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World-first reviews into 5G radio waves

17 March 2021

Two new scientific reviews conducted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and Swinburne University of Technology have found no evidence of adverse health effects from the radio waves used in 5G.

Considered to be the worlds-first reviews on this topic, the first scientific review examined 138 studies on low-level radio waves above 6 GHZ, also called millimetre waves, to assess the current state-of-the-science on 5G radio waves.  

The review assessed 107 experimental studies that investigated various biological effects including genotoxicity, cell proliferation, gene expression, cell signalling, and membrane function and 31 epidemiological studies that investigated exposure to radar, which uses radio waves similar to 5G.

‘In conclusion, a review of all the studies provided no substantiated evidence that low-level radio waves, like those used by the 5G network, are hazardous to human health,’ said Dr Karipidis, Assistant Director, Assessment and Advice at ARPANSA.

The second review by ARPANSA and Swinburne University was a meta-analysis which reanalysed the 107 experimental studies on low-level millimetre waves to assess any biological effects.

‘This meta-analysis of the experimental studies also presented little evidence of an association between millimetre waves and adverse health effects,’ said Dr Karipidis.

‘Studies that did report biological effects were generally not independently replicated and most of the studies reviewed employed low-quality methods of exposure assessment and control.’

‘We recommend that future experimental studies improve their design with particular attention to dosimetry and temperature control and that future epidemiological studies continue to monitor long-term health effects in the population related to wireless telecommunications,’ said Dr Karipidis.

The findings of these reviews remain consistent with national and international radiation health and safety guidelines, which have deemed low-level 5G radio waves safe for public exposure.

‘ARPANSA is proud to continue our contribution to research and assessment of 5G radiation safety,’ said Dr Gillian Hirth ARPANSA’s Deputy CEO and Chief Radiation Health Scientist. ‘

‘The work is core to our involvement in the Australian Government’s Electromagnetic Energy (EME) Program and helps us deliver on our vision of a safe radiation environment for the Australian Community.’   

The scientific reviews have been published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.