UK study finds 5G networks pose no health risks from radiation

UK study finds 5G networks pose no health risks from radiation

The UK’s first tests of radiation at 5G base stations has shown levels reaching only a tiny fraction of safe limits, according to BBC News.

New tests by the UK communications regulator OfCom found that the highest levels reached just 0.039% of recommended limits, set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). “Non-Ionizing” refers to radiation that won’t harm cells or DNA. 

Since the rollout of 5G wireless, anxieties over the health effects have proliferated, leading to successful votes to ban 5G in parts of the UK. Even without a scientific basis, those fears have even been voiced by MPs in the House of Commons, fueling the hysteria’s spread on social media. A search on Facebook, Google, or Youtube turns up plenty of claims to confirm fears—but without rigorous science to back them up. 

Most recently, conspiracy theories have surfaced suggesting that the coronavirus arose in China as a direct result of rolling out 5G technology. 

In reality, the new ultra-fast mobile networks depend on the same radio signals relied on by all mobile technology, but with higher frequency signals to allow faster speeds. More transmitter masts, closer to the ground, are also required by 5G networks. 

Fear over cancer risk tied to mobile technology is nothing new, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radio frequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic.”

However, this designation only indicates that it hasn’t been conclusively established that something doesn’t cause cancer, and it shares the category with substances like talcum powder and pickled vegetables.

OfCom tested locations near base stations at 16 locations in ten cities, saying:

“The emissions at each site were a tiny fraction of the maximum levels set out in international guidelines.” 

“Clearly, the deployment of 5G networks and the take-up of 5G services is at an early stage,” the company said in its technical report. “We will therefore continue to undertake EMF measurements to monitor the overall trends in the long term.”

According to Public Health England, the “small increase in overall exposure to radio waves” isn’t enough to put the public in any danger. 

“The overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health,” the agency says in its official guidelines.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels