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5G mobile technology: campaigners in Brussels unconvinced it's safe

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By Jack Parrock
 5G mobile technology: campaigners in Brussels unconvinced it's safe
Copyright  EURONEWS
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5G technology is being deployed in many countries across the European Union, but in Belgium they're still hesitating. The inability of scientists to prove beyond doubt that mobile phones - particularly smartphones - don't cause cancer has meant the roll of out the new tech is in abeyance there for now.

Brussels resident Olivier Galand is taking this opportunity to campaign against 5G. He believes tests on the safety of the new technology are insufficient:

"The particularity of 5G is that its ability to penetrate buildings decreases, so we will end up with antennae on every 12th house. This is quite worrying for us - many scientists, paediatricians and doctors have highlighted the potential risks associated with it."

Despite the pause in Belgium, the European Union is pressing ahead with its plans to develop 5G across the bloc while risk-based assessments are ongoing.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the EU's Internal Market believes it's an important development:

"It will allow us to develop new and numerous applications for our industrial activities and especially with regards to (general interconnectivity)."

From Olivier Galand's perspective, the tops of buildings in Brussels are already clogged with too many mobile masts. His concerns about the invisible waves travelling through the air means he actually turns his WiFi off at home when it's not being used.

His and his family's health isn't his only concern; he's troubled by the potential exploitation of those who produce the components:

"To make phones, to make all the parts, we have to use rare materials which are extracted in developing countries by people who work in terrible conditions. We're seeing children in Congo working in atrocious conditions to create the components for our phones."

While the anti-5G movement in Brussels insists its not against technology, Olivier - its lead campaigner - chooses not to use a smartphone in his everyday life - opting for one which emits lower frequency mobile waves.