So-called electrosensitive people have long wondered about the dangerousness of using cell phones.

Headache, nausea …

Jacqueline Thouément, 60, says her symptoms first appeared at her workplace ten years ago. Since then it no longer supports the presence of a mobile phone. Her symptoms are immediate and systematic as soon as she is in the presence of a cell phone.

“I immediately have headaches, a burning feeling in the neck, skull, like crackling, a feeling of nausea, loss of balance, and tinnitus that comes back systematically. It’s several minutes, hours. even days to find serenity and free myself from all this pollution that my body accumulates “.

This pollution of which Jacqueline speaks is made up of electromagnetic waves emitted and received by mobile phones, when they communicate with relay antennas. The cells absorb some of the energy from these electromagnetic waves. This is measured, this is called the SAR, Specific Absorption Rate. It is regulated and any phone sold in France must not exceed a maximum SAR.

Regulated SAR: no overexposure

It’s not that simple according to Marc Arazi. He founded the NGO Alerte Phonegate, and writes a book in which he denounces the lack of transparency of manufacturers and control authorities regarding the level of exposure to which people would actually be subjected. Since 2016 he has been fighting for this data to be made public.

“This data was kept secret, and it took a battle of more than two years, and yet it is not over, to begin to have the first elements of these energy levels. We realized just when these data were available, that certain telephones exceeded in an extremely important way the SAR given in the instructions, the SAR could be 10-40 times higher than what was announced by the manufacturer “.

Not enough controls?

The National Frequencies Agency is an agency responsible for monitoring cellphones placed on the market. It measures the level of electromagnetic waves absorbed by our body, the famous SAR. Since 2016, regulations (which dated from 1999) and controls have started to strengthen to better correspond to the use of laptops.

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In addition to the head, the SAR is also measured at the level of the limbs, hands, pants pockets, but also closer to the body. Gilles Bregant is Director General of ANFR, he explains.

“The Agency tests several dozen phones each year on the market, moreover in 2021 we will test 140 different phone models to verify that their SAR does not exceed the standard. Unfortunately, some phones may exceed the standard, in this case, we have the possibility as a control agency to remedy this and ensure that these phones are withdrawn from the market or upgraded to return to a normal SAR “.

The effects of the cell phone on health

There are many studies on the subject. The National Health Security Agency has made an assessment of all scientific knowledge to check whether cell phones can be dangerous for health, disrupt brain function, cause tumors for example …

“Of course the waves have an effect, they pass through the human body so they interact with the body as far as there are no health effects demonstrated today. We do not yet know everything, we cannot demonstrate that no effects will ever be found, it was necessary to be careful with regard to this use, in particular for children who will be exposed all their life, to have a reasoned use of mobile phones “, Explain Olivier Merckel, responsible for the evaluation of new technologies at ANSES.

What about electro-sensitivity?

It is the same for ANSES, the symptoms exist, they must be treated and taken care of. Even if for the moment no study has yet made it possible to directly incriminate the waves.

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New studies are underway to find out more, while waiting, as a precaution, ANSES recommends simple actions to limit its exposure.

  • Choose a phone with a low SAR. To find out, you have to look and check the telephone manual or look on the website of theANFR.
  • Avoid telephoning in public transport or in an area with poor reception.
  • Use the hands-free kit or the loudspeaker to move the laptop away from its head.