Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cyprus / India / Germany

Cyprus - House Health Committee demands action on mobile phone masts

IMMEDIATE measures must be taken in order to protect the public, and especially children, from the electromagnetic radiation of mobile telephone masts, the Chairman of the House Health Committee said yesterday.

The Committee had discussed the dangers of having masts in such close proximity to schools and other areas where children gather.

"It is well known that small children, infants and embryos are very sensitive to the harmful energy of electromagnetic radiation and for this reason, the public is especially sensitised to the issue," said Eleni Theocharous of DISY after the meeting.

"We heard from the residents of a specific area, who are up in arms and requesting the immediate removal of a mobile telephone mast from their area, which is next to a school of over 1,500 pupils," she added.

Theocharous was referring to the residents of Apostolos Andreas in Limassol, who are planning a demonstration over the issue on Sunday.

According to the Committee Chairman, the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) has agreed to increase the distance between the mast and the neighbourhood.

Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theobemptou blamed part of the problem on a directive by the Interior Ministry, according to which: "when masts are going to be placed near schools, nurseries, hospitals and other establishments where there are children, the mast should be hidden so that parents or anyone else who may react can't see them."

This provision, said Theobemptou, "must immediately be deducted".

CyTA told the committee that the masts would soon be replaced by a small transmitter that will be placed on customers' homes.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008


(India: Forget the Safety - Money is more important!)

COAI moves DoT against regulator for radiation

Rajesh S Kurup / Mumbai June 07, 2008, 5:48 IST

The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), the GSM lobby, has moved the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) against a move to set up a regulatory body to assess the harmful electromagnetic radiations emitted by mobile phones and towers.

Stating that the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) — the testing and certification wing of the DoT — is planning to set up a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) to measure radiation and provide certifications to the operators, the association stated that this would result in "undue delays".

"We believe that such a measure will be a highly retrograde step as it will not only result in undue delays, duplications of efforts but will also add significantly to the costs of the operators. Neither of these are desirable in an environment where aggressive rollout and growth of service at the most affordable tariffs is the need of the hour," COAI said in its letter dated June 3, 2008.

Seeking DoT's intervention, COAI has also mentioned that TEC is exploring the possibility of displaying the Specification Absorption Rate (SAR) on mobile phones through the menu options.

Most of the handsets sold in India comply with the global emission norms and their SAR values are displayed either in the device manual, or on the website of mobile manufacturers. Hence, the display of SAR values through menu options on screen is not required.

Mentioning that the industry had adopted the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) norms, Indian GSM operators said they were already complying with international safety standards. ICNIRP has laid down basic norms on restrictions and reference levels for limiting exposure to electromagnetic radiations.

Moreover, all operators will opt for a self-certification and TEC will carry out random audits and checks periodically to confirm compliance with the norms


Hi Martin,

Here is some news from our German partners about a recent EMF meeting in Germany. One of the issues was tree damage. There is also some good contact information.

Rob Metzinger


Safe Living Technologies Inc.



Press Release issued by Netzwerk Risiko Mobilfunk (Network Mobile Risk), 23.05.2008 (translation of the official German press release)

On 23rd May 2008, a meeting of representatives of Netzwerk Risiko Mobilfunk took place in Mainz (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). The Network, which was founded in 2006, consists of initiatives and umbrella groups from the whole of Germany. The meeting served not only to establish and widen contacts and to intensify cooperation, but it was also instrumental for agreeing specific projects to be carried out on certain focal issues.

The Netzwerk agreed a close cooperation with the Competence Initiative (Kompetenzinitiative zum Schutz von Mensch, Umwelt und Demokratie e.V.,, an internationally active organisation of reputed scientists, doctors and environmentally active groups.

The participation of delegates from six European countries laid the foundation for the future international activities of the Network.

On June 21, this year’s national and international "Mobile Risk Action Day" will be held. Further information can be found at



Sarah Dacre and Andrea Klein attended the German Network meeting to represent the campaigning and lobbying groups of the UK.

The meeting was very well attended (50 delegates).

A large number of delegates were representing regional umbrella organisations (the Network is divided into branches for each federal state). In addition, there were seven organisations representing sufferers of electrosensitivity, several delegates representing environmentally active political parties, a representative of BUND (the German branch of Friends of the Earth), a representative of the Protestant Church as well as three representatives from Switzerland, two from the UK, one from France, one from Luxembourg and one from Italy.

The morning was spent with a round of individual introductions by each delegate and a further round of introductions in which delegates could present the organisation(s) they represented and their main issues. In the afternoon, there were talks by Dr Volker Schorpp on the effects of mobile phone radiation on trees, Prof Karl Richter on the Competence Initiative and Uwe Dinger on Diagnose Funk, a plenary discussion session and the adoption of a catalogue of joint initiatives to be implemented in the year to come. Participants entered their names in lists to form working groups on different subject matters to keep co-operating throughout the year.

It was also agreed that next year’s Network meeting would take place at Dr. von Klitzing’s ES clinic facilities at Wiesenthal as the venue in Mainz had a high exposure to radiation.

Several issues which recurred in many speakers’ presentations were:

- Censorship in the media (may quoted "friendly" journalists actually admitting that they were not allowed to report openly about the issue).

- More and better media coverage was needed

- Legal system skewed: Judges seemingly not being independent in cases relating to phone masts etc ("brought into line" was the expression used)

- Children were identified as the main group to protect and also to target communications at

- Many groups stressed the importance for campaign groups (even small ones at local level) to be constituted as a legal entity, i.e. as a registered charity. The German legal form most used is an incorporated (or registered) non-profit (or charitable) association.

Having a legal entity forces members to commit for a certain duration and lends more credibility to the group. By being incorporated, the entity can also act as a legal person in a legal case.

Following is a summary of the main players in the field and their activities:

- Netzwerk Risiko Mobilfunk e.V.

Organisers of this event. Umbrella organisation to promote the networking of individual campaign groups and umbrella groups. Organisationally structured by federal state, with a contact person per federal state representing a large number of individual campaigns. The Network estimates that there is a total of 15000 mobile phone campaign groups active in Germany, many of them registered within the Network. The Bavarian representative for example stated that 300 Bavarian groups were registered under his umbrella, however he estimated that were about 2000 further ones in Bavaria alone that were not officially networked.

The Network gives tips on how to start up a group, how to find a lawyer, building biologist etc. Will be overseeing multi-regional working groups on different issues.

- Bürgerwelle e.V.

Best known for operating the EMF-Omega News service. They are another umbrella organisation representing over 1300 campaign groups.

- Kompetenzinitiative zum Schutz von Mensch, Umwelt und Demokratie e.V (KI)

This group has recently obtained registered charitable status. A multi disciplinary working group of medical doctors, scientists and other professionals and academics working for the protection of mankind, the environment and democracy.

They recently published the brochure "Bienen, Vögel, Menschen –Die Zerstörung der Natur durch Elektrosmog (Birds, Bees and Humans – The Destruction of Nature through Electrosmog), by Dr. Ulrich Warnke.

A second brochure which is currently being edited will focus on the effects of microwave radiation on children. A third brochure will focus on effects on humans, animals and plants. KI has many further plans, including legal projects such as creating a legal precedent, class action or constitutional action.

KI are working closely with the BioInititve group in the USA and other national and international groups. They aim to increase their media presence by initiating a TV programme.

- The World Foundation for Natural Sciences

They are an international network of Franciscan Christian scientists and have an English representative. They have already produced a leaflet about the dangers of mobile communications in English aimed at children and young adults.

In Switzerland, they have a dedicated member of staff who has developed a teaching plan for a 90 minute lesson and visits schools. They would be very interested to work with the new UK charity Wired Child.


French organisation (one of several in France)

They operate a helpline and a website, have regional co-ordinators, issue a bi-monthly newsletter. Daniel Oberhausen, the delegate who participated on their behalf and who speaks perfect English, is a retired physicist and co-authored one of the late Dr Santini’s books. They take pride in having been the association that forced the French government to acknowledge the findings of the REFLEX project. They are keen to work at EU level and advocate a reduction of the guidelines to 0.6V/m or 1mW/m2

- Diagnose Funk

Swiss organisation with an excellent website:

They aim to build a central, well structured information platform. Their site offers news (German speaking and international), a chronological listing of relevant scientific studies, a special section in and for doctors (to be enhanced). For the future, they plan to develop more content aimed at children and schools as well as a special "entry level" information page aimed at people new to the subject matter. The also plan to develop one page info sheets/ summaries for important studies.

Diagnose Funk is also involved in building an internet based register of all campaign groups in Switzerland ( Diagnose Funk is cooperating closely with the Competence Initiative in Germany.

- Citizens’ Initiative Der-Mast-Muss-Weg, Stuttgart

Umbrella of several local campaign groups in the West German city of Stuttgart

Very active group with mailing list, great website with research database.

Have produced several very well researched brochures, such as "Die Fälscher" (The Counterfeiters) on research and politics in the Telecoms field, and "Acht Behauptungen, die wir nicht mehr glauben", a brochure which exposes and refutes the main eight arguments of the mobile industry. They also published as a brochure for doctors entitled "Mobilfunk – Einwirkungen auf die menschliche Gesundheit" (Mobile Telecommunications – Effects on Human Health).

Raising awareness in young people. parents and schools are also on their agenda.

They also work closely with KI.

They suggest that campaign groups should work more closely on joint statements and joint initiatives in order to maximise political pressure. They stress the importance of working groups specialising in different issues such as production of general information material, definition of goals, production of materials for special target groups such as children, teachers, writing of joint press releases, establishing guidelines and tips for organising events on the ground…

- Bundesverband Elektrosmog (Dr. Brigit Stöcker)

Founded in 1989 as an association representing people adversely affected by electrosmog. Very active in Lobbying. Asking for the implementation of radiation free protection zones for electrosensitives. Developing a register of suitable accommodation for electrosensitives.

- Dr. Leberecht von Klitzing

Reported on his Wiesenthal Project where he diagnoses and treats electrosensitivity. He also reported on his latest venture which is a consultancy for local councils where he is working with the operators in order to establish and implement concepts of radiation minimisation in actual applications. He claims he has successfully implemented mobile phone installations with exposures as low as 10 microWatt/m2 outdoors and 1 microWatt /m2 indoors which corresponds to the second Salzburg precautionary values.

- Dr. Volker Schorpp – Physicist

Presented evidence of and a potential mechanism for tree damage caused by mobile phone radiation.


We were impressed by the high degree of organisation displayed by the German Network and the discipline and fairness of all participating organisations. In spite of political and ideological differences, everyone was perfectly happy and able to focus on the issues and work together.

We were also completely astounded by the amount of grassroot support for this issue in the entire country. An estimated 15000 campaign groups is something we can only dream about in the UK! In the UK, groups drift in and out of existence because they tend to dissolve as soon as a protest against a particular mast application is over. This leaves lot of potential for further political action unharnessed. In Germany, maybe because the groups constitute a legal entity, people remain committed to keep working on the issue. Through the Network, groups receive ready-planned action plans which they can implement in their own community. For example, there will be a Mobile Phone Action Day on June 21. Actions and materials are centrally planned and produced by Network representatives, so that local groups only need to implement the actions on the day.

Group members pay annual subscription fees to their registered associations, which allows them to fund their activities (although some groups reported receiving grants as they are registered charities).

P.S. Andrea Klein also attended the Mobile Phone Symposium organised by BUND (Bund für Umwelt-und Naturschutz, the German branch of Friends of the Earth) on 24th May 2008. BUND is a large mainstream environmental organisation and they used the symposium to present their new "Position Paper" regarding Electrosmog. It asks for a moratorium on any further expansion of the technology, changes in planning law to give more power to local communities, a massive lowering of the exposure standards (damage prevention standard of 10000 microW/m2, protection standard of 100 microW/ m2, precautionary standard of 1 microW/

m2), new legislation to regulate industries using the frequencies, change in the regulation process of how frequencies are allocated, transparent and independent science and a binding, open and public debate about risk evaluation, which would include representatives of all stakeholders and social groups.

The symposium was oversubscribed (250 delegates) and featured high calibre speakers such as Ulrich Warnke.

Maybe there is hope that we can get FoE UK to get there eventually?