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  • ESG PR re Free Hospital Wi-Fi

    ESG Press Release   “Free Hospital Wi-Fi”
    February 2016


    The ESG would like to state its concerns based on the article, entitled “Coming Soon: Free Hospital Wi-Fi” which was published by Gibraltar Chronicle, on Thursday 11th February.

    The ESG has worked closely with HM GoG and private entities on the siting of mobile phone masts antennae with reasonable satisfaction. Mutual consensus was achieved in maintaining an acceptable transmission distance, between antennae and schools, and also hospitals. Wi-Fi routers and access points also radiate microwaves, but with substantially lower power. The proximity which people get to Wi-Fi antennae and the length of exposure time is of concern; it is a question of ‘dosimetry’ i.e. the radiation dose received by the human body.

    In May 2000, the ‘Stewart Report’ commissioned by the UK Government, stated: ”A precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies be adopted until much more detailed and scientifically robust information on health effects becomes available” (paragraph 6.35)

    In May 2011, WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequencies
    as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B); this falls in the same category as DDT, chloroform, lead, gasoline fumes etc..
    Certainly not to be found within a hospital’s clinical environment.

    Current safety standards imposed by ‘INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON NON-IONIZING RADIATION PROTECTION’ (ICNIRP) fall short of adequate protection. These are outdated (1998), being too permissive, and ignoring possible long-term effects.

    In 6 May 2011, The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in their Doc. 12608 entitled “The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment” suggested in article 8.3.2 that member states ‘…..ban all mobile phones, DECT phones or Wi-Fi or WLAN systems from classrooms and schools, as advocated by some regional authorities, medical associations, and civil society organisations.’


    The recent ‘BioInitiative 2012 Report’ prepared by 29 authors from ten countries, ten holding medical degrees (MDs), 21 PhDs, and three MSc, MA or MPHs. Among the authors are three former presidents of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and five full members of BEMS. Bioeffects are clearly established to occur with very low exposure levels (non-thermal levels) to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation exposures. The stakes are very high. Human beings are bioelectrical systems. Our hearts and brains are regulated by internal bioelectrical signals. Environmental exposures to artificial EMFs can interact with fundamental biological processes in the human body.

    In 29th January 2015, the French National Assembly made history by passing a new national law to reduce exposures to wireless radiation electromagnetic fields:
    1.Wi-Fi banned in Nursery Schools; WI-FI and Wireless devices will be banned in “the spaces dedicated to home, to rest and activities of children under 3 years”.
    2. Wi-Fi minimized in Schools; for children up to 11 years, Wi-Fi routers should be turned off when not in use for pedagogic purposes. Etc…

    ESG believes it is not prudent to roll-out 24 hours Wi-Fi throughout the whole hospital; precautionary measures should be taken on the children’s ward, maternity wards, and the elderly care wards/bedrooms.

    When there’s controversy amongst the scientific community, the ‘Precautionary Principle’ is invoked. GHA must stand on the side of caution and implement a precautionary approach.   The ESG adds it will be discussing these concerns further with Government and GHA officials.