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Registration deadline is 29 oct. for EU open hearing on EHS
Belgium Created: 25 Oct 2014
Dear all, I receive from Beperk de Straling and I forward to you this important news:.

Hearing on EHS in Brussels: "Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is causing distress and loss of quality of life to a growing number of Europeans and according to new estimates, between 3 % and 5% of the population are electro-sensitive. The most common sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) pollution are mobile phone masts, cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers installed in the homes. All these emit microwaves permanently (24/7) in the places where they are installed.

This event will gather all relevant stakeholders from a broad range of European civil society for a debate on how to deal with this issue at EU level and to give input for the future EESC's opinion that is scheduled for adoption in January 2015.

http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-electromagnetic-hypersensitivity

Deadline for registration: 29/10/2014

Which organisations/persons are coming to Brussels for this hearing?
It could be interesting to have an (informal) meeting afterwards so
that we can get to know each other and exchange some information?
Please let us know who would be interested in this!

Best regards,

Francesca Romana Orlando
Vice President of A.M.I.C.A.
Association for Chronic Toxic and Environmental Injury
Email: francescaromana.amica @ gmail.com
Website: www.infoamica.it


Related news:
Oct 2014, Belgium: Public hearing on Electromagnetic hypersensitivity at the European Economic and Social Committee
Click here to view the source article.
Source: A.M.I.C.A & Beperk de Straling, via email from Iris Atzmon, 25 oct 2014

Public hearing on Electromagnetic hypersensitivity at the European Economic and Social Committee
Belgium Created: 24 Oct 2014
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is causing distress and loss of quality of life to a growing number of Europeans and according to new estimates, between 3 % and 5% of the population are electro-sensitive. The most common sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) pollution are mobile phone masts, cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers installed in the homes. All these emit microwaves permanently (24/7) in the places where they are installed.

This event will gather all relevant stakeholders from a broad range of European civil society for a debate on how to deal with this issues at EU level and to give input for the future EESC's opinion that is scheduled for adoption in January 2015.

Public Hearing, 04 November 2014 - EESC, Room JDE52 - Rue Belliard 99., 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Click here to view the source article.
Source: European Economic and Social Committee, 24 Oct 2014

Effect of Short-Term GSM Radiation at Representative Levels in Society on a Biological Model: The Ant Myrmica sabuleti
Belgium Created: 10 Jul 2014
Abstract: Well-controlled electromagnetic exposure conditions were set up at a representative societal GSM radiation intensity level, 1,5 V/m, which is the legally allowed level in Brussels.

Two nests of the ant species Myrmica sabuleti were repeatedly irradiated during 10 min. before their behavior was observed, based on the analysis of the ant trajectories.

Under these exposure conditions, behavioral effects were detected.

The ants’ locomotion slightly changed. The ants’ orientation towards their attractive alarm pheromone statistically became of lower quality.

The ants still presented their trail following behavior but less efficiently. In this controversial issue, ants could be considered as possible bioindicators.

Related news:
Sep 2013, Sweden: Ants can be used as bio-indicators to reveal biological effects of electromagnetic waves from some wireless apparatus
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Springer.com, Cammaerts et al., 10 Jul 2014

Govt. phone data retention is against human-rights - top EU court rules
Belgium Created: 8 Apr 2014
(Reuters) - The European Union's highest court ruled on Tuesday that an EU directive requiring telecoms companies to store the communications data of EU citizens for up to two years was invalid.

"The Court of Justice declares the Data Retention Directive to be invalid," the court said in a statement.

The data-retention directive was introduced in March 2006 after bombings on public transport in Madrid and London. The aim was to give the authorities better tools to investigate and prosecute organized crime and terrorism.

It required telecoms service providers to keep traffic and location data as well as other information needed to identify the user, but not the content of the communication. The records were to be kept from six to 24 months.

Austrian and Irish courts asked the European Court of Justice to rule if the law was in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. The law also caused a public outcry in Germany.

"It entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being limited to what is strictly necessary," the court said.

"The Court takes the view that, by requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data," it said.

"Furthermore, the fact that data are retained and subsequently used without the subscriber or registered user being informed is likely to generate in the persons concerned a feeling that their private lives are the subject of constant surveillance," it said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Reuters, Pawel Kopczynski, 08 Apr 2014

Ban on mobile-phone sales to children is now in effect
Belgium Created: 9 Mar 2014
New regulation for the sale of mobile phones as of 2014: Children’s mobile phones may no longer be sold. Besides this, the specific absorption rate (SAR) has to be listed for every mobile phone at the point of sale.

As of 1 March 2014, new regulations will apply to the sale of mobile phones. On the one hand the sale of mobile phones that have been specially manufactured for young children (under 7s) will be prohibited. On the other hand the SAR value will have to be listed everywhere where mobile phones are sold: in stores as well as for distance sales over the Internet.

Sale of children’s mobile phones prohibited

As of 1 March 2014, mobile phones that are specially designed for young children may no longer be introduced to the Belgian market. This concerns customised mobile telephones suitable for children younger than 7 years of age, for instance having few buttons and a shape attractive for children. Additionally, from this date forward, no advertising may be made for mobile phone use among the same age group.
The specific absorption rate (SAR) to become mandatory consumer information
When you purchase a new mobile phone, from now on you will be able to choose your new device based on the specific absorption rate (SAR). The SAR value is different for every mobile phone. The SAR value will have to be indicated along with the other technical specifications, not only in the shop, but also for distance sales over the Internet.

Why these measures?

As a precaution. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, 2011) there may be an increased risk of brain cancer due to the intensive use of a mobile phone. The IARC has therefore classified radio frequency as “possibly carcinogenic”. Measures are being taken pending clearer scientific conclusions. The intention is to raise awareness among mobile phone users.

You can reduce your average exposure by choosing a mobile phone with a lower SAR value. But it is not the intention to use it for hours at a time: the way in which you use your mobile phone also determines your exposure. Using an earpiece, text messaging and not phoning in places with poor reception are a few tips that can significantly reduce your exposure. You can find more tips on our page “sensible mobile phone use ”.

Children already come into contact with mobile phones from a very young age. The overall exposure during their lifetime will thus be greater than that of today’s adults. Moreover, children absorb more mobile phone radiation than adults (twice as much in the brain and 10 times more for skull bone marrow). This is already a reason for additional caution, given the classification of radio frequency as “possible carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Health Belgium, 07 Feb 2014

European Commission wants Connected Cars (wireless of course)
Belgium Created: 13 Feb 2014
Imagine that you are driving along, and a message is projected on your windscreen, warning you of an accident that has just happened around the next corner. This could soon be a reality thanks to new European standards. Connected cars, able to communicate with each other and with road infrastructures, are expected to appear on European roads in 2015.

Two European standards organisations, ETSI and CEN, confirmed today that the basic set of standards requested by the European Commission to make connected cars a reality has been fully completed. The norms which they have adopted ensure that vehicles made by different manufacturers can communicate with each other. The EU invested more than €180 million in research projects on cooperative transport systems, whose results helped develop the standards. This will put the European car industry, which provides 13 million jobs, out in front in the race to develop the next generation of cars.

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, welcomed this important step: "With this set of standards ready, connected cars are on the right track. Direct communication between vehicles and infrastructures will ensure safer and more efficient traffic flows, with great benefits for drivers & pedestrians, our environment and our economy. This shows Europe's unique digital advantage. But for connected cars to really work, we also need more consistency in rules that underpin fast broadband networks. Our fragmented spectrum policy puts the brakes on our economy – now it's time to get our connected continent up to cruising speed".

Intelligent transport has been a priority of the EU research and innovation programmes. EU-funded research projects have played a major role in the development of the standards, with more than €180 million invested in some 40 different projects working on cooperative systems since 2002. These projects provided their results to ETSI and CEN/ISO, which in turn used them to develop the standards. The EU also funded different operational tests and pilots, as well as standardisation project teams.

Work on the Release 2 standardisation package has already begun to fine tune existing standards and deal with more complex use cases. European organisations cooperate closely with American and Japanese organisations to ensure that the systems are compatible across the globe.

Background

Connected cars can make our lives more convenient, our journeys greener and our roads safer. With more than 200 million vehicles on European roads today, they also represent a significant market for European companies. But connected cars cannot be developed without common technical requirements regarding, for example, frequencies used or data management.

In 2008, the European Commission published an Action plan for the deployment of ITS in Europe. This plan foresaw the definition of a mandate for the European standards organisations to develop harmonised standards for ITS implementation, in particular regarding cooperative systems.

This mandate (M/453) was addressed to CEN, CENELEC AND ETSI in October 2009. These organisations were invited to prepare a coherent set of standards, specifications and guidelines to support the implementation and deployment of cooperative ITS systems at the European level. CEN and ETSI formally accepted the mandate. CENELEC did not accept it and therefore did not take part in standards developments under this particular mandate.

In July 2010, a legal framework (Directive 2010/40/EU) was adopted to accelerate the deployment of ITS across Europe. Linking the vehicle with the transport infrastructure was defined as a priority area.

In the course of 2013, ETSI and CEN/ISO finalised the work related to the Release 1 standardisation package and completed their mandate. They announced this important achievement today at the opening of the 6th ETSI workshop on ITS in Berlin.

The continued ITS standardisation effort is supported by the European Commission Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation.

Key EU-funded research projects in the field

Projects such as Coopers, CVIS, Safespot delivered results which contributed, under the coordination of the COMeSafety project, to the definition of communication architecture for cooperative systems. This work has been further validated by large-scale pilots such as Drive C2X and FOTSIS.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: European Commission, Press Release, 12 Feb 2014

EU Court Opinion: Data Retention Directive Incompatible With Fundamental Rights
Belgium Created: 16 Dec 2013
BRUSSELS--The European Union's data retention directive is incompatible with the bloc's charter of fundamental rights, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón said in an opinion Thursday.

The directive, which dates from 2006, conflicts with European citizens' fundamental right to privacy, Mr. Cruz Villalón said. It obliges telelcoms and internet companies to retain traffic and location data for communications for up to two years. It is a separate piece of legislation from the current reform of EU data protection rules.

The opinion isn't binding on the European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court, but in the majority of cases, advocate general opinions are followed.

It makes most sense to give the EU time to amend its rules on the matter, the advocate general concluded, saying "such measures must be adopted within a reasonable period."

Today's Opinion is delivered in proceedings relating to two references for a preliminary ruling, made by the High Court of Ireland and the Verfassungsgerichtshof, the Constitutional Court of Austria, respectively.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, a Member of the European Parliament who is currently guiding a separate piece of legislation on EU data rules through the legislative process, called the decision a "breakthrough for civil liberties."

"I look forward to the Court ruling which will make data retention and mass surveillance history and end this constant violation of our constitutions and EU treaties," he said in a statement. "In view of today's opinion, it is even more embarrassing that the German government as well as the EU Commission still argue in favour of telecommunications data retention and other sweeping surveillance measures."
--------------

See the Court of Justice of the European Union press release here:
http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2013-12/cp130157en.pdf
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Wall Street Journal, Frances Robinson, 12 dec 2013

Brussels relaxing exposure limits to accomodate 4G
Belgium Created: 13 Dec 2013
Brussels new exposure limits not a long-term solution for 4G, say carriers.

The threshold for public exposure to mobile phone antenna signals in Brussels will be increased to make room for 4G technology to finally be transmitted over the city’s congested mobile network.

The increased base station exposure limits are still 50 times stricter than international recommendations and according to network carriers that means they will need to install more network antennas to provide adequate coverage to the European capital.

“Even though the agreement reached is certainly a step forward, it offers no long-term solution for 4G,” Belgian network operator Base said in a recent blog article.

“If 4G is meant to be turned into a reality in the near future, significant efforts need to be done in terms of town planning specifically in the densification of the networks.”

“The new standard will soon prove to be inadequate if people want operators to be able to prepare their networks to bring them in line with the expected rise in 4G data communications over the years to come.”

After more than a year of debate, the Parliament of the Brussels Capital Region reached a majority agreement in October to increase the exposure limits for mobile base stations from 3 volts per meter (V/m) to 6 V/m – a level 50 times lower than the World Health Organization’s recommended 41.5 V/m safety limits.

An earlier agreement to retain the 3 V/m standard and apply it per 2G, 3G and 4G technology instead of cumulatively was scrapped by the city’s government because it was too complicated.

The new maximum limit will apply for all technologies and all four Belgian network carriers will need to work together to ensure the 6 V/m cumulative exposure limit is not exceeded.

Network carrier Base also highlighted an apparent double standard in the application of the new exposure limits exclusively to radio frequency signals from mobile base stations and not other sources.

“Interestingly the waves transmitted by radio and TV remain completely left out of the discussion,” Base said.

“This is a strange set-up, since the experts who attended the Parliamentary hearings on the topic last March, had clearly and unanimously stated that there are no scientific nor technical reasons why these waves and the waves of mobile phone masts to be treated any differently.”

The Brussels government has agreed to establish a board of independent experts to monitor the new standard and provide an annual report on the carriers’ compliance, the standards efficacy on human health and technological developments. Their first report is expected in September 2014.

Network operators in Brussels have previously said they will require 350 new antenna sites across the city to rollout the network upgrade to 4G. The government has given the green light to install them on public buildings with the exception of schools and hospitals and has so far listed 140 available sites in a new public register.

Senior Director of Research and Sustainability for the GSMA Dr Jack Rowley said making safety limits more restrictive than the ICNIRP international guidelines in response to public health concerns, as Brussels has done, provides no additional protection against established health risks and often leads to increased public concern.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: GSMA, 22 Nov 2013

Taxman looking to balance budget on masts
Belgium Created: 9 Dec 2013
Belgian mobile operators Proximus (Belgacom), Mobistar (Orange) and Base (KPN) have requested an emergency meeting with the Walloon government to discuss tax plans for GSM masts, Express,be reported.

The tax of EUR 8,000 per year per mast would balance the Walloon budget. There are around 3,000 mobile phone masts in Wallonia; these would provide the government with. EUR 24 million in tax revenue.

The operators said that the municipalities may also be able to charge a separate fee, bringing the total tax revenue from masts to EUR 72 million.

Proximus , Mobistar and Base said they have already spent millions of euros on spectrum acquisition and to deploy 4G. If the Walloon government continues with these tax plans, the operators said they will be forced to reconsider their investment in Walloon mobile networks and scrap unprofitable masts, even if this limits coverage.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: TelecomPaper, 09 Dec 2013

Belgium bans sales & marketing of mobiles to children from March 2014
Belgium Created: 25 Oct 2013
Children’s mobile phones may no longer be sold - Besides this, the specific absorption rate (SAR) has to be listed for every mobile phone at the point of sale.

New regulation for the sale of mobile phones as of 2014

As of 1 March 2014, new regulations will apply to the sale of mobile phones. On the one hand the sale of mobile phones that have been specially manufactured for young children (under 7s) will be prohibited. On the other hand the SAR value will have to be listed everywhere where mobile phones are sold: in stores as well as for distance sales over the Internet.

Sale of children’s mobile phones prohibited

As of 1 March 2014, mobile phones that are specially designed for young children may no longer be introduced to the Belgian market. This concerns customised mobile telephones suitable for children younger than 7 years of age, for instance having few buttons and a shape attractive for children. Additionally, from this date forward, no advertising may be made for mobile phone use among the same age group.
The specific absorption rate (SAR) to become mandatory consumer information
When you purchase a new mobile phone, from now on you will be able to choose your new device based on the specific absorption rate (SAR). The SAR value is different for every mobile phone. The SAR value will have to be indicated along with the other technical specifications, not only in the shop, but also for distance sales over the Internet.

Why these measures?

As a precaution. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, 2011) there may be an increased risk of brain cancer due to the intensive use of a mobile phone. The IARC has therefore classified radio frequency as “possibly carcinogenic”. Measures are being taken pending clearer scientific conclusions. The intention is to raise awareness among mobile phone users.

You can reduce your average exposure by choosing a mobile phone with a lower SAR value. But it is not the intention to use it for hours at a time: the way in which you use your mobile phone also determines your exposure. Using an earpiece, text messaging and not phoning in places with poor reception are a few tips that can significantly reduce your exposure. You can find more tips on our page “sensible mobile phone use ”.

Children already come into contact with mobile phones from a very young age. The overall exposure during their lifetime will thus be greater than that of today’s adults. Moreover, children absorb more mobile phone radiation than adults (twice as much in the brain and 10 times more for skull bone marrow). This is already a reason for additional caution, given the classification of radio frequency as “possible carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Want to know more?

Then check out our list of frequently asked questions.
You can find more information about sensible mobile phone use and the IARC’s classification on this page.
You can download the Royal Decree on the ban of mobile phones for children here.
The Royal Decree which makes the mention of the SAR value mandatory for mobile phone sales and which prohibits advertising for children can be downloaded here:
http://www.health.belgium.be/eportal/Environment/Electromagnetic_fields/Mobilephoneuse/index.htm

Related news:
Mar 2013, Belgium: Mobile phones to be banned for children
Feb 2013, Belgium: Belgium: New Measures to Protect Children from Mobile Phones
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Federal Public Service Health, Food chain safety and Environment, 22 Oct 2013

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