De EU heeft een groot programma (Connecting Europe Facilities) gestart om mensen en organisaties te faciliteren met betere voorzieningen. Het programma omvat ook Digitale Draadloze Communicatie. Lokale partijen kunnen subsidie ontvangen om gratis WiFi aan te bieden, met name op publieke plaatsen, bv ziekenhuizen, bibliotheken, stations etc.
De voorgestelde regeling is geregistreerd met de EU-codering COM(2016)0589, meer informatie over de plannen en het wetgevingstraject is hier te vinden (Engels). De Nederlandse tekst van het voorstel vind u hier.
De stichting EHS heeft over deze plannen haar zienswijze ingediend bij de Europese Commissie; we zijn bepaald geen voorstander van WiFi in de openbare ruimte, hieronder treft u de motivatie van onze zienswijze.
Response to the EU consultation regarding the promotion of wireless internet connectivity in local communities.
The Netherlands ‘Stichting Elektro Hypersensitiviteit’ is very much against the further stimulation of any form of mobile communication, due to the health risks related to this mode of communication. From the perspective of health of the community, instead, wired communication means should be promoted above wireless. There are very serious signs warning to be careful with wireless communication, as well from the sides of politics, as from science, legal courts and physicians.
There is a continuous flow of people that newly develop sensitivity for Electro Magnetic Fields at exposure levels well below the maximum allowed level. Our foundation has organized a national helpline for people that have become sensitive to EMF. The objective is to help them to reorganize their life and home as to avoid these fields that are nowadays everywhere in our modern society. Despite, yearly a number of these people no longer see a way out and commit suicide, whatever help we offer them. Due to the limited knowledge of EHS (Electro Hyper Sensitivity) in general in all layers of the society and to a total lack of support from the public and the health authorities for each individual it is a real battle to adapt to their functional impairment to EMF. This new European regulation on promotion of wireless internet connectivity will again make new victims and further limit the EHS-people in their normal life, putting their places in the community at risk, including work, income, and home, social environment, turning their lives merely in ways to survive.
Below you may find a selection of references to support the various considerations, leading to the call above on the EU to apply the precautionary principle as lead down in the EU report “Late Lessons from early warnings”
- Resolution 1815 European Parliamentary Assembly 2011-Shortly: a strong warning to limit use of wireless communication devices, due to health risk based on the available scientific knowledge. Important elements of this resolution are not yet implemented. The urgency of the matter requires not to await better and consistent scientific evidence.
- Resolution European Parliament (2008/2211(INI) 2 April 2009-Shortly: requesting to take into account health risks related to EMF. Many elements of this resolution are not yet implemented, such as the call to recognize EHS as a functional impairment like Sweden has done and inform the public about health risks related to EMF
- Various EU countries, in steps, are taking measures to reduce health risks due to EMF
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in this case due to EMF, requires government to take appropriate measures.
Numerous scientific reports show biological effects and health issues due to EMF. Among them:
- Paris Appeal congress in Brussels 2015, showing various scientific results including an appeal to politics to recognize EHS and MCS as true medical conditions which, acting as sentinel diseases may create a major public health concern in years to come worldwide i.e. in all the countries implementing unrestricted use of electromagnetic field-based wireless technologies and marketed chemical substances. Inaction is a cost to society and is not an option any more.
- ECERI, the European Cancer and Environment Research Institute has, in its search for the environmental causes of cancer and the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms which promote the occurrence of cancer, identified electro hypersensitivity as an environmental disease caused by artificial EMF.
- The International EMF Scientist Appeal calls upon the United Nations, the WHO, UNEP and the UN Member States to: address the emerging public health crisis related to cell phones, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in neighbourhoods; and urge that the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) initiate an assessment of alternatives to current exposure standards and practices that could substantially lower human exposures to non-ionizing radiation.
- Bio Initiative Report 2012- this report gives an extensive overview of science in this field and a Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)
High Court in Madrid
A recent ruling by the High Court of Madrid, No. 588/2016 dated 6 July 2016 the rapporteur (Mr. Miguel Moreiras Cabellero) has recognized for the first time a situation of total permanent disability for the exercise of the profession of a telecommunications engineer suffering from a rare syndrome, "electro sensitivity syndrome (EHS)", which prevents him from working in environments with electromagnetic fields. However, it does not recognize, an absolute permanent disability, since the disability is related to the presence of EMF.
The ‘Tribunal du Contentieux de L’incapacité de Toulouse’ dated 8 July 2015, ruled an 85% disability due to Electro Magnetic Fields. It was determined that the symptoms can only be eliminated when the causes (EMF) are taken away.
The Italian Supreme Court
On 12 October 2012 Italy’s supreme court has upheld a ruling that said there was a link between the business executive’s (Innocenzo Marcolini) brain tumor and his heavy mobile phone usage. The evidence was based on studies conducted between 2005-2009 by a group led by Lennart Hardell, a cancer specialist at the University Hospital in Orebro in Sweden. The court said the research was independent and “unlike some others, was not co-financed by the same companies that produce mobile telephones”. Furthermore Joseph Grasso was called as an expert witness and Prof. Levis witnessed as an expert about two other comparable cases where the victims developed tumors.
- Austria. The Austrian Medical Association has prepared a guideline for doctors on how to diagnose Electro Hypersensitivity and how to proceed.
- The European EMF Guideline 2016 gives an overview of the subject, including approaches for prevention, diagnoses and treatment of health problems or illness due to EMF.
- UK: Phire an independent association of medical doctors and associated specialists assembled for the purposes of improving education regarding health effects of non-ionising radiation.
- USA Doctors for safer schools An international nonprofit Advisory Board offering science-based Research, Recommendations and Resources on electro-magnetic radiation and the safer use of technology.
International health authorities have also issued medical alerts:
- The World Health Organization, 31 scientists and clinicians of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, recognized wireless radiation as a threat to human health. Their 2011 report reclassified this radiation as a 2B carcinogen – in the same category as lead, DDT and car exhaust. The experts on this panel also recommended “pragmatic measures to reduce exposure” especially for children; this call to action applies to mobile phone radiation and Wi-Fi.
- American Academy of Pediatricians "Children are disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. It is essential that any new standard be based on protecting the most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded throughout their lifetimes."
- American Academy of Environmental Medicine “Adverse health effects from RF radiation – learning disabilities, altered immune responses, and headaches – are well documented in the scientific literature. It is better to exercise caution and substitute with a safe wired connection.”
It is of great urgency the European Union takes the health consequences of modern artificial EMF seriously as the Council of Europe already has done a number of year ago. The impact of EMF on living organisms is complex and science still doesn’t understand the mechanisms on how EMF do influence health yet. However the knowledge on the adverse effects of EMF available today is abundant and the precautionary approach should be taken with no delay. The economic and social advantages of wireless communication is in no way counterbalancing the health damage done to the EHS-people and their extreme social isolation, that results from the course society already has taken by broad appliance of wireless devices. The new regulation will worsen their situation, not only by increasing the use of these wireless technologies, but also by putting areas with low radiation levels at risk that were until now somehow still accessible for EHS-people.
As long as the mechanism of EMF impact on health is not known, solutions for the damaging effects aren’t developed and the number of EHS-people is growing, it is unacceptable that politics don’t take precaution, support free Wi-Fi and use public money for this purpose.