'Very low' risk of unknown health hazards from exposure to 5G wireless networks

June 24, 2020

June 24, 2020 -Health Physics, official journal of the Health Physics Society. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

"While we acknowledge gaps in the scientific literature, particularly for exposures at millimeter-wave frequencies, [we judge] the likelihood of yet unknown health hazards at exposure levels within current limits to be very low, if they exist at all," according to the statement by the Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). As outlined by its Chair, Richard A. Tell, COMAR is an organization composed of physicians, biologists, epidemiologists, engineers and physical scientists who are experts on health and safety issues related to electromagnetic fields who work voluntarily and collaboratively on a consensus basis.

5G Networks Unlikely to Cause Exposure Above Current Safety Limits

The consensus statement seeks to counter the rise in alarming messages regarding mysterious health effects of 5G technology. "This misinformation together with activist websites expressing even more ominous consequences of 5G - ranging from cancer induction to being responsible for the current coronavirus pandemic - has created substantial and unnecessary public anxiety," comments Jerrold T. Bushberg of the University of California Davis School of Medicine and Vice-Chair of COMAR.

Fifth-generation wireless systems are expanding worldwide to meet the rapidly increasing demand for wireless connectivity. The new technology can transmit much greater amounts of data at much higher speeds, compared to previous 2G to 4G systems. That's in part because 5G uses the greater bandwidth available at higher frequencies, including the so-called millimeter-wave (MMW) band. Expansion of 5G "will produce a more ubiquitous presence of MMW in the environment," according to the report.

Because MMW do not penetrate foliage and building materials as well as lower-frequency signals, many lower-power "small cell" transmitters will be needed to provide effective indoor coverage. Some 5G systems will have "beamforming" antennas that transmit signals to individual users as they move around, which means that nonusers will have less exposure.

Tissue heating is the main potential harmful effect of exposure to RF fields. Most countries, including the United States, have adopted exposure limits similar to those recommended by the recent standards (2019) published by IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (
The COMAR statement provides perspectives to address concerns about possible health effects of 5G exposure:
  • In contrast to lower-frequency fields, MMW do not penetrate beyond the outer layer of the skin - and thus does not produce heating of deeper tissues.
  • The introduction of 5G is unlikely to change overall levels of RF exposure. As is currently the case, most exposure will be mainly due to "uplink" from one's own cell phone or other devices - not from transmission from base stations.
  • In nearly all publicly accessible locations, RF exposures from cellular base stations, including 5G stations will remain small - a fraction of current IEEE or ICNIRP exposure limits.
"[S]o 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," concludes the COMAR statement. The Committee acknowledges limitations of the current evidence on possible health and safety effects of 5G exposure and identifies key areas for further research, including high-quality studies of the biological effects of MMW.
-end-

About Health Physics

Health Physics, first published in 1958, provides the latest research to a wide variety of radiation safety professionals including health physicists, nuclear chemists, medical physicists, and radiation safety officers with interests in nuclear and radiation science. The Journal allows professionals in these and other disciplines in science and engineering to stay on the cutting edge of scientific and technological advances in the field of radiation safety. The Journal publishes original papers, technical notes, articles on advances in practical applications, editorials, and correspondence. Journal articles report on the latest findings in theoretical, practical, and applied disciplines of epidemiology and radiation effects, radiation biology and radiation science, and radiation ecology, to name just a few.

About the Health Physics Society


About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the clinicians, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and tax, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with advanced technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2019 annual revenues of €4.6 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

Wolters Kluwer provides trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students with advanced clinical decision support, learning and research and clinical intelligence. For more information about our solutions, visit
@WKHealth.

For more information, visit Facebook,
Wolters Kluwer Health

Related June Articles from Brightsurf:

June's SLAS technology special collection now available
The June issue of SLAS Technology features the article, 'Next Generation Compound Delivery to Support Miniaturized Biology,' which focuses on the challenges of changing the established screening paradigm to support the needs of modern drug discovery.

SLAS Discovery announces its June cover article
The June cover of SLAS Discovery features cover article 'A Perspective on Extreme Open Science: Companies Sharing Compounds without Restriction,' by Timothy M.

Exoplanet exploring researchers land at Cornell June 13-14
Young researchers in exoplanet science will present research and discuss emerging ideas in the field at the second annual Emerging Researchers in Exoplanet Science Symposium (ERES), to be held at Cornell University June 13-14.

NASA explains why June 30 will get extra second
The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or 'leap' second, will be added.

SAGE to launch Communication and the Public June 2015
SAGE, a world leading independent academic and professional publisher, has today announced that it is to launch Communication and the Public, in partnership with Zhejiang University.

Highlights from the June issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
The June issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, features a study reporting that the annual incidence rate of esophageal cancer among patients with Barrett's esophagus with low-grade dysplasia is 0.54 percent; a study showing that metabolic syndrome and smoking heighten concerns regarding colorectal cancer screening in men with these risk factors; and a new ASGE guideline on endoscopy in patients with lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

NASA's IRIS mission to launch in June
Lying just above the sun's surface is an enigmatic region of the solar atmosphere called the interface region.

June 2013 story tips
The following are story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for June 2013.

June 2013 LITHOSPHERE now online
New papers published in the June issue of Lithosphere cover the geology of Western Europe; the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica; the Norwegian Caledonides; the Central Asian Orogenic Belt; the Karakoram shear zone and Greater Himalaya Sequence, NW India; the Garlock fault and the southern Sierra Nevada-eastern Tehachapi Mountains, USA; and the Chinese Altai.

NASA explains why clocks will get an extra second on June 30
If the day seems a little longer than usual on Saturday, June 30, 2012, that's because it will be.

Read More: June News and June Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.