5G: The Netherlands – political concern about the effects of radiation on public health is growing

Credit for this post: AD News, Article by Peter Winterman  Kamer wil eerst stralingsonderzoek, dan pas 5G-netwerk  https://www.ad.nl/tech/kamer-wil-eerst-stralingsonderzoek-dan-pas-5g-netwerk~ab567cd6/

A 5G mast on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. © T-Mobile

Chamber wants radiation research first, then 5G network.

The Lower House is concerned about the health risks of radiation from the new 5G network. Political parties want to know as a matter of urgency what the dangers are before the masts are placed on a large scale.

It must become the new standard for mobile internet: 5G. Downloading things faster on your mobile, arranging everything online even easier. But while preparations are already being made everywhere to roll out this new network, concerns are increasing. Admittedly, there is no convincing evidence that electromagnetic radiation for mobile communication poses a danger to public health. There are, however, scientific studies that indicate a possible correlation of radiation with brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease and infertility in men.

This is the reason why the Lower House is wondering whether we will not decide too quickly to switch to 5G en masse. GroenLinks is urging the Lower House today for an independent investigation by the Health Council into 5G radiation. Laura Bromet, member of parliament: “We still don’t know about the dangers to public health. Little research has been done into the effects of 5G. We need to take people’s concerns seriously and investigate this. ”

Wild growth

Due to the roll-out of super-fast internet via 5G, a proliferation of antennas is expected in the coming years. 5G works at a higher frequency, which means faster internet. The range of the antennas is less, which means that many more masts and antennas will appear in the streets. Now a limited number of cell masts are sufficient, soon there will be antennas in almost every street: for example in lamps and bus shelters.

In Europe a directive applies that prescribes how strong the signals from cell towers may be. Last year, State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs announced that she wanted to have that European standard legally established in the Netherlands. “The purpose of this is to provide certainty about this regime to the citizens and telecom providers during the roll-out of 5G and the placement of the many antennas that are needed,” she said in the Lower House.

But the parliament is not reassured by this. Last week, the Lower House committee that deals with the rollout of 5G sent a letter to Keijzer asking to map out all the research into the health risks of 5G. The committee hoped to receive a response today, but Keijzer did not succeed.

Stricter standards

A spokesperson for the state secretary said that this response is still being worked on. GroenLinks does not want to wait and is already requesting an investigation by the Health Council. ” Keijzer insists that the Netherlands adhere to the European directive, but we see that other European countries apply much stricter standards. That worries me. ”

Last year it already appeared that the government in Flanders had determined that the radiation power of a telephone mast in the vicinity of schools and care homes should only be 7 percent of the EU directive. Various other European countries, including Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Croatia, have considerably higher standards than in the Netherlands.

The Health Council – an independent advisory body for government and parliament – says that they have not yet investigated the possible dangers of the 5G network that is yet to be rolled out. “It may also be that there are no health risks,” says Bromet. ” But we owe it to all Dutch people to sort this out well. Only then can we agree with the rollout of 5G. ”

Further reading – an article from the Volksrant: 
Kabinet vindt nieuw onderzoek naar gezondheidsrisico’s 5G-netwerk onnodig https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/kabinet-vindt-nieuw-onderzoek-naar-gezondheidsrisico-s-5g-netwerk-onnodig~bb268efa/?fbclid=IwAR1Z2UzIoc0zjt8U0Kjg1kuA6OTHzG2eq
The government finds that new research into the health risks of the 5G network is unnecessary

Part of the House of Representatives wants additional research into the health risks of radiation from the new 5G network, but the government does not think that is necessary yet. Scientists disagree among themselves about the danger.

Preparations for large-scale placement of 5G transmission towers and antennas in the Netherlands are in full swing. These are required for higher frequencies, which ensure a faster internet connection. The intention is for the Netherlands to switch to the 5G connection in 2020. But while infrastructure is being prepared in streets, squares and neighborhoods, political concern about the effects of radiation on public health is growing.

“As a House of Representatives, let’s take action and reassure people,” says GroenLinks MP Laura Bromet. GroenLinks found support at the PVV and PvdA for an independent investigation into the consequences of 5G on Thursday. “That is very important to settle the discussion,” Bromet said Thursday. GroenLinks pushed the Health Council forward for this; PvdA MP Moorlach hinted at RIVM.

State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs pointed the opposition to the scientific insights that are already known. “An interim evaluation of a study that has been going on since 2006 shows that daily radiation exposure does not lead to permanent health damage. Additional research is therefore not obvious, ” Keijzer responded. Earlier, the State Secretary announced that the European standard for radiation in the Netherlands should be legally anchored.

Naive attitude

The government’s attitude to the 5G issue is naive, according to retired neurobiologist Hugo Schooneveld. In 2017  he signed the 5G Appeal along with 179 international academics  email and letter to the European Commission  in which they argued that there is little research into the exact harmfulness of 5G radiation. “Current investigations are absolutely irrelevant,” he says.

“The current investigations have been done by technicians. They are laughing about the radiation from 5G, but that is unjustified, “says Schooneveld, who previously worked as a university researcher in Wageningen and founded the Elektrohypersensitivity Foundation in 2007. ‘The European standards are only based on an increase in temperature, but to be able to see the real consequences, much more biological ingenuity is needed. For example, attention should go to changes in non-thermal (non-heat-related, ed .) Cell physiological processes. The technicians stop that because it slows slow down production. “

According to Schooneveld, the cabinet must first look at the real dangers of technology before policy is determined. “5G has a bright future for technical applications, but not in squares, streets and houses where people are constantly exposed,” says the Wageningen biologist. “In the current studies, no attention has been paid to the effects on the skin, while the skin is the protection of humans, all energy is pumped into it. The radiation could lead to so-called electrostress: poor sleep, poor concentration, ringing in the ears, heart problems. That definitely requires more and broader research. “

Uncertainty

Not everyone shares those concerns about 5G. Remco Westerink, neurotoxicologist at Utrecht University, is more nuanced in his opinion. ‘In the Netherlands we always have great difficulty accepting uncertainty. It is very difficult to prove that something is 100% safe. Based on current studies, no clear conclusion can be drawn at this time, “says Westerink. “Effects on the skin are possible, but are not obvious given the current field strength. Because there are many masts, every mast can work at a lower intensity. That therefore also reduces the intensity of exposure and therefore health risks. “