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Minister urges use of hands-free kits

The government is planning a campaign against using mobile phones held against the ear

A CAMPAIGN aiming at reducing by ten times people’s exposure to rays emitted by mobile phones is planned by the government.

Digital Economy Minister Fleur Pellerin is backing amendments to a law on exposure to electromagnetic waves, debated from today, which aim to encourage use of hands-free or Bluetooth kits.

However the law, proposed by Green MPs, has been slashed of much of its content in preliminary stages. This included measures like banning wifi in creches or making phone operators turn down the power of emissions from masts.

“The text seemed unacceptable to use because it amounted to enshrining in law the fact that being exposed to waves is dangerous to health when this is not scientifically proven,” Ms Pellerin told Le Parisien. Nonetheless a study will be done into social and economic effects if the power was lowered, she said.

However the minister added: “The more you lower the emissions from masts the more you increase the waves emitted by your phone near your head.

“You would have to live for 50 years next to a mast to be exposed to the same rays as someone who phones for half an hour a day on their 2G phone. The real issue then is not masts but intensive use of mobiles without the hands-free kit.”

She told France Info an overly cautious approach could harm efforts to make sure everyone had access to digital technologies like mobile phones and internet. The roll-out of 4G telephony, which has faster signals and better coverage, is hoped to improve access for people in remoter areas, she said.

“It represents an investment of three billion over the next five years and tens of thousands of jobs”.

Photo: michaeljung - Fotolia.com

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