Other Coverage: Powerwatch UK |  Telegraph | Independent

The French Government today announced their decision to take some strongly precautionary measures with regards to mobile telecommunications technology. From an outright ban of mobile phones in primary schools, to a requirement on operators to provide “stripped” down handsets only capable of texting or without a loudspeaker, this is a clear indication that in the absence of certainty, France is willing to act on the steadily increasing level of public concern.

The measures, which emerged from a six-week review of mobile phone and wi-fi radiation, have been attacked as inadequate by campaigners who accuse the State of playing down dangers from phones and transmitter masts. The campaign groups, which walked out on the government consultation on Monday, wanted a ban on mobile use by children under 14 and drastic measures to limit the power and location of masts. The Government refused to act against masts, citing the absence of any evidence that they affected human or animal health.

Chantal Jouanno, the new Secretary of State for Ecology, stated in an interview that she is in favour of trying out a reduction of relay antenna emissions in certain towns to 0.6 V/m while awaiting the results of a new study from AFFSET, but she continued to insist that there was “a need to distinguish between mobile phones, about which we know there are uncertainties, and relay antennas, for which nobody has been able to conclude that there is a risk”. Experiments are to be carried out in three cities to test the feasibility of reducing the power of transmissions.

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