5G – who says it’s safe??

The telecommunications industry tells us that 5G radiation is safe. So does the Australian government.

But is it really?

It’s time to take a closer look at the evidence, say scientists from the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (ORSAA) in a journal article published in late January.

And that’s just what they’ve done. The authors used the ORSAA database* to identify and examine 295 studies on 5G millimetre waves and determine what effects they found, if any. The results showed that the majority of the studies did show bioeffects which can lead to downstream effects on the body.

‘The overall picture emerging from the existing knowledge base suggests a range of biological effects, some with strong evidence (>90% of studies), that may have potential health implications,’ the authors concluded.

Among the most common effects were:

  • biochemical changes

  • effects on cell membranes

  • effects on cell proliferation

  • changes to gene expression

  • effects on immunity

  • changes to the brain/nervous system

  • and genetic damage.

These effects have not been addressed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) which sets guidelines for exposure on which the standards of many countries, including Australia’s, are based.

They ORSAA team pointed out that it is still too early to draw any definite conclusions about the safety of 5G mm waves because we have only a small body of studies and, of course, it’s too early to see the results of long-term exposure.

Nevertheless, the research is sufficient to draw two conclusions, they say.

  1. ‘For scientists … there is an urgent need for further focused research to be conducted;

  2. For policy makers, there is enough smoke to suggest the risk of fire, and therefore there is an urgent need for protective policy.’

The writers refer to a number of apparently convincing but flawed arguments that are commonly used to convince the public that 5G millimetre waves are safe.

  • These waves are already used in airport body scanners (but with different waveforms and lengths of exposure).

  • They only penetrate a few millimetres into the skin (but can affect nerve, protective bacteria and the skin’s immune functions).

  • We can use laboratory-generated 5G signals to assess safety (but they differ in a number of important ways from real-world signals which should be used instead).

  • The results aren’t reliable because they haven’t been replicated (but there is little funding available for replications studies).

  • Only heating effects of exposure can damage the body (but harmful effects are frequently found at below-heating levels of exposure).

  • We can average exposure over time and amount of exposed tissue (but this doesn’t take into account other issues such as the effects of strong peaks of exposure).

‘The evidence presented above suggests that there are credible risks of biological interference effects for frequencies planned for 5G, occurring well-below ICNIRP reference limits. Given the ubiquitous and often non-sensual nature of man-made wireless radiation exposures, the presence of even a small number of significant bioeffects requires follow up with more focused research,’ the authors conclude.

McCredden JE, Weller S and Leach V (2023) The assumption of safety is being used to justify the rollout of 5G technologies. Front. Public Health 11:1058454. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1058454

  • The ORSAA database of scientific studies can be found here.
  • You can find out how to become a member of ORSAA here.

What can you do?

  • Don’t buy 5G devices!

  • Take a look at our meters for measuring 5G radiation. 

  • Check out the other articles on our website about 5G here and here.

What else can you do?

  • forward this email to others to inform them, too

  • see the latest news in our February newsletter EMR and Health here

  • book a phone consultation to find answers to your questions here