We’re disappointed that big news in France hasn’t made its way to the top of U.S. headlines: the French National Assembly recently passed a law that will help to limit young children’s exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by wireless technologies. Two years in the works, the law encompasses various rules, including:

  • Banning WiFi in any childcare facilities catering to children under the age of 3.
  • Requiring cell phone manufacturers to recommend the use of hands-free kits to everyone.
  • Banning any advertising that specifically targets youth under the age of 14.

The law, passed by a majority vote and adopted into place on January 29, 2015, is the first in France to suggest and establish that WiFi over-exposure may indeed be hazardous to young children — a controversial topic, not just in France, but around the world.

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The law, entitled, “An Act on Sobriety, Transparency, Information and Consultation for Exposure to Electromagnetic Waves,” while comprised of many sections, most importantly, is setting a good example about how it may be best to take a precautionary approach when addressing the potential health risks of WiFi exposure. Various research, from informal to formal, shows that chronic exposure to WiFi, may be harmful to youth. Some current literature on the subject has shown that exposure to high-powered WiFi environments may include attention problems, cardiac irregularities, seizures, fatigue, and other health problems. Another scientific report published recently shows that kids’ brains may absorb twice as much cellphone radiation as adults’ brains. Last, but certainly not least, screen addiction has become a very real health and well-being issue. Unfortunately, and contrary to the initial proponents of the new law, WiFi will still be permitted in primary schools. That said, we’re still very happy to hear that France is taking small steps to alleviate some of the problems caused by screens and WiFi, and hope to see similar actions in the United States and other places around the world.

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