An International radiation body in charge of setting limits on radiation exposure in broadcasting has declared millimetre-wave 5G safe for use after updating its guidelines for the first time in 20 years.
Concerns have been raised about the safety and health risks posed by radiation levels from 5G after a World Health Organisation (WHO) report claimed that mobile phone use could potentially cause brain cancer.
But the ICNIRP have said that output levels, although currently the highest frequency version of the world’s telecoms standard, are still “significantly below the new maximum”.
ICNIRP chair Dr Eric van Rongen, commented: “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.”
The ICNIRP first published guidelines on broadcast connection in 1998, and it is unlikely that conventional phone networks could reach either those previous or these new limits.
Dr Jack Rowley, Senior director for research and sustainability at GSMA, the industry body for mobile network operators, said that: “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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The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) says that there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the impacts of 5G networks.
“Contrary to some claims, there are no established health effects from the radio waves that the 5G network uses.
“This network currently runs on radio waves similar to those used in the current 4G network, and in the future will use radio waves with higher frequencies. It is important to note that higher frequencies do not mean higher or more intense exposure.
“Higher frequency radio waves are already used in security screening units at airports, police radar guns to check speed, remote sensors and in medicine and these uses have been thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health”.
5G is set to be fully rolled-out across the UK, with companies such as O2 and EE already launching 5G networks Edinburgh.