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Ministers directly challenged by demonstrators on outdated EMR standards
Belgium Created: 17 Oct 2008
DIRECT POLITICAL ACTION: "Requiring standards compatible with human health".

Ministers directly challenged by demonstrators before the Walloon Parliament (Belgium) : "that’s enough! "
In front of the Walloon Parliament, four Belgian associations (Teslabel, Grappe, Clag and GRHaL), expressed their claims about electromagnetic radiations.
The demonstration came after the one day conference held in Namur on October 8 on the installation of GSM phone masts in Wallonia. and organized by the Walloon region and the Inter-Environment federation.
The demonstrators argue that the comparisons presented by the Scientific Institute for Public Service (ISSeP) between the risks related to cell phones and phone masts are simplistic, ambiguous and misleading.

The demonstrators challenged the Minister of Environment Guy Lutgen, Minister of Territorial Development André Antoine, Minister of Health Didier Donfut upon their arrivals at the Parliament and made clear their objections.

Jean-Luc Guilmot, administrator of Teslabel and founder of the http://www.001.be.cx website, drew Minister Andre Antoine’s attention with respect to the project of lowering the standards to 3 V/m.
Although at first sight an improvement, such a standard of 3 V/m is merely an illusive progress.
The reason is that today’s actual maximum exposure of people living in the vicinity of phone masts in Belgium lies between 1 and 3 V/m. Only very seldom is this limit of 3 V/m exceeded, even though the legal limit today in Belgium is 20.6 V/m (at 900 Mhz)

Yet all health effects observed and well documented in the existing epidemiological studies (in 10 of the 14 epidemiological studies published on phone masts) have been shown to occur below these levels of 1 to 3 V/m.
In order to accommodate for this new standard of 3 V/m, operators will tend to increase the number of phone masts with the clear risk that more people would be exposed to radiations ranging from 1 and 3 V/m.

And this is obviously is exactly the opposite of what is desired Backed by the BioInitiative report, environmental associations require a minimal standard of 0.6 V/m. Only this threshold is able, as a first step, to really generate significant progress with respect to human health.
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Source: Next-UP organisation, 15 Oct 2008

Le GSM est cancérigène
Belgium Created: 16 Oct 2008
LES PREMIERS RÉSULTATS de la plus grande enquête épidémiologique jamais menée à ce jour confirment qu'à long terme, le portable nuit à la santé. Des résultats inquiétants qui doivent encore être confirmés. Le risque cancérigène serait « significativement accru » pour ceux qui utilisent un GSM depuis plus de dix ans.

Une manif à Namur pour durcir les normes

Quatre associations environnementales appellent à manifester, ce mercredi 15 octobre, à 14 heures, devant le parlement wallon, pour réclamer des normes d'exposition aux rayonnements plus sévères ; la mise en place des zones à faible niveau d'irradiation ; la reconnaissance de l'hypersensibilité comme handicap ; l'imposition d'une distance d'au moins 300 m entre antennes et immeubles…

L'usage du GSM peut nuire à la santé »… Ce raccourci paraît aujourd'hui davantage conforté par la publication partielle des nouveaux résultats de l'étude Interphone (1). Conduite par le Centre international de recherche sur le cancer (Circ), l'étude, menée dans treize pays industrialisés, établit la relation entre certaines tumeurs et l'usage régulier des téléphones portables. Ces résultats synthétiques, qui doivent être confirmés et nuancés à la lumière de certains biais probables, sont d'importance. Utilisant un protocole commun pour étudier quatre grands types de cancers, Interphone est la plus grande étude épidémiologique réalisée à ce jour sur le sujet.

Quelque 2.600 cas de gliomes, 2.300 méningiomes, 1.100 neurinomes de l'acoustique et 400 tumeurs de la glande parotide ont été pris en considération dans ce panel qui n'englobe pas la Belgique. À propos du gliome, le cancer du cerveau pour lequel le facteur de risque de mortalité est le plus élevé, l'étude note que « la mise en commun des données des pays scandinaves et d'une partie du Royaume-Uni a permis de dégager un risque de gliome significativement accru en relation avec l'utilisation des téléphones portables pour une période de 10 ans ou plus, du côté de la tête où la tumeur s'est développée ». Selon le récapitulatif des résultats, la probabilité de développer un tel cancer est jusqu'à 60 % plus élevée dans les pays scandinaves, de près de 100 % en France et de 120 % en Allemagne pour les utilisateurs de plus de dix ans.

En ce qui concerne le méningiome et le neurinome de l'acoustique, les résultats sont plus contrastés : « Les analyses d'ensemble des données des pays scandinaves et du Royaume-Uni n'ont mis en évidence aucun risque accru de méningiome lié à une durée d'utilisation à long terme ou intensive, poursuit l'étude, mais un risque significativement accru du neurinome de l'acoustique lié à des durées d'utilisation de dix ans ou plus du côté de la tumeur. »

Pour les tumeurs de la glande parotide, aucune augmentation du risque n'a été observée globalement. En revanche, note la synthèse, « dans l'étude israélienne, où les sujets avaient tendance à rapporter une utilisation plus intense des téléphones portables, les résultats laissent penser qu'il existe un rapport entre cet usage et ce risque de tumeurs… » Des investigations supplémentaires de cette association, avec des périodes de latence plus longue et un grand nombre d'utilisateurs intensifs, sont nécessaires pour confirmer ces résultats.
Résultats définitifs en 2009

« L'utilisateur régulier » ? Encore faut-il s'entendre sur une définition correcte. Et les associations qui militent pour durcir les normes ne manquent pas de relever, sur ce plan, que le profil de l'utilisateur régulier retenu dans l'étude Interphone (au moins une fois par semaine pendant six mois) minimiserait la portée de certains résultats…

Des résultats à prendre avec réserve en attendant la publication définitive, sans doute en 2009, de cette étude clef. C'est notamment sur cette base que les pouvoirs publics européens et belges en particulier devraient ajuster les normes d'exposition aux ondes électromagnétiques.

http://www.iarc.fr/
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Source: Le Soir, CHRISTOPHE SCHOUNE, 15 Oct 2008

European Parliament Recommends BioInitiative Safety Limits for Cell Phones
Belgium Created: 18 Sep 2008
University of Albany, Institute for Health and the Environment - The European Parliament has voted 522 to 16 to recommend tighter safety standards for cell phones. In light of the growing body of scientific evidence implicating cell phone use with brain tumors, the Parliament says, "The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields [EMFs] which have been set for the general public are obsolete."

The European Parliament "is greatly concerned at the Bio-Initiative international report concerning EMFs, which summarises over 1500 studies on that topic and which points in its conclusions to the health risks posed by emissions from mobile-telephony devices such as mobile telephones, UMTS, WiFi, WiMax and Bluetooth, and also DECT landline telephones." Further, it points out the need to "address vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children."

The Mid-Term Review of the European Environmental and Health Action Plan recommends 36 specific points for improving human health. It points to changes that can improve air and water quality, and reduce exposures to toxic chemicals and EMFs that have been linked to health risks.

BioInitiative author Dr. Martin Blank, Columbia University professor and researcher in bioelectromagnetics says, "Cells in the body react to EMFs as potentially harmful, just like to other environmental toxins such as heavy metals and toxic chemicals. The DNA in living cells recognizes EMFs at very low levels of exposure, and produces a biochemical stress response. The scientific evidence tells us that our safety standards are inadequate, and that we must protect ourselves from exposure to EMFs due to powerlines, cell phones and the like."

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD and Professor at University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden who wrote on brain tumors and cell phones in the BioInitiative Report, says, "The evidence for risks from prolonged cell phone and cordless phone use is quite strong when you look at people who have used these devices for 10 years or longer, and when they are used mainly on one side of the head." At a conference in London last week, Dr. Hardell noted that exposure to children poses even greater risk than to adults, a fact of concern since so many children now regularly use cell phones.

Noting the already lowered exposure limits of some European countries the EU Parliament is now calling on the EU Council to amend Recommendation 1999/519/EC for all equipment producing emissions in the 0.1 MHz to 300 GHz frequency range. This would include cell phones as well as other wireless devices. Wireless technologies that rely on microwave radiation to send emails and voice communication are thousands of times stronger than levels reported to cause some health impacts.

Reports: Mid-Term Review of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010, September 4, 2008
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2008-0410+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN#def_1_8

BioInitiative: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF) August 31, 2007
http://www.bioinitiative.org
Click here to view the source article.
Source: MarketWire, 18 Sep 2008

1500 more masts for 3G rollout - ECPA claims "no evidence" of cancer risk
Belgium Created: 12 Sep 2008
BELGIUM – Belgian mobile phone network operators want to build an additional 1,500 mobile phone masts to enable mobile internet access on laptops.

There are fears that mobile phone masts present a threat to health although the exact impact of the GSM radiation from the masts in unknown. According to the European Cancer Prevention Agency, there is no evidence that radiation from mobile phone masts can lead to cancer.

Currently, there are already 6,643 ordinary mobile phone masts in Belgium on the roofs of buildings or on church spires.

The country's three mobile phone operators, Proximus, Base and Mobistar want to erect extra masts as they are needed for the UMTS network which will enable laptop users to access the internet when they are on the move.

Planning permission has already been issued for 441 of the 1,526 new masts planned.
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Source: Expatica, 12 Sep 2008

EU parliament on “obsolete” EMF standards
Belgium Created: 12 Sep 2008
Just recently, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) critized the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010 for not being more precise about how to implement prevention strategies, especially for vulnerable population groups, and how to actually reduce disease.

Among other topics, they were especially concerned about the obsolete exposure limits for electromagnetic fields:

“They are greatly concerned at the Bio-Initiative international report on electromagnetic fields, which highlights the health risks posed by emissions from mobile-telephony devices such as mobile telephones, UMTS, Wifi, Wimax and Bluetooth, and also DECT landline telephones. It notes that the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete. They do not take account of developments in information and communication technologies or vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children.” (28 Aug 2008)
Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/briefing_page/33692-245-09-36-20080708BRI33691-01-09-2008-2008/default_p001c023_en.htm

In the German press release of the same plenary session, it is also noted that 522 MEPs supported this report and only 16 were against.
Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/briefing_page/33692-245-09-36-20080708BRI33691-01-09-2008-2008/default_p001c010_de.htm

Best regards,
Katharina Gustavs
Building Biology Environmental Consultant (IBN), Canada
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EMFacts.com, Don Maisch - informant: Katharina Gustavs, 08 Sep 2008

Mid-term review of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010. - Resolution (extract) -
Belgium Created: 11 Sep 2008
Texts adopted by European Parliament. Thursday, 4 September 2008 - Brussel.
Mid-term review of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010
- Resolution (extract) -

21. Is greatly concerned at the Bio-Initiative international report(8) concerning electromagnetic fields, which summarises over 1500 studies on that topic and which points in its conclusions to the health risks posed by emissions from mobile-telephony devices such as mobile telephones, UMTS, Wifi, Wimax and Bluetooth, and also DECT landline telephones;

22. Notes that the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete, since they have not been adjusted in the wake of Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0Hz to 30 GHz)(9) , obviously take no account of developments in information and communication technologies, of the recommendations issued by the European Environment Agency or of the stricter emission standards adopted, for example, by Belgium, Italy and Austria, and do not address the issue of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children;

23. Calls, consequently, upon the Council to amend its Recommendation 1999/519/EC in order to take into account the Member States' best practices and thus to set stricter exposure limits for all equipment which emits electromagnetic waves in the frequencies between 0.1 MHz and 300 GHz;

Sent Mast-victims.org by: Art Kab
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2008-0410+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir

Une étude sur les ondes GSM inquiète
Belgium Created: 24 Jun 2008
Le taux de mortalité des rats de labo double en cas d’exposition aux ondes pulsées des GSM. Et chez les hommes ? On le saura en 2015...

Sommes nous tous les cobayes de l’industrie de la téléphonie mobile ? Cette question ne figure pas dans la thèse défendue avec brio, ce lundi, par Dirk Adang, à l’école polytechnique de l’Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Mais les résultats de la recherche lancée en 2002 par ce nouveau docteur en sciences appliquées ne manqueront pas d’éveiller le plus haut intérêt des usagers, des pouvoirs publics et de l’industrie à une époque où les technologies sans fil pullulent.

« L’Organisation mondiale de la Santé préconise davantage de recherches à long terme à basse puissance, remarque le chercheur. L’étude épidémiologique de l’impact des ondes électromagnétiques sur la santé humaine nécessite d’attendre jusqu’en 2015 si l’on considère l’explosion de la téléphonie mobile à partir de 1998. Vu ce délai, il m’est apparu important de ne pas attendre cette échéance avant d’avoir une mesure partielle de l’impact, sur la santé de mammifères, des champs électromagnétiques à faible niveau… »

Voici les principales conclusions de cette recherche.

1Une durée d’expérience très longue. Pour mesurer entre autres l’impact des ondes pulsées utilisées dans les technologies mobiles (GSM, antennes relais, wi-fi, radars…), le chercheur a constitué quatre groupes de rats, qui possèdent 90 % de matériel génétique en commun avec l’homme. Pendant 18 mois, Dirk Adang a exposé trois de ces groupes à trois niveaux d’exposition électromagnétiques différents. Le groupe témoin n’était quant à lui pas soumis à ces ondes.

« Un rat vit en moyenne 2 ans et demi, explique le chercheur. Cela signifie que j’ai exposé ces mammifères pendant 70 % de leur vie à des niveaux conformes aux standards internationaux en vigueur. Soit, une moyenne de 27 volts par mètre à raison de deux heures par jour, sept jours sur sept. »

De l’avis de plusieurs experts intervenus ce lundi, la durée de l’expérience et ses modalités lui confèrent un caractère unique à ce jour. Force supplémentaire de la méthode : les rats, tatoués à l’intérieur des oreilles pour être identifiés sans ambiguïté, étaient en liberté dans quatre cages différentes au long de l’expérience. « Cela signifie qu’il n’y avait aucun stress particulier lié à l’expérience, précise Dirk Adang. Or, ce stress peut constituer un biais pour la validité des résultats… »

2 Une agression du système immunitaire. Pour vérifier l’impact sur la santé des rats, des échantillons de sang ont été prélevés tous les trois mois. « Il est remarquable que dans tous les groupes soumis à une exposition, on constate une augmentation des monocytes comparativement au groupe témoin », note l’étude.

Ces globules blancs sont une partie du système immunitaire et jouent un rôle important dans le processus d’élimination des particules étrangères au corps humain. « Ces découvertes montrent un stress dans la formation du système sanguin après une exposition à faible dose, à long terme, de micro-ondes, note la thèse. (…) C’est comme si l’organisme vivant réagissait à une agression étrangère ou une intrusion. »

Autre constat : après 11 et 18 mois d’exposition, des augmentations significatives d’autres types de globules blancs ont été constatées dans les trois groupes exposés. « Les leucocytes et les neutrophiles montrent une augmentation de près de 30 % comparativement au groupe témoin après 18 mois d’expérience. Cela peut-être une indication d’un effet à long terme, même en dessous de faibles niveaux thermiques. »

3 Un taux de mortalité doublé. L’effet sur la santé des mammifères devient très clair à l’issue des trois mois qui suivront l’arrêt de l’expérience. Comme le détaille l’infographie en page 3, le taux de mortalité dans les trois groupes exposés est le double (60 %) de celui constaté dans le groupe témoin (29 %). Dirk Adang relève que l’augmentation de la mortalité peut être due à « la réaction et l’altération du système immunitaire. » De quoi sont-ils exactement morts ? Sur les 124 rats, seulement 19 ont fait l’objet d’une dissection. Un nombre trop peu élevé pour être significatif et établir des comparaisons. Relevons le fait que 16 des 17 rats exposés à des champs électromagnétiques sont morts de tumeurs diverses (cou, genou…).

4 Des cadavres à autopsier. Et après ? Fort d’une recherche saluée pour sa rigueur méthodologique par un jury d’experts international, Dirk Adang manifeste son souhait de poursuivre les recherches en introduisant une plus haute fréquence : « Les résultats que nous avons obtenus ont ouvert des portes pour des recherches futures, note l’auteur. C’est pourquoi les 124 cadavres sont conservés dans le formol jusqu’à ce que les organes puissent être analysés. Il faudra pouvoir établir si l’exposition aux micro-ondes a engendré un vieillissement prématuré des rats. Les présomptions existent à ce niveau. »

Il s’agira aussi de vérifier si ces résultats concernent l’homme.

Poser la question, c’est déjà y répondre…
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Source: Le Soir, CHRISTOPHE SCHOUNE, 24 Jun 2008

EU to Allow Cell Service on Planes
Belgium Created: 8 Apr 2008
You can use your cell phone in the skies over Europe later this year under new rules that will allow air travelers to stay in touch — and raise the cringe-inducing prospect of sitting next to a chatterbox at 30,000 feet.

But don't expect to use your phone on a U.S. flight anytime soon.

The decision Monday by the European Union makes the 27-nation bloc the first region in the world to scrap bans on the use of cell phones in the sky. The EU insists the change will not compromise safety.

Cell phone calls will be connected through an onboard base station — think of a miniature cell phone tower — linked to a satellite and then to ground networks. A flight's captain will have the power to turn off service anytime.

Phone service will be blocked during takeoff and landing, EU spokesman Martin Selmayr said. That means using your cell phone will fall under roughly the same restrictions as using your laptop or iPod.

EU officials also say the system has been thoroughly tested. They say the calls will not interfere with flight navigation and will have additional safeguard to protect against terrorism.

Meanwhile, travelers are already expressing concern about another kind of disruption — noisy passengers. The friendly skies are one of the last refuges against shrill ringtones and yapping callers.

"If they use a mobile phone on long distance flights, it would be an inconvenience, especially at night," said Stein Smulders of Halle, Belgium, who commutes by train.

In the United States, cell phone use on flights is banned by two regulatory agencies. Both said Monday they had no plans to change their rules.

Alison Duquette, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the agency had a concern that the phones could interfere with planes' electronic equipment.

"The bottom line for us is that the FAA has no plans to allow passengers to use cell phones on commercial flights," Duquette said.

The Federal Communications Commission also bans cell phone use on flights, out of concern for interfering with cell phone networks on the ground. That agency opened a review of the issue in 2004 but ended it last year without taking action.

On European flights, installing a base station on the plane will allow calls to go directly to a satellite system, preventing phones from wreaking havoc with flight instruments by sending out signals indiscriminately, EU officials said.

The system will rely on European GSM technology. Although the technical standards for American and European GSM phones are different, American GSM phones would work on European flights.

Installing small base stations on planes helps ensure phones won't give off strong signals trying to connect with a tower on the ground. But Dave Carson, co-chairman of an RTCA Inc. committee studying wireless safety on planes for the FAA, said there was still a risk that a phone might try to connect with a ground tower.

In Europe, travelers will be allowed to turn on their phones after planes climb past 10,000 feet. That's when other electronic devices are typically permitted. Captains will also be able to block cell phone service during turbulence.

The ban remains in place for all U.S. carriers, including domestic and international flights. Duquette said the FAA had not decided whether to block foreign carriers from allowing cell phone use when they enter U.S. airspace.

The new EU rules were welcomed by airlines, some of which, such as Air France-KLM, had already launched a trial of in-flight phone service on some European routes. British Midland Airways Ltd., Portugal's TAP and low-cost airline Ryanair are also planning to offer services later this year.

Dubai-based Emirates Airlines introduced its in-flight phone services last month on its Dubai-to-Casablanca route but limits the number of calls passengers can make and bars calls during night flights.

Selmayr said European regulators would keep a close eye on airlines and phone companies to make sure they set fair rates for in-flight service.

"We understand there is an additional cost because you need to route these services via the onboard cellular network and there is some investment that has to be made," Selmayr said. He did not give any cost comparisons.

The EU also urged airlines to set in-flight etiquette rules to ensure a balance between those wanting to make calls and others seeking a few hours of peace and quiet.

Those rules could include requiring passengers to silence their ringtones, limit their use to text-messaging or e-mail or banning calls during the night, when other passengers are trying to sleep.

German airline Lufthansa said Monday it does not plan to introduce the service because a majority of its customers saw no need. Surveys have shown a large majority of customers against it, Lufthansa spokesman Jan Baerwalde said.

"People don't want to be disturbed," Baerwalde said.

Lufthansa will look at providing fast Internet access on its planes, a service it already offered from 2004 until the end of 2006. The airline is looking for a new service partner to reintroduce the service.

The Association of European Airlines said airlines would inevitably set conditions on use to avoid in-flight flare-ups between passengers.

___

Associated Press Writers Raf Casert, Anick Jesdanun, Barbara Schaeder and Pete Yost contributed to this report.
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Source: The Associated Press, CONSTANT BRAND, 08 Apr 2008

Electromagnetic radiation norm not safe
Belgium Created: 1 Dec 2007
BRUSSELS - The people who filed a complaint are worried about the consequences of radiation from GSM masts and wireless networks. They are demanding that the Belgian state impose much stricter norms.

Citizens worried about the consequences of radiation from GSM masts have filed a complaint against the Belgian state.

The initiative for the complaint was taken by a computer specialist.

He also got the support of a former EuroMP of the Belgian Francophone green party Ecolo.

They are accusing the Belgian state of violating article 23 of the constitution.

According to article 23, everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment.
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Source: Expatica, 30 Nov 2007

Electromagnetic Fields: an indictment from an NGO against the Belgian State.
Belgium Created: 27 Nov 2007
The Reflection and Action Group for a Ecologic Policy (GRAPPE) will lodge a complaint against the Belgian State for violation of the Article 23 of the Belgian Constitution that guaranty anyone a healthy environment.

The object of the complaint concerns the electromagnetic pollution problematic.

The complaint deposit at the First Instance Court in Namur will be done on next Wednesday 28 November 2007.

29 11 2007: A press conference will be held at 11:00 in the Ecologic House rooms, Basse Marcelle street, 26, in Namur.
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Source: Next-Up, 27 Nov 2007

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