The effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on people have been subject of significant research. This includes the radio frequencies used and envisaged for 5G in mobile communications and other applications. No health effects have been proven at levels below the ICNIRP guidelines for members of the public.
However, some uncertainties remain regarding relatively high levels of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) EMF, such as those received from mobile phone handsets in contact with the body or those experienced by some workers in certain work environments (for example, during maintenance of telecommunication antennas). Thus, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified RF in 2011 as possibly carcinogenic (class 2B). This does not mean that RF is in fact carcinogenic but that more research is needed to clarify findings from some studies. This classification was mainly based on studies of long-term, heavy-use of mobile phones (using 1G, 2G and/or 3G technologies). The same 2B IARC classification also includes natural products such as talc powder, pickled food, Aloe vera and Ginkgo biloba, as well as many chemicals (e.g., pesticides, lead). The WHO runs an International EMF Project which monitors new scientific evidence in this regard.
The EPA contributes to this project and will monitor EMF levels in the everyday environment to ensure emissions from 5G and other technologies are safe. Our collaboration with the WHO helps us to monitor the peer reviewed scientific literature to ensure that our advice remains current, should new scientific evidence emerge or if changes in EMF levels in our everyday environment are seen.
What do other Agencies say about 5G?