8 Action taken elsewhere in Europe

The German government has warned against using wi-fi. 37 The warning applies to everyone, not only children. In France, members of the Senate presented a bill in 2009 proposing that wired connections be obligatory in public buildings, and that wi-fi installations be replaced by wired networks. 38 The director of the French Health and Security Agency (Affset) has said that “the time for inaction (on wireless devices) is past”. 39 His remark followed Affset’s publication of a report showing that radiofrequency radiation affects cellular functions. 40 In Paris, the Bibliothèque nationale de France has foregone installation of a public wi-fi system on health grounds. 41, The city of Hérouville St. Clair is removing all wi-fi equipment from primary schools, the mayor of the city saying, “our job is to protect people’s health”. 42 43

In Austria, the Austrian Medical Association is pressing for a ban on wi-fi in schools. The Public Health Department of the Salzburg Region has advised schools and kindergartens not to use wi-fi systems. 44, 45

The European Parliament has said that it is greatly concerned by the Bio-Initiative Report on electromagnetic fields, issued by an international group of scientists and public health experts. 46 The Parliament has advised the 27 member states that they should introduce effective protection for the general public from electromagnetic fields. The Bio-Initiative Report states that “the consequence of long-term exposures in children ... is unknown a this time ... [and] could have serious implications for adult health and functioning in society.” It recommends “that wired alternatives to wi-fi be implemented, particularly in schools and libraries.”

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37 ‘Germany warns citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi’, Independent, 9.9.07LINK
38 See HERE
39 “The time for inaction has passed,” Martin Guespereau, director of the French Health and Security Agency (Afsset), said at a press conference, adding, “let’s not wait until the indications become pathologies before moving forward with limiting exposure,” he said.LINK
40 The report by the French Agency for Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Afsset) shows that radiofrequency radiation affects cellular functions, as reported by around ten experimental studies. Other studes did not show an effect, but Afsset considers the ten studies indicated as being indisputable. LINK
41 ‘La Bibliothèque Nationale renonce au wifi’, Ariasse 4.4.08 “La direction de la BNF a décidé d’appliquer le principe de précaution, et de ne plus exposer son personnel et les visiteurs à d’éventuels risques liés l’exposition aux ondes électromagnétiques.”LINK
42 See HERE
43 “Inquiétée par les dangers des ondes électromagnétiques, la Ville d’Hérouville-Saint-Clair a décidé d’appliquer un principe de précaution vis-à-vis des antennes-relais. D’ici la fin de l’année scolaire, l’ensemble des équipements Wi-Fi sera supprimé dans les écoles primaires.”
44 ‘Danger on the airwaves: Is the Wi-Fi revolution a health time bomb?'ÝThe Independent 22.4.07 LINK
45 “Salzburg sets the non-thermal indoor limit at 0.02 V/m (peak pulse). This is to help protect people from non-thermal or bioelectromagnetic effects of EMR [electromagnetic radiation], such as DNA damage, cancer growth, and fertility and neurological problems. Salzburg’s Public Health Department warns against wireless systems and DECT phones in schools and nurseries. The UK does not have any non-thermal guidelines.” (from Michael Bevington, Wi-fi in the classroom: health advice to schools)LINK
46 On the European Parliament, see HERE: HERE: The European Environmental Agency advised in 2007, “There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments. Appropriate, precautionary and proportionate actions taken now to avoid plausible and potentially serious threats to health from EMF are likely to be seen as prudent and wise from future perspectives. We must remember that precaution is one of the principles of EU environmental policy.”LINK