25 May 2023

ARPANSA and Swinburne University’s systematic map of 334 papers was published in May 2023. While there is currently no substantiated evidence of harm, it highlights the need for more high-quality research into the effects of radio waves from high-frequency wireless technology such as 5G on plants and animals.

This research was led by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency’s (ARPANSA) Health Impact Assessment Assistant Director Associate Professor Ken Karipidis.

‘At ARPANSA, our mission is to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation’ A/Prof Karipidis said.

‘This map presents all the available research on the impact of radio waves on plants and animals in the environment. It specifically highlights areas where further research is required.’

‘Future research should investigate the effect of radio waves at higher frequencies such as those used by 5G and future technologies.

‘This map is particularly timely given the public concern over the impact of the 5G network and other telecommunications sources on the environment.’

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), of which A/Prof Karipidis is a Main Commission member, is currently preparing a statement on the environmental effects of radio waves.

This systematic map will help to inform that ICNIRP project.

ARPANSA will continue to evaluate scientific evidence on potential effects of radio waves as part of its role to protect people and the environment.

The systematic map was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Evidence.

A summary of the research has been published on our website

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