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EMF Studies

14 April 2016

Switzerland: Doctors Want to Protect Children from Mobile Phone Radiation

Doctors in Favor of the Environment is creating a storm
over these plans:  "Lobbies in Parliament are attempting
to increase the limit values for mobile base stations in
Switzerland."  Fetuses, children, and adolescents are
particularly vulnerable because their bodies and brains
are still developing.
Doctors want to protect children from mobile phone radiation
by Nikolai Thelitz, 20 Minutes, 13 April 2016 (Google translation from German, with grammatical corrections)

In Parliament, the pressure to allow more cell towers is growing. Doctors warn of health effects, particularly in children.

The Swiss mobile network  is reaching its limit due to massive increase in data flow. According to provider information, 6,000 out of a total of around 15,000 mobile base stations are already at the limit of permissible radiation levels. A motion of the telecommunications industry asks for immediate increase in the limit values. The Federal Council recommends adopting the motion. The Parliament must also vote on it.

The association, Doctors in Favor of the Environment (Aefu) is creating a storm over these plans: "Attempts in parliament through lobbying are being made to increase the limit values for mobile base stations in Switzerland," says Aefu Director Martin Forter. He warns of the dangers of cell phone radiation. This could affect brain waves and cerebral blood flow, reduce sperm quality and destabilize genetic information. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified mobile phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic. Therefore, Forter calls for : "No increase in the limit values for mobile communications equipment." Fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents are particularly vulnerable because their bodies and brains are still developing.



Harmfulness not verified

The Federal Council noted in a report last year: "The only harm to humans from the effect of cell phone radiation which has been scientifically proven beyond doubt is the heating of body tissue as a result of absorption of the radiation." The current limit values ​​for mobile phones would protect against this.

For the "much weaker" impact of cellular antennas, meaningful long-term studies are lacking. According to WHO, studies do not yet indicate an increased cancer risk. That does not reassure Forter. "It is still too early to give the all clear.  If we raise the limit values now, we are taking a completely unnecessary risk."

Despite the lack of evidence, a study by the Federal Statistical Office estimates that slightly more than half of the Swiss population perceives radiation from mobile phone antennas as dangerous or more dangerous. The federal government expects "opposition from sections of the population" regarding the raising of limit values.

"Netflix on the train, but no antenna at home"

In politics, the increase of the limit values is controversial: "We have ten times stricter limits than for example Germany, and there, one has also found no impact" says FDP Councillor Ruedi Noser. Compared with other countries, the planned increase would be moderate.

Whether or not mobile phone radiation is greater if you hold the device to your ear for a long time, "young people tend to write messages and surf the Internet, where you hold the device further away from the head." The irradiation thereby decreases exponentially. Noser does not understand the population being against the many projects for cell towers: "One wants to be able to look at Netflix on the train, but not have any cell phone antennas in one's neighborhood."

Innovation instead of radiation

SP National Councillor Thomas Hardegger is against mobile antennas emitting more radiation. "Instead of increasing the limits, mobile operators should work together and share their antennas, then we would need no increase in capacity." In addition, mobile operators should consider innovation. "If we do not increase the limit values, the antenna manufacturers would be motivated to develop high performance antennas emitting less radiation, which can only be favorable to the population." In St. Gallen, for example, small antennas tested in soil were not radiating so strongly, but still allowing good coverage.

Original article:
http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/12694055

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