By Victoria Taft April 17, 2020 Customers shop at a Huawei store in Wuhan, China, on June 18, 2018. (Imaginechina via AP Images) Western democracies, especially the United States, just heaved a huge sigh of relief after getting word that United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson is dropping the controversial Chinese tech company, Huawei, as […]
Last week, Antonio Hodgers, the head of Geneva’s executive, announced a ban on the erection of further 5G mobile antennas in the canton, according to an interview on RTS.
Motivated by uncertainty on the potential health effects of the new technology, the temporary freeze is the most the cantonal government can do to stop the rollout of the technology.
Switzerland’s federal government in Bern calls the shots when it comes to the overall plan on 5G rollout. The cantons are only responsible for putting the plan into action.
- Swisscom switches on its 5G mobile network (Le News)
- Swiss canton blocks 5G mobile rollout (Le News)
The governments of both Geneva and Vaud have now put the brakes on 5G rollout in their territories by putting a freeze on permits to erect further 5G antennas. Any existing ones will remain.
While the new 5G antennas being installed meet the regulations issued by Switzerland’s federal government, Hodgers, a member of the Green party, thinks a broader public debate is required, one that looks at the effect of the radio waves emitted by all of the mobile antennas installed rather than 5G ones alone.
In addition, he thinks Swisscom could have shown greater sensitivity to the public’s concerns – Swisscom recently switched on its 5G network, which is now active in Geneva and the rest of Switzerland.
A group of scientists claim the radiation emitted from mobile transmitters may increase cancer risk, cellular stress, harmful free radicals, genetic damage, learning and memory deficits and neurological disorders in humans.
The American Cancer Society says that very few human studies have focused specifically on cellular phone towers and cancer risk, but the energy level of radio frequency waves is relatively low, especially when compared with the types of radiation that are known to increase cancer risk, such as gamma rays, x-rays, and ultraviolet light.
A UK study in 2010 found no association between the risk of early childhood cancers and estimates of the mother’s exposure to mobile phone base stations during pregnancy.
The next significant event in Switzerland’s 5G drama will be the publication of a report by the Federal Office for the Environment on the health effects of 5G, due for release over the summer.