Cell towers have become a familiar sight in our landscapes in line with the increased use of mobile phones by the population and their increased capacities. This deployment is governed by regulations that guarantee that the public is protected.
These regulations cover all radio transmitters. The ANFR is an essential player in their implementation which has two parts, radio stations (cell towers for example) on the one hand and terminal equipment (cell phones, smartphones, tablets, etc.) on the other. Furthermore, the ANFR’s expertise allows it to make proposals to the Government with a view to limiting public exposure to radio waves.
The ANFR authorises radio transmitters from a radiated power of 5 watts and regularly carries out checks in the field. It defines the reference method to measure radio fields (ANFR protocol) and ensures compliance with the regulation exposure limit values for the general public to electromagnetic fields. It collects the measurements made by accredited laboratories (COFRAC) that apply the Agency protocol and publishes them on its web site www.cartoradio.fr.
Furthermore, the ANFR checks the compliance of mobile phones and other radio equipment sold in France. It also makes sure that the specific absorption rate (SAR) is compliant with national regulations (less than 2 watts per kilogram for the local head SAR).
The National Agency for food safety, environment and work assesses the health risks related to the exposure of the public. The Health ministry assesses the action to be taken, in particular in terms of the exposure thresholds to comply with. The ANFR makes sure that these thresholds are respected.
Furthermore, the so-called “Abeille” act conferred the Agency new missions in order to reconcile information of the general public and the fast deployment of digital networks.