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A controversy has engulfed the Barcelona City Council over an article posted on a municipal website, which asked for amoratorium for 5G given the risks it could pose to human he alth and the environment.
The text, which has since been withdrawn, was written by M. Carmen Ruíz Martín, a doctor who advocates delaying 5G networks until they are proven to be secure, and which is critical to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for telecommunications.
It does not represent the official opinion of the City Council, and it was probably not duly reviewed, but it is striking when Barcelona hosts the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the great mobile technology fair, whose star technology is 5G.
In fact, the Town Hall has withdrawn the article, and has confirmed that the city is committed to being a pioneer in 5G, a connectivity mobile that promises to improve connection speed, response time and make "smart cities" possible with thousands of devices always connected.
This has not prevented criticism from reaching the municipal government regarding the suitability of Barcelona to host an event such as the Mobile World Congress, whose great economic importance makes capitals such as Lisbon or Madrid want to achieve when in 2023 current agreement expires.
Between precaution and pseudoscience
The controversial article was published on the website of "La Fábrica del Sol", an environmental project of the City Council, and some of the precautions that it proposes around 5G have no scientific basis.
For example, he talks about the risks for "electrosensitive" people, who suffer from various symptoms when within range of a network WiFi or telephony, a possible disease that for now has not been shown to be real, and about which there are doubts.
On the other hand, he considers that electromagnetic waves can cause "cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological damage, cognitive deterioration, sleep disorders, infertility and oxidative stress", something that has not been proven either.
Delaying 5G in the face of weak evidence that may not be confirmed seems excessive, since several studies confirm that mobile phones do not cause cancer, but the political component has been added to the scientific controversy.
The MWC as a center of interest
Barcelona City Council, in the hands of the independent Ada Colau, has received criticism from Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, who has not only taken the opportunity to charge against a rival party, but also even want the MWC to be held in Madrid
A technology fair of the caliber of the MWC (more than 100,000 visitors in 2019) is of great importance for a city, both economically and in terms of prestige.
The Catalan independence initiatives have been raising doubts for some time about whether Barcelona is a suitable city to host the MWC. The GSMA, the organizing company, did not find this problematic in 2018 and renewed the contract until 2023.
However, movements have already taken place movements by Madrid and Lisbon to be able to host the MWC in the future renovation, and This controversy with 5G is an argument that has not been wasted.
In any case, 5G already has a presence in Spain thanks to Vodafone, and the rest of the operators also work on their networks. For now, 5G is considered a safe technology for he alth, so there is no point in stopping its implementation.
What do you think of the deployment of 5G? Do you think more proof of its safety is necessary, or do you see a level of caution close to "technophobia"?