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13 June 2016

Switzerland: Limit Values for Mobile Phone Installations

Press Release
Doctors for the Protection of the Environment
7 June 2016

(Unofficial translation from French by the Editor of this blog.)

Limit values for mobile phone installations

Prevention or concern a posteriori?

An American study published in the last few days shows more cancers in animals in response to long-term irradiation from mobile phones.  At the same time, on 16 June, the Parliament is going to decide whether the limit values of mobile phone installations should be increased (motion 16.3007).  This means that people and animals would be exposed to a greater intensity of radiation.  Doctors for the Protection of the Environment (MfE) is asking the Parliament to reject the motion.  The Swiss Farmers' Union is requesting the same thing.  The Swiss Landowners' Association and HabitatDurable Suisse also reject the motion.

More and more clear data show that mobile telephony constitutes a health risk.  Since 2011, mobile phone radiation has been classified by WHO as potentially carcinogenic because studies have shown an increased risk of brain tumors from intensive use of cell phones.  A few days ago, the persons responsible for a research program undertaken by the American authorities reported that male rats developed cardiac and brain tumors during a long-term experiment where they were exposed to mobile phone radiation http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov.

Studies show not only disturbing health effects from cell phone radiation, but in addition, repercussions from radiation intensity emanating from mobile phone installations, emitting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Swiss experiments for example report on accumulation of blindness in calves near mobile phone antennas.

In a study undertaken in Switzerland in 2004, 30,000 persons (extrapolated figure) noted at that time disorders linked to mobile phone installations.  Recent investigations confirm these figures.

The raising of limit values is unacceptable

Regarding the health of the population as well as that of domesticated animals, it is for us unacceptable that an increase in limit values of mobile phone antennas is envisaged, given the scientific data on health risks.  The motion which will be put to vote in the National Council on 16 June 2016 and which calls for an increase in limit values of mobile phone antennas and easing of procedures for authorization of mobile phone installations, inappropriately paves the way for more and more concentrated mobile data traffic coverage inside buildings.  This type of activity is more radiation-intensive and less energy efficient than coverage for example via a fiber optic network.  For outdoors, solutions for limited radiation without increasing limit values already exist such as "Wireless St. Gallen".

Avoid useless exposure

From a medical point of view, one thing is clear:  the results of scientific studies up to now clearly show that it is necessary to exercise good judgment in avoiding useless exposure. This approach reflects a medically responsible attitude.  MfE requests the Parliament to refuse this action that is harmful to health and to support the minority proposal of Hardegger.

Doctors for the Protection of the Environment requests the National Council to refuse motion 16.3007 relating to the increase in limit values of mobile phone antennas.  The Swiss Farmers' Union asks the same thing.  The Landowners' Association (HEV) and HabitatDurable Suisse equally rejects the motion.

Dr. med. Peter Kalin, President simple 079 636 51 15

Thomas Hardegger, member of the National Council PS ZH 079 461 04 44

Briefing session with Mr. Hans-Peter Hutter, professor at the University of Vienna:  Mobile phones and health

On 7 June at 1.15 pm, Doctors for the Protection of the Environment is organizing a parliamentary session at the Federal Palace on the subject of mobile telephony and health.  Professor Hans-Peter Hutter, qualified engineer and medical specialist at the Medical University of Vienna, will deliver a briefing on the possible health risks of mobile phone installations and the need for health prevention.  The Supreme Health Council of the Austrian Ministry of Health recommends prudent use of mobile telephony given the existing data on the subject.  Specifically, this Ministry recommends, besides the limit values valid internationally, putting in place radiotelephony installations with target values 100 times (power density) lower than the limit values in place to protect the population from long-term consequences.  This means limit values lower than those currently mandated in Switzerland.

Professor Michael Hässig, of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zurich, will answer questions related to the Faculty's results which scientifically analyzed animal diseases linked to the operation of mobile phone antennas.

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