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04 May 2015

Switzerland: Review of Electrosmog Norms : Letter to Members of the Parliament (National Council)

Cell phone antennas in Switzerland
(Image selected by the Editor of Towards Better Health)
Challenging the Electrosmog Norms for Switzerland 
Press document, Association Romande Alerte aux ondes électromagnétiques (ARA) , Morges,
4 May 2015 (translated from French by the Editor of this blog)

Morges, 4 May 2015 - Recently, ARA (Association Romande Alerte aux ondes électromagnétiques) sent to each one of the 200 members of the Swiss National Council an information file on the risks of electromagnetic pollution.  This file consists of a brochure entitled "Electromagnetic Waves - They have been causing headaches for nearly 100 years" by Pierre Dubochet, the DVD "Microwaves, Science and Lies" by the Septième Factory [1], and a covering letter in French and German.

This summer, the National Council will be debating solutions relating to the saturation of the mobile phone network, due to increasing demand.  In spite of the many scientific studies showing that electromagnetic fields, even at low levels, have biological effects, our members of Parliament remain ill-informed of the health issues.  A large majority of them believe they are protected by the norms of ORNI (Ordinance on protection from non-ionizing radiation) without knowing that these norms are solely based on thermal effects.

ARA would like these deliberations to take place with full knowledge of the facts and that all options be taken into account in order to avoid relaxation of the current norms of ORNI.  In fact, alternative solutions exist but they are barely considered in the documents submitted for study by the National Council.

Annexes:  Letter to the National Council in French and German

Morges, 27 April 2015

Dear Members of the National Council,

Re:  Postulates Noser (12.3580; "For mobile phone networks adapted to future demands") and the Liberal-Radical Group (14.3149: "Reduction in the number of mobile phone antennas through adjustment of the limit values")

On 25 February 2015, the Federal Council adopted a report in response to the afore-cited postulates.  Their authors would like a review of the framework conditions applying to the development of mobile phone networks, notably, a reduction in the number of antennas, with increase in their power.

We draw your attention to the increasing number of independent scientific studies which present the danger of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted by telecommunications equipment (cell phones, Wi-Fi, antennas).  These studies suggest an application of the precautionary principle in view of the fact that this type of radiation favors the onset of various neurological, immune, and hormonal disorders as well as degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.  The number of persons suffering from electrosensitivity (EHS) is increasing.  Their very disabling condition is little known because there are still no specific and systematic statistical analyses being performed by our authorities and because these persons are often obliged to stay indoors, victims of the wide-spread idea that their problem is not real.

The "reduction in the number of antennas through adjustment of limit values" requested in the postulates cited above clearly means that instead of increasing the number of antennas, in order to economize on the cost and management of installations, the operators would increase the power.  This would mean relaxing the limit values imposed by the Ordinance on protection from non-ionizing radiation (ORNI), even though the latter is already not strict enough and non-exemplary at the international level.  In fact, ORNI regulates the level of emissions (radiation emitted by a single installation) but not the level of emissions (the total amount of radiation existing in a given location).  This means that even if an installation emits at 6 V/m, the nursery school located nearby receives an accumulation of emissions from all the neighboring installations, which could reach the maximum emission limits of ICNIRP (limits fixed at 61 V/m).

The Federal Constitution protects citizens against all damage to health.  This protection, however, is not assured in this case, as ORNI only sets the limit values of emissions for fixed installations.  The rapid and unchecked increase of mobile phone emitters and other related equipment is already causing significant harm to the population, especially to the weakest members such as children and persons at risk.

We thus believe it is important and necessary that you, as responsible, elected officials, consider alternative solutions which would allow responding to the modern needs of communication without increasing the power of the antennas.  Common good and public health demand encouragement of the development and use of equipment that is more respectful of the population.  Technological solutions along these lines already exist.

Consequently, within the framework of the decisions that you will utimately be taking regarding the Noser and PLR postulates, we would ask you to immediately reject all relaxation of the limit values imposed by ORNI.

The attached documentation will give you an idea of the relevance of the reservations expressed by a significant part of the scientific community (see annexes).

In the hope of contributing towards a better understanding of this important public health issue, please accept the assurances of our highest consideration,

Patrick Rion,
Working Group, EMF Norms

Nicole Matthey K.
Working Group, EMF Norms

Daniel Favre 
PhD in Biology

* ICNIRP : International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

[1]  For English-speaking readers, see this synopsis of the film posted on the "Smart Grid Awareness" site.

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