5G has been ruled safe by the radiation watchdog

Friday, 13th March 2020, 5:36 pm
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 5:38 pm

Debate around the danger of the 5G network is being challenged after the international radiation watchdog finally deemed the telecoms service as safe.

The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) did, however, call for new guidelines for millimetre-wave 5G - the most high-frequency version of the telecommunications standard.

Dr Eric van Rongen, the ICNIRP chair, said, “We know parts of the community are concerned about the safety of 5G and we hope the updated guidelines will help put people at ease.

“The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to [electromagnetic field] exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range.”

Is 5G safe?

The radio frequencies 5G uses in the UK are similar to those that have been used for mobile telephones since 1998, when ICNIRP published its first set of guidelines for EMF exposure.

It is the first time since 1998 that the guidelines on protecting humans from radiation from phone networks, wifi and bluetooth have been updated.

However, these new guidelines don't apply to mast towers, but rather the 5G handsets themselves, imposing "more conservative limits" on radiation from mobile phones when they connect to high-frequency 5G.

The rules will focus on frequencies above 6 GHz which are not used for 5G in the UK at the moment but could be in the future as that level of frequency is currently in the US but will be arriving in Europe soon.

No evidence of harm

The ICNIRP concluded that, apart from some heating of human body tissue, there was no evidence of harm.

"We also considered all other types of effects for instance, whether radio waves could lead to the development of cancer in the human body," said Mr van Rongen, the ICNIRPs Chairman.

"We find that the scientific evidence for that is not enough to conclude that indeed there is such an effect."

Mobile trade group, the GSMA, welcomed the announcement. Its chief regulatory office, John Giusti, said, "Twenty years of research should reassure people there are no established health risks from their mobile devices or 5G antennas."

There are many campaign groups in the UK that protest the launch of 5G with some people claiming it was the cause of coronavirus. There is no evidence for these claims.