News for Spain
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|Mayor meets with Swedish expert on health effects of electromagnetic pollution, Olle Johansson|
|Spain||Created: 27 Nov 2013|
Translation from Catalan: The mayor, Juan Mora, received this morning at City Hall Dr Olle Johansson, associate professor and director of the Experimental Dermatology Unit at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) and an expert on effects of electromagnetic fields on health of people.
Olle Johansson participated last weekend in a Technical Conference on Environment and Health held in Barcelona. The session was organized by APQUIRA (Association of People Affected by Chemical and Radiation Environmental), with the collaboration of Environmental Oikos. Responsible for these two organizations also attended this morning's meeting with the mayor.
The current increase of electromagnetic radiation in the cities, triggered by wireless communications, mobile and wireless, have led to studies on the possible effects on human health. According to the Swedish expert, studies show that electromagnetic waves have effects on the cells that make up living things, beyond the thermal effects foreseen by current regulations. For this reason, he believes that the levels permitted by current regulations should be reduced.
Mataró City Council has undertaken several initiatives in recent years to increase control over the sources of generation of electromagnetic fields. Launched a pioneering ordinance to regulate the installation and operation of facilities and radio in January, with the transfer of new equipment by the Government, extended network control radiation antennas Mobile and other electromagnetic fields.
Within this network, the City has two laptops with which measurements can be classified as sensitive sites (centers for the elderly, primary care centers, schools, public places, etc..) And demand for private homes to neighbors.
Original text in Catalan:
L’alcalde, Joan Mora, ha rebut aquest matí a l’Ajuntament el doctor Olle Johansson, professor associat i director de la Unitat de Dermatologia Experimental a l’Institut Karolinska (Estocolm, Suècia) i expert en afectacions dels camps electromagnètics a la salut de les persones.
Olle Johansson va participar el passat cap de setmana en una Jornada Tècnica sobre Medi Ambient i Salut celebrada a Barcelona. La sessió estava organitzada per APQUIRA (Associació d’Afectats per Productes Químics i Radiacions Ambientals), amb la col·laboració d’Oikos Ambiental. Responsables d’aquestes dues entitats també han assistit aquest matí a la trobada amb l’alcalde.
L’increment actual de la radiació electromagnètica en les ciutats, provocat per les comunicacions sense cables, telefonia mòbil i wifi, han portat a la realització d’estudis sobre les possibles afectacions a la salut de les persones. Segons l’expert suec, els estudis demostren que les ones electromagnètiques tenen efectes sobre les cèl·lules que formen els esser vius, més enllà dels efectes tèrmics previstos per la normativa actual. Per aquest motiu, considera que els nivells permesos per la normativa vigent s’haurien de reduir.
L’Ajuntament de Mataró ha dut a terme en els darrers anys diferents iniciatives per augmentar el control sobre les fonts de generació de camps electromagnètics. Va posar en marxa una ordenança pionera per regular la instal·lació i funcionament d’instal·lacions de radiocomunicació i el passat gener, amb la cessió de nous aparells per part de la Generalitat, va ampliar la xarxa de control de radiacions de les antenes de telefonia i altres camps electromagnètics.
Dins d’aquesta xarxa, l’Ajuntament disposa de dos equips portàtils amb els quals es poden fer mesures a llocs catalogats com a sensibles (casals d’avis, centres d’atenció primària, centres educatius, places públiques, etc.) i també a domicilis particulars a demanda dels veïns.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Ajuntament de Mataró, 25 Nov 2013|
|Spain||Created: 17 Nov 2013|
As advances in technology races ahead of us, little consideration may be given to potential hidden dangers, but this week, the councillor for the environment for the municipality of Orihuela, Manuel Gallud, revealed some startling statistics of one such danger, as well as detailing the intentions of his government team to deal with the shocking state of mobile phone mast generated radiation present in the municipality.
The councillor has announced that the government intend to develop an ordinance to regulate the installation of mobile phone masts, which will have three clear objectives. Firstly, the intention will be to remove all unlicensed antennas and transmitter sites. Secondly to curb the installation of new masts and thirdly to advice community owners who have such installations on buildings not to renew the rental of rooftops and similar building structures.
The notion came about when a group of residents, the Plataforma Vecinal contra las Antenas de Telefonía Móvil de Orihuela, raised the issue with the environment department, because of their concerns over the number of cases of cancers, Alzheimer's and autism in the area of calle Reyes Católicos .
“We are frying in radiation”, Gallud said whilst presenting the data, stating that the maximum recommended levels of radiation listed by the international health association is 30 microwatts per square meter, whereas in Orihuela 2,000 microwatts were recorded, as an example of the seriousness of the situation.
Despite the platform providing their own data to the council, in order to ensure the accurate and unbiased data, the town hall enlisted an approved private company to carry out measurements across the area, which has itself resulted in the conclusion that “the influence of radiation on health is high, and can cause stress and insomnia”, continued Gallud, whereas José Caselles, spokesperson for the platform , said that “there are terrible and disturbing levels of radiation that affect people , especially children , the elderly and sick”, which he considers “violates the fundamental rights such as health, the environment or decent housing”, which must take preference over any economic criteria.
Caselles still believes their data to be “concrete”, with records from across the municipality revealing 1,300 microwatts of radiation in the vicinity of the centro salud de La Regia, 1,800 microwatts on calle del Río, 1,400 in the plaza de Capuchinos, 1,600 at the IES Gabriel Miró, over 5,000 in the Palacio del Agua, and a staggering 6,600 in the pedanía de Desamparados, bearing in mind that Gallud had already said that 30 microwatts per square meter is the maximum permitted.
Whereas our commitment to mobile phones may leave us reluctant to suffer the consequences of the loss of use, the group believes that it is possible to combine technology with reduced health risk, “since installing the antennas away from the population centres can have good coverage without subjecting the population to these levels of radiation”.
A recent health report stated that “The human body itself is electromagnetic (at a very low level—around 10 hertz). It’s been shown that each one of our cells has its own electromagnetic field (EMF). Maintaining balance in those cellular EMFs is critical to staying healthy.”
Although there has been a lot of speculation from both sides of the argument both supporting and denouncing mobile phone masts, decades of studies have demonstrated that artificial frequencies higher than 10 hertz can create stress and serious health problems.
Mobile phone masts emit at significantly higher frequency than even radio waves. These higher energy waves can actually destroy chemical and molecular bonds, creating chaos in our basic biochemical structures. The negative health effects of EMFs and microwave radiation are well documented with studies revealing how EMFs can affect metabolism, genes, hormones and more, with mobile phone radiation being linked to headaches, memory loss, low sperm count, birth defects and even cancer, heart conditions and Alzheimer’s, but the damage is cumulative in the tissues, and can take years, even decades to show up.
In the UK, the Health Protection Agency also believe there to be little risk from mobile phone masts, but, more importantly, admit that more information and tests are needed “There are thousands of published scientific papers covering research about the effects of various types of radio waves on cells, tissues, animals and people. The scientific consensus is that, apart from the increased risk of a road accident due to mobile phone use when driving, there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts. However there is now widespread use of this relatively new technology and more research is needed in case there are long term effects.”
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: The Leader, Mark Nolan, 17 Nov 2013|
|Dedicated to all Canaries in the Coalmine|
|Spain||Created: 3 Oct 2013|
FLYING FREE - THE CANARY IN THE MINE - This song I composed trying to capture the feelings and pain of many sick persons, but also as a Hymn of hope. in a land where all people should be able to breathe.
Dedicated especially to all the "canaries in the mine" or "Sentinels of life"
Sufferers of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and electrosensitivity
Although my voice no longer has the strength that It had and for technical reasons, I hope you all like it
abandoned by institutions, spouses, family and friends...
facebook consuelocanada el canario de la mina
VOLANDO EN LIBERTAD - EL CANARIO DE LA MINA
Esta canción la he compuesto a raíz de mis sentimientos, intentando de plasmar el sentir y el dolor de muchos enfermos, pero a la vez como un HIMNO de esperanza. en una tierra donde todos podamos respirar.
Dedicada en especial a todos los "Canarios de la Mina" o "Centinelas de la vida"
Enfermos de Sensibilidad Química Múltiple, Síndrome de Fatiga Crónica, Fibromialgia y Electrosensibilidad
Aunque mi voz por la enfermedad ya no tiene la fuerza que tenía ni tengo los medios apropiados, espero os guste a todos
abandono de parte de instituciones
conyuges, familia y amigos
PARA SUSCRIBIRTE HAZ CLICK AQUÍ :
YOUTUBE : http://www.youtube.com/user/CONSUELOOMAR
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Consue...
TWITTER : https://twitter.com/consueloomar
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Consuelo Cañada (via Olle Johansson), 03 Oct 2013|
|Letter to the President of the European Union from the people of their Member States!|
|Spain||Created: 27 Sep 2013|
President José Manuel Barroso
Cc: Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
Cc: Vice-President Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner forIndustry and Entrepreneurship
Cc: Commissioner Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for Environment
Cc: Commissioner Tonio Borg, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy
Madrid, 23rd September 2013...
Dear President Barroso, Dear Commissioners Reding, Tajani, Potočnik, and Borg,
We, the undersigned health, environmental, citizens and occupation/workers organisations are writing
to express our concerns about a matter of urgency for the health of EU citizens, wildlife and the environment of the unprecedented global exposures to artificial electromagnetic fields (EMF) (both
RF: Radiofrequency and MF-ELF: Magnetic fields, Extremely Low Frequency), which the World Health
Organisation (WHO) have classified as possible carcinogenics type 2B.
You will soon be taking key decisions on the publichealth implications of significantly reducing expo
sure to these toxicants for which low-intensity (non-the rmal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are
demonstrated at levels significantly below existing EU exposure recommendations and guidelines
(1), that will improve EU citizens health and the protection of EU wildlife and environment, increase health
and consumer information aspects, promote innovative bio-friendly technologies, reduce European
health costs and ultimately ensure EU leadership in strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s
With the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU has set itself the goal of becoming a smart, sustainable and
inclusive economy. We believe that precautionary actions
(2), given the existing evidence for potential global risks of EMF, will make a significant contribution to greater sustainability, lead to a more efficient use of resources through the development of safer a nd greener technologies and will bring significant health benefits that will contribute to a healthy population and economy.
The weight of scientific evidence, as outlined in t he recent review by the WHO and the IARC
(3) , tells us that the European population are not sufficiently protected from EMF as they are possibly linked to
serious irreversible impacts on human health. Recent EU co-funded research programmes show that EMF have a stronger impact on sensitive populations (such as fetuses, children, pregnant women, the elderly and the ill). It is therefore important that the EU ensures that European health and environmental protection is not undermined by policies which disproportionately address the short term interests of telecommunication industries.
Exposure minimization should become the key goal of the new EU EMF policy.
In particular we call on the EU Commission to work in the coming weeks:
1) To limit the maximum exposure of RF- EMF to 0.6 V/m ensuring continual monitoring of this limit,
providing continual public information on current exposure levels and doing progressive review of this
limit on the basis of the latest scientific publications. And to limit the maximum exposure of Magnetic
fields (ELF) to 0.1 μT, doing also progressive review of this limit on the basis of the latest scientific
publications as the first two crucial steps in achieving adequate regulation of EMF with possible carcinogenic properties in order to position the EU at the head in the protection of people and the environment
2) To create European Information Campaigns (5) and Education Programmes for professionals to raise
public awareness on minimizing exposure to EMF and potential associated risks promoting wired (instead of wireless) connections, minimizing the risks involved in the use of cell phones and other wireless devices (reduce time of exposure, increase distance between wireless devices and the head and the body, have them switched-off when close to the body, choose mobile phones with lowest SAR shown on the package and at the point of sale, avoid its use by children or pregnant women, use of cable phones for long calls, etc.)
(6) targeting protection of especially vulnerable populations as the second crucial step in achieving adequate regulation of EMF with possible carcinogenic properties.
3) To develop a strategy to establish public places free from EMF : such as living quarters, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and health care facilities , governmental buildings and others (such as postoffices, libraries, etc.), public transport (trains, airplanes, buses, taxis etc.), community centers and residences for the elderly, shopping centers, etc.,withdrawing from the market all cell phones and wireless devices specifically intended for children including the so called Mosquito alarm, ordinary DECT cordless phones, technologies that expose infants to the RF-EMF and ELF-MF (such as some incubators, baby monitors, toys etc.) and ensuring adequate protections for vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, children, the eldery and hot spot communities as the third crucial step in achieving adequate regulation of EMF with possible carcinogenic properties. (7)
As the existing legislation is not able to do this currently, we call on you to recognise the overwhelming
evidence of the potential dangers of EMF and acknowledge the conclusions from the WHO/IARC
reports and the Council of Europe's (PACE) Committee Resolution 1815 (8) and to take the necessary
steps to reflect this knowledge in EU EMF Policy. We also call on you to ensure European leadership i
n the global context as EMFs have become a priority health issue in international discussions on the safe use and development of technology. Recent reports from the European Environment Agency (EEA) and UNEP have demonstrated the costs of inaction associated with health and environmental effects of EMF exposure and how much more expensive it is to take action later after there have been early warnings In view of the public interest in this matter, we a im to make the matters of this letter widely available.
Irina de la Flor
Director Health Defense Organisation
HEAL Executive Committee member
Supported by the following organisations:
Associazione per le Malattie da Intossicazione Cronica e/o Ambientale (AMICA)
Associazione Per la Prevenzione e Lotta all'Elettrosmog (APPLE)
AerztInnen fuer eine gesunde Umwelt AeGU (ISDE Austria)
Ärztekammer für Wien (MEDICAL ASSOCIATION of VIENNA)
Association of Doctors for the Environment MADE
Asociación nacional Española de Juristas contra el Ruido
Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollutionatmosphérique (AQLPA)
Associazione Elettrosmog Volturino
Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE)
Beperk de Straling
Bio Electromagnetic Research Initiative (BEMRI)
Citizens for Safe Technology Society
Comisión para la Cooperación Ambiental
Danish Association of Electrosensitives
Doctors for the Environment MADE
EMF Safety Network
European Academy of Environmental Medicine EUROPAEM
Fondo para la Defensa de la Salud ambiental (FODESAM)
Foundation for Gaia
Fundación para la Salud Geoambiental
Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
Health Care Without Harm Europe
Instituto Español de Baubiologie (IEB)
International Campaign for Responsible Technology
International Coalition for an Electromagnetic Safe Planet (IC-ESP)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Irish Doctor’s Environmental Association (IDEA)
Planetary Association for Clean Energy
Quercus – National Association for Nature Conservation
Radiation Research Trust
Robin des Toits
Safe Schools Information Technology Alliance (SSITA)
The CAVI Society
1) Council Recommendation of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz) (Official Journal L 199 of 30.7.1999). Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-Varying Electric, Magnetic and Electromagnetic Filed – up to 300 GHz 1998.
2) Communication from the Commission on the precautionary principle COM (2000) 1 final 02.02.2000 COM (2000).
3) WHO-fact-sheet 193 revised 2000.
4) EMF proposed limits for controlling EMF with possible carcinogenic properties are justified based on a prudent public
health planning principles (sufficiency of evidence ) rather than conclusive scientific evidence (causation or scientific
certainty) founded on five facts:
a) The consequences of doing nothing in the short term may cause irreparable public health harm as the populations potentially at risk are very large.
b) The proposed limits have been already established in so me areas of the EU (as in parts of the city of Salzburg and in the city of Feldkirch/Austria and Varades/France) and are compatible with technology (following the ALATA principle: As Low As Technically Achievable).
c) )n the case of mobile-phone-antennas, most population across Europe are exposed 24/7 involuntarily for many years and vulnerable population are mostly unprotect ted including people who are electrosensitive.
d) The conclusions of various international scientific resolutions and expressions of concern including the Vienna, Salzburg, Catania, Freiburger Appeal, Helsinki, Irish Doctors (IDEA), Benevento, Venice, London, Porto Alegre and Seletum Resolutions and Bionitiative Report (1998-2011) and as well as “Late lessons from early warnings vol. 2”.,
e) The existing body of evidence:
e1) EMF policies and recommendations outside the EU:
From the total of 383 Chinese papers investigating EMF biological effects in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databank, it is stated that there were 109 epidemiological studies. 108 of these noted biological effects as a result of exposure. In the epidemiological studies reviewed, 32 we re for exposure levels higher than EMF exposure limits for
members of the general public in China.
The other 77 papers were for exposure levels lower than public exposure limits in China. Details of these exposure limits
provided by Chiang (2009) are given below (Table 1)
Table 1: General Public Exposure Limits to RF/microwave radiation in China
Frequency 1st class exposure limits 2nd class exposure limits 0.1-30 MHz 10 V/m 25 V/m >30-300 MHz 5 V/m 12 V/m
>300-300.000 MHz 10 μW/cm2 40 μW/cm2 Source: Chiang (2009).
Cell phone technology has grown rapidly in India, and currently there are more than 90 crores cell phone subscribers and nearly 5.0 lakhs cell phone towers.Cell operators are allowed to transmit 20W of power per carrier from individual cell tower antenna. One operator may have 4 to 6 carrier frequencies and there may be 2 to 4 operators on the same roof top or tower. Thus, total transmitted power may be 100 to 400W. From Sep. 1, 2012, India has adopted 1/10 of ICNIRP Guideline s, which implies safe power density of 470 milliWat t/m2 for GSM900 and 920 milliWatt/m2 for GSM1800 after Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) report came out in Jan. 2011, which mentioned several health hazards due to radiation.
Source: Kumar (2013)
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is preparing a standard for low frequency fields up to 3 kilohertz. The draft document includes an increase in the public reference level for magnetic flux density to three times the reference
level in the European Recommendation. On the other hand, more attention is paid to precautionary measures such as an obligation to investigate the possibility and cost effectiveness of minimising exposure. The draft standard is still under review. RIVM 118/2011 LSO Sta
Page 4 of 13.
Source: “Comparison of international policies – National Institute for Public Health, The Netherlands” – RTVM 118/2011
The SanPiN 2.1.8/220.127.116.110-03 safety standard on mobile communications states that in the Russian Federation the maximum permissible exposure for the general public in the 300 MHz to 300 GHz range is 10 μW/cm2. It also recommends: “Use of mobile telecommunication devices should be restricted for those under 18 years of age and pregnant women” (SanPiN 2003).
The motivation for this is to prevent biological effects that are not seen as health risks in Western countries.
Source: Jamieson (2013)
an Ordinance on Non-ionising Radiation has been inforce since 1999. Exposure limits identical to the reference levels in the European Recommendation apply to all areas accessible to the public. A stricter, precautionary limit on magnetic flux density of 1% of the reference level applies to new installations , unless the owner can prove that the phase order has been optimised and all technically possible and economically viable measures to reduce exposure have been taken.
For existing installations, the phase order has to be optimised when the precautionary limit on magnetic flux density is xceeded. Source: “Comparison of international policies – National Institute for Public Health, The Netherlands” – RTVM 118/2011
US FCC Guidelines for 60 GHz Radiation. The FCC Co de of Federal Regulations guidelines stipulate that in the 57-64 GHz frequency range emissions “shall not exceed 9 μW/cm2, as measured 3 meters from the radiating structure, and the peak power density of any emission shall not exceed 18 μW/cm2, as measured 3 meters from the radiating structure” (FCC 2007).* That value is far more onerous than that presently stipulated by ICNIRP for this frequency range.
Source: Jamieson (2013)
e2) Insurance and Re-insurances companies consider EMFs as emerging risks and exclude, especially due to their asbestos-experience in the past, since years and on-going, coverage of EMF-damages in their business liability insurance-contracts.
“The need for insurance protection against EMF has be en recognized. Under present conditions, insurers are bound by narrow under-writing limits because the legal systems are still caught up in a gradual process of change with an uncertain outcome, and while the insurance industry has a responsibility in helping shaping this change, it must not allow itself to be misused as a financer for funding this societal process”.
Source: Swiss Re- insurance- Electrosmog a phantom risk 1996
e3) Mobile phone companies are patenting systems to reduce electrosmog in wireless networks based on the negative demonstrated effects of EMF in human health.
Source: Swisscom patent, World Intellectual propert y Organisation WO 2004/075583A1
5) EU Transparency & Communication: The Communication Campaigns should ensure transparency of existing data and
provide incentives for more data generation. It is vital to provide transparency on what findings already exist, and to encourage manufacturers to provide further data. Outstanding scientific questions should not lead to inaction. The criteria must be applied in individual pieces of EU legislation (e.g. workers, vulnerable population groups, general population) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information,
Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters adopted on 25 June 1998 must
be respected. Examples of public information system s on RF-EMF-exposure can be similar to the one developed by
Comune di Venezia and ARPAV – Rapporto annuale CEM http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLO
6) See recommendations from
Ärztekammer für Wien
7) According to the UN's Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework sets out standards for businesses to avoid infringing
human rights, inclusive of the right to health, and to address and remedy negative impacts.
Irina de la Flor Vivo Santo
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir.|
|“Two Children May Have Died for You to Have Your Mobile Phone”|
|Spain||Created: 28 Mar 2013|
MALAGA, Spain, Sep 12 2012 (IPS) - “It’s possible that two children died so that you could have that mobile phone,” says Jean-Bertin, a 34-year-old Congolese activist who wants to end the “absolute silence” around the crimes committed in his country to exploit strategic raw materials like coltan.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has at least 64 percent of worldwide reserves of coltan, the colloquial African name for a dull black ore composed of two minerals, columbite and tantalite.
Tantalum, the metal extracted from this ore, is a rare, hard, blue-gray, lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion resistant. It is used in the production of capacitors for electronic equipment such as mobile phones, computers and tablets, as well as in earphones, prosthetics, implants and turbine blades, among many other products.
“The DRC’s greatest curse is its wealth. The West and all the others who manufacture weapons have their noses stuck in there,” laments Jean-Bertin, who arrived eight years ago to the southern Spanish city of Málaga from Kinshasa, where his parents and two brothers still live.
The extraction of coltan contributes to maintaining one of the bloodiest armed conflicts in Africa, which has led to more than five million deaths, massive displacements of the population, and the rape of 300,000 women in the last 15 years, according to human rights organisations.
This fact was acknowledged by the United Nations Security Council in 2001, which confirmed the “links between the exploitation of natural resources and the continuation of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
As of 2003, a Panel of Experts convened by the Security Council had identified 157 companies and individuals from around the world involved in some way with the illegal extraction of valuable raw materials in the DRC.
The exploitation of coltan in dozens of informal mines, scattered throughout the jungle in the eastern DRC, is used for financing armed groups and the personal enrichment of military and government officials.
Artisanal mining, with no controls, is carried out in semi-slave labor conditions and causes significant damage to the environment and the health of workers, including children, according to the 2010 documentary film “Blood in the Mobile” by Danish director Frank Piasecki.
But industry sources, such as the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Centre (TIC), take pains to stress that the coltan reserves in the DRC and elsewhere in central Africa are far from being the world’s main source of tantalum.
Australia was the leading producer of tantalum for several years and production has recently grown in South America and Asia, in addition to production from other sources, such as recycling.
According to the TIC, the largest known reserves of tantalum are in Brazil and Australia, and discoveries have recently been reported in Venezuela and Colombia.
The DRC possesses other forms of natural wealth that are also widely smuggled, such as gold, cassiterite (a tin oxide mineral), cobalt, copper, precious woods and diamonds. Nevertheless, the country ranks in last place on the 2011 Human Development Index.
Faced with this situation, civil society organisations are placing ever more emphasis on raising awareness among consumers of products containing these materials.
In Spain, a network of non-governmental groups and research centres that focus on the DRC launched a campaign in February to demand a commitment from manufacturers that they will not use illegally sourced coltan.
The discovery of new sources of tantalum and recycling should contribute to reducing the demand for Congolese coltan.
The NGO Entreculturas and the Spanish branch of the Red Cross have joined forces since 2004 in a campaign called “Dona tu móvil” (Donate Your Mobile), encouraging the public to drop off their old electronic devices for reuse or recycling of their components. The money raised is invested in educational, environmental and development projects for poor sectors of the population.
As of this July they had collected 732,025 devices and earned more than a million euro, Ester Sanguino, the coordinator of the campaign for Entreculturas, told Tierramérica.
But the organisations and companies involved in recycling consulted by Tierramérica concurred that it would be impossible for this source of tantalum to contribute to meeting the growing worldwide demand for the metal to any significant extent.
Market pressures encourage people to replace their mobile telephones after only a short time, which means that even if recycling took place on a large scale, the tantalum obtained would not meet demand, said a source at BCD Electro, a company that specialises in the reuse and recycling of electronic and computer equipment.
And mobile phones represent just one market segment in which tantalum is currently used.
Apple and Intel announced in 2011 that they would no longer buy tantalum from the former Belgian colony. Nokia and Samsung have made similar pledges.
Samsung states on its website that it has taken steps “to endeavour that our mobile phones do not contain materials derived from illegally mined Congolese coltan.”
Such corporate codes of conduct essentially fill the void left by the lack of prescriptive rules.
The most far-reaching effort in this regard is that of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, since it extends to all of the industrialised nations that are members of this group.
But the long and shadowy paths travelled by Congolese coltan make it difficult to prove whether these codes are upheld.
Illegally mined minerals are smuggled through neighbouring countries like Rwanda and Uganda to Europe, China and other markets.
“Rebel groups proliferate because of the land’s wealth of coltan, diamonds and gold,” said the coordinator of the humanitarian organisation Farmamundi in the DRC, Raimundo Rivas.
Neighboring governments are “complicit” and “up until now this has all been supported and covered up by the companies that benefit from these riches at their final destination,” he told Tierramérica.
“There are many economic interests around the coltan business,” stressed Jean-Bertin, who describes himself as one of the “combattant congolais”, Congolese living abroad who protest and denounce the human rights violations in their country. In the meantime, in the DRC, “the killings are real. The blood is everywhere.” And nevertheless, “it is as if the Congo didn’t exist.”
This is why expectations have been raised by a recent decision of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which adopted new rules on Aug. 22 under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act relating to the use of “conflict minerals”.
Section 1502 establishes that all national and international companies already required to report annually to the SEC which manufacture or contract to manufacture products containing at least one of four conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) must adopt measures to determine their origin through supply chain analysis.
But the first report would not be filed until May 31, 2014, considered an overly long waiting time by human rights defenders, who stress that crimes continue to be committed in the DRC despite the presence of a UN peace mission since 2010.
Holding his six-month-old daughter in his arms, Jean-Bertin is visibly upset as he describes how armed groups in the DRC “give weapons to children and force them to join with one side or the other.”
For Rivas, “the only solution is a strong government in the DRC that can respond to the attacks, and real international support that penalises companies suspected of importing minerals from conflict zones.”
* This story was originally published by Latin American newspapers that are part of the Tierramérica network. Tierramérica is a specialised news service produced by IPS with the backing of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank.
By Inés Benítez
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Olle Johansen/Agnes Ingvarsdottir|
|EU 2011 now 2013: Europa estudia prohibir móviles y Wi-Fi en los colegios|
|Spain||Created: 23 Mar 2013|
Europa estudia prohibir móviles y Wi-Fi en los colegios
El Consejo Europeo ha elaborado un informe en el que alerta sobre el uso de teléfonos móviles y Wi-Fi y sus efectos perjudiciales para los niños y los bebés.
El Consejo Europeo ha elaborado un informe en el que alerta sobre el uso de teléfonos móviles y Wi-Fi y sus efectos perjudiciales para los niños y los bebés. Un comité ha confeccionado una hoja de ruta que incluye la prohibición de este tipo de tecnologías en colegios y escuelas de Europa, entre otras propuestas.
Los estudios sobre el efecto de la exposición a señales electromagnéticas se contradicen unos a otros. La Organización Mundial de la Salud ha asegurado que no suponen un riesgo para las personas pero el Consejo Europeo ha confeccionado una investigación en la que asegura que sí hay peligro y apunta a los menores como el segmento de población más vulnerable.
Los datos que han hecho saltar la alarma han sido obtenidos de la Agencia Europea de Medio Ambiente (AEMA), que asegura que sí existe un riesgo para la salud por la exposición a campos electromagnéticos. El Consejo Europeo ha citado los estudios de esta agencia para justificar sus temores en un informe denominado 'Los peligros potenciales de los campos electromagnéticos y sus efectos en el entorno'.
"Según la AEMA, hay indicios suficientes o niveles de evidencia científica de efectos biológicos nocivos, suficientes para invocar la aplicación del principio de precaución y de medidas eficaces, preventivas urgentes", explica el Comité del Medio Ambiente, Agricultura y asuntos Locales y Regionales.
El organismo europeo asegura que "hay suficientes pruebas de los efectos potencialmente nocivos de los campos electromagnéticos sobre la fauna, la flora y la salud humana". Por este motivo, el Consejo Europeo considera necesario "reaccionar y protegerse contra los riesgos ambientales y de salud potencialmente graves".
En este sentido, la Comisión Europea cita diversos estudios que indican que las señales pueden provocar cáncer y podrían afectar a los cerebros en desarrollo de los menores. Por ello, la Comisión Europea propondrá a los estados miembro que tomen medidas en relación al uso de teléfonos móviles y redes Wi-Fi.
Entre las medidas propuestas está la prohibición del uso de teléfonos móviles y redes Wi-Fi en escuelas infantiles y colegios. El Consejo considera esta medida un acto de prevención y protección para los más pequeños.
Además de la prohibición de estas tecnologías en los colegios, se ha recomendado que se fijen nuevos límites en los niveles de exposición a las ondas que emiten los equipos móviles. El Consejo también ha incluido entre sus propuestas un sistema de etiquetado para los dispositivos en los que se alerte sobre la existencia de la emisión electromagnética.
Para completar la información, se proponen "campañas de información específicas dirigidas a los profesores, padres y niños para alertar sobre los riesgos específicos del uso temprano, imprudente y prolongado de los teléfonos móviles y otros dispositivos que emiten microondas".
Nuevos planes de información para la población y nuevas investigaciones sobre las consecuencias de estas tecnologías son otras de las propuestas del organismo continental, que pretende concienciar sobre las consecuencias de la exposición a este tipo de señales.
El Consejo Europeo no puede obligar a los estados a acatar estas medidas, pero sus propuestas suelen ser bien recibidas y se suelen seguir sus consejos.
· TEMAS RELACIONADOS: SociedadConsejo EuropeoMÃ³vileswi-fi
Brought to you by
The International Coalition for an Electromagnetic Safe Planet (IC-ESP)
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Paul Doyon/Agnes Ingvarsdottir|
|MOBI -KIDS study:|
|Spain||Created: 12 May 2012|
MOBI -KIDS study
Study's website: http://www.mbkds.com
Dan Krewski who was removed from INTERPHONE study because of his conflicts of interest- represents Canada in this study.
Funding according to Agnette Peratta in ICNIRP's conference
5.7 million Euro
of them 3.5 of the EC.
The source of the rest, or the source of the EC funding -was not explained by her.
from the website: "Exposure assessments will be provided by France Telecom SA and the UK Health Protection Agency. "
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Iris Atzmon/Agnes Ingvarsdottir|
|‘Cancer’ mast finally comes down in Spain|
|Spain||Created: 25 Jan 2012|
THEY have long feared that a mobile phone mast has been causing cancer in their village - Now the residents of Benajarafe have scored a massive victory by having it removed.
After a two year battle, Vodafone has been ordered to take down the controversial transmitter.
The locals are adamant that the mast, which stands just metres from their houses was the reason for a high incidence of recent cancer deaths.
Of the nearly 400 residents there have been a staggering 50 cases of cancer with more than 30 people dying in recent years.
Many others claim to have been suffering from insomnia, headaches, depression and memory disorders due to the mast.
Following numerous protests Velez Malaga Town Hall issued a municipal order in 2009 to have it taken down as its construction 16 years ago was not licensed.
After Vodafone lost an appeal against the order, the town hall received notification that it could be removed.
“We are satisfied,” said councillor Concepcion Labao. “Work is beginning on removing this mast, which has a great visual impact and is not legal.”
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: The Olive Press, Wendy Williams, 25 Jan 2012|
|Spain Basque Parliament urges rational mobile use by children|
|Spain||Created: 10 Oct 2011|
Calls to "minimize possible" exposure to electromagnetic fields.
(google-translate of article below:)
The Basque Parliament yesterday joined a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, which warns of the "potential risk" of electromagnetic fields and their effects on the environment and urged the promotion of campaigns against "excessive use "mobile phones among children.
The resolution, which stemmed from an initiative of Aralar, raises the Basque Government to follow the recommendations made both the EU and the World Health Organization on the use of mobile phones by people of all ages.
The Chamber urged the Executive to adhere to the resolution of last May's Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe warns of the potential risk of electromagnetic fields and their effects on the environment. The Assembly is committed to "minimize possible" exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially the children mobile phone, among other things.
Finally, ask the government agreed not to discard the approval of a law in this area, for the protection of health and invited the Executive to campaign against "excessive use" of mobile phones among children.
In a statement, the parliamentary Aralar, Dani Maeztu, noted that the House adhere to a decision of the European Assembly which recognizes that "you should review the scientific basis of current regulations, recognizing that current values are obsolete ". "To protect children's health, recommends the implementation of information campaigns and portable devices that emit microwaves, and prioritizes the use of cable connections in schools," he said.
Original article in spanish:
El Parlamento pide un uso racional de los móviles entre los niños
Insta a "reducir al máximo posible" la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos
e.p. - Jueves, 6 de Octubre de 2011 - Actualizado a las 05:41h
vitoria. El Parlamento Vasco se adhirió ayer a una resolución de la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa, en la que advierte sobre el "riesgo potencial" de los campos electromagnéticos y sus efectos en el medio ambiente y pidió el impulso de campañas contra el "uso inmoderado" de teléfonos móviles entre los niños.
La resolución, que partía de una iniciativa de Aralar, plantea al Gobierno Vasco que siga las recomendaciones que realice tanto la Unión Europea como la Organización Mundial de la Salud, sobre el uso de los teléfonos móviles por parte de personas de todas las edades.
Asimismo, la Cámara instó al Ejecutivo a adherirse a la resolución del pasado mes de mayo de la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa que advierte sobre el riesgo potencial de los campos electromagnéticos y sus efectos en el medio ambiente. Esta Asamblea apuesta por "reducir al máximo posible" la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos, especialmente de los niños a los de la telefonía móvil, entre otros puntos.
Por último, acordó pedir al Gobierno que no descarte la aprobación de una ley en este ámbito, en favor de la protección de la salud e invitó al Ejecutivo a realizar campañas contra el "uso inmoderado" de los teléfonos móviles entre los niños.
En un comunicado, el parlamentario de Aralar, Dani Maeztu, resaltó que la Cámara se adhiere a una decisión de la Asamblea europea en la que se reconoce que "se deben revisar los fundamentos científicos de las normativas actuales, reconociendo que los valores actuales están obsoletos". "Para proteger la salud de los niños, recomienda la realización de campañas de información sobre los aparatos portátiles y los que emiten microondas, y prioriza la utilización de las conexiones por cable en las escuelas", explicó.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: noticiasdegipuzkoa.com, via email from Sylvie & Iris Atzmon, 06 Oct 2011|
|Por ahora, ni la electrosensibilidad ni la sensibilidad química múltiple están reconocidas como enfermedades.|
|Spain||Created: 28 Sep 2011|
an environmental doctor Pilar Munoz Calero is interviewed it is all is in Spanish.
Forword in English:
Now, electrosensitivity or multiple chemical sensitivity are not recognized as diseases.
The multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome is the physiological response of some individuals against many chemical agents and compounds that can be found in the environment (even at very small). From metals to food, to medicines, perfumes, insecticides, smoke ...
First described in the mid-eighties, this disease causes many different symptoms and reactions based on each person and their degree of involvement, so it has always been surrounded by some controversy (to the extent that some researchers and own World Health Organization does not consider it a disease itself).
For those affected by this 'environmental illness', according to the statistics range from 1% to 10% of the population, the environment becomes a hostile environment and its symptoms (also varied) can severely limit their quality of life and their ability to work.
The reaction 'allergic' your body can be manifested by recurrent headaches, insomnia, depression, difficulty breathing, palpitations, nausea and vomiting, skin irritation or more serious disorders such as impotence, recurrent diarrhea, tachycardia or hypertension.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance is often initiated by the acute exposure to a chemical in a short period of time. Since that time, the body of these people seem to develop intolerance even to minimum levels of some compounds (such as newspaper ink) to the point that many have to resort to wearing masks in certain environments.
Although not yet have been formalized as a disease, "electrosensitivity" is already considered a new disease called information society. Another way to refer to this disease, is "allergic to wifi '.
What is known, according to the European Council is that it is a disease caused by constant exposure to electromagnetic fields, causing symptoms such as loss of short-term memory, dizziness, vomiting or headache, which are more attempts when you are near electrical appliances.
Yet little is known about the disease, progress has been made of people who have disability in their work required due to this problem. "In previous stages has not been as strong a contact with new technologies like this. The kids play with mobile and have wifi at school," said Jose Miguel Rodriguez, director of research firm geoenvironmental Geosanix.
Por ahora, ni la electrosensibilidad ni la sensibilidad química múltiple están reconocidas como enfermedades.
El síndrome de sensibilidad química múltiple es la respuesta fisiológica de algunos individuos frente a multitud de agentes y compuestos químicos que se pueden encontrar en el medio ambiente (incluso en niveles muy pequeños). Desde metales a alimentos, pasando por medicamentos, productos de perfumería, insecticidas, humos...
Descrita por primera vez a mediados de los ochenta, esta enfermedad provoca síntomas y reacciones muy diversas en función de cada persona y de su grado de afectación, por lo que ha estado siempre rodeada de cierta controversia (hasta el punto de que algunos investigadores, y la propia Organización Mundial de la Salud no lo consideran una enfermedad propiamente dicha).
Para los afectados por esta 'enfermedad ambiental', que según las estadísticas oscilan entre el 1% y el 10% de la población, el entorno se vuelve un medio hostil y sus síntomas (también muy variados) pueden limitar gravemente su calidad de vida y su capacidad para trabajar.
La reacción 'alérgica' de su cuerpo puede manifestarse mediante dolores de cabeza recurrentes, insomnio, depresión, dificultades para respirar, palpitaciones, náuseas y vómitos, irritaciones de la piel o trastornos más serios como impotencia, diarreas recurrentes, taquicardia o hipertensión.
La Sensibilidad Química Múltiple o Intolerancia Ambiental Idiopática suele iniciarse por la exposición grave a algún producto químico en un período de tiempo corto. A partir de ese momento, el organismo de estas personas parece desarrollar intolerancia incluso ante niveles mínimos de algunos compuestos (como la tinta de los periódicos), hasta el punto de que muchas deben recurrir al uso de mascarillas en ciertos ambientes.
A pesar de no haber sido aún oficializada como una enfermedad, la "electrosensibilidad" es ya considerada como una nueva enfermedad de la llamada sociedad de la información. Otra manera de referirse a esta enfermedad, es 'alergia al wifi'.
Lo que se sabe, de acuerdo con el Consejo Europeo, es que se trata de una enfermedad generada por la constante exposición a los campos electromagnéticos, provocando síntomas como pérdida de memoria a corto plazo, mareos, vómitos o dolor de cabeza, los cuales son más intentos cuando la persona está cerca de aparatos eléctricos.
No obstante se sabe poco de la enfermedad, ya han existido avances de personas que han exigido incapacidad en sus trabajos debido a este problema. "En etapas anteriores no ha habido un contacto tan fuerte con las nuevas tecnologías como ahora. Los niños ya juegan con móviles y tienen wifi en el colegio", indicó José Miguel Rodríguez, director de la empresa de estudios geoambientales Geosanix.
|Click here to view the source article.|
|Source: Sylvie/Agnes Ingvarsdottir|
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