17
Jul
2005

WHO, children, antennas and executives

Repacholi statement on hands-free headsets to children yielded this in the Israeli TV and then also the newspapers:

"WHO says that phones are dangerous to children" (TV) "WHO is doing a study on children and/ or says that phones are dangerous to children" (newspapers)

The companies reaction about the hands free headset was that it should be taken seriously, and the solution is to put more antennas because the more antennas are, the less the power they emit.

One thing led to anothher and this is in the healines today: "A study done by the WHO determined that cellular radiation can damage children. Following the study, the communication minister has decided to force the cellular companies to print a warning on mobile phones". By Tamar Trabalsi Hadad. Yediot Ahronot 17/7/05

The communication minister, Dalia Izik, informed that she would force the celluar companies to print warning on mobile phones about the possible risks and damages that the use can cause children. The decision was received following the notice from the World Health Organization on the subject.

A study done for the WHO found that children are exposed more than adults to radiation. It was claimed in the study that because children's skulls are thinner, and their brains are developing, the EMR can cause damage.

"The study done by the WHO needs to turn on a red light. We have to act in order to protect the children" said the communication minister [who is always on the cellular companies side!...I.A] According to Izik, the warning on cigarette boxes affected many smokers and a warning on the monile will have simlar effect. Izik ordered the people in her ministry to study the recent studies done by the WHO, and to decide with consultation of the health ministry and environment ministry about a warning that would force the cellular companies. She asked the team also to decide on recommendations about children use of cellular phones.

Several months ago, after UK government decided to publish warning on the phones about the use of children, Dr. Izhak Kadman, executive of the council for children's wellness, asked for similar rules in Israel.

And on another subject: The cellular companies executives will start a campaign against the resistance of the public to the cellular antennas. It is the first time they will do it themselves and not through their PR office. The Home office minister Ofir Pines is leading a change of the law in Israel.

The 3 changes are:
1. The public will have the right to resist the antennas
2. the local authorities will have the right to resist antennas
3. The cellular companoes will pay 80% compensation on rediction of property value and the local authority will pay 20% (to the citizens).

After preparing the public and the ministers to the discussion in the government today, on TV, newspapers and radio, the discussion was postponed in the last moment.

The celullar companies executives called for a special press conference on Friday's afternoon, it is a very unusual step, and they informed they were going to go for a fight. They open a fight against the public attack on the cellular antennas. The reason for urgency was the step by Ofir Pines that was sopposed to move today to a government decision (and them to passing a law). The cellular companies were sure the communication minister would file a compromise request but she decided not to do so. They companies did not expect the extent to which the resistance to anetnnas would grow. The executives said the suugestion (of Pines) is "unbalanced". "Our suggestion is to examine the subject again and not accept a decision now" said Pelephone's executive. Amikam Cohen (Partner's executive) said that it's about billilons of shekels of lawsuits and they would not be able to survive it.

The PR are done with the help of Professor Yossi Riback. He is from the faculty of public health in Tel Aviv university. [Riback consults to the cellular companies for several years, he is also a member of the committee for environmental carcinogens of the Cancer Society of Israel]. He says that from the public health point of view the more antennas is better because the high density of antennas reduces the power of the real danger- the radiation from cellular phones. Riback said there is a "crusade" against the antennas and it is not justified from a public health point of view.

There are about 6200 antennas in Israel today and the 3G will bring this number to 25,000 antennas. This year the companies erected 2100+ antennas of 3G. Pelephone's executive said: "the government sold frequencies for 150 million dollars and forces us to erect 3G within three years. If the decision is not to erect 3G, then give us back the money you got and we invested".

You can see here a picture of the three executives of the companies. From right to left (executive of compney:) Cellcom, Pelephone, Partner.

//www.nrg.co.il/cgi-bin/nrgprint.pl?channel=business_channel

Iris Atzmon.
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