France – Orange’s position regarding ANSES’ report on children’s exposure to radio frequencies – July 2016

We have read ANSES’ opinion and its definitive expert report on children’s exposure to radio frequencies, which were recently published on the agency’s website.

Generally speaking, ANSES’ recommendations concern use by the youngest populations, and on this issue Orange France would like to reiterate that it has not organised any campaigns promoting mobile device use for young children for many years, even prior to the introduction of the Abeille law.

We have a policy of informing parents in order to raise their awareness of the need to supervise their children’s use of mobile phones.

We were particularly interested in one of the ANSES’ recommendations, which recommends reconsidering the limits for certain frequencies to take into account children’s morphology.

This point is currently the focus of international studies carried out by the ICNIRP for WHO and their conclusions should be published this autumn. Any proposed changes to the ICNIRP limits will be based on dosimetry adjustments made possible by the increases in the precision of scientific knowledge in the field over the past two decades, rather than fresh public health concerns.

It should be noted that there is currently no proven risk for children, which a rapid and inaccurate interpretation of ANSES’ recommendations can lead you to believe exists.

In France, the regulations and their strict application by operators ensure that the French population are exposed to much lower levels than the limits, as demonstrated by a recent measurement campaign carried out by the ANFR for the Ministry for the Environment.(in french)

This means that it seems reasonable to wait for the international health authorities (ICNIRP and WHO) to issue their opinions.

With regard to the question of modifications to the limits, the ANSES report notes on page 41 that in 2009 the ICNIRP deemed a revision unnecessary on the grounds that the reduction factor of 50 already took worst-case exposure conditions into account: « In 2009, ICNIRP issued an update for its guidelines (ICNIRP, 2009) concerning exposure to electromagnetic fields, in which the commission indicates that studies have demonstrated that the SAR resulting from exposure to recommended benchmark levels could be 40% higher than the current basic restriction, under certain worst-case conditions, at frequencies close to the body’s resonance frequency (100 MHz) and between 1 and 4 GHz for people under 1.3 metres high (which corresponds roughly to children under 8). However, the ICNIRP believes that this increase in SAR is negligible (5%) when compared with the reduction factor of 50 taken into account to establish exposure limits for the public. ”

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