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Misinformation about Australia’s 5G network

3 June 2019

ARPANSA is aware that there is a lot of concerning misinformation circulating throughout the community about the possible impacts of Australia’s planned roll-out of the 5G mobile network.

Contrary to some claims, there are no established health effects from the radio waves that the 5G network uses.

This network currently runs on radio waves similar to those used in the current 4G network, and in the future will use radio waves with higher frequencies. It is important to note that higher frequencies does not mean higher or more intense exposure. Higher frequency radio waves are already used in security screening units at airports, police radar guns to check speed, remote sensors and in medicine and these uses have been thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health.

ARPANSA is an agency of the Commonwealth Government tasked with protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. Our scientists conduct research and work with the international radiation science community to set standards and guidelines on radiation in Australia. We work independently from other parts of government and are not funded by industry.

The regulator for the roll-out of 5G is the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). ACMA refers to the safety standards and guidelines published by ARPANSA when considering applications for licencing and implementation of new technology.

You may be aware of individuals who have experienced health problems that they believe may be attributed to exposure to radio waves.

ARPANSA and the World Health Organization (WHO) are not aware of any well-conducted scientific investigations where health symptoms were confirmed as a result of radio wave exposure in the everyday environment.

While ARPANSA acknowledges that the health symptoms experienced by the affected individuals are real and can be a disabling problem, the established science is that there is no clear diagnostic criteria and there is a lack of evidence that exposure to radio waves is the cause. ARPANSA advises those affected to seek individual medical advice on their symptoms from a qualified medical professional.

We urge you to be cautious of claims from anti-5G campaigns. These campaigns are generating unfounded fear and concern within the community. We have seen increasing misinformation about health effects, our role, and 5G or radio waves generally.

Read more: 5G: the new generation of the mobile phone network and health