[Last minute] International: first withdrawal of a cell phone in Canada

The Government of Canada has just banned the distribution of the mobile phone Alcatel U50 for having exceeded its radiation emission (SAR) regulatory thresholds.    This was confirmed on the MobileSyrup website by a spokesperson for the government agency Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) that controls the placing on the market of radio devices in Canada.

Following the withdrawal in France of nearly 100,000 Hapi 30 (MOBIWIRE) mobile phones in April 2018, commercialized by the operator Orange, and, at the end of May 2018, of the NEFFOSX1 TP902, imported by the company TP-Link, it is the first  reminder of compliance with regulations at the international level of a mobile phone sold by the three Canadian telephony operators, Bell, Telus and Freedom Mobile.

The Alcatel U50, not having been to our knowledge commercialized in France, is not included in the 31 mobile phones tested by the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR).  As a reminder, ANFR had requested the update of three phones including the Alcatel PIXI 4-6 ».

Alcatel PIXI 4-6″  (Manufacturer : TCL)

Initial value Value after update
System version 01001 01005
SAR « trunk » measured 2.04 W/kg 1.58 W/kg

The regulations applicable in Canada, based on the standards of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), established in 1998, are more protective than the European standards set by the recommendations of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The SAR « head » and « trunk » thresholds are 1.6 W/kg in the United States and 2 W/kg in Europe. Moreover, testing on 1 g of tissue instead of 10 g reduces the exposure level for the user by 2 to 3 times.

As Dr. Marc Arazi, President of PhoneGate Alert, announced in April 2018 to the journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin on BMFTV, hundreds of millions of mobile phones will have to be withdrawn from the global market.  Dr. Arazi added, on the occasion of this first withdrawal in Canada: « We are delighted to see that the action we are taking at the international level with our partners (Environmental Health Trust) is bearing fruit across the Atlantic and that the safety and health of users is gradually becoming a priority for government authorities.”

[Press release] ANFR endangers the health of millions of mobile phone users

In its press release published on Thursday 26 July 2018, the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) announced the obligation of manufacturers to update two new mobile phone models, the HISENSE F23 and the WIKO Tommy2 (marketed by Bouygues Telecom).  The control tests carried out showed that the regulatory limit for the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) “trunk” had been exceeded.

In addition, ANFR presented the results of its SAR campaign for 2017 in a detailed 13-page document.

Despite this new transparency, ANFR is under no illusion. Its communication strategy is simple. The millions of mobile phones placed on the market before the change in European regulations in June 2016 will be swept under the carpet.

This means practically all the mobile phones we and our children have used on a daily basis for many years to the present day. For these mobile phones, the levels of the SAR body tested by ANFR are far more alarming. The SAR thresholds have been exceeded by up to almost four times the regulatory value (2W/kg). For Dr. Arazi, who launched the alert in July 2016 and obtained the publication of all these data through legal proceedings: « The responsibility of ANFR, like that of other international monitoring bodies, is huge. This scandal recalls another one, the contaminated blood scandal. Some people knew but said nothing and the health of millions was endangered. Doesn’t the government ever learn anything from the serious mistakes of the past, like asbestos or tobacco? »

And a new study, this time from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel, shows that the figurative memory of students (700 young people aged 12 to 17) is affected by the radiation of their mobile phones. The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) also sounded the alarm in July 2016 in its report « Exposure to Radiofrequencies and Child Health” recommending, inter alia, to the public authorities to extend to “all mobile communication devices” the current ban on advertising that directly promotes the sale or use of a mobile phone by children under age 14.

Above all, Roger Genet, Director General of ANSES, called for « compliance with regulatory exposure limit values under all circumstances, regardless of the mobile emitting devices used and their conditions of use (positioning in contact with the body) ».

 It is in this context that at our press conference on 28 June 2018, we called for the withdrawal by free exchange or updating of more than 250 of the best-known mobile phone models whose thresholds exceeded the regulatory values on contact (0mm) and/or near-contact (5mm). For example, the manufacturer SAMSUNG represents nearly 15% of the phones concerned with 34 models.

SAMSUNG (34), LG (19), WIKO (14), NOKIA (12), HUAWEI (10), HTC (9), ALCATEL (7), APPLE (5), POLAROID (5), MICROSOFT (4)…

We will come back soon in more detail regarding the assessment of the tests carried out by ANFR during 2017. We draw your attention, however, to the falsely reassuring nature of the information transmitted in this document and particularly that concerning the SAR « head ».

The total lack of reaction from the political authorities, who continue to remotely steer this burning issue by sending senior officials and the administration to the front line, shows at the very least a complete lack of courage on the part of the Ministers, Nicolas Hulot, Agnès Buzyn and Bruno Le Maire, in the face of the lobby of this extremely powerful industry.

The French public authorities recognize the urgent need to better protect the health of mobile phone users

Two years, day for day, after the revelation of the scandal, Phonegate Alert has just, not without difficulty, obtained new incontestable proof confirming that the European and French regulations governing the placing on the market of mobile phones does not effectively protect the health of users.

On 27 June 2018, our association was able to obtain from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) the mission letter entrusted to it on 30 October 2017 by the Director General for Risk Prevention (DGPR) and the Director General for Health (DGS).  This letter was given to us by Mr. Olivier Merckel, Head of the Physical Agents, New Technologies and Major Developments Unit, whom we thank.  For six months, we had been asking Ministers Nicolas Hulot and Angès Buzyn, in vain, for a copy of this extremely important document.

When we read this mission letter, we can easily understand why these Ministers were in no hurry to make it public. Indeed, according to Dr. Arazi, President of  Phonegate Alert, « This is nothing more or less than the first official recognition of a serious failure of European and French regulations that has allowed manufacturers in the sector to put on sale hundreds of millions of mobile phones that present risks to our health, particularly that of our children.”

The DGPR and the DGS are asking ANSES, taking into account its July 2016 recommendation, to « …develop an indicator representative of the real exposure of mobile phone users… you will identify the work to be carried out in order to respond to this recommendation by specifying the method and timetable. These elements may, where appropriate, be taken to the European level… ». This work must be completed by the end of 2018.

 Furthermore, ANSES is asked « …to indicate whether these exceedances of SAR values (NDLR: specific absorption rate) as recorded by ANFR between 2012 and 2016 are likely to cause health effects… » and to study in particular the consequences for children: « … it appears that children may be more exposed than adults… ». This work was to be made available by 31 December 2017, that is, more than 6 months ago!

We are legitimately entitled to publicly ask Ministers Nicolas Hulot and Agnès Buzyn why these requests and the results of the work requested have not been the subject of any official communication and when these elements will finally be made public.

In this context, our request for the recall of more than 250 of the best-selling mobile phone models on the French market, which must either be withdrawn from service by a procedure to be defined, or be the subject of a free software or hardware update by the manufacturer, must be heeded by  the public authorities. We have therefore just launched a petition addressed to the Ministers which will be officially handed to them on 23 September 2018.

Support PhoneGate Alert by signing our petition and making a donation

The Phonegate Alert team has just written to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Mr. Nicholas Hulot, the Minister for Solidarity and Health, Mrs. Agnès Buzyn, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Bruno Le Maire, to give them formal notice to act urgently to protect the health and safety of millions of mobile phone users in France and to put an end to the law of silence that the lobbies of this very powerful industry want to impose on us with the complicity of the European authorities.

We are asking the Ministers to recall more than 250 of the best-selling mobile phone models on the French market, which must either be withdrawn from the sector through a free exchange procedure, or be the subject of a free software or hardware update by the manufacturer.

This is a new step in the fight we have been waging over the past few months with the public authorities, government agencies and mobile phone manufacturers.

Your mobilization and support for the association are essential so that we can put all our forces into this crucial battle to defend your right to information on the acute and chronic overexposure suffered from having been exposed to the radiation of our mobile phones for more than 20 years, the consequences to our health, in particular that of children, and our ability to continue our work of investigation and counter-information without risking lawsuits, and perhaps worse, huge fines.

After years of intensive lobbying in the European institutions, the biggest multinational mobile telecommunications companies have achieved their ultimate goal: to prevent NGOs like ours from investigating the toxicity of their products and revealing their disastrous effects on the human health of citizens who are the primary victims.

Since 12 June 2018, multinationals have the legal right to block access to data showing risks to our health of their products, and can sue anyone who would venture to disclose the true levels of exposure of these mobile phones, tablets or other connected objects.  Big multinationals would like to forever prevent the revelation of scandals such as Dieselgate which echoes in all particulars that of Phonegate. Read the article co-written with Master Karsenti and published in the Mediapart guest blog.

The aim of the telephony industry lobby is clear: to ensure by all means at their disposal that the Phonegate scandal will never be known to the general public. And for that, the industrialists have an unstoppable weapon:  the direct ownership or control of most of the major media.

But thanks to you, and the committed citizens of many countries who stand by our side, we will resist!

► After a fierce battle of nearly two years with the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR), which is in charge of controlling mobile phones on the French market, we had the Agency make public the results of very important tests indicating the brands and models exceeding the regulatory exposure thresholds that the Agency wanted to keep secret.  We obliged the Agency to be totally transparent by setting up a dedicated data site where any consumer can access the real level of his exposure.

►Just recently, following our action with the public authorities, we have taken an important step forward by having the first mobile phones removed from the French market, through free exchange for users, as well as updates for three other mobile phones. Watch Dr Arazi’s interview by journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin.

► We are directly involved in raising awareness of Phonegate’s public health issues among international scientific bodies, by testifying in the United States before the U.S federal health agency of the National Toxicology Program in March 2018, and by writing to the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to request an urgent change to the regulations governing the placing on the market of mobile devices in the United States.

► We are bringing together on an international level, an advisory committee of scientists on this subject and are approaching associations of independent scientists and civil society organizations.

► We are carrying out campaigns targeting journalists all over the world, which have made the Phonegate scandal known in more than 20 countries.

► We have launched a first wave of alert and mobilization on a national scale, to warn citizens of the dangers of keeping their mobile phone in contact with the body.

► We have participated with the #StopSecretdAffaires collective in a major media alert campaign on the risks to freedom of information.

► We are assembling a team of specialized lawyers and jurists to identify the judicial means to launch legal actions on a large scale in France, Europe and internationally, in order to force the public authorities to act.  We are also launching group actions to enable each affected consumer to be heard and have his or her damages remedied.

We are one of the rare associations to fight, in a free and independent way, with no financial or corporate interests, to ensure the defense of citizens and not to cede to the power of big multinationals which decide that they can make the rules and favor the dominance of their devices over our health and that of our children – and this without being accountable to anyone, protected by regulations made to measure.

Your support is essential to enable Phonegate Alerte to carry out its daily work of investigating industrial tactics, informing citizens on a large scale, counter-lobbying with the authorities and mobilizing the general public, withdrawing millions of mobile phones that present a high risk to health and supporting millions of sick victims of overexposure to the radiation of our smartphones, electrohypersensitive persons (more than 3 million in France, 300 million worldwide) and millions of people suffering from various pathologies, including the most serious ones, malignant brain tumors (glioblastoma).

I invite you, if you wish, to sign our petition, and to join the donor members of the association, by making a donation of 20 euros, 30 euros, 50 euros or more if you would like, to help Phonegate Alert intensify its actions in the months to come.

We need to assemble all our forces to fight against lobbies and the passivity of the public authorities, to prevent them from imposing the law of silence that would put an end to our work of counter-information on what looks like one of the biggest industrial and health scandals of the 21st century.

All help is welcome to assist us in standing up to lobbies, and guarantee our most basic rights in the future to be informed about the mobile phones, tablets, and other connected objects that we use daily and give to our children, and their impact on our health.

Thank you in advance for your commitment and support.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Marc Arazi

President

Check if your mobile phone presents a risk to your health

During our press conference on Thursday 28 June, Phonegate Alert launched an appeal for the withdrawal from the market and from service in France, Europe and internationally of hundreds of millions of mobile phones that we believe are potentially dangerous to the health of users, particularly that of children.  As a result of this appeal, many people have written us on our Facebook page and our Internet site. 

We are publishing the names of the brands and models concerned.  In order to facilitate reading, we have organized them into three lists, simpler to understand and immediately highlighting the essential elements, including above all, the real level of exposure measured during the tests carried out by the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR).  (The test date is specified.)

The first list of 18 mobile phone models corresponds to those whose radiation is absorbed by human tissue (Specific absorption rate (SAR)) at the level of the trunk, measured at 5 mm from the skin by ANFR:  the presence, for example, of the phone in a shirt pocket or in a bra) exceeds the regulatory threshold of 2 W/kg.

DAS sup à 2W à 5mm PDF

The second list includes 47 mobile phone models whose radiation absorbed by human tissue (SAR measured in contact with the skin) exceeds the regulatory value of 4 W/kg for extremities (when, for example, one uses the phone held in the hand or keeps it in a pants pocket).

DAS sup à 4W kg au contact

The third list includes 161 mobile phone models tested by ANFR in contact with the skin and whose radiation absorbed by human tissue exceeds the regulatory threshold of 2 W/kg for the SAR trunk.

In this regard, it has now been two years since the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) in its report published on 8 July 2016 entitled, “Exposure to Radiofrequencies and Child Health” recommended that the public authorities ensure under all circumstances that the regulatory exposure limit values are enforced, regardless of the mobile emitting devices used and their conditions of use (positioning in contact with the body).”

This list shows that this is not the case and that for the moment, despite the warnings issued by our association as well as those of ANSES, the public authorities have neither informed users of the potential risks to their health, nor taken measures to have these models withdrawn from the market and from service or obtain compliance of the models of these phones offered for sale or used by the public..

DAS TRONC au contact sup à 2 W kg

DAS sup à 2 W kg à 0 mm par marques

What must I do?

Whether your phone is on this list or not (only some mobile phones have been tested by ANFR), the solution to protect yourself and your children and/or your grandchildren, is simple and effective: keep your mobile phone away from your body!

  • Use the loudspeaker and no longer hold your phone against your ear
  • Put the phone in a sack and at the very least, away from your body (in particular, avoid pockets and the bra, a tempting places in the summer period)
  • Don’t sleep with the phone in your bed next to your pillow.
  • Use the hands-free kit (also called pedestrian kit) only for short conversations.

Moreover, given the public health issues linked to this new international health and industrial scandal, we advise you to:

  • Keep all your old mobile phone purchase bills as well those of your mobile phone operators relating to your phone communications
  • Do not put your old mobile phones in the recycling bin as many campaigns encourage you to do. Save them: these will be elements of proof that will be indispensable in case of amicable or contentious proceedings.
  • In case of exchange proposals made by a manufacturer, do not sign any document without having carefully read its contents and especially, the texts written in small print.

Finally, if you are ill and think you are a victim of exposure to the radiation from your mobile phone, do not hesitate to contact us in complete confidentiality.

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.”

 

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

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/

« Le Monde » caught red-handed for misinformation on Phonegate

Yesterday, 31 May 2018, the internet site of the newspaper Le Monde published an article entitled « Ondes magnétiques : quatre smartphones épinglés ».  This article written by the journalist Nicolas Six raises the issue of editorial independence when it comes to subjects relating to the mobile telephony industry.

For the record, the title had been purchased in 2010 by businessmen Xavier Niel (Iliad/Free Telecommunications Group), Matthieu Pigasse (CEO of Lazard Bank France) and Pierre Bergé. Since Pierre Bergé’s death in 2017, Mr. Niel and Mr. Pigasse have held 72.5% of the capital of the Le Monde group.

In the first version of the article published at 3.45 p.m., Le Monde writes: « These exceedances do not signal a divergence on the part of manufacturers, but rather the tightening of SAR[1] (specific absorption rate) measurements » under the explicit heading « No worsening of the problem.”

This has the merit of clarity and, to support this implacable assertion, Le Monde is embarking on an attempt to adopt all the wording of the manufacturers in the sector, assisted with complacency by Mr Gilles Brégant, Director General of the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR).

In fourteen lines, Le Monde manages to make one factual error per line. We wonder who took the care to verify the elements from its sources… Indeed :

1. Le Monde indicates a measuring distance of the manufacturers “at a range between 0 and 25 mm”. In fact, this distance was from 15 to 25 mm up until June 2016.  It is precisely this distance which has allowed the manufacturers to overexpose hundreds of millions of users for over 20 years, endangering their health and safety.

2. The European Commission effectively launched a warning in April 2016 and not in “2017”.  Above all, it never “set a distance of 5 mm”.  For the SAR “limbs” it imposes a measurement at 0 mm from the skin and for the SAR “trunk” a measurement at a few millimeters from the skin.  This is one of the points we have been fighting since its entry into force.

3. The article climaxes with, « the threshold of 2W/kg was set taking into account a large safety margin »… « this figure being fifty times lower than the threshold observed by the researchers.” Yes, but that is totally false, the journalist having confused two SARs which have nothing to do with one another, the whole body SAR, and the SAR at contact.  To support this affirmation, it cites a report from the Consumer Safety Commission, published in 2008 and not, as written, in « 2017 », and which the journalist has simply misinterpreted.

Reading this article, Dr. Marc Arazi, President of Phonegate Alert, reached the journalist by phone to share with him all of his remarks.  After various exchanges by phone and SMS, the journalist, not convinced by these arguments, told Dr. Arazi without batting an eyelid: « the article was read again by Gilles Brégant ».  Astonished, to say the least, Dr. Arazi made him repeat the words. Confirmation of the interested party, sure of his facts.

There followed new SMS exchanges.  Faced with the evidence, the journalist of Le Monde wrote an SMS to Dr Arazi at 7.06 p.m.:  « I have cut out the problematic passage.  It will be updated by the correctors within the hour. And I contacted Pierre Le Hir. »

At 8.11 p.m., a new version was on line on the site of Le Monde.  The passage had indeed been removed but the general sense of the article remains the same, and does not make any mention of the exchanges with our president which prompted the update of the article.

But are we satisfied? Absolutely not when we discover that a leading newspaper like Le Monde can in this way destroy the international work of alerting and protecting public health carried out over the past two years against one of the most powerful lobbies on the planet.

On 23 December 2016, Pierre Le Hir, scientific journalist of Le Monde, had published a reference article on the subject entitled: « Soupçons sur les ondes des téléphones portables ». He was the first to use the term « Phonegate », which has since become the reference for this new industrial and health scandal. Yes, but Pierre Le Hir, with whom we have been in regular contact since then, has not written a line in seventeen months.

As you can see from these facts, the readers of Le Monde seem to be reduced to the choice today, of no longer being informed or to be misinformed.  It is a sad reality that we all suffer the consequences which are potentially dramatic when they also directly affect the health of millions of mobile phone users.

We see in what is happening a big blow cutting deep into the confidence of its readers. Attention, we know that there are many great journalists in the world who do quality work to inform and enlighten us on the state of society. But the question we ask publicly:  Is Le Monde still independent enough to speak about the public health issues related to Phonegate?

[1] SAR : specific absorption rate (NDLR).

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