Professor Marek Zmyślony about the 5G network

Auto translated from Polish.

Prof Marek Zmyślony is the head of the Radiological Protection Institute of the Occupational Medicine Institute in Łódź. He is also the Chairman of the Commission of the Polish Society for Radiation Research for Bioelectromagnetic Problems.

The Institute of Citizens’ Affairs talks with professor Marek Zmyślony about the 5G network, the controversy surrounding its construction and radiation standards for mobile telephony transmitters in Poland.

Professor, we are currently using the next generation cellular network: 2G, 3G and 4G. The Minister of Digital Affairs announces that radiation standards for cell phone transmitters in Poland should be raised so that we can implement the 5G network in Poland. What do you say

The Minister of Digital Affairs, of course, has the right to infer and make such opinions that standards should be raised. This is the personal view of the minister of digitization. He is based on the views of the Institute of Communications. However, I just want to remind you that the new limits will be presented by the Minister of Health in consultation with the Minister of Digitization, so it must be a well-worn project of two ministries. The Ministry of Health is the leading party here. Not a ministry of digitization.

[The conversation took place on October 25, 2019. The material was published on November 10, 2019. In the meantime, a new government was formed on November 8. ed.] 

Do you think these limits should be raised?

We don’t think so. You can think about some compromise solution. In Poland, for electromagnetic radiation in which mobile telephony works, there are limits of 7V / m, and currently the recommendations in force in Europe say about 60V / m. As you can see this is a crazy difference. We believe that due to the precautionary principle that applies in the European Union, the ALARA principle should apply when drafting regulations.

And what does the ALARA rule apply to?

The ALARA rule is short for As Low As Reasonably Achievable (as small as it is possible). The principle is that the benefits and losses associated with the use of a given technology should be taken into account. The benefits must outweigh the losses.

In the case of radiation from cellular telephony transmitters, this radiation should be as low as possible, taking into account the social and economic costs associated with limiting the emission limit value of this radiation. If we do not know if the radiation is harmful (but there are indications), then taking into account the precautionary principle (also the ALARA principle), we must assume that it is probably harmful. And we must protect ourselves against its possible negative effects. Of course, you cannot forget about the end of the ALARA principle (taking into account social and economic costs). I will give an example. It is known that lead is the best protection against ionizing radiation. So the solution is a lead apron. The thicker the lead layer in the apron, the better the radiation protection. We only come to absurdity at some point, because the man who will be protected against ionizing radiation will have a damaged spine. There are estimates that saving one life from ionizing radiation costs hundreds of millions of dollars. And the question is, is it economically and socially profitable?

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