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5G & Health

The 5G Hub opened its doors at the end of January 2020 on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. Some people are concerned about the effect of radiation. We will tell you more about it on this page.

The rules of the game

The future 5G uses radio waves. This also applies to previous generations of mobile telecommunications such as 2G, 3G, and 4G. A specific part of the spectrum of radio waves is used for this communication. A lot of research has been done on this, and the government has drawn up rules for exposure.

The new 5G frequencies are in the same part of the spectrum as 2G, 3G, 4G, and WiFi frequencies, and therefore the same exposure standards apply. Mobile operators must comply with this.

Position of science and (inter)national government

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is ``no conclusive scientific evidence`` that radio waves from base stations and wireless Wi-Fi networks and cell phones have an adverse effect on health. According to a majority of scientists, supported by the WHO, there is also no evidence to date that radio frequencies from cell phones or base stations pose an additional risk to children. In the Netherlands, the Cabinet has similar views: see the Letter to Parliament on 5G and health from the Ministries of EZK and Medical Care and Sport. Safety and exposure limits apply to existing and new antennas. An international group of independent scientists sets exposure limits. This group is called the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The Netherlands applies these limits on the advice of the Council of the European Union.

The ICNIRP regularly checks whether it is necessary to adjust the limits. For example, based on the international COSMOS research results into the possible long-term effects of electromagnetic fields. In the Netherlands, this is carried out by the IRAS Institute of the University of Utrecht (term of 30 years). Concerning 5G, on the one hand, it is important that 5G will increase data consumption and, therefore, exposure to radio waves. On the other hand, radio waves can be better directed, which will reduce general exposure. Experts expect these effects to cancel each other out on balance. More information about 5G can be found at the Knowledge Platform Electromagnetic Fields. This is an independent information center of and by RIVM, TNO, KEMA, the GGDs, the Telecom Agency, and ZonMw.

Position and approach of the Municipality of Eindhoven

Eindhoven's municipality follows the views of the Dutch government and supports the rules of the game that have been drawn up for mobile telecommunication. Eindhoven's Municipality is also convinced of the benefits that 5G applications can offer the city, its inhabitants, and the living environment. That is why at the end of March 2019, they signed a letter of intent with VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson to explore new possibilities together. The aforementioned parties subsequently started the 5G Program and the 5G Hub together.

In this way, the Municipality wants to be a forerunner in the new developments. At the same time, the Municipality is striving to implement 5G in dialogue with its own residents. District coordinators of Eindhoven play an important role in this, as does transparency about developments, including via this website. The municipality has also agreed with parties to carefully check whether the first, new 5G installations do indeed meet all exposure standards. That is why the TU/e has been asked to take measurements. The results are shared below.

Exposure measurements in Eindhoven

As agreed with the Municipality of Eindhoven, exposure measurements will be taken with the first new 5G antennas in the city. The Technical University tests whether the measured field strengths fall within the applicable standards.

Eindhoven remains below the norm

Eindhoven wants to be a forerunner in the field of new developments and sees many advantages of 5G. Not only for the city but also for residents and the living environment. That is why we are testing this future technology on the 5G Hub. We always take into account the rules of the game for mobile telecommunications. Eindhoven's municipality is carefully assessing whether the new 5G installations meet all standards, together with the Technical University.

Results

The first 5G antennas have currently been installed. You can download the measurement results from the Technical University below (in Dutch).

Locaties 5G antennes