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24 February 2021

Switzerland: Doctors for the Environment say new 5G antennas are "not safe" for humans

New antennas for 5G would be "unsafe"
ATS, Tribune de Genève, February 24, 2021 - translation

Doctors for the Environment (MfE) believe that the new antennas for 5G are "not safe" for humans.

The new adaptive antennas would allow 
extension of the 5G network in Switzerland.
Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi

The new adaptive antennas that will enable the extension of the 5G network in Switzerland do not guarantee a sufficient level of protection for humans, according to the Doctors for the Environment (MfE). They are not convinced by DETEC's arguments in this respect.

According to the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communic-ations (DETEC), the radiation limit values remain unchanged with the new antennas.

Doctors for the Environment do not consider that the current level of protection is maintained. They explained in a press release on Wednesday that the maximum transmission power is no longer valid for determining the operating mode of adaptive antennas that can be used for the 5G network and the existing 4G network.

Increased limit values

Temporarily, adaptive antennas can exceed more than ten times the permitted transmission power and even more. What is new: The limit value must be determined within 6 minutes. This is an increase of the limit values by a roundabout way, according to MfE.

The justification for increasing the peak values of adaptive antennas is based on simulation studies, one-off test measurements and calculation bases that do not prove that the level of protection for local residents is maintained.

Mobile phone users exposed

And the new regulations do not only grant adaptive antennas a more flexible level of protection for those living near antennas. Mobile phone users are also unnecessarily exposed to radiation inside buildings when using coverage via antennas outside.

As physicians, the MfE consider such an increase in radiation exposure to be a health risk and "unacceptable" according to the current state of knowledge.

As little radiation as possible

According to several studies, exposure to radiation is harmful to health. In 2019, the advisory commission of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization called for studies to re-evaluate the risk of cancer due to radiation from telephony.

The impact of radiation on well-being, electrosensitivity, cognition and reproduction is also being debated.

In its position paper on the limit values for 2020, the advisory expert group on non-ionizing radiation (NIR) of the Federal Office for the Environment, of which the MfE is a member, notes uncertainties. It continues to recommend the systematic application of the precautionary principle.

Original article in French:

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