5G and health
Is 5G harmful for health?
To answer that question, Dr Fiorella Belpoggi reviewed the relevant scientific evidence for the European Parliament in a recent publication called the ‘Current state of knowledge of 5G-related carcinogenic and reproductive/developmental hazards’.1
Dr Belpoggi is Head of Research at the Ramazzini Institute and researches environmental carcinogens. She was involved in the large, ten-year animal study that investigated the effects of mobile phone radiation on rats and that found increased rates of heart tumours, rare schwannomas of the heart and brain tumours.2
Dr Belpoggi’s recent review included research that has been conducted on the lower 5G frequencies—those that have been used for earlier generations of technology and are being reused for 5G—as well as the higher 5G frequencies that have not previously been used for telecommunications. She pointed out that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has already ‘defined RF-EMF in the frequency range from 30 kHz to 300 GHz as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.’
In her review, Belpoggi considered a total of over seven thousand studies on the relationship between wireless radiation and cancer or reproduction. From these, she determined how strong the evidence was for effects on humans and animals.
She concluded that, for frequencies between 450 MHz and 6 GHz—that is those being used currently—there is:
‘limited evidence’ that wireless radiation is carcinogenic to humans—but pointed out ‘positive associations’ between mobile phone radiation and glioma brain tumours and acoustic neuromas;
‘sufficient evidence’ that wireless radiation is carcinogenic to experimental animals;
‘sufficient evidence’ that wireless radiation adversely affects male fertility; ’limited evidence’ it adversely affects female fertility; and ‘limited evidence that it adversely affects the development of children whose mothers who were heavy mobile phone users during pregnancy;
‘sufficient evidence’ that it adversely affects fertility in male rodents; ‘limited evidence’ it adversely affects fertility in female rodents; ‘limited evidence of harmful effects on rodents born to female rodents exposed during pregnancy.
Dr Belpoggi concluded, ‘we can say that RF-EMF at FR1 frequencies [450 MHz to 6 GHz] exposure probably cause cancer, and in particular gliomas and acoustic neuromas in humans. ‘These frequencies clearly affect male fertility. These frequencies possibly affect female fertility. They possibly have adverse effects on the development of embryos, foetuses and newborns.’
She said that at higher frequencies, there are no adequate studies from which to draw conclusions. ‘Implementing MMW [millimetre wave] 5G technology without further preventive studies would mean conducting an “experiment” on the human population in complete uncertainty as to the consequences,’ the report said.
As a result of her observations, Dr Belpoggi recommend the following policy options:
developing mobile phone technologies that reduce people’s exposure to wireless radiation
revising radiation standards to reduce radiation from mobile phone towers
reducing radiation exposure—for example, by using fibre optic cables and having radiation-free public spaces
investigating the long-term health effects of 5G
and educating people about relevant technologies.
‘We could use optic fibre cables to connect schools, libraries, workplaces, houses, public buildings, all new buildings etc,’ she said.
1. Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, ‘Health Impact of 5G’, European Parliamentary Research Service Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) PE 690.012 – June 2021,
2. L. Falcioni et al, ‘Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission’, Environ Res 2018, 165:496-503, doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.037. Epub 2018 Mar 7;
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