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5G and other telecommunications do not affect the immune system

2 April 2020

The new 5G mobile phone network, earlier mobile networks and other wireless telecommunications sources emit low-level radiofrequency electromagnetic energy, which are also called radio waves.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has provided advice on 5G and health. ARPANSA has also published advice on misinformation about Australia’s 5G network.

After many decades of research, it is well established that exposure to radio waves at very high power levels can cause excessive heating of the human body. This can lead to a variety of serious health effects.

In order to protect people from the harmful effects of high power radio waves, ARPANSA has developed a safety standard that sets limits for exposure to radio waves for the public and workers. These limits are set well below the level at which harm may occur.

The operating frequencies of the 5G network are included within the limits set by the ARPANSA safety standard. 5G infrastructure and devices emitting radio waves are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), and emissions must comply with the ARPANSA safety standard.

With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some members of the public are concerned about the human immune system and whether it can be compromised by wireless telecommunications sources such as 5G.

The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, organs, and the substances they make that helps the human body fight infectious disease caused by invading microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria.

A number of studies have investigated whether exposure to radio waves can affect the immune system. Some studies have shown that exposure to high power radio waves, much greater than the limits of the ARPANSA safety standard, increases the core body temperature, which can cause temporary effects on the immune system.

Studies have also investigated whether low level radio wave exposure from telecommunications sources like 5G can impact the immune system. Such studies, including those that have investigated effects on antigens, antibodies and oxidative stress, have not provided evidence of changes in immune function.

There is no established evidence that low level radio wave exposure from 5G and other wireless telecommunications can affect the immune system or cause any other long term or short term health effects.

For up-to-date information and advice on COVID-19, including how you can protect yourself and others, please refer to the Department of Health website.

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