Posted on: April 14, 2020 at 8:46 pm
Last updated: October 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm

The technology industry is one that is always trying to better the customer experience, and that is no different when it comes to telecoms. First, we had 3G, then 4G, and now companies are trying to make everything even faster with 5G. But now, Switzerland is tapping the brakes on its 5G rollout due to what they consider to be health concerns.

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5G networks already exist in North America. Switzerland has been one of the earliest European countries to begin setting up the framework for the 5G network, but the rollout has been indefinitely stalled due to concerns over public health. (1, 2)

Swiss Environment Agency Stops 5G Rollout

Switzerland has been the fastest European country to get 5G set up in the nation, having built over 2000 antennas over the course of last year to make the upgrade. (1, 2)

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Bafu, the country’s environmental agency, has put a full stop on the use of the antennas until further notice. Bafu is responsible for determining the criteria against which radiation emissions from towers such as the 5G ones are judged against. The problem, the agency says, is that it can not yet provide those criteria because not enough testing has been done on the impact of 5G radiation. They will now be examining the exposure through the 5G antennas, as best they can in real-word conditions. They expect this testing will take a long time. (1, 2)

Until then, the country will have to license 5G infrastructure according to the existing guidelines on radiation exposure, which don’t leave much room for the 5G network to operate. (1, 2)

Telecom company Swisscom says it will continue to build out the infrastructure for the 5G network, even if they won’t be able to use it at full capacity yet. (1, 2)

There have been several protests already in Bern, Zurich, and Geneva, and the Swiss Medical Association has expressed concerns about the lack of knowledge on the potential that the technology could cause nerve damage and even contribute to cancer development. (1, 2)

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Popular Initiative Gaining Traction Across the Country

Several proposals for legal referendums on 5G use in Switzerland are in the works, with two of them having already gone out and are collecting signatures. If they collect 100,000 or more they will trigger a nation-wide vote which could result in amendments to Switzerland’s constitution. One of these two proposals is looking to put strict regulations on radiation emissions from towers and give residents veto power on construction in their area, the other on making telecoms companies liable for health problems as a result of the radiation. (1, 2)

Read: What It’s Like Inside The Doomsday Vault That Stores Every Known Crop On The Planet

Are 5G Networks a Threat to Public Health?

Fears over new technologies and the potential effects they can have on our health are nothing new. They go all the way back to microwaves, an appliance found in nearly every American home. (3, 4, 5)

While it is true that some forms of radiation are dangerous, not all radiation is. Anything that emits heat causes radiation, including your own body. There is no real evidence that things such as microwaves, cellphones, and other technologies emit waves of radiation that are small enough or a high enough frequency to do damage. (3, 4, 5)

False Claims About 5G Network’s Threat on Public Health

There have been many conspiracy theories that have been published on social media and blogs in both North America, Europe, and the U.K., none of which are true. These include:

5G radiation causes:(6)

  • Infertility
  • Cancer
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • COVID-19

None of these claims have any evidence to back them up, and the coronavirus pandemic was most definitely not caused by 5G radiation waves.

The Bottom Line

Scientists and researchers are continuing to study radiation emissions from 5G towers, as well as many of the other radiation-emitting items we use every single day. There is no conclusive evidence that they pose a health risk at this time, so make sure that when you hear someone making a claim, you look into the research and information behind that claim. This will save you from stress that frankly, you just don’t need.


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Julie Hambleton
Team Writer
Julie Hambleton is a fitness and nutrition expert and co-founder of The Taste Archives along with her twin sister Brittany Hambleton.

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