French Health Agency Issues Recommendations to Limit RF Exposure

French Agency Cover PageOn October 15, 2013, in a significant announcement, the French health agency, ANSES, published results of its assessment of risks related to exposure to radiofrequencies based upon a review of the international scientific literature.

An ANSES press release begins with the statement:

Faced with the rapid development of wireless technologies, ANSES issues recommendations for limiting exposure to radiofrequencies, especially for the most vulnerable populations.”


“Limited levels of evidence do point to different biological effects in humans or animals.  In addition, some publications suggest a possible increased risk of brain tumour, over the long term, for heavy users of mobile phones.  Given this information, and against a background of rapid development of technologies and practices, ANSES recommends limiting the population’s exposure to radiofrequencies – in particular from mobile phones – especially for children and intensive users, and controlling the overall exposure that results from relay antennas.  It will also be further developing its work on electro-sensitive individuals, specifically by examining all the available French and international data on this topic that merits closer attention.”

The telecommunications industry will undoubtedly focus on one statement in the French agency announcement:

“The findings of the risk assessment have not brought to light any proven health effects.”  [emphasis added]

The word proven is generally interpreted to mean:  “Having been demonstrated or verified without doubt.”  Well, almost nothing can be “verified without doubt” in science or medicine.  So although the French announcement includes the statement that health effects have not been “proven,” the tide appears to be turning in favor of prudence, collective evidence, and an interest in protecting public health and safety.

The French health agency announcement continues:

“The findings of this expert appraisal are therefore consistent with the classification of radiofrequencies proposed by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as ‘possibly carcinogenic’ for heavy users of mobile phones. In addition, the expert appraisal nevertheless shows, with limited levels of evidence, different biological effects in humans or animals, … these can affect sleep, male fertility or cognitive performance.”

To limit exposure to radiofrequencies, especially in the most vulnerable population groups, the ANSES recommends:

  • “For intensive adult mobile phone users (in talk mode):  use of hands-free kits and more generally, for all users, favouring the purchase of phones with the lowest SAR values;
  • Reducing the exposure of children by encouraging only moderate use of mobile phones;
  • Continuing to improve characterisation of population exposure in outdoor and indoor environments through the use of measurement campaigns;
  • That the development of new mobile phone network infrastructures be subject to prior studies concerning the characterisation of exposures, and an in-depth study be conducted of the consequences of possibly multiplying the number of relay antennas in order to reduce levels of environmental exposure;
  • Documenting the conditions pertaining at those existing installations causing the highest exposure of the public and investigating in what measure these exposures can be reduced by technical means;
  • That all common devices emitting electromagnetic fields intended for use near the body (DECT telephones, tablet computers, baby monitors, etc.) display the maximum level of exposure generated (SAR, for example), as is already the case for mobile phones.”

To review the entire English version the ANSES press release, refer to the following link:

Updated Entry 10/17/13:

Somewhat predictably, headlines differ on the reaction to the above ANSES report.

The British The Telegraph headline was “Children’s exposure to mobile phones should be limited,” and “French safety watchdog recommends limiting exposure to radiofrequencies for children and intensive users.”

However, according to a telecommunications industry group, GSMA, the appropriate headline was that “French government finds mobile phones have no proven health effect and keeps existing safety standards.”

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2 Responses to French Health Agency Issues Recommendations to Limit RF Exposure

  1. Stop Smart Meters Wisconsin says:

    Thanks for this notice out of France.
    A problem with this and most other governmental or telecom organization big announcements is the ONLY effect they even slightly recognize is potential brain cancer from using a mobile phone. They IGNORE the many other biological effects and damage at the cellular level shown in thousands of studies from earlier decades and current.

    One also should not trust their EHS investigation to be unbiased because they will “decide” which data “merits” closer attention. Meanwhile, individuals are being functionally impaired. Put into perspective, imagine this authority stating during the proliferation of tobacco products or lead paint they would “investigate” reports of biological harm by reading the literature THEY FEEL merits closer attention. In the meantime, the reality on the ground was that people were being harmed. (And as you well know, everyone is being impacted at the cellular, electrical and body system level even without any symptoms!)

    The truth is science falls behind the reality. EHS is really very simple, it simply means that individuals feel the results of RF/MW exposures on their body. Everyone is affected, but not everyone has the same bio-chemistry or other factors that cause symptoms.

    Therefore, anecdotal evidence (reports by people with this sensitivity) should not be discounted. In fact, doctors routinely use symptoms in determining what is wrong with patients. They do not discount symptoms. For the record, diabetes was thought to be “in a person’s head” for years before being understood and recognized. Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity are now accepted as chronic conditions with possible environmental causes. You can bet that the powers-that-be that have much invested in wireless infrastructure and profits will drag out the “investigation” of EHS as long as they are able. They will look for “mechanism” that is consistent in most or all cases. But they will not find this because each person with EHS has individual biology and impact from the general pollutant of RF/MW. Plus, it has been shown in some studies the effects on people’s bodies, which they can feel, sometimes do not show up until later. The body tries to compensate. The body tries to heal. Continued assaults by EMR do not allow healing or balance. But this is actually NOT a science in that results will vary. Does this mean it is not happening? No. But this difficulty of doing studies on people will be used to prolong the wireless free-for-all proliferation.

    A more compassionate and wise move would be to immediately create safe areas so people with EHS have a place to live. Wired-only areas with no smart meters or cellular service/towers or wireless broadband, perhaps in remote areas, would allow anyone concerned or affected to still live a normal life. (Fiber Optic would create wonderful access with NO harm.) Wired-only buildings for public places would also help, as well as limits on cell phone use therein.

    If the “powers-that-be” are wrong in their opinion that EHS is NOT caused by exposure to wireless radiation, then many will have suffered for months, years or decades from their bull-headed opinion.

    • Well said. I put a somewhat optimistic tone into this article because I believe it provides at least a modest admission by an agency of a so-called major Western country that “expert appraisal nevertheless shows, … different biological effects in humans or animals, … these can affect sleep, male fertility or cognitive performance.” This goes beyond the brain cancer effect and the IARC declaration. Also, it is my understanding that the French agency of ANSES is one of the few governmental agencies in the world with funding to at least review the EHS issue. Let’s hope that something productive comes of it.

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