Feared health risks associated with mobile communications
Based on the current status of scientific knowledge it is not clear whether (and to what extent) radiation from mobile communication can have an impact on health as a result of long-term exposure. This uncertain situation with regard to risk is reflected in the perception of the population.
More than half the Swiss population believe that radiation from mobile communication represents a health risk. In a survey carried out in 2014, 61 percent of the participants expressed this view. This figure is somewhat on the low side in comparison with other environmental impacts, but it indicates that the Swiss population tend to regard electrosmog in a critical light.
Switzerland is one of only a handful of countries that have introduced precautionary measures in this area: the specified limit levels for installations are intended to keep long-term exposure at a low level and thus reduce the risk of any currently unidentifiable effects on health.
- Related indicators
- Subjective pollution due to mobile phone antennas and power lines
In a pan-European survey, the majority of participants (70 percent) were of the opinion that mobile phone antennas have a moderate to strong influence on health. However, figures varied enormously from country to country: while in Denmark only 12 percent felt that mobile phone antennas have a negative influence on health, the corresponding figure for Italy was 95 percent.
The data are based on a survey on mobile communications which is carried out on a periodical basis by gfs Social Research Institute, Bern, on behalf of Forum Mobil. In this combined online/CATI survey, Swiss citizens aged 16 years or older are asked to describe their perceptions and sensitivities relating to various aspects of mobile communications. The random samples (2014: N=1,002) meet the applicable representativeness criteria.
The indicator records the proportion (in percent) of the participants in the survey who believe in the existence of negative health impacts attributable to mobile communications or have already experienced such effects.