EMR Updates from Around the World - EMR & Health Report March 2016 Issue


An Italian town has turned off WiFi in its schools. The Mayor of Borgofranco, Livio Tola, made the decision to remove WiFi from both primary and secondary schools because of concerns about the impact of radiation on children’s health. The schools will continue to provide internet access by wired computers. (La Stampa Cronache, 08.01.16.)


The government of Cyprus has begun a campaign to reduce children’s exposure to wireless radiation. Launched in December, the campaign aims to protect children by lessening their exposure and includes public awareness activities. A survey of teenagers in Cyprus found that 6% spend more than 15 hours a day using multimedia devices. Another found that multimedia use adversely affected teens’ mental and physical health, relationships, self-respect and weight. (Balkan News, 11.12.15.)


Nigeria plans to introduce mandatory setbacks for mobile phone base stations from residences. Dr Lawrence Anukam, Director-general of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, advised that the Agency would require a 10-metre setback. This decision follows residents’ complaints about the towers, including concerns about emissions. (Leadership, 13.12.15.)


The Indonesian Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection would like to ban children’s use of mobile phones in elementary schools. Yohana Yembise told campaigners at a UNICEF event in Jakarta that she is concerned about children’s exposure to pornography, addiction and communication problems with parents. She urged families to spend more time connecting in person. (Jakarta Post, 20.11.15.)


The City of Tarragona in Spain is introducing measures to help people who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and related syndromes that will come into operation on 1 July.

According to the Government, about 3.5% of the city’s population suffers from what it calls Central Sensitivity Syndromes (CSS), which includes EHS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and Fibromyalgia (FM). These conditions impact, not just the sufferers’ physical and mental health, but create social and financial difficulties for them and their families.

The Liga SFC/SSC Association worked with the City to develop an eight-pronged strategy to support affected people This includes:

  • diagnosing and conducting a census of affected people’;
  • providing sufferers with support, including food subsidies and reduced bills;
  • creating chemically- and electromagnetically-safe housing;
  • reducing pesticide use throughout the City;
  • educating social workers about the Syndrome;
  • improving working conditions for City staff with CSS. 

The city is to finalise the plan by the end of June and to communicate it to associations of affected people. It also plans to write to the Governments of Catalonia and Spain urging them to adopt a similar program and to educate the wider community about CSS.