Appeal for the withdrawal of more than 250 mobile phone models in France, Europe and internationally

Our press briefing was held Thursday 28 June 2018 in Paris.  Dr. Marc Arazi, President of the NGO, Phonegate Alert, together with two members of the scientific committee, Dr. Devra Davis (USA), President of the NGO, the Environmental Health Trust, and Dr. Annie Sasco, former chief of a research unit, at IARC-WHO, called for the withdrawal of millions of mobile phones that present a risk to health, particularly of children.

Dr. Arazi briefly recalled the important steps marking the alert launched in July 2016.  He then presented the association that was recently created on his initiative in March 2018, its international purpose and the composition of the scientific committee, which includes some of the internationally renowned personalities who are studying the potential links between electromagnetic waves and health.

In the context of recognition of the action of Phonegate Alert, on Monday 25 June 2018, Dr. Arazi addressed a well-argued letter to the Ministers Nicolas Hulot, Agnès Buzyn and Bruno Le Maire asking them to urgently take several essential decisions to protect the health of mobile phone users, specifically :

The recall of more than 250 of the best-selling mobile phone models on the French market, which must either be withdrawn from the market by a procedure of free exchange or their software or hardware must be updated by the manufacturer.

Attached, are the list of data from the Open DATA site (https://data.anfr.fr/) of the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR).  They summarize the brands and models of mobile phones tested between 2012 and 2017, presenting, in our opinion, a potential risk to the health of users.  This concerns millions of mobile phones in the hands of French users and hundreds of millions used by people in Europe and in the rest of the world.

Under pressure of our action, the recent withdrawals and updates made by ANFR (Hapi 30 of Orange, Neffos X1 TP902) are certainly a step forward but are totally insufficient and show an unwillingness on the part of the public authorities to seriously address this public health issue:  “the Ministers concerned should not hide behind a “pseudo compliance” for mobile phones at risk that have been sold to users in the context of totally faulty regulation for the sole benefit of industry and to the detriment of our health,” Dr. Arazi emphatically pointed out.

For her part, Dr. Annie Sasco recalled the basis on which IARC correctly classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in 2011 as belonging to group 2B, possible carcinogens for humans. Since 2011, new epidemiological studies (Cephalo, CERENAT) have confirmed the increased risk of brain tumors for the most exposed persons (intense use of the phone, long duration in terms of years of use, with an excess risk for people who started using the phone at an early age, and also an excess risk for the most exposed areas of the brain, especially on the side of regular phone use).

In addition, two experimental studies conducted on rats and mice significantly reinforced evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals (NTP study of the NIEHS in the United States and the Ramazzini study in Italy). This will allow, after the publication of a crucial study on mobile phones and brain tumors in children, adolescents and young adults, the Mobi-kids study, to ask IARC to reconsider the classification of RF-EMF.

Finally, Dr Devra Davis, President of the Environmental Health Trust, stressed the increased risks for children:

“My research and the work of dozens of other scientists show that sperm is damaged by cell phone radiation. The Cleveland clinic advises men who want to become fathers to take phones out of their pocket. The State of California also says people should keep phones off the body.

“The latest studies conducted by Environmental Health Trust scientist Claudio Fernandez and others confirm that cell phone radiation gets twice as deeply into the brain of a child compared to an adult and 10 times more into the bone marrow.

“Studies that simulate virtual reality with smart phones held in front of the frontal lobe and eyes also show that exposures into a child’s eyes and hippocampus greatly exceed those of an adult. None of these exposures has ever been evaluated for its health impacts.

“A new publication by Claudio Fernandez and EHT colleagues in the journal Environmental Research also confirms that virtual reality using a smart phone releases 20 times more microwave radiation into the critically important hippocampus of the child compared to the adult; this is the part of the brain essential to memory, impulse control, and executive function

“We are placing our children at risk by exposing them to microwave radiation that has never been tested for long-term impacts. Further, this is an experiment with no controls. “The American Academy of pediatrics has issued statements advising parents that no child under the age of two should have any screen time.”

 

[Communiqué] Appel au retrait de plus de 250 modèles de téléphone portable en France, en Europe et à l’International

Notre point de presse s’est tenu le jeudi 28 juin 2018 à Paris. Le Dr Marc Arazi, Président de l’ONG  Alerte Phonegate, entouré de deux membres du comité scientifique, le Dr Devra Davis (USA), présidente de l’ONG  Environmental Health Trust et le Dr Annie Sasco, ancienne directrice d’une  Unité de recherche du CIRC-OMS, y ont lancé un appel pour le retrait de millions de téléphones mobiles à risques pour la santé des utilisateurs et plus particulièrement des enfants.

Le Dr Arazi a brièvement rappelé les étapes importantes qui ont jalonné l’alerte lancée en juillet 2016. Puis il a présenté l’association tout récemment créée à son initiative en mars 2018, son objet à vocation internationale ainsi que la composition du comité scientifique, dans lequel se retrouvent quelques unes des personnalités de renom internationales qui étudient les liens potentiels des ondes électromagnétiques  avec  la santé.

Dans ce contexte de reconnaissance de l’action de notre association,  le Dr Arazi a  écrit de manière argumentée le lundi 25 juin 2018 aux ministres Nicolas Hulot, Agnès Buzyn et Bruno Le Maire afin de leur demander de prendre urgemment plusieurs décisions essentielles pour protéger la santé des utilisateurs de téléphones mobiles, et à savoir tout particulièrement :
Le rappel de plus de 250 modèles de téléphones mobiles parmi les plus vendus sur le marché français, qui doivent soit être retirés du parc en activité par une procédure d’échange gratuit, soit faire l’objet d’une mise à jour logicielle ou matérielle gratuite par le fabricant.

Ci-joint, la liste extraite des données du site Open Data (https://data.anfr.fr/) de l’Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR). Elles récapitulent les marques et modèles des téléphones portables testés entre 2012 et 2017 qui présentent, selon nous, un risque potentiel pour la santé des utilisateurs. Cela concerne des millions de téléphones portables entre les mains d’utilisateurs français et des centaines de millions de téléphones portables utilisés par les populations de l’Europe et du reste du monde.

Les récents retraits et mises à jour opérés par l’ANFR (Hapi 30 d’Orange, Neffos X1 TP902 ), sous la pression de notre action, sont certes une avancée, mais sont totalement insuffisants et montre de la part des pouvoirs publics une non volonté de se saisir sérieusement de cet enjeu de santé publique : « les ministres concernés ne devraient pas se retrancher derrière une « pseudo conformité » pour des téléphones mobiles à risques qui ont été vendu aux utilisateurs dans le cadre d’une réglementation totalement défaillante au seul profit des industriels et au détriment de notre santé » fait remarquer avec force le Dr Arazi.

De son côté le Dr Annie Sasco a rappelé sur quelles bases le CIRC  avait correctement classifié en 2011 les champs électromagnétiques radiofréquences  comme relevant du groupe 2B des cancérogènes possibles pour l’être humain. Depuis 2011, de nouvelles études épidémiologiques (Céphalo, CERENAT) ont confirmé le risque accru de tumeurs du cerveau pour les personnes les plus exposées (utilisation intense du téléphone, longue durée en termes d’années d’utilisation, avec un sur-risque pour les personnes ayant commencé l’usage du téléphone à un âge précoce, et aussi un sur-risque pour les zones du cerveau les plus exposées, notamment du côté habituel d’utilisation du téléphone).

De plus, deux études expérimentales menées sur des rats et des souris ont considérablement renforcé l’évidence de cancérogénicité chez l’animal  de laboratoire (étude  NTP du NIEHS aux Etats-Unis d’Amérique et étude Ramazzini en Italie). Ceci permettra après la publication d’une étude cruciale sur téléphones mobiles et tumeurs du cerveau chez les enfants, adolescents et adultes jeunes, l’étude Mobi-kids, de demander au CIRC de reconsidérer la classification des RF-CEM…

A la suite, le Dr Devra Davis complète concernant les risques spécifiques pour les enfants et les jeunes : « Mes recherches et les travaux de dizaines d’autres scientifiques montrent que le sperme est endommagé par le rayonnement des téléphones mobiles. La clinique de Cleveland conseille aux hommes qui veulent devenir pères de sortir le téléphone de leur poche. L’État de Californie dit aussi que les gens devraient garder les téléphones hors du corps. ».

Les dernières études menées par Claudio Fernandez, scientifique de l’Environmental Health Trust et d’autres confirment que le rayonnement du téléphone mobile pénètre deux fois plus profondément dans le cerveau d’un enfant que dans celui d’un adulte et dix fois plus dans la moelle osseuse.

Des études qui simulent la réalité virtuelle avec des smartphones tenus devant le lobe frontal et les yeux montrent également que les expositions dans les yeux et l’hippocampe d’un enfant dépassent largement celles d’un adulte. Aucune de ces expositions n’a jamais fait l’objet d’une évaluation de ses effets sur la santé.

Une nouvelle publication de Claudio Fernandez et ses collègues de l’EHT dans la revue Environmental Research confirme également que la réalité virtuelle utilisant un smartphone libère 20 fois plus de rayonnement micro-ondes dans l’hippocampe de l’enfant que dans l’hippocampe de l’adulte ; c’est la partie du cerveau essentielle à la mémoire, au contrôle des impulsions et à la fonction exécutive.

Nous exposons nos enfants à un risque en les exposant à un rayonnement micro-ondes qui n’a jamais été testé pour des impacts à long terme. De plus, il s’agit d’une expérience sans contrôles. L’American Academy of Pediatrics a publié des déclarations informant les parents qu’aucun enfant de moins de deux ans ne devrait passer du temps devant un écran. »

Summary of Meeting of NTP Board of Scientific Counselors – 20 June 2018: Topic on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Studies

Following is an unofficial summary of the topic on the NTP cell phone radiofrequency studies discussed during the 20 June meeting of the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors.  The PhoneGate Alert Association is following this very important subject concerning global public health and has submitted comments to the meeting.

On 20 June 2018, a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program took place in Durham, North Carolina.  Topics discussed during the meeting included the studies of cell phone radiofrequency radiation (RFR) – report of the March 26-28, 2018 Peer Review of the NTP Technical Reports.

Dr. Chad Blystone, NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), presented a summary of the Peer Review meeting.

Dr. Michael Wyde, NIEHS, delivered a presentation on follow-up studies on RFR:

« Follow-up studies will seek to investigate the perinatal effects, and further characterize organ-specific effects (heart, brain, adrenal medulla) in rats via immuno- and enzyme-histochemistry and molecular pathology  methods. The impact of RFR exposure on behavior and stress will be further investigated, including the assessment of activity, response to system-generated noise and RFR signals, evaluation of stress indicators, measurement of stress hormones, and heart rate. The primary areas of mechanistic research will include investigation into the role of heat as a contributing factor to RFR-induced effects, oxidative stress mechanisms, changes in gene expression in multiple tissues, and the effect on DNA damage and repair. »

Prior to the meeting, members of the Board received copies of the four written public comments submitted by:

–  Annie Sasco, Private Citizen.  Dr. Sasco is also Member of the Phonegate Alert Scientific Board.
–  P.K. Mahesh, Private Citizen
– Environmental Working Group
– Phonegate Alert

Two persons provided comments to the meeting by phone: Dr. Annie Sasco as a private citizen and Dr. Olga Naidenko of the Environmental Working Group.

Dr. Olga Naidenko:

« The NTP research is critical for addressing the gaps in our scientific understanding of the biological impacts of cellphone radiation. Much more research needs to be accomplished to understand how RF exposure impacts people, particularly children… In the absence of protective federal regulations based on health effects, EWG will continue to advise that consumers take simple precautions… for themselves and their children to reduce exposure. EWG also anticipates that the results of the NTP study will be helpful in guiding the design of safer technology alternatives that would benefit our entire society. » – from written comments.

Dr. Annie Sasco:

Dr. Sasco summarized the evidence as it was available at the time of the IARC Monograph meeting (2011) which led to RFR being rightly classified as « 2B possibly carcinogenic to humans ».  Since 2011, the results of more epidemiological (CERENAT, Cephalo) and experimental (NTP, Ramazzini) studies have provided further evidence of carcinogenicity. If the IARC evaluation was to be reconsidered in the future it could lead to a  « 2A probably carcinogenic to humans » classification. For this it is exceedingly important that the results of the Mobi-kids study of brain tumors in children, adolescents and young adults, which have been available since January 2017 but not made public, be published in a peer-reviewed paper in the immediate future. In addition, there is an urgent need for further large experimental studies on other RFR before new equipment is launched such as 5G.  Finally, for all of this to become reality, we absolutely need to have independent public agencies continuing to conduct valid, thorough evaluations. Funding of agencies such as NIEHS and IARC, as well as other institutions dealing with the health of populations, cannot and should not be cut.

There was a brief discussion at the end of the meeting by Board members.  One person commented that it was « a bit striking » that the Peer Review Panel upgraded the evaluations of carcinogenicity for seven different findings compared to those in the initial NTP draft reports, the highest being « clear evidence of cancer » (heart schwannomas in male rats exposed to both GSM and CDMA modulations).  There was no downgrade of the findings by the Peer Review.  The manner in which the conclusions of the studies would be communicated was also discussed: how might the study relate to real and potential exposures;  how to make the study results more understandable in terms of changing (cell phone) use behavior.

Phonegate Alert Comments on Peer Review of NTP’s Draft Technical Reports on Cellphone Radiation

Phonegate Alert submits new comments on the peer review of the National Toxicology Program’s draft technical reports on cellphone radio-frequency radiation.  In March 2018, the external peer scientists reviewers strengthened the conclusions of the NTP reports that found clear evidence of health harm from exposure to cellphone radiation in rats. The scientific knowledge of the potential impacts of cellphone radiation on our health and the health of our children should no longer be ignored. Especially in the context of a complete bankruptcy of the international regulatory system at the origin of the Phonegate health and industrial scandal.

Phonegate Alert comments to NTP 20 June meeting

To support Dr Arazi and Phonegate alert team actions

Opinion “The Phonegate scandal prey to business secrecy” published by Mediapart

Today, June 12, 2018, the confidentiality clause was established at European level, included in Directive 2014/53/EU for all mobile devices at risk to human health (mobile phones, tablets, laptops and connected toys for children…).  This has taken place at the same time as the European directive on business secrecy is in the process of being adopted by the French National Assembly and the Senate despite exceptional citizen mobilization.

To mark this black day, Dr. Marc Arazi, President of Phonegate Alert, and Mr. Jérôme Karsenti, lawyer at the Paris Bar, cosigned this opinion piece, published on the guest blog of Mediapart on 11 June 2018.

Read the article and please relay widely to those around you.

 The Phonegate scandal prey to business secrecy

 Marc Arazi and Jérôme Karsenti denounce the entry into force of the confidentiality clause of the European directive which allows « the manufacturers of mobile devices to benefit from total confidentiality for products they will place on the European market that may be a risk to human health ».

12 JUNE 2018 will remain a sad date for all citizens who for a number of weeks have been protesting against the control of the business world over public health and environmental violations denounced by many media representatives and whistleblowers.

Telephony manufacturers in particular will soon be completely protected to produce and sell phones whose harmfulness can no longer be denounced.

On June 14, 2018, the National Assembly, despite a petition that collected more than 570,000 signatures, and the mobilization of NGOs and associations committed to public freedom, will pass the law establishing the directive on business secrecy.

This law establishes business secrecy as a principle without its definition making it possible to determine its form. It no longer protects media companies that could be prosecuted before commercial courts. It excludes whistleblowers from the protection of the Sapin 2 law when a trade secret is alleged, thus protecting telephony manufacturers from any revelations about the risks to public health posed by the manufacture of phones.

14 June 2018 is two days after the entry into force of the final phase of the Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States relating to making mobile devices available on the market and transposed into French law by the Order of 21 April 2016 and the Decree of 21 April 2017. This is the date chosen by the Directive to allow mobile device manufacturers to benefit from total confidentiality for the products they place on the European market that may present a risk to human health.

Billions of devices which make up our daily lives are directly concerned, such as Wi-Fi, multimedia tablets, Wi-Fi routers, laptops, Bluetooth devices, mobile phones, remote-controlled toys, GPS devices, in fact all the devices using electromagnetic waves.

Products with health risks:  secrecy becomes the rule

For this powerful economic sector, the European Commission has chosen to endorse a system which will guarantee (in Article 5) total secrecy for manufacturers concerning « types of radio equipment within categories affected by a low level of compliance with the essential requirements set out in Article 3.” It is specifically this section that requires that these devices ensure « the protection of health and safety of persons and of domestic animals ».

Technocratic cynicism is total. The established Directive lays down the principle of health protection, but immediately sets out a protective exception for companies which would not respect the principle that has been laid down. It even ensures them an unstoppable system of protection: « the commission makes available to manufacturers a central system allowing manufacturers to register the required information. That system shall ensure appropriate control of access to information of confidential nature”.

Tailor-made regulations to protect manufacturers from legal action

This new Directive, which cancels and replaces RED Directive 1999, is to be viewed in a very specific context.  Indeed, since July 2016, « Phonegate Alert » has warned the public and public authorities of a complete failure of European and international regulations that has allowed manufacturers to overexpose hundreds of millions of mobile phone users in their real use of these devices, in contact with their bodies, for more than twenty years.

We know from tests carried out by the French National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) between 2012 and 2016 on several hundred mobile phones that the Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) (1) are well above European regulatory limits (2W/kg), some of which may exceed the authorized thresholds by nearly 4 times, and even more if we refer to the American standards (1.6W/kg), some smartphones being real microwaves in our pockets, exceeding 25 W/kg.

For the past two years, ANFR has been trying to use all kinds of delaying tactics to keep these tests secret. Following the actions taken by Dr. Marc Arazi  before the Commission for Access to Administrative Documents (CADA), then before the Administrative Tribunal, the agency in charge of radio frequency control had to set up a DATA site on 1 June 2017, then on 8 March 2018, publish nearly 443 mobile phone test reports.

But ANFR definitely has a problem with transparency. It still refuses to publish original test reports signed by certified laboratories.

The question we are asking publicly is: will it be possible from 12 June to continue to obtain this information and to communicate it to the public?

And even more, if we have some tests performed on mobile phones sold in France, we have no idea of the exposure levels generated by tablets and laptops that are on the lap of users for hours each day, especially children and young people.

Economic law stronger than democracy:  its weapon “secrecy”

At a time when the government is in the process of legislating and transposing the European Directive on « business secrecy » into French law, the application of Directive 2014/53/EU, which has so far concerned no one, would nevertheless give new prominence to the attack on the freedom of information and the obstacle that this constitutes for whistleblowers.

A company’s information or know-how is secret if three conditions are met under Article 1 of the law on business secrecy:

  • It is information known by a limited number of people;
  • It has a commercial value because of its secret character;
  • It is subject to specific safeguards « including an explicit statement that the information is confidential.” (Amendment No. 57).

Thus this tautological formulation allows a company to protect any information it wishes to be covered by business secrecy. In short, business secrecy covers what the company decides to consider as secret.  Unstoppable and efficient. The law has no say and it will be up to the company to define the scope of the information and know-how it wishes to cover with the sacred seal of secrecy.

It would have been possible and easy to amend the text by reversing the burden of proof and requiring the victimized company to demonstrate the violation of its know-how or confidential information in order to benefit from it. It could also have been relevant for the legislator to limit from Art 1 what does not fall within the scope of business secrecy and to make a non-exhaustive list that would make it possible to understand its sense: the environmental and health impact, the working conditions of employees, information of a fiscal nature, etc….

To avoid any polemical implication, the proposed legislation should have restricted the scope of business secrecy to competitive situations only.

The principle of this law is quite different. Business secrecy will be fully protected until proven otherwise, thus allowing companies and groups in a dominant position to silence any detractor who would attempt disclosure solely for reasons of general interest or public information, by using « gag procedures » at will.

The Sapin 2 law had given whistleblowers a status and a role that the transposition of the law definitively undermines.

The « business secrecy » law protects those who would have revealed in good faith, « a fault, a reprehensible act or an illegal activity », which limits the area of the authorized disclosure to these three acts.  Thus, many of the revelations of recent years (Mediator for example), would not be covered by the exceptions. The notion of « good faith » that was not in the directive is added to the law, further increasing the burden of proof for those who will have to defend themselves against accusations of unjustified disclosures.

But the great perversity of the law resides in the rest of the text which adds « including when exercising the right of alert as defined by article 6 of the law of 9 December 2016 » (Sapin 2).

Article 6 of the Sapin law not only excluded for whistleblowers facts, information or documents covered by medical secrecy, professional secrecy between a lawyer and his client, and national defense secrecy, but also protected them for revelations which concern « a serious threat or prejudice to the public interest », which is much broader than the three cases of the business secrecy law alone.

The « including » of the law thus requires the whistleblower to comply with the text of the « business secrecy” law and consequently adds a fourth covered secret, « business secret ». Thus, in the course of the transposition of a directive, the French Parliament has just gutted the substance of the Sapin 2 Law on whistleblowers who will no longer be protected when they reveal facts that companies have wished to protect. Several Members proposed by amendment to replace « including » with « or », which would exclude any risk to whistleblowers. Without success…

Thus, the strength of the lobbies within the European institutions gradually contributes to stifling citizens’ resistance capacities by silencing them by means of texts that crush freedom.

The Phonegate scandal (2) was just beginning to be known to the public following the withdrawal from the French market, in recent days, of the first phones at risk to health. The latest regulatory surge may have definitively shut down the possibility of revelations about major health risks for the hundreds of millions of users of mobile devices.

Citizens and consumers are well aware that behind these cynical texts, dictated by economic powers, is not only the threat to health and the environment, but also and above all the seizure of political power by groups of influence indifferent to human destiny.

14 June 2018 will in future symbolize the day of action for unfailing transparency in defense of the general interest of European citizens.

(1) The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) represents the amount of energy carried by radio frequency waves received by the user of a mobile device (e.g. mobile phone)

(2) The origin of the term “Phonegate” is attributed to the “Le Monde” journalist, Pierre Le Hir, in a 23 December 2016 article entitled « Soupçons sur les ondes des téléphones portables ».

Signatories:

Jérôme Karsenti, lawyer at the Paris Bar and member of the National Bar Council

Dr. Marc Arazi, President of the NGO Phonegate Alert

Tribune « Le scandale du Phonegate à l’épreuve du secret des affaires » publiée par Mediapart

C’est aujourd’hui, 12 juin 2018, que se met en place à l’échelon européen, la clause de confidentialité, incluse dans la Directive 2014/53/UE, pour tous les équipements radioélectriques à risques pour la santé humaine (téléphones portables, tablettes, ordinateurs et jouets pour enfants connectés,…). Et ce au même moment où la directive européenne sur le secret des affaires est en cours d’adoption à l’Assemblée nationale et au Sénat malgré une mobilisation citoyenne exceptionnelle.

Pour marquer cette date d’une pierre noire, le Dr Marc Arazi, Président d’Alerte Phonegate et Maître Jérôme Karsenti, avocat au barreau de Paris ont co-signé cette tribune publiée, le 11 juin 2018, sur le blog des invités de Mediapart.

Lire la tribune et merci de la relayer le plus largement autour de vous

Children Absorb 2-5 Times Higher Doses of Microwave Radiation than Adults, From Virtual Reality Systems

Experts warn that injuries to vision, hearing and brain could prove irreversible

(Washington DC) In an innovative study published today in Environmental Research, researchers simulated microwave radiation from Virtual Reality(VR) with a video-streaming cell phone in a cardboard box placed in front of the eyes. Specific areas of the eyes and critical parts of the brain absorbed between 2 to 5 times more cell phone radiation in the youngest child model compared to the adult model. Children’s health specialists are concerned that higher exposures to unprecedented levels of microwave radiation pose risks of permanent damage to vision, hearing and brain development, and cancer.

This publication is the first to extend FDA computer-based anatomical modelling used for surgical devices to examine absorption of microwave radiation from cell phones held in virtual reality positions.

The researchers also investigated microwave radiation with the phone at ear contact. They found that a 3-year old child absorbs about twice as much radiation into the cerebellum, and up to  thirtyfold more into the hippocampus–the part of the brain central to memory, emotions, and impulse control.

“When we first began to model cellphone exposures in the brains of toddlers and young children years ago, I never imagined we would see phones placed directly in front of the eyes as children are doing now,” noted study author Professor Claudio Fernandez of the Federal Institute of Rio Grande do Sul, who has previously published several key papers children’s radiation absorption. The researchers initiated this study because children are increasingly using VR systems, that were never evaluated for their health impact.

“Children’s vision, brain and hearing could be permanently impaired by this untested radiation,” stated Devra Davis Ph.D., MPH, a study co-author, and President of Environmental Health Trust (EHT). “This study shows children’s eyes absorb significant amounts of radiation. Children are more vulnerable because their eyes are still developing.  Early life insults could mean earlier vision decline. In addition, the eyes contain few blood vessels, so they have no way to cool off.”

The new paper notes that experimental studies show that prenatally exposed animals produce offspring with impaired brain growth. “In a published review, the majority of studies found that children do absorb relatively higher doses of microwave radiation from mobile phones than adults. The long-term ramifications of such exposures need to be addressed,”  stated co-author Robert Morris M.D., Ph.D., EHT Senior Medical Advisor.

“Two-way microwave radiation transceivers, in the form of Smartphones, should not be used directly in front of children’s eyes and brains,” cautions University of Utah Prof. Om Gandhi, an electrical engineer who is one of the original developers of cell phone testing protocols.

“Current cell phone compliance testing does not account for children’s physiology. This new research highlights the importance of realistic modelling of radiation into the different tissues of the eyes and brain. Equally important, there needs to be pre-market testing and modeling of phones in the new ways that people are using phones, such as directly in front of the face as is done with these smartphone enabled virtual reality systems.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics along with the Health Departments of Connecticut, California  and Maryland State Advisory Board on Children’s Health recommend prudent measures should be taken to reduce wireless radiation exposure to children. Cardboard virtual reality holders are marketed to parents and school administrators who are unaware of the risks to children’s health,”  stated Theodora Scarato Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust.

Another study author, Meg Sears, associate at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada, and Chair of Prevent Cancer Now, stated: “Children should be protected from microwave radiation. For any wireless device, using airplane mode after an adult downloads the program will greatly reduce microwave radiation.”  She added, “The same radiation powering communications is used in chemical industries and products to accelerate reactions. This is efficient in commercial biochemistry, but can spell trouble during sensitive brain development.”

“The French government has just recalled thousands of cell phones because their tests found most cell phones exceeded current test limits for radiation by as much as four fold,” stated Davis referring to the recent large scale cellular phone recalls and software updates (Echo Star Plus,  the Alcatel PIXI 4,  the Honor 8, the Neffos X1 and the Hapi30, Orange.) She stated that even more recalls are expected as the European Union has updated their cell phone testing protocols after the government of France releasedhundreds of cell phone radiation tests that measured excessive radiation exposures when the phone was tested in contact with the body. The release of the test data folowed pressure from the Phonegate Alert Association.

“Studies of the developing brain have led the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue guidelines to keep toxic exposures to lead and other agents as low as feasible during childhood,” commented Dr. Davis, a former Senior Advisor to the CDC Lead Poisoning Advisory Committee and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  “We require special seatbelts and carseats as well as bike helmets for the young, recognizing that they merit greater protection. It makes no sense to assume that they can safely be exposed to levels of radiation that have never been evaluated for their long-term impacts on growth and development, especially in light of growing evidence that such radiation can damage plants, migrating insects, and other animals, and increase the risk of cancer,” she noted.  

C. Fernández, A.A. de Salles, M.E. Sears, R.D. Morris, D.L. Davis, Absorption of wireless radiation in the child versus adult brain and eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality, Environmental Research, Available online 5 June 2018, ISSN 0013-9351, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.013.
(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118302561)

About Environmental Research

Environmental Research publishes original reports describing studies of the adverse effects of environmental agents on humans and animals. The principal aim of the journal is to assess the impact of chemicals and microbiological pollutants on human health. Both in vivo and in vitro studies, focused on defining the etiology of environmentally induced illness and to increase understanding of the mechanisms by which environmental agents cause disease, are especially welcome. Investigations on the effects of global warming/climate change on the environment and public health, as well as those focused on the effects of anthropogenic activities on climate change,  are also of particular interest.

About Environmental Health Trust

EHT is a scientific virtual think tank conducting cutting-edge research on environmental health risks with some of the world’s top researchers. EHT educates individuals, health professionals, and communities about policy changes needed to reduce those risks. EHT maintains a regularly updated database of worldwide precautionary policies: more than a dozen countries recommend reducing wireless exposure to children.

This press release with images can be found online at https://ehtrust.org/new-publication-children-absorb-2-5-times-higher-doses-of-microwave-radiation-than-adults-from-virtual-reality-systems/

« Series of recalls of dangerous mobile phones » by Le Lanceur

On June 8, 2018, the site « Le Lanceur” published a new article on the industrial and health scandal of Phonegate. It is the seventh article in 18 months that it has devoted to this public health issue. In December 2016, it was the first media to relay the alert launched by Dr. Marc Arazi.

A big thank you to the editorial team and the journalist Antoine Sillières for their investigative work. It is also the only media for the moment to have made the link to our action following the withdrawal and updates of four new mobile phones.

It must also be noted that public broadcasting has been totally absent for months with regard to this affair. Why? In any case, certainly not for not having received our press releases regularly and trying to contact them so that the newsrooms (France2, France3, FranceInfo, France5, RadioFrance, …) inform the tens of millions of users of mobile phones of the danger to their health.

In this new article, our attention was particularly drawn to a quotation attributed to Olivier Merckel, Head of the Unit for assessment of risks related to physical agents at ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety):   “When the SARs of the tested phones show values lower than the limits, the health effects considered as proven by ICNIRP [International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection] are dismissed. For the general public, the safety factor applied by ICNIRP is 50.  Thus the first effects considered by ICNIRP should not be observed at 2 W/kg but rather at 100 W/kg for an « average » that is representative of the general population.  Beyond these well-known effects, the question is whether other effects could be observed at lower exposure levels”.

We strongly contest this figure of 100 W kg, which is purely and simply an invention that, to our knowledge, has never been included in any ICNIRP document or in any scientific document.

So we will write, in the next few days, to ANSES, to ask for clarification of this statement by Mr. Merckel. This is all the more worrying when we know that in October 2017, the Directorate General of Health (DGS) and the Directorate General for Risk Prevention (DPR) entrusted a mission to ANSES to assess the health risks to users of mobile phones whose SAR levels exceed the regulatory thresholds of 2 W/kg and may be greater than 7 W/kg.

In this regard, despite several requests, both the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Mr. Nicolas Hulot, and the Minister for Solidarity and Health, Mrs. Agnès Buzyn, have not yet transmitted to us the letter entrusting the mission to ANSES. In this matter, we can make the sad observation of a blatant lack of transparency.

We will come back to this in more detail in an article devoted to this key issue.

Read the article on the site of « Le Lanceur ».

To support Dr Arazi and Phonegate alert team actions       

« Rappels en série de téléphones portables dangereux » par Le Lanceur

Le site « Le Lanceur » a publié, le 8 juin 2018, un nouvel article consacré au scandale industriel et sanitaire du Phonegate. C’est en 18 mois, le septième article, qu’il consacre à cet enjeu de santé publique. En décembre 2016, Il avait été le premier média à relayé l’alerte lancée par le Dr Marc Arazi.

Un grand merci à l’équipe de rédaction et au journaliste Antoine silliéres pour leur travail  d’investigation. C’est d’ailleurs le seul média pour l’instant à avoir fait le lien avec notre action suite au retrait et mises à jour de 4 nouveaux téléphones portables.

Force aussi de constater que l’audiovisuel public est totalement absent depuis des mois de cette affaire. Pourquoi ? En tout cas, certainement pas pour n’avoir pas reçu nos communiqués régulièrement et tenter de les contacter pour que les rédactions (France2, France3, FranceInfo, France5, RadioFrance,…) informent les dizaines de millions d’utilisateurs concernés par le danger pour leur santé.

Dans ce nouvel article, notre attention a été particuliérement attirée par une citation attribuée à Monsieur Olivier Merckel, chef de l’unité d’évaluation des risques liés aux agents physiques à l’ANSES : « “Quand les DAS des téléphones testés affichent des valeurs inférieures aux limites, on s’affranchit des effets considérés comme avérés sur la santé par l’ICNIRP [Commission internationale pour la protection contre les rayonnements non ionisants]. Pour le grand public, le facteur de sécurité appliqué par l’ICNIRP est de 50. Donc les premiers effets considérés par l’ICNIRP ne devraient pas être observés à 2 W/kg mais plutôt à 100 W/kg, pour un représentant “moyen” de la population générale. Au-delà de ces effets bien connus, la question qui se pose est de savoir si d’autres effets pourraient être observés à des niveaux d’exposition inférieurs” ».

Nous contestons avec vigueur ce chiffre de 100 W/kg  qui est purement et simplement une invention qui n’a d’ailleurs, à notre connaissance, jamais figuré dans aucun document de l’ICNIRP ni dans aucun document scientifique.

Nous allons donc écrire, dans les tous prochains jours, à l’ANSES, pour demander une clarification quand à cette affirmation de Monsieur Merckel. Ceci est d’autant plus préoccupant quand on sait que la Direction générale de la santé (DGS) et la Direction de la prévention des risques (DPR) ont confié une mission, en octobre 2017, à l’ANSES afin d’évaluer les risques pour la santé des utilisateurs de téléphones portables dont les DAS dépassent les seuils réglementaires de 2 W/kg et qui peuvent être supérieurs à 7W/kg.

A ce propos et malgré plusieurs demandes, tant au ministre de la transition écologique, Monsieur Nicolas Hulot, qu’à la ministre de la Santé, Madame Agnès Buzyn, la lettre de mission confiée à l’ANSES, ne nous a toujours pas été transmise. Dans ce dossier, nous pouvons faire le triste constat d’un manque criant de transparence.

Nous y reviendrons plus longuement dans un article consacré à cette question essentielle.

Lire l’article du site « Le Lanceur »