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09 December 2016

Switzerland: Vaudois and Genevois Against Antenna Radiation

Robert Cramer (Green Party/GE)
"Raising the power of antennas costs
less for the operators but is more
harmful to public health."
Vaudois and Genevois against antenna radiation
by Arthur Grosjean@arthurflash, Tribune de Genève, 8 December 2016 (translated by the Editor of "Towards Better Health")

Mobile telephony:  The senators refused to increase the power of antennas, deeming that health effects are not insignificant

The telecoms operators will not be able to increase the power of mobile phone antennas.  The Council of States refused any easing [of the norms] as the motion of the Federal Council had requested.  The vote was very close, 20 against, 19 for, and 3 abstentions.  Party affiliation did not play a decisive role.

The motion had, however, received large support in the commission.  The rapporteur Hans Wiki (PLR/NW) explained at length the need to ease current norms.  "There are more than 15,000 antennas in Switzerland and 6,000 have already reached the authorized limit value.  A modest adaptation of these values would allow us to benefit from good coverage of the mobile network, indispensable for the population and the economy."  He reiterated that the transfer of data is exploding and that, in four years, 20 to 30 million objects will be connected in Switzerland in an increasingly digitized society.

Two women, who are in the minority, sounded the alarm.  First, Brigitte Häberli-Koller (PDC/TG).  She reiterated that electrosmog is making people sick.  "The precautionary principle requires that we keep radiation as low as possible.  Especially as WHO does not exclude the incidence of cancer."  According to her, the operators would do better to develop new antennas or improve the technical performance of existing ones.

Géraldine Savary (PS/VD) does not understand the hurry to lower norms.  "We have received many messages from people suffering from radiation.  These are not imaginary sick persons."  According to her, we must not give in to the pressure of the operators.  She was supported by Olivier Français (PLR/VD), who admitted doubt.  "It is proven that radiation affects the brain.  Does this impair health?  Honestly, there is a doubt.  This makes me think of the debate on asbestos."  For him, we cannot label the risk "negligeable".

Thomas Minder (UDC/SH) has no doubt.  "Because of waves, there are people who cannot leave their home without special clothing.  We have found dead animals near an antenna, and even Apple advises to call with headsets."  Robert Cramer (Les Verts/GE) regrets that the Parliament allows itself to be manipulated by the operators.  "Increasing the power of antennas costs less for them but is more harmful to public health."

One thought the affair was over but then there was a reaction.  It came unexpectedly from Pascale Bruderer (PS/AG).  "We know that the need to transmit data is going to increase.  What are the alternatives?  I don't see them.  In fact, if we do not increase the power of the antennas, it will be necessary to construct more of them."

The federal councillor Doris Leuthard threw all her energy into the fight.  She emphasized that the debate, with the illness of some people and dead animals, has been going on for 15 years.  She refutes the notion that a mobile antenna alone is responsible.  "There is often the conjunction of several sources of radiation (high voltage power lines, the electrified train network, etc.) that explains the problems."

Doris Leuthard added that WHO has never considered mobile antennas to be a health risk.  "The organization will produce a new report in 2018.  No indication leaves us to believe that this position will evolve."  Finally, she drew attention to the contradictions concerning electrosmog.  "We want antennas far from habitations, which implies increasing their power.  And then, 90% of the radiation exposure comes not from antennas but from our own devices."

Did Doris Leuthard convince those who hesitated?  No, she failed narrowly, by one vote.  (TDG)

Original article in French:

1 comment:

  1. Mrs. Leuthard ought to be doing a bit more homework before spreading wrong information. But Thanks to Heaven, she was outvoted all the same, much to the relief of the electro-sensitive part of the population, and many others.


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