Associate Professor Ken Karipidis 

Dr Chris Brzozek 

Mr Rohan Mate 

Dr Chhavi Raj Bhatt 

Associate Professor Sarah Loughran 

Professor Andrew Wood 


The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency 

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia 


Environmental Evidence 


In many countries, humans are protected from harmful radio wave exposure by safety standards that are based on guidelines by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  

However, there are currently no recognised international guidelines to specifically protect plants and animals.   

Main findings 

This systematic map paints the research landscape into the effects of radio waves on plants and animals in the environment. It found that the majority of the available studies are of poor quality. Further, there is a clear need to investigate radio wave exposure on more plant and animal species in their natural habitat, and to study further biological effects. It also found that much of the research has not investigated the effects of radio waves on plants and animals from new and emerging technologies like the 5G network.  


The systematic map included 334 studies (237 on animals and 97 on plants) from a review of 24,432 studies that were identified in the search. 

Future opportunities 

To ensure that the environment is protected from the harmful effects of radiation, more research needs to be done on the effects of radio waves including from high-frequency wireless technology to inform radiation and environmental protection agencies.  

Link to study: Environmental Evidence  

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