Municipalities want more 5G clarity to answer concerned residents' questions

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Dozens of Dutch municipalities want the national government to do more to inform citizens about the 5G rollout in order to answer their questions and hopefully ease their concerns, according to a survey broadcaster NOS did among the Dutch municipalities. About a third of the municipalities responded. 

The rollout of the 5G network has been surrounded by commotion over the past months. Dozens of transmission masts and cell towers in the Netherlands have been set on fire. The authorities believe the arson is linked to conspiracy theories that 5G is bad for people's health and leaves them vulnerable to diseases like the coronavirus. There was also an unsuccessful lawsuit and demonstrations against the rollout. 

Nearly 90 percent of the 110 municipalities that responded to NOS' survey said that there are concerns about health risks and 5G among their residents. They received questions and demands from their own residents, but also often from anti-5G movements writing to all municipalities. 58 percent said they need more information from the government, 11 percent said they don't need more information, and 31 percent had no opinion on the matter. 

"It is very strange that municipalities have to organize their own arguments to settle a national discussion," Theo Meskers, alderman of the municipality of Hollands Kroon, said to NOS speaking on behalf of the large rural municipality and municipalities in the head of Noord-Holland. "If you have a discussion about the health risks surrounding 5G, you need a party with authority." According to Meskers, that can only really come from the national government. 

In the Netherlands, information about the radiation from telephones and cell towers is collected and published by the Knowledge Platform Electromagnetic Fields. According to this platform, there is no scientific evidence for negative health effects from 5G. But at the insistence of parliament, the Health Council will also publish a report on the health effects of 5G next month.