The development of mobile telephone networks also raises health and environmental issues.
On behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the University of Friborg has therefore inaugurated a national medical consultancy network dedicated to the topic of non-ionising radiation (RNI).
The FOEN has also published today the second report on NNI exposure monitoring. According to the report, health protection is guaranteed.
5-10 % of the population in Switzerland consider themselves electrosensitive. To accompany the development of mobile telephony, and in particular the introduction of 5G, the Federal Council approved a series of accompanying measures for health protection in April 2020 (see box).
These include the creation of a new medical advice service on the subject of non-ionizing radiation (NIR).
The goal is to offer better medical advice to people suffering from disorders that can be traced back to RNI. On behalf of the FOEN, the Institute of Family Medicine at the University of Friborg (Institut für Hausarztmedizin der Universität Freiburg) has created a Swiss medical consultancy network dedicated to the topic of non-ionising radiation, MedNIS.
Subject to agreement with their family doctor, electrosensitive people will now be able to seek advice from a specialist.
The Institute of Family Medicine of the University of Freiburg evaluates the investigations conducted by the specialist from a scientific point of view and draws up regular reports for the attention of the FOEN. Currently, seven doctors from German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland have been trained.
The consultations will begin in the next few days.
Second report on monitoring of non-ionizing radiation: exposure is still below limit values
In order to have a national overview of exposure to RNI, the Federal Council has also decided to establish periodic monitoring.
As was the case with the first report in 2022, the results of the second report show that, overall, the population is moderately exposed. In places usually frequented by people, exposure to NNI is lower than the limit values for entry.
In this way, the statutory health protection is guaranteed.
The maximum values were recorded near railway stations and tram stops, where the number of mobile device users is particularly high.
However, these values also remain well below the immission limit values. The lowest values were recorded in natural areas. Even in schools, exposure is low. The next report will be published in 2024.
Parliamentary mandate on health research fulfilled
For the purposes of implementing a parliamentary mandate (motion 19.4073 Graf-Litscher), the FOEN supports research into the effects of mobile telephony and radiation on health and the environment and finances multi-year research projects in which, among other things , the effects of radiation on the brain, sleep, sperm production and insects are investigated.
The results of the studies will be available in two to three years.
The «Mobile radio and radiation» working group
In 2019, the “Mobile Radio and Radiation” working group compiled comprehensive facts and figures on mobile telephony, 5G technology and radiation for the first time.
The report proposed accompanying measures for the management of mobile telephony for the attention of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).
On 22 April 2020, the Federal Council determined how to proceed with 5G technology and decided to implement the six proposed accompanying measures.
In this context, priority was given to the development of radiation exposure monitoring and the creation of the medical-environmental consultancy service on the topic of RNI.