone Base Station".

Symptoms attributed to the proximity to cell phone bases stations in the Santini study included: fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, feelings of discomfort, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular changes, dizziness, loss of appetite, movement difficulties and nausea.

Also in France, Mayor of the town of Clamart, Philippe Kaltenbach, recently disconnected an Orange cellular antenna on the roof of the Town Council's offices due to proximity to schools. No steps had been taken by Orange to relocate the antenna despite a previous ruling requiring them to do so.

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