Stricter radiation standards in Switzerland

The Swiss government has introduced new legislation to protect people from non-ionising radiation from powerline and radiofrequency sources and its limits are among the strictest in the world. Introduced on February 1, the legislation applies in all sensitive areas, such as residences, schools, hospitals and playgrounds. Outside these areas, exposure limits based on the ICNIRP Guidelines apply.

The legislation requires mobile phone towers operating at 900 MHz to limit their emissions to 4 microwatts/cm2 at any one installation. (An installation is defined as all the antennas on a particular mast or roof.) This is 100 times lower than the 450 uW/cm2 limit of the ICNIRP Guidelines.

The legislation does not apply to the small parabolic antennas for connections between phone towers. Nor does it apply to directional beams.

The legislation also addresses exposures from powerline sources. In sensitive areas a limit of 10 mG applies, which is also 100 times lower than the ICNIRP recommendation.

The new regulations require all old installations to be upgraded within five years, though a loophole will exempt facilities that upgrade using the latest technology available.

An innovation is the concept of a nuisance “lastig” quality of EMR, without defining exactly what that is.

An English translation of the legislation will be available in late March at

EMRAA News Mar 2000, Vol 5 No 1