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Campaigners call for 5G moratorium

Radio mast, 5G, mobile phone network, cell tower (Photograph by F Muhammad/Pixabay)

A campaign group set up to fight the introduction of 5G wireless said “real consultation” was needed and that the technology should be kept on hold in the meantime.

A spokeswoman for Bermuda Advocates for Safe Technology challenged the findings of an advisory panel, which it claimed was not qualified and was made up of industry representatives.

The spokeswoman said: “Most of the feedback submitted to the Regulatory Authority was against 5G with over 100 letters submitted from the public.

“We must have a real consultation – a transparent, unbiased process whose outcome drives the approach to radio frequency radiation policy.”

The spokeswoman added that the island was the “wild west” when it came to radio frequency radiation as there was no minimum setback from homes or schools.

She said: “Bast’s position, and that of the several health experts who submitted on our behalf, is that the moratorium on 5G should be upheld.”

The advisory panel’s preliminary report, released last month, found that radiation safety science did “not support the view that 5G will be harmful to people” or to the island’s plant or animal life.

But Bast said the decision was based on “conflicted and industry-biased sources” and guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which they claimed had lobbied for corporate interests to protect the industry.

The spokeswoman added: “The preliminary report contains no protection for vulnerable populations such as those who are unwell, have EMF sensitivity or children who cannot consent.

“Exposure is unavoidable, contravening the Human Rights Act.

“At its core, this is an issue of consent and there can be no defensible argument for forcibly exposing those who do not consent.”

The organisation also appealed for the creation of an strategy for radio frequency radiation in Bermuda and a Government Green Paper for discussion and review.

They also called on bodies to stop the use of guidelines from the Federal Communications Commission and the ICNIRP and set limits that were “biologically protective against adverse health effects”.

The group said Wi-fi and RFR emissions should be taken out of schools and setbacks should be created to keep wireless antennae away from homes and schools.

They also asked for an up-to-date registry of telecommunications towers, masts and antennae, as well as for full disclosure on proposed antennae and adequate opportunity for the public to object.

The spokeswoman added: “It is neither the standard nor acceptable that antennae which pose no visual impact do not require planning permission.

“The visual impact is not what we are most concerned with – rather, it’s the invisible emissions that impact health.

“A planning application should most certainly be required for any small cells as well as larger towers or masts.”

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Published March 19, 2021 at 11:58 am (Updated March 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm)

Campaigners call for 5G moratorium

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