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EU Commission to postpone and amend electromagnetic fields legislation to protect MRI
Belgium Created: 27 Oct 2007
ICNIRP and WHO expected to ease recommended limit values for occupational exposure at the end of 2008.

The European Commission has proposed to postpone for four years –- until 30 April 2012 –- the deadline for introducing legislation on workers' exposure to electromagnetic fields, which could have affected the use of technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

This will allow enough time to prepare a substantive amendment to the Directive in order to take account of recent research findings on the possible impact of the exposure limits on MRI.

"The Commission remains committed to the protection of the health and safety of workers. However, it was never the intention of this Directive to impede the practice of MRI. Obviously, the Commission recognises MRI as a technology offering clear benefits to patients, and continues to support MRI research financially", commented Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. "Postponement of the transposition will allow time to review the current Directive and amend those provisions which have been shown to be problematic by recent scientific studies. While this review is ongoing, the Commission recommends that Member States put the transposition of the current Directive on hold."

The Commission indicates in its proposal that this postponement is being carried out in order to prepare a substantive amendment to the Directive. The future amendment will aim to ensure that limits will not have an adverse effect on the practice of MRI, whilst ensuring appropriate protection of personnel. Moreover, it is intended to review the situation for all sectors where personnel are exposed to electromagnetic fields while carrying out their work.

The proposed postponement will also allow sufficient time to take into account new recommendations from relevant international bodies. The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is currently revising its recommendations for occupational limit values for static and low frequency electromagnetic fields (such as MRI), while the World Health Organisation is also revising its Environmental Health Criteria for electromagnetic fields. Those revisions are expected to yield results in the form of new, less stringent, recommended limit values for occupational exposure at the end of 2008.

Directive 2004/40/EC was adopted by Parliament and Council in April 2004 and was due to enter into force in April 2008. Its content was based on up-to-date scientific knowledge, as established by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) at the time.
In 2006, the Commission received indications from stakeholders that the implementation of the legislation might create difficulties. Commissioner Špidla immediately met the principal stakeholders and reassured them that the Commission would not hesitate to change legislation already adopted if it should be proved that it would have adverse effects on the practice of MRI.

The Commission then launched a study to look into exactly what implications the Directive's exposure limits would have on MRI and identify potential problems that could arise. The study is now under way in four installations across Europe (Germany, France, Belgium and the UK). The results should be finalised by end of January 2008.

To proceed in a transparent manner, the Commission wrote to all Member States in February 2007 informing them about its willingness to address the issue and draw the necessary conclusions from ongoing studies. In addition, the Commission has also conducted 063b a number of meetings with MRI practitioners as well as representatives of the industry to discuss potential difficulties with the Directive in terms of limits affecting MRI as well as in terms of its potential impact on other sectors.

In June 2007, the UK authorities published a study indicating that the practice of MRI could indeed be affected. On the occasion of its publication, Commissioner Špidla made a public statement to Members of the European Parliament and to stakeholders to the effect that the legislation already adopted would thus have to be changed.

MRI is currently the leading technique for detecting brain tumours and many other serious conditions. It allows doctors to help 8 million patients each year so the European Commission, as well as the Council, is well aware of the enormous benefits of magnetic resonance imaging and of its immense value for public health. The EU is also a driving force behind new research in this field.

As part of its 7th Framework Programme for Research, it will in 2007 invest roughly €6.000.000 in projects to develop hybrid imaging systems such as MRI/PET and MRI/Ultrasound.
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Source: European Commission /, 26 Oct 2007

Moratorium on GSM phone masts in Brussels ?
Belgium Created: 11 Oct 2007
The vice-president of the Parliament of Brussels and major of Auderghem (Note: one of the 19 municipalities in Brussels), Didier Gosuin asks for a moratorium on phone masts in the region of Brussels, while awaiting for the ordinance imposing a more severe environmental standard to come into effect, in March 2009.

During a press conference at the Parliament of Brussels the deputy of Brussels and major of Auderghem, Didier Gosuin (MR), claimed for a moratorium on phone masts in the Region of Brussels.
The Parliament did adopt in February 2007 an environmental standard of 3 V/m to improve protection of Brussels inhabitants against ionizing radiations. Before the ordinance comes into effect in March 2009, Mr. Gosuin asks for a moratorium on the town planning
licenses for the establishment of emission devices of non-ionizing radiations for the sites where the standard of 3 V/m is reached or exceeded A proposal for such a motion was deposited at the Parliament.
"The fact that the ordinance has not yet come into effect is not a reason for not acting. As a matter of fact a Member State cannot be unaware of an already voted and not yet effective European directive ", Didier Gosuin underlined.

The major of Auderghem also wrote a motion that was transmitted to the 19 Brussels municipalities in order to claim for a regional moratorium. With this motion, the municipalities would commit to systematically give unfavourable reports to the granting of town planning licence for devices of non-ionizing radiation emissions for which the standard of 3 V/m would be exceeded, and if necessary bring actions.
The municipality of Auderghem shows the example since it brought an action to the College of Town planning against a licence delivered on 17 August by the Region on a site where a measurement of the IBPT (Note: the Belgian official telecom control organism) reported in 2002 a field value of 3,2 V/m.

At the request of the municipality of Auderghem which establishes a land register of phone masts, the IBPT has since 2002 taken twelve measurements out of ten sites in the municipality. Although the federal standard of 20,6 V/m is respected for each measurement carried out, yet five out of twelve measurements (i.e. 41,6 %) exceed the future regional standard. According to IBPT'S, which has so far carried out measurements on 300 sites in the country, only 8 % of measurements exceed the standard of 3 V/m, the major of Auderghem indicated with some surprise.

Rudy Demotte, then federal Minister for Public health, and the various mobile phone operators, considered that the Region of Brussels encroached on federal competences relating to the protection of health and brought an action near the constitutional Court in July and August this year. According to the deputy, the ordinance was adopted by the Parliament of Brussels on the basis of environmental
protection (Note: a regional competence).
Mr. Gosuin recognizes that there is no worldwide consensus concerning the standards to be adopted but adds that numerous countries set standards which are much stricter than those adopted in Belgium. For instance Switzerland (4 V/m), Russia (3 V/m) or Austria (0,6 V/m).

For the regional deputy MR, non-ionizing radiations are the asbestos of the 21st century.
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Source: Next-up Organisation / Le Soir, 10 Oct 2007

EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation
Belgium Created: 16 Sep 2007
Europe's top environmental watchdog is calling for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts. It suggests that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in petrol.

The warning, from the EU's European Environment Agency (EEA) follows an international scientific review which concluded that safety limits set for the radiation are "thousands of times too lenient", and an official British report last week which concluded that it could not rule out the development of cancers from using mobile phones.

Professor Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA's executive director, said yesterday: "Recent research and reviews on the long-term effects of radiations from mobile telecommunications suggest that it would be prudent for health authorities to recommend actions to reduce exposures, especially to vulnerable groups, such as children."

The EEA's initiative will increase pressure on governments and public health bodies to take precautionary action over the electromagnetic radiation from rapidly expanding new technologies. The German government is already advising its citizens to use wired internet connections instead of Wi-Fi and landlines instead of mobile phones.

The scientific review, produced by the international BioInitiative Working Group of leading scientists and public health and policy experts, says the "explosion of new sources has created unprecedented levels of artificial electromagnetic fields that now cover all but remote areas of the habitable space on Earth", causing "long-term and cumulative exposure" to "massively increased" radiation that "has no precedent in human history".

It says "corrections are needed in the way we accept, test and deploy" the technologies "in order to avert public health problems of a global nature".
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Source: The Independent, Geoffrey Lean, 16 Sep 2007

A Possible Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation from Mobile Phone Base Stations on the Number of Breeding House Sparrows
Belgium Created: 27 Apr 2007
Everaert J, Bauwens D
Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Brussels, Belgium
A possible effect of long-term exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone (GSM) base stations on the number of House Sparrows during the breeding season was studied in six residential districts in Belgium.
We sampled 150 point locations within the 6 areas to examine small-scale geographic variation in the number of House Sparrow males and the strength of electromagnetic radiation from base stations. Spatial variation in the number of House Sparrow males was negatively and highly significantly related to the strength of electric fields from both the 900 and 1800 MHz downlink frequency bands and from the sum of these bands (Chi(2)-tests and AIC-criteria, P < 0.001). This negative relationship was highly similar within each of the six study areas, despite differences among areas in both the number of birds and radiation levels. Thus, our data show that fewer House Sparrow males were seen at locations with relatively high electric field strength values of GSM base stations and therefore support the notion that long-term exposure to higher levels of radiation negatively affects the abundance or behavior of House Sparrows in the wild.

PMID: 17454083 [PubMed - in process]
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Source: PubMed / Electromagn Biol Med. 2007;26(1):63-72

Tighter laws on mobile phone antennas
Belgium Created: 18 Feb 2007
Tighter laws on mobile phone antennas
Brussels' parliament has approved a bill aimed at protecting people and the environment from the effects of electromagnetic rays, notably those produced by mobile phone antennas.

According to the authors of the bill, the proposed law, which should be implemented in two years, would impose standards 47 times more restrictive than the current national law and would apply to a much broader range of frequencies.

The aim is to limit the potential impact of mobile phone antennas on health. This law follows complaints from Brussels citizens about sleep disruptions after the installation of a mobile phone antenna in the vicinity of their homes.

16 February 2007
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Source: Sylvie: expatica

Belgium Created: 1 Feb 2007
Electrosmog and non compliance with article 23 of the Constitution
Request for questioning of Mr Rudy Demotte, Federal Health Minister of Belgium.

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen

On August 10, 2005, the ministers P. Dewael, A. Flahaut, Mr. Verwilghen, R. Demotte and B. Tobback signed a Royal Decree authorizing to submit each living person in the Kingdom of Belgium every single second of his life, to a radiation in pulsed high frequencies of 20.6 Volt per meter at 900 Mhz (and even more at higher frequencies) and consequently to all the officially
recognized biological effects associated therewith.
These limit value have been established on fragmentary scientific bases and are being argued against by many scientists, in particular because they do not take into account neither the permanent nature of the exposure, nor quantum physics. Incidentally none of the signatory ministers, nor any volunteer, would dare to submit himself to such a high frequencies intensity over a prolonged period of time and observe the effects on his own health.

Based on the most recent peer reviewed research, the 3 V/m limit value (and up to 4,3 V/m for UMTS) envisaged by the proposals of the Deputies of the Brussels Parliament and of the Flemish Parliament is still far too high for an acceptable health protection, since health effects occur on quite lower levels of exposure.

The European Commission legislated to create an electromagnetic standard of compatibility. The electronic instruments which are able to work without damage while being subjected to an electromagnetic field of 3 V/m can receive a "EC" logo. However contrary to these devices, the human body is not shielded to resist 3 V/m without health impact.
By the present call, we ask for the questioning of the Health Minister, Mr Rudy Demotte, in front of the Parliament, in a plenary sitting, for non compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution, which guarantees to every citizen of the Kingdom "the right for health protection" and "the right for a healthy environment". More fundamentally still, this policy of setting the population in deliberated danger constitutes an infringement of the Human Rights.

We trust that given the extent of the problems hereby covered and today made widely available in the most up-to-date scientific literature, you will as a Member of Parliament honor your high responsibilities and will not satisfy yourself with low scale or dilatory measures.

Please find attached on pages 7-12 our rationale. We would be pleased to answer any of your
questions related to this request.

Download the entire original document here:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Next-Up Organisation, 01 Feb 2007

WHO EMF Project database and Epidemiological studies on mobile communication base stations
Belgium Created: 30 Nov 2006
From: Jean-Luc Guilmot. Rue de Vieusart, 5. 1325 Chaumont-Gistoux. Belgium
To: World Health Organisation. Dr. Emilie van Deventer. Head of the EMF Project. 20, Avenue Appia. Geneva – Suisse
Registered Letter. November 29, 2006.
Copy to :
- Dr Magaret CHAN, WHO General Director
- Mr John Ryan/DG Sanco, European Commission, Brussels
- Mr Rudy Demotte, Federal Health Minister, Belgium

WHO EMF Project database and Epidemiological studies on mobile communication base stations

Dr van Deventer,
My name is Jean-Luc Guilmot, bio-engineer and concerned citizen with respect to EMF pollution. I have compiled during the last 6 months a great deal of fully referenced scientific information on this subject with a special focus on base stations on a dedicated website ( to help people get a global picture on this growing problem. I was present at the 3RD Mobile Communications Seminar "Health, Environment & Society in Brussels, on Nov.
20 and 21 where you unfortunately had to cancel your venue at the very last minute, which was rather unfortunate due to the many specific questions that could not be answered properly.
I have noticed that the WHO EMF Project database has now been unavailable on the Internet for more than a week, that is at least since November 21, 2006 (

I would like to kindly ask you several questions :
1. Why is no information provided on the WHO website as to why and for how long this database is not available ?
2. In reference to the rights to access to Information on the Environment, do you find this situation acceptable ?
3. When will this service be available again ? I also would like to take the opportunity to ask you two more questions regarding EMF and base stations.
1. Where are the published epidemiological studies on chronic exposure to mobile telecommunication base stations radiation’s that show convincing
evidence of an ABSENCE of adverse health effects ? Please note that, as we believe no such studies has actually been published, none of the
arguments such as “levels of exposure from these base stations lie well under the ICNIRP limit values” or “difficulties in assessing RF exposure on
people” or “absence of known mechanism” can be considered as valid, especially when ICNIRP values are NOT designed for chronic exposure and
when so many health concerns are being shown on both humans and animals in various published epidemiological studies of chronic exposure.
2. Based on the EIGHT published epidemiological studies on mobile telecommunication base stations referenced either on the EMF WHO database
and/or on PUBMED with POSITIVE results, please provide comments on what grounds in your views no further precautions is required.
Again comments such as lack of accuracy of RF assessment (see footnote 1) and lack of convincing evidence (convincing to whom ?) is a of little
value for several reasons :
a. All these studies have been published in peer-review journals and are referenced either on the WHO database or on PUBMED.
b. Several of these studies provide accurate RF exposure measurements.
c. No higher standards published epidemiological study on mobile communication base stations with NEGATIVE results is available to date.
d. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands (1,4 million in May 2006) of base stations have already been deployed worldwide and new sources of low level RF
chronic exposure are continuously being added with the development of new wireless technologies.
e. At least two additional epidemiological studies on chronic exposure to mobile phone bases stations with POSITIVE results have been published in peer
reviewed journals on animals
: Löscher W. 2003 and Balmori A. 2005.2
f. An increasing number of people are being diagnosed as electrosensitive and the trend seems clearly to be on the increase.
g. To our knowledge, very little resources are being allocated towards more such epidemiological studies (chronic exposure) in the near future as either
WHO or ICNIRP continue to deny or question the fact that low energy RF can affect health at all, as again exemplified in the May 2006 WHO fact sheet
Additionally there are many more examples of epidemiological studies of radio and TV transmitters with POSITIVE results, also referenced on the WHO database and/or PUBMED, including the latest Altpeter et al (20006) study4 – with evidence of decrease of melatonin secretion on exposed humans – which urge for a rapid and clear change of attitude from the WHO.
Based on all this we consider that statements like : “the weight of scientific opinion is that there is no substantiated evidence that living near a mobile phone base station causes adverse health effect ”
increasingly sound more like Orwellian newspeak than anything else.
Also we believe that from a legal perspective, there is a major issue of the charge of the proof for the issuer of such increased levels of radiation’s in the environment, and not the other way round.
I look forward to reading your answers and comments on these very important issues.
Yours respectfully
Jean-Luc Guilmot
Encl. : List of WHO and PUBMED epidemiological studies on mobile communication base stations with
either negative (TWO) or positive results (EIGHT) as of September 15, 2006.

1 Example of typical comment to rule out such studies : « Results of these studies to date give no consistent or convincing evidence of a
causal relation between RF exposure and any adverse health effect. On the other hand, the studies have too many deficiencies to rule out an
association. A key concern across all studies is the quality of assessment of RF exposure. Despite the ubiquity of new technologies using RFs,
little is known about population exposure from RF sources and even less about the relative importance of different sources »
2 Löscher W., Der praktische Tierarzt 84, Heft 11, 850-863 [2003].Die Auswirkungen elektromagnetischer Felder von Mobilfunksendeanlagen auf
Leistung, Gesundheit und Verhalten landwirtschaftlicher Nutztiere: Eine Bestandsaufnahme [Effects of EMF from phone masts on performances,
health and behavior of cattle]; Balmori A., Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 24: 109–119, 2005.
Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields from Phone Masts on a Population of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia).
3 Hallberg 0, Oberfeld G., Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, Vol. 25: 189-191, 2006, Letter to the Editor: Will We All BecomeElectrosensitive?
4 Altpeter ES et al. Bioelectromagnetics. 2006 Feb;27(2):142-50. Effect of short-wave (6-22 MHz) magnetic fields on sleep quality and melatonin cycle in
humans: the Schwarzenburg shut-down study

Enclosure 1

List of WHO and PUBMED epidemiological studies on mobile communication base stations with either negative (TWO) or positive results (EIGHT) as of September 15, 2006 To date, there are only 10 published peer reviewed epidemiological studies on mobile phone base stations.
These research papers are available either of the WHO EMF database
( on PUBMED.

Click here to view the source article.
Source: Iris Atzmon

Europe investigates dangers of mobiles to children
Belgium Created: 27 Jul 2006
But no focus on health risks.

The European Commission is investigating the harm that mobile phones do to children. A consultation on protecting minors who use mobiles against inappropriate content, expense, bullying and sexual predators.

Almost three-quarters of 12 to 13-year-olds own a mobile phone, according to the Commission, which launched the public consultation yesterday as part of its Safer Internet Forum for child welfare.
"The growth in mobile use clearly helps people link up in an information society," said a Commission statement. "But it also gives rise to concerns about the safety of children."
The dangers to which children can be exposed include: grooming, whereby sexual predators make friends via phones with children; privacy violation; and unexpectedly high expense from phone use. Modern mobile internet access technologies can also expose children to harmful and illegal internet content, said the Commission.
&#8220;Mobile phones are part of our daily lives, not only for adults but also for teenagers and increasingly for younger children," said Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "Mobile communication is a great opportunity for the development of Europe&#8217;s economies and societies. However, at the same time, the protection of minors needs to be guaranteed."
Another danger of mobiles, said the Commission, is that of bullying through the distribution of abusive or compromising messages and photos amongst children. The UK government has just announced an expansion of school guidelines to cover cyber-bullying, including the use of mobile phones to bully children.
"Unlike other forms of bullying, cyber bullying can follow children and young people into their private spaces and outside school hours," said schools minister Jim Knight. "This is why it is essential that parents and young people themselves should understand how to use technologies safely to protect themselves at home and outside school hours, as well as supporting their schools in dealing with incidents."
"The education bill will give teachers a legal right to discipline pupils, strengthening their authority to take firm action on bullying. It will also send a strong message to parents and pupils that bullying will not be tolerated with court-imposed parenting orders to compel parents of bullies to attend parenting classes or face £1,000 fines."
The Commission found that in May of this year 70% of European children aged 12 to 13 had mobile phones, while 23% of children aged 8 to 9 owned mobiles.
The Commission will investigate what regulatory action is needed to protect children in a move which will be closely watched by network operators. "The more efficient self-regulation can become, the less the need for state intervention," said Reding.
The consultation does not explore the health risks of mobile usage. In January 2005, the UK's National Radiological Protection Board published a report suggesting that children would be especially vulnerable to any health risks that may exist in mobile phone use because their nervous systems are still developing. In January 2006, a study published in the British Medical Journal cast doubt on concerns that mobile phone use increases the risk of brain tumours.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: OUT-LAW News, 27/07/2006

EU passes controversial data retention law
Belgium Created: 22 Feb 2006
EU justice and interior ministers have sealed a landmark data-retention law, forcing telephone operators and internet service providers to store data in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
The data retention directive was approved by ministers in Brussels on Tuesday (21 February), putting an end to a heated debate in and outside EU institutions for over a year and a half. The directive aims at tracking down terrorists, paedophiles and criminal gangs, but civil liberties campaigners have argued it damages basic privacy rights and breaches the European Convention on Human Rights.
According to the directive, member states will have to store citizens' phone call data for six to 24 months, but the deal does not stipulate a maximum time period, cooling anger among member states who want longer storage periods.
The data would only detail the caller and receiver's numbers, not the actual conversations themselves, while so-called failed calls - calls that do not get through - will not be covered.
EU countries have 18 months to implement the rules, which already have the backing of the European Parliament.
"This is a wonderful example of how co-operation between the council [member states], the commission and the parliament can work," Austrian justice minister Karin Gastinger, hosting the ministers' meeting, said.

Terror attacks triggered action:
The data retention directive was tabled after the Madrid bombings in March 2004 and then fast-tracked under the British EU presidency after the London underground attacks last July.
Britain, France and Sweden have stressed the need to retain data in order to trace terrorists using modern technology.
Swedish justice minister Thomas Bodstrom said on Tuesday he was satisfied with the deal, arguing that fast-moving changes in the telecom market made it important to force phone companies to comply.
Telephone call records are usually saved for a month for billing purposes, but ever more popular pre-paid subscription contracts have led some companies to ditch paperwork. "In five years, the police would have been faced with a catastrophy, if this deal had not been clinched today," Mr Bodstrom said.

EU oversteps mark?
Ireland and Slovakia voted against the law, saying they regard national security as a matter for member states not the EU.
"This remains our position and we believe that provision for data retention should be made by way of a framework decision under the third pillar," an Irish official indicated.
The third pillar is a technical term relating to intergovernmental decisions made by unanimity, while so-called first pillar decisions are typically made in conjunction with the European Parliament by qualified majority.
"In the circumstances, and for the legal reason I have indicated, we would merely wish to formally record&#8230;the fact that Ireland cannot support the adoption of the proposed directive," he added.
Dublin insisted that Ireland retains its veto in justice matters, and is currently cosulting the Irish attorney general about how to proceed with an appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The ministry of justice in Slovakia said Bratislava agreed with the content of the directive but also objected to placing it under the first pillar.
Click here to view the source article.
Source:, Teresa Küchler, 22 feb. 2006

European Public Health Alliance: Putting citizens' health at the heart of Europe, BUT IN A CLOUD OF RADIATION!
Belgium Created: 22 Feb 2006
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions’ priorities 2006
This workplan is part of the four-year work programme for 2005-2008, entitled ¨Changing Europe: Better work, bettre life¨.
Within this framework, four issues have been prioritised: employment, work-life balance, industrial relations and partnership, and social cohesion
Access to good quality jobs for all workers will be the central theme for 2006.
As regard to health-related matters in particular, the agency intends to release its report on the fourth European Working Conditions Survey and the Company Survey on Working Time and Work-life balance (one of the items analysed being health and well-being of workers).
Besides, it will carry on work begun in 2005 on "Employment guidance services for people with disability or ill-health".
The agency will also publish a study on employment initiatives for older people, providing examples of what works in the area.
Gender dimension will be further researched in order to have its input for 2007, which is the European Year of Equal Opportunities.

The Foundation is a European Union body aimed to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.
Their role is to monitor and understand change, research and explore best practices, share collected experience.
European Public Health Alliance - 39-41 rue d´Arlon, B1000 Brussels, Belgium
phone: +32 2 230 3056 - fax: +32 2 233 3880 - email
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Source: S:

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