RF safety – What the experts say

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Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

“Current research indicates that there is no established evidence for health effects from radio waves used in mobile telecommunications. This includes the upcoming roll-out of the 5G network. ARPANSA’s assessment is that 5G is safe.

“The 5G network will initially use similar frequencies as the current mobile phone networks (3G and 4G) which operate at lower microwave frequencies. In the future, 5G will use a higher microwave frequency band, sometimes called ‘millimetre waves’. Higher frequencies do not mean higher exposure levels.

“The millimetre waves that are planned to be used by 5G in the future do not penetrate past the skin… The exposure to radio waves routinely encountered by the general public in the environment is too low to produce significant heating… The overall evidence suggests that the radio waves from mobile phone handsets and other wireless devices are not harmful to the user.”

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Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG)

“The applicable limits and guidelines provided by ICNIRP in 2020 contribute to our confidence that the EMF issue is addressed in a transparent and scientific manner and human protection is ensured.”

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Food and Drug Administration (United States)

“The FDA has completed an updated radiofrequency (RF) exposure risk analysis based on relevant peer-reviewed in vivo (animal) and epidemiological studies… This risk analysis was scoped to assess any possible causal relationship between radiofrequency radiation exposure and the formation of tumors.

“Based on the FDA’s ongoing evaluation, the available epidemiological and cancer incidence data continues to support the Agency’s determinations that there are no quantifiable adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current cell phone exposure limits.”

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IEEE Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR)

“So long as exposures remain below established guidelines, the research results to date do not support a determination that adverse health effects are associated with RF exposures, including those from 5G systems.”

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International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

“New [RF] guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process.

“The new guidelines provide better and more detailed exposure guidance in particular for the higher frequency range, above 6 GHz, which is of importance to 5G and future technologies using these higher frequencies… 5G technologies will not be able to cause harm when these new guidelines are adhered to.

“The most important thing is that the fundamental health risk assessment is unchanged. The limits that we had in 1998 are still protective now.”

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Office of Communications (United Kingdom)

“Ofcom has been carrying out radio frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) measurements near mobile phone base stations for many years. These measurements have consistently shown that EMF emissions are well within the internationally agreed levels published in the Guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

“Our measurements also show that the contribution of 5G to the total emissions level observed is currently low – the highest level we observed in the band used for 5G was just 0.04% of the reference levels.”

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B.C. Centre for Disease Control

“As technology has improved, the RF energy emitted from individual cell phones has decreased. As the cell phone network is enlarged with more antennas installed, cell phones require less power to connect to the network, thereby lowering the user’s exposure to RF waves.

Safety Code 6 limits are in line with the recommendations of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which have been adopted by the UK, Europe, and most other countries outside of Canada and the U.S.

“[Safety Code 6] exposure levels have been set at an intensity level below which no observed adverse effects occur from exposures even if encountered daily over a lifetime.”

Health Canada

“Based on the available scientific evidence, there are no health risks from exposures to the low levels of radiofrequency EMF emitted by cell phones and antenna installations.”

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Institut national de santé publique du Québec [translated from French]

“In its  2016 scientific opinion  , the INSPQ came to the following conclusion: “[…] the probability of a health risk [of people living near the antennas is] low or non-existent”. This position, based on current knowledge, is similar to that of the World Health Organization and Health Canada.

There is therefore no need to worry about installing a cellular antenna near a residence.

As for the millimeter waves generated by 5G, they are, generally speaking, more easily blocked by material (vegetation, roof, wall, etc.) compared to lower frequency waves.”

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Public Health Ontario

“At the present time, there is no consistent evidence for adverse human health effects from RF exposures below Canadian limits (Safety Code 6).”

“With proposed 5G technology and the expanded use of wireless technology, exposures to RF may increase, but are expected to remain under Safety Code 6 limits. Similarly to RF, there is no consistent evidence for adverse human health effects from 5G technology. Further research is needed to clarify some findings which at this time do not consistently support clinical effects.”

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American Cancer Society

“Some people have expressed concern that living, working, or going to school near a cell phone tower might increase the risk of cancer or other health problems. At this time, there is very little evidence to support this idea.”

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Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

“Contrary to some claims, there are no established health effects from the radio waves that the 5G network uses… the established science is that there is no clear diagnostic criteria and there is a lack of evidence that exposure to radio waves is the cause. ARPANSA advises those affected to seek individual medical advice on their symptoms from a qualified medical professional.

“ARPANSA and the World Health Organization (WHO) are not aware of any well-conducted scientific investigations where health symptoms were confirmed as a result of radio wave exposure in the everyday environment.”

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (United States)

“At this time we do not have the science to link health problems to cell phone use. Scientific studies are underway to determine whether cell phone use may cause health effects. It is also important to consider the benefits of cell phones. Their use can be valuable in an urgent or emergency situation – and even save lives.”

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European Commission

“The existing scientific evidence on electromagnetic field exposure confirms that 5G networks will not cause more electromagnetic emissions than it is allowed. This means that 5G will not have a negative effect on people’s health.”

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Federal Communications Commission (United States)

“In recent years, publicity, speculation, and concern over claims of possible health effects due to RF emissions from hand-held wireless telephones prompted various research programs to investigate whether there is any risk to users of these devices There is no scientific evidence to date that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other health effects, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss.”

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“The FCC sets radiofrequency limits in close consultation with the FDA and other health agencies. After a thorough review of the record and consultation with these agencies, we find it appropriate to maintain the existing radiofrequency limits, which are among the most stringent in the world for cell phones.”

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International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

”It is the opinion of ICNIRP that the scientific literature published since the 1998 guidelines has provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an immediate revision of its guidance on limiting exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields.”

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National Cancer Institute

“[Cell phone radiofrequencies] all fall in the nonionizing range of the spectrum, which is low frequency and low energy. The energy is too low to damage DNA.”

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Public Health England (formerly Health Protection Agency)

“The evidence suggests that RF field exposure below guideline levels does not cause acute symptoms in humans, and that people, including those who report being sensitive to RF fields, cannot detect the presence of RF fields. Similarly, well-conducted studies do not suggest that exposure to RF fields gives rise to acute cognitive effects.

“Taken together, these studies provide no evidence of health effects of RF field exposures below internationally accepted guideline levels. In particular, well-performed large-scale studies have found no evidence that RF fields affect the initiation and development of cancer, and there has been no consistent evidence of effects on the brain, nervous system or the blood-brain barrier, on auditory function, or on fertility and reproduction.

“In summary, although a substantial amount of research has been conducted in this area, there is no convincing evidence that RF field exposure below guideline levels causes health effects in adults or children.”

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World Health Organization

“To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies.”

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