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EMF Studies

08 February 2018

Switzerland: Radiation Opponents Call for Antenna-Free Living Areas

According to the petition, 5 to 10% of the Swiss
population are electrosensitive.  But exposure
also has an impact on people who do not belong
to this group.
Radiation opponents call for antenna-free living areas
by von R. Knecht,  20min.ch, 5 February 2018

A new petition calls for residential areas without mobile masts in Switzerland. The initiators are modeled on smoke-free zones.

"We want to pull the emergency brake in Bern," says Kathrin Luginbühl, one of the initiators of the petition, to 20 minutes. Soon the concessions will be awarded for 5G. A 5G antenna is also planned near Luginbühl's house in Hadlikon.

First low-radiation zone: Hadlikon

At present, Hadlikon is hardly exposed to radiation, as Luginbühl says. The IG therefore proposes the hamlet belonging to Hinwil as one of the first antenna-free zones in Switzerland. It also requires that further clearly defined locations be designated as "low-radiation zones" where mobile radio antennas may not be installed.

Electrosensitivity: Giant problem or illusion?

[In the original article, one may click here to express one's opinion on electrosensitivity.]

An important basis for the concerns of the IG is the report of the Federal Council on the protection against secondhand smoke from the year 2006. The antenna-free zones demanded by the IG are analogous to smoke-free zones. The measure applies to the protection of the population - the full name of the IG is also syndicate Hadlikon for the protection of the population.

Health damage is feared

According to the initiator Luginbühl, the electromagnetic radiation emanating from mobile phone masts causes health damage. She herself was particularly sensitive to this radiation for decades and suffers from, among other things, sleep disorders and headaches when exposed to it.

According to the petition, 5 to 10 percent of the Swiss population are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. But exposure also has an impact on people who do not belong to this group. This was confirmed by many independent studies, according to Luginbühl. Which studies she means exactly, the initiator did not yet to reveal. The various findings will be submitted by the IG on Friday in Bern.

No scientific evidence

Gregor Dürrenberger from the Research Foundation for Electricity and Mobile Communications at ETH Zurich does not share Luginbühl's concerns. There is no scientific evidence that the antennas could cause health damage with their radiation. Experts are of the opinion that - if anything - the radiation of the mobile phone could be more of a risk because its antenna is close to the body.

Dürrenberger also does not see a clear correlation between electrosensitivity and radiation. The symptoms are real, that is undisputed. However, radiation is very unlikely to be the physical cause. "There are some indications that people's belief that radiation is harmful plays an important role," says Dürrenberger.

You live next to an antenna, but you do not care about the radiation? Or do you notice something about it? Tell us about your experience.

Polluters should bear the burden of proof

Initiator Luginbühl is now aware that it is difficult to prove the impairment caused by radiation. However, she believes it is wrong for those affected to bear the burden of proof: "Instead, the polluters should be able to prove that radiation has no effect on their health."

Network providers acted grossly negligent when they put technologies into operation across the board without sufficiently examining their environmental compatibility, says Luginbühl. Therefore, the IG demands that all mobile technologies undergo such a test.

The network operators say:

20 minutes has asked the network operators, whether they want to comment on the petition.

Sunrise: The expansion of the network is necessary because the traffic doubles annually, especially in residential and business zones. The research has so far proven no harmful effect.

Swisscom: Launching a petition is "good Swiss democratic law". The company did not want to comment on the health issue and referred to the Federal Office for the Environment and the Research Foundation for Electricity and Mobile Communications.

Salt: Salt also emphasizes that research so far has not proven harmful effects on mobile phone systems. In addition, the petition sees the company attacking the country's progress. This is because the IG demands that no further concessions be granted for nationwide mobile phone technologies.

Original article in German:

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