Statements from Governments and Expert Panels Concerning Health Effects and Safe Exposure Levels of Radiofrequency Energy (2010-2021)

  1. Austrian Scientific Council for Radio Communications (2021)

Mobile Communications Do Not Endanger Health

  • “Researchers of the interdisciplinary Scientific Advisory Board Funk (WBF) analyzed 130 international scientific studies on the subject of “Mobile communications and health” from the period July 2019 to June 2020.”
  • “They have shown that there is no connection between electromagnetic radiation and cancer, nor do they have a negative impact on the fertility of men. According to the WBF, the latter is primarily influenced by lifestyle.”
  • “The conclusion: According to the current state of research, there is no health risk to humans from cell phone radiation.”
  1. American Cancer Society (2020)

Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation
Cellular (Cell) Phones
Cell Phone Towers

  • “At this time, there’s no strong evidence that exposure to RF waves from cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects. However, this does not mean that the RF waves from cell phone towers have been proven to be absolutely safe. Most expert organizations agree that more research is needed to help clarify this, especially for any possible long-term effects.”
  • “The American Cancer Society (ACS) does not have any official position or statement on whether or not radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cell phones, cell phone towers, or other sources is a cause of cancer.”
  1. Health Council of the Netherlands (2020)

5G and Health
The committee has made four recommendations to Parliament

  • Because the lower frequency bands for 5G (up to 3.5 GHz) have already been used for telecommunications applications and Wi-Fi for years without resulting in any proven adverse health effects, the committee sees no reason to stop or restrict the use of these frequency bands. It does however recommend that the exposure should be monitored before, during and after the rollout of the 5G systems. This will make clear to what extent exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields changes as a result of the introduction of 5G and any long-term health risks can then be estimated better. The WHO analysis can also be used in estimating the risks.
  • The committee recommends doing more research: epidemiological research into the relationship between exposure to the 5G frequencies used and the incidence of cancer, reduced male fertility, poor pregnancy outcomes and birth defects. An ongoing international study into the use of mobile telephones, in which the Netherlands is participating, can play a role in this.
    • experimental research into the health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields in the 26 GHz frequency band.
    • scenario studies to get a picture of the exposure of individuals as a result of wireless communications systems (3G, 4G and 5G).
  • The committee recommends not using the 26 GHz frequency band for 5G for as long as the potential health risks have not been investigated.
  • Finally, the committee recommends using the latest guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) as the basis for exposure policy in the Netherlands. Because it cannot be excluded that exposure under the latest ICNIRP standards also has the potential to affect health, the committee recommends taking a cautious approach and keeping exposures as low as reasonably achievable.
  1. European Union (2020)


  • “New ICNIRP guidelines have been released in March 2020. ICNIRP announced that their 1998 guidelines are protective for current applications of Radio frequency EMFs, while their new guidelines incorporate also EMF exposure for frequencies above 6 GHz, where future 5G technologies will operate. This will result in reducing the maximum magnitude of localized exposure that a person can receive. Limits for the exposure to EMFs that are currently recommended at international and EU level were classified by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at the third level in a scale of five levels of risk as ‘possibly carcinogenic’.”
  • “It puts such exposure in the same ‘possibly carcinogenic’ category as pickled vegetables. This means that it considers it less risky than eating red meat, night shift work or drinking hot coffee, which are at the second level and assessed as ‘probably carcinogenic’, and even less risky than air pollution, wood dust or alcoholic beverages, which, being at the first level, fall into the ‘carcinogenic’ category. “
  1. WHO (2020)

What are the potential health risks from 5G?

  • “To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G.
  • Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body.
  • As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.”
  1. Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) (2020)

Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk, Fourteenth report from SSM’s Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields, 2019
Fourteenth Report from SSMS Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields

  • “Overall, the age standardized incidence of brain tumors does not give support to any causal relationship with radio wave exposure from mobile phone use. If there is an impact, it appears to be so weak that it cannot be detected in incidence trend studies.”
  • “Despite the fact that no health risks with weak electromagnetic fields have been established today, the Authority considers that further research is important, in particular regarding long-term effects as the entire population is exposed. One key issue here is to further investigate the relationship between radio wave exposure and oxidative stress observed in animal studies and to establish whether and to what extent it may affect human health.”
  1. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

  • 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19
    “Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks.COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.”
  1. Science Media Center (2020)

Expert reaction to people who think 5G causes coronavirus

  • “There is no sensible link between the use of 5G frequencies and COVID-19 or any other biological virus or bacteria. This sort of conjecture only contributes to the risk to individuals who are prepared to believe such non-science as opposed to the considerable efforts being made by medical science to enable the population to protect themselves in an informed manner.”
  • “The supposed correlation between 5G and its development in China reveals a complete lack of understanding of the difference between cause and coincidence.”
  • “There is no scientifically credible evidence to link the introduction of 5G masts with the COVID-19 outbreak. This would be both a physical and biological impossibility.”
  1. ICNIRP (2020)

Health Phys. 118(5):525–532; 2020

  • “We found that these studies had important strengths; for example, both followed good laboratory practice (GLP), both used much larger numbers of animals than previous research, and both exposed animals over the whole of their lives.”
  • “We also noted some major weaknesses, including a lack of blinding, difficulties interpreting statistical analyses due to the association between longer lifespans and tumor occurrence in the exposed rats (NTP only), and failure to account for chance.”
  • “ICNIRP concluded that these substantial limitations preclude conclusions being drawn concerning RF EMFs and carcinogenesis.”
  1. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) (2020)

5G and other telecommunications do not affect the immune system

  • “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.”
  1. FDA (2020)

Review of Published Literature between 2008 and 2018 of Relevance to Radiofrequency Radiation and Cancer

  • “Based on the FDA’s ongoing evaluation, the available epidemiological and cancer incidence data continues to support the Agency’s determination that there are no quantifiable adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current cell phone exposure limits.”
  • “Based on the studies that are described in detail in this report, there is insufficient evidence to support a causal association between RFR exposure and tumorigenesis. There is a lack of clear dose response relationship, a lack of consistent findings or specificity, and a lack of biological mechanistic plausibility.”
  1. WHO IARC (2020)

World Cancer Report: Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention

Section 2.5 Ionizing radiation and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: Further clarification of particular risks

  • “Most of the epidemiological research does not support an association between mobile phone use and tumours occurring in the head, which is the body part with the highest exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. In studies reporting positive associations, it is difficult to exclude various forms of bias, such as recall bias in retrospective exposure assessment.”
  1. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) (2019)

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

  • “The operating frequencies of the 5G network are included within the limits set by the ARPANSA safety standard. 5G infrastructure and devices emitting RF EME are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), and emissions are required to comply with the limits of the ARPANSA safety standard.”
  • “..this energy is absorbed mostly within the skin where surface heating is the predominant effect. At these higher 5G frequencies, the limits in the ARPANSA safety standard are set to prevent excessive heating at the surface of the skin and the eye.”

Misinformation about Australia’s 5G network

  • “Contrary to some claims, there are no established health effects from the radio waves that the 5G network uses.”
  • “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.”
  1. Dr. Edwin Edeh, WHO’s Public Health and Environmental Specialist (2019)

  • “..after an in-depth review of relevant scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.
  • “To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to radio frequencies from mobile phones and other telecommunication equipment.”
  • “Despite many studies, the critical effect of high frequency exposure to human health is simply heating of the exposed body tissue. No large increases in risk have been found for any cancer in a child or adult.”
  1. ICNIRP (2019)


  • “Although NTP (2018a) and Falcioni et al. (2018) both reported significantly elevated rates of carcinogenic outcomes in male rats, their results are not consistent with each other, nor with the NTP (2018b) mouse or female rat results, nor with the RF cancer literature generally (SCENIHR 2015; HCN 2016; SSM 2018). The NTP’s outlying finding is further complicated by important methodological limitations including the effect of the greater lifespans of the exposed rats on the statistical analyses, lack of blinding in the pathological analyses, and a failure to account sufficiently for chance in the statistical analyses. Collectively these two studies’ limitations preclude drawing conclusions about carcinogenicity in relation to RF EMFs.”
  1. American Cancer Society (2018)

Cellular Phone Towers

  • “The amount of exposure from living near a cell phone tower is typically many times lower than the exposure from using a cell phone. About 30 studies have looked at possible links between cell phone use and tumors in people. Most studies to date have not found a link between cell phone use and the development of tumors, although these studies have had some important limitations.”
  • “Cell phone towers are not known to cause any health effects.”
  • “…most researchers and regulatory authorities do not believe that cell phone towers pose health risks under ordinary conditions.”

Cellular Phones

  • “In summary, most studies of people published so far have not found a link between cell phone use and the development of tumors. However, these studies have had some important limitations that make them unlikely to end the controversy about whether cell phone use affects cancer risk.”
  1. Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (2018)

Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk
Twelfth report from SSM’s Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields, 2017

  • “No new health risks have been identified. Whether mobile phone use causes brain tumours or not was mainly addressed using time trends studies in the last two years. The results were not entirely consistent but mainly point towards a lack of association. Some cell and animal studies indicate that EMF exposure may cause oxidative stress even at low exposure levels. It is unclear what relevance this may have when it comes to direct health effects in humans. A striking result was that some studies showed a stronger association between memory functions and radio wave exposure than other usage variables.”
  • “It is very unfortunate that investigators are not adhering to international standards concerning the reporting of their studies, and that journals often do not have an adequate peer-review system that corrects such omissions. There can also be a risk that doing bad quality studies and making people afraid may have some impact on their health and well-being and is another reason why only studies with high quality protocols should be funded, performed and published.”
  1. United States Food and Drug Administration (2018)

FDA Statement: Statement from Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health on the recent National Toxicology Program draft report on radiofrequency energy exposure

  • “Taken together, all of this research provides a more complete picture regarding radiofrequency energy exposure that has informed the FDA’s assessment of this important public health issue, and given us the confidence that the current safety limits for cell phone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health.”
  • “In the meantime, I want to underscore that based on our ongoing evaluation of this issue and taking into account all available scientific evidence we have received, we have not found sufficient evidence that there are adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radiofrequency energy exposure limits. Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors. Based on this current information, we believe the current safety limits for cell phones are acceptable for protecting the public health.”
  1. United States Federal Communications Commission (2017)

Wireless Devices and Health Concerns

  • “According to the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO), among other organizations, to date, the weight of scientific evidence has not effectively linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any known health problems.”
  • “..currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.”
  • “…there is no basis on which to establish a different safety threshold than our current requirements.”
  1. Masao Taki, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan (2016)

Masao Taki, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan (2016)
Bioelectromagnetics Researches in Japan for Human Protection from Electromagnetic Field Exposures
IEEJ TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING IEEJ Trans 2016 Published online in Wiley Online Library ( DOI:10.1002/tee.22291

  • Research works on bioelectromagnetics in Japan are reviewed with a focus on the efforts devoted to the issue of human protection from electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures. History of this issue in Japan is briefly reviewed first for all EMF spectra.
  • The RF studies reviewed are mainly conducted in the framework of research program by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) started in 1997.
  • The results of these studies consistently showed no hazardous effect of RF-EMF within the exposure levels of internationally accepted guidelines. Especially, the studies in this program did not reproduce any of previous studies suggesting the existence of health effects when the experiments were carefully performed with the collaboration of biology/medicine and engineering to improve reliability of the experiments.
  1. Health Council of the Netherlands (2016)

Mobile phones and cancer: Part 3. Update and overall conclusions from epidemiological and animal studies. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands, 2016; publication no. 2016/06. ISBN 978-94-6281-098-3

  • “The Committee considers it unlikely that exposure to radiofrequency fields, which is associated with the use of mobile telephones, causes cancer. The animal data indicate a possibility of a promoting effect, but it is not clear whether this could explain the increased risk for tumours in the brain, head and neck that has been observed in some epidemiological studies. The Committee feels it more likely that a combination of bias, confounding and chance might be an explanation for the epidemiological observations.”
  1. Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) (2016)

Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk – Eleventh report from SSM’s Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields, 2016
Including Thirteen years of electromagnetic field research monitored by SSM’s Scientific Council on EMF and health: How has the evidence changed over time?

  • “A lot of research has been performed in the 13 years since the SSI/SSM started to monitor the research on EMF by a Scientific Council. In general, more clarity has been obtained on the absence of a number of adverse health effects that were suspected to be resulting from exposure to electric, magnetic or electromagnetic fields of different frequencies.”
  • “The new in vitro studies confirm the previous Council conclusions: several endpoints have been investigated and in most cases no effect of the exposure was detected.”
  • “This indicates that other factors than RF-EMF exposure such as sleep deprivation due to nightly mobile phone use, blue light from the smart phone screens or lack of recreation due to overuse might be relevant in that context.”
  1. European Code Against Cancer 4th Edition (2015)

Ionising and non-ionising radiation and cancer.

  • “Overall, currently available information does not provide unequivocal evidence that non-ionising radiation at low and high frequencies is a cause of cancer.”
  1. Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) (2015)

Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk – Tenth report from SSM’s Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields, 2015—tenth-report-from-ssms-scientific-council-on-electromagnetic-fields-2015

  • “Overall cancer incidence…continued to decrease in men, remained stable in women, and increased in children,”
  • “…in previous reports the Scientific Council of SSM has concluded that studies of brain tumours and other tumours of the head (vestibular schwannoma, salivary gland), together with national cancer incidence statistics from different countries, are not convincing in linking mobile phone use to the occurrence of glioma or other tumours of the head region among adults. Recent studies described in this report do not change this conclusion although these have covered longer exposure periods.”
  • “It is also too early to draw firm conclusions regarding risk of brain tumours in children and adolescents, but the available literature to date does not indicate an increased risk.”
  • “While the symptoms experienced by patients with EHS are real and some individuals suffer severely, studies so far have not provided evidence that exposure to electromagnetic fields is a causal factor. Several studies have indicated a nocebo effect, i.e. an adverse effect caused by an expectation that something is harmful.”
  • “In line with previous studies, new studies on adult and childhood cancer with improved exposure assessment do not indicate any health risks for the general public related to exposure from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from far-field sources, such as base stations and radio and TV transmitters. There is no new evidence indicating a causal link to exposure from far-field sources such as mobile phone base stations or wireless local data networks in schools or at home.”
  1. US National Cancer Institute (2015)

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975 -2011, Featuring Incidence of Breast Cancer Subtypes by Race/Ethnicity, Poverty, and State. JNCI. 2015 Mar 30; [Epub ahead of print].

  • “Overall cancer incidence…continued to decrease in men, remained stable in women, and increased in children,”
  • With regard to overall cancer mortality rates, “there has been a relatively consistent decline…since the early 1990s, with rates from 2002 to 2011 decreasing by about 1.8 percent per year among males and by 1.4 percent per year among females. Among children up to 19 years old, mortality rates have continued to decrease since 1975, with the exception of the period between 1998 and 2003,” it states.
  • With regard to brain cancer [a category that also includes other nervous system cancer types], during the most recent 10-year period (2002-2011) mortality rates decreased among women and remained stable among men. During that same time period, brain cancer incidence rates remained stable among women and decreased among men [during the most recent 5-year period of 2007-2011, brain cancer incidence rates decreased among women].
  1. Health Canada (2015)

Full text of Safety Code 6, news release, and “Understanding Safety Code 6” resource

  • “The updated Safety Code includes slightly more restrictive reference levels in some frequency ranges to ensure even larger safety margins to protect all Canadians, including newborn infants and children.”
  • “While the biological basis for the basic restrictions specified in this safety code has not changed since the previous version (2009), the reference levels have been updated to either account for dosimetric refinements in recent years or where feasible, to harmonize with those of ICNIRP.”
  • “At present, there is no scientific basis for the occurrence of acute, chronic and/or cumulative adverse health risks from RF field exposure at levels below the limits outlined in Safety Code 6,” the document states. “The hypotheses of other proposed adverse health effects occurring at levels below the exposure limits outlined in Safety Code 6 suffer from a lack of evidence of causality, biological plausibility and reproducibility and do not provide a credible foundation for making science-based recommendations for limiting human exposures to low-intensity RF fields.”
  • Health Canada scientists have concluded (and the Royal Society of Canada has agreed) on the basis of current scientific data, that no adverse health effects will occur from exposure to RF fields at the levels permitted by Safety Code 6.
  1. New Zealand Ministry of Health (2015)

Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non-ionising Fields: Report to Ministers 2015

  • “RF research is continuing in a number of areas, but data currently available provides no clear or persuasive evidence of any other effects. For this reason, the Committee and the Ministry of Health continue to support the use of exposure limits for RF fields set in the current New Zealand Standard, which is based on guidelines published by an international scientific body recognised by the WHO for its independence and expertise in this area.”
  • “Much new research has been published since 2004, when the Committee last prepared a report for Ministers, but none of this causes the Committee to consider that current policies and recommendations should be reviewed.”
  1. Health Canada (2015)

Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz

Understanding Safety Code 6

  • “Health Canada scientists have concluded (and the Royal Society of Canada has agreed) on the basis of current scientific data, that no adverse health effects will occur from exposure to RF fields at the levels permitted by Safety Code 6.”
  1. SCENIHR (Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks) (2015)

Opinion on Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF)

  • “Overall, the epidemiological studies on mobile phone RF EMF exposure do not show an increased risk of brain tumours.”
  • “The results of current scientific research show that there are no evident adverse health effects if [EMF] exposure remains below the levels set by current standards.”
  1. European Economic and Social Committee (2015)

Electromagnetic Fields Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands.

OPINION of the European Economic and Social Committee on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

  • “Overall, there is evidence that exposure to radio-frequency fields does not cause symptoms or affect cognitive function in humans. The previous Scientific Committee’s opinion concluded that there were no adverse effects on reproduction and development from radiofrequency fields at exposure levels below existing limits. The inclusion of more recent human and animal data does not change that assessment.”
  1. Health Council of the Netherlands (2014)

Electromagnetic Fields Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands.

Mobile phones and cancer: Part 2. Animal studies on carcinogenesis. 2014 Sep.

  • “The Committee concludes from this evidence that it is highly unlikely that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields can cause or stimulate the
    development of cancer in animals.”
  1. USA CDC (2014)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones and Your Health

  • Can using a cell phone cause cancer?

“There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question. Some organizations recommend caution in cell phone use. More research is needed before we know if using cell phones causes health effects.”

  • Should people stop using cell phones?

“At this time we do not have the science to link health problems to cell phone use. Scientific studies are underway to determine whether cell phone use may cause health effects. It is also important to consider the benefits of cell phones. Their use can be valuable in an urgent or emergency situation – and even save lives.”

  1. Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (2014)

Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields.

  • “New research does not suggest any health risks of using mobile phones or wireless computer networks.”
  • “Studies do not provide evidence that the symptoms experienced by EHS individuals are caused by EMF.”
  1. UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) (2014)

Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group (BEPAG)

Are there harmful Biological Effects of Low-Level Electromagnetic Fields at frequencies up to 300 GHz?

  • “the absence of robust new evidence of harmful effects of EMFs in the past two years is again reassuring and is consistent with our findings over the past two decades.”
  1. Royal Society of Canada (2014)

Expert Panel: A Review of Safety Code 6 (2013):

Health Canada’s Safety Limits for Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields

  • “Panel has concluded that the balance of evidence at this time does not indicate negative health effects from exposure to RF energy below the limits recommended in the Safety Code.”
  • “Even a small child, following continuous exposure from multiple sources of RF energy, would not experience adverse health effects provided that the
    exposure limits set in Safety Code 6 are respected.”
  • “Canadians are protected from continuous exposure to multiple sources of RF energy when Safety Code 6 is respected.”
  • “Health Canada has established and maintains a general public exposure limit that incorporates a wide safety margin and is therefore far below the
    threshold for potentially adverse health effects.”
  1. Australia ARPANSA (2014)

Radiofrequency Expert Panel. Review of radiofrequency health effects research – Scientific literature 2000–2012. 2014 Mar.

  • “the underlying basis of the ARPANSA RF exposure Standard [also referred to as RPS3] remains sound and that the exposure limits in the Standard continue to provide a high degree of protection against the known health effects of RF electromagnetic fields.”
  1. Health Canada (2014)

Fact Sheet: What is Safety Code 6?

  1. UK (2014)

Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme: Report 2012. 2014 Feb.

  • “Neither of the studies identified any association between exposure and an increased risk of developing cancer,”
  • MTHR found “a substantial body of evidence that modulation does not play a significant role in the interaction of radiofrequency fields with biological systems.”
  • “We see no need for further research in any of the areas addressed by the research that is summarized in this report,” the report concludes.
  1. Nordic Radiation Safety Authorities (2013)

Exposure from mobile phones, base stations and wireless networks

  • “The overall data published in the scientific literature to date do not show adverse health effects from exposure of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below the guidelines or limits adopted in the Nordic countries. However, epidemiological studies on long-term exposure to radio waves from mobile phones are still limited, especially studies on children and adolescents.”
  • “Since exposure of the general public, including children, to radio waves from the wireless local area networks and base stations is far below the exposure limits, there is no need to further limit exposure from these radio wave sources.”
  1. IEEE COMAR (2013)

Radiofrequency Safety and Utility Smart Meters

  • “The low peak power of Smart Meters and the very low duty cycles lead to the fact that accessible RF fields near Smart Meters are far below both U.S. and international RF safety limits whether judged on the basis of instantaneous peak power densities or time-averaged exposures. This conclusion holds for Smart Meters alone or installed in large banks of meters.”
  1. Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (2013)

Radiation of transmission facilities and health

  • “no evidence was found that people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity react differently to exposure than the rest of the population.”
  • “The exposures by fixed transmitters are generally pleasantly low, and at this load level no adverse health effects have been scientifically proven.”
  • “Recent studies have not found an association between RF exposure from fixed transmitters and the risk of leukemia or brain tumors in children.”
  • “Due to these methodological shortcomings, none of the new reports meet the fundamental requirements placed on a scientific study. As before, it is therefore not possible to make a sound assessment of the evidence for or against an association between exposure level and cancer risk among adults,”
  • “By way of summary it may be stated that no new confirmed health effects of exposure to high-frequency fields from transmitters were observed in the dose range below the recommended reference levels of [ICNIRP] and thus below the ambient limit values specified in the ONIR [Switzerland’s Ordinance relating to Protection from Non-Ionising Radiation]. From the scientific point of view, this means that protection against acute effects is assured as before.”
  1. WHO (2013)

What are the health risks associated with mobile phones and their base stations?

  • “Studies to date provide no indication that environmental exposure to RF (radio frequency) fields, such as from base stations, increases the risk of cancer or any other disease.”
  • “Scientists have reported other health effects of using mobile phones including changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns. These effects are minor and have no apparent health significance.”
  1. France ANSES (2013)

Update of the “Radiofrequencies and health” expert appraisal

  • “This update has not brought to light any proven health effect and does not result in any proposed new maximum exposure limits for the population.”
  1. Health Council of the Netherlands (2013)

Mobile phones and cancer.

Part 1: Epidemiology of tumours in the head.

  • “[T]he final conclusion from this systematic analysis is then: there is no clear and consistent evidence for an increased risk for tumours in the brain and other regions in the head in association with up to approximately 13 years use of a mobile telephone, but such risk can also not be excluded. It is not possible to pronounce upon longer term use.”
  1. American Cancer Society (2013)

Updates info on cell phone towers

  • “Cell phone towers are not known to cause any health effects. But if you are concerned about possible exposure from a cell phone tower near your home or office, you can ask a government agency or private firm to measure the RF field strength near the tower (where a person could be exposed) to ensure that it is within the acceptable range”.
  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer (2013)

Monograph 102 “non-ionizing radiation, part 2: radiofrequency electromagnetic fields”

  • There is limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation. Positive associations have been observed between exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless phones and glioma, and acoustic neuroma.
  • There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation.
  • Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
  • The comparative weakness of the associations in the INTERPHONE study and inconsistencies between its results and those of the Swedish study led to the evaluation of limited evidence for glioma and acoustic neuroma, as decided by the majority of the members of the Working Group.
[Note: The task of IARC is to classify the possibility of effects, while the other expert reviews are on established health effects.]
  1. Swedish Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields (2013)

2013:19 – Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk (Eighth report from SSM’s Scientific Council on Electromagnetic Fields, 2010), Swedish Radiation Safety Authority

  • Subsequent to the last Council report published in 2010, IARC in 2011 classified radiofrequency electromagnetic (RF) fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B) based on an increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) associated with wireless phone use. Since then, numerous epidemiological studies on mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours and other tumours of the head (vestibular schwannomas, salivary gland) have been published. The collective of these studies, together with national cancer incidence statistics from different countries, is not convincing in linking mobile phone use to the occurrence of glioma or other tumours of the head region among adults. Although recent studies have covered longer exposure periods, scientific uncertainty remains for regular mobile phone use for longer than 13-15 years. It is also too early to draw firm conclusions regarding children and adolescents and risk for brain tumours, but the available literature to date does not indicate an increased risk.
  • While the symptoms experienced by patients with perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity are real and some individuals suffer severely, studies so far have not provided evidence that exposure to electromagnetic fields is a causal factor. In a number of experimental provocation studies (mostly with radiofrequency fields), persons who consider themselves electromagnetically hypersensitive as well as healthy volunteers have been exposed to either sham or real fields, but symptoms have not been more prevalent during real exposure than during sham exposure in the experimental groups. Several studies have indicated a nocebo effect, i.e. an adverse effect caused by an expectation that something is harmful.
  1. European Commission (2012)

European Health Risk Assessment Network on Electromagnetic Fields Exposure (EFHRAN). Report on priorities of health risk management and communication on EMF exposure. 2012 Nov.

  • the public’s perception of possible health risks due to EMF exposure levels within international guidelines does not necessarily reflect the scientific community’s assessment that there is a lack of evidence that could support this suggestion.
  • This “should suggest to policy and health authorities in Europe…that they need to invest in improving communication strategies related to EMF, allowing Europeans to have access to high quality and referenced information about the scientific state of the art on EMF and health issues.
  1. European Commission (2012)

European Health Risk Assessment Network on Electromagnetic Fields Exposure (EFHRAN). Risk analysis of human exposure to electromagnetic fields (Revised). 2012 Oct 23.

  • “For none of these [examined] outcomes is there sufficient evidence of a causal association between exposure and disease.”
  1. Norwegian Institute for Public Health (2012)

Low-level radiofrequency electromagnetic fields – an assessment of health risks and evaluation of regulatory practice.

  • “The studies have been performed on cells and tissues, and in animals and humans. The effects that have been studied apply to changes in organ systems, functions and other effects. There are also a large number of population studies with an emphasis on studies of cancer risk.”
  • “The large total number of studies provides no evidence that exposure to weak RF fields causes adverse health effects.”
  1. Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (2012)

Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and risk of disease and ill health– Research during the last ten years

  • “Extensive research for more than a decade has not detected anything new regarding interaction mechanisms between radiofrequency fields and the human body and has found no evidence for health risks below current exposure guidelines. While absolute certainty can never be achieved, nothing has appeared to suggest that the since long established interaction mechanism of heating would not suffice as basis for health protection.”
  1. US Government Accountability Office (2012)

Exposure and testing requirements for mobile phones should be reassessed.

  • “Scientific research to date has not demonstrated adverse human health effects of exposure to radio-frequency (RF) energy from mobile phone use, but research is ongoing that may increase understanding of any possible effects.”
  1. UK Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group (BEPAG) of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (2012)

  • “that the balance of scientific evidence to date does not indicate that harmful effects occur in humans due to low-level exposure to EMFs.”
  • “In summary, the absence of robust new evidence of harmful effects of EMFs in the past two years is reassuring and is consistent with our findings over the past two decades. The widespread use of electricity and telecommunications has demonstrable value to society, including health benefits. BEPAG is of the opinion that these factors, along with the overall scientific evidence, should be taken into account by policy makers when considering the costs and benefits.”
  1. UK Independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionizing Radiation (AGNIR) (2012)

Health effects from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields

  • “In summary, although a substantial amount of research has been conducted in this area, there is no convincing evidence that RF field exposure below guideline levels causes health effects in adults or children.”
  1. Germany SSK (2011)

Biological effects of mobile phones: Overall view.

  • The SSK concludes, “In line with other international bodies (ICNIRP 2009, WHO 2011), it can be determined that the existing limits underlying the concept of protection are not jeopardized.”
  1. European Cooperation in Science and Technology COST BM0704 (2011)

Fact Sheet: Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) or ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’

  • “a relationship between EMF exposure and symptoms has not been established and studies on perception and physiological responses do not provide support for a causal link between EMF and the occurrence of symptoms.”
  • “As there is no scientific evidence for a causal relationship between EMF exposure and the occurrence of symptoms, there are no diagnostic criteria for ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ and no EU countries recognize it as a medical condition.”
  1. EU Commission’s DG Health and Consumers (2011)

Public Health (22-11-2011) Electromagnetic Fields and Health: The Way Forward

  • “The nocebo effect (an ill effect caused by the suggestion or belief that something is harmful) is a major contributor to electrohypersensitivity”
  1. Health Council of the Netherlands (2011)

Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and children’s brains

  • “Available data do not indicate that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields affect brain development or health in children.”
  1. Health Canada (2011)

Safety of Cell Phones and Cell Phone Towers

  • “The IARC classification of RF energy reflects the fact that some limited evidence exists that RF energy might be a risk factor for cancer. However, the vast majority of scientific research to date does not support a link between RF energy exposure and human cancers.”
  • “With respect to cell phone towers, as long as exposures respect the limits set in Health Canada’s guidelines, there is no scientific reason to consider cell phone towers dangerous to the public.”
  1. Health Canada (2011)

Wi-Fi Equipment

  • “Based on scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that exposure to low-level RF energy, such as that from Wi-Fi equipment, is not dangerous to the public.”
  1. National Cancer Institute (2011)

Fact Sheet: Cell Phones and Cancer Risk

  • “Studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck.”
  • “ date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.”
  1. International Epidemiology Institute (2011)

  • “There have been other recent studies presenting brain tumor incidence trends among adults and children over the last 20 years in the United States; the United Kingdom; New Zealand; and Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is especially encouraging that these nationwide time-trend studies are uniformly and remarkably consistent in showing no evidence of increases in brain tumors over recent calendar years, up to and including 2009 in Sweden. Increases would have been expected if radio frequency waves were causally associated with brain cancer, given the steady and marked rise in the use of cell phones throughout the world since the 1980s.”
  1. ICNIRP (July 2011)

Mobile Phones, Brain Tumours and the Interphone Study: Where Are We Now?

  • “In summary, Interphone and the literature overall have methodological deficiencies but do not demonstrate greater risk of either glioma or meningioma with longer or greater use of mobile phones, although the longest period since first use examined is <15 years.”
  • “Although there remains some uncertainty, the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumours in adults.”
  1. WHO (June, 2011)

Fact Sheet #193 Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones

Are there any health effects?

  • “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”
  • “WHO will conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure by 2012.”
  1. American Cancer Society (2011)

Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Director, responds to IARC Classication of Cell Phones as Possible Carcinogenic

  • “It is critical that its findings be interpreted with great care. The working group reviewed a large number of studies and concluded that there was limited evidence that cell phones may cause glioma, a type of brain tumor that starts in the brain or spine. A 2B classification means that there could be some risk, but that the evidence is not strong enough to be considered causal, and needs to be investigated further. The bottom line is the evidence is enough to warrant concern, but it is not conclusive.”
  • “It’s also important to put this 2B classification into perspective. Many common exposures are classified in Category 2B, including gasoline exhaust and even coffee.”
  1. US National Cancer Institute (2011)

NCI Statement: International Agency for Research on Cancer Classification of Cell Phones as “Possible Carcinogen”

  • Interphone, considered the major study on cell phone use and cancer risk, has reported that overall, cell phone users have no increased risk of the most common forms of brain tumors — glioma and meningioma. In addition, the study revealed no evidence of increasing risk with progressively increasing number of calls, longer call time, or years since beginning cell phone use. For the small proportion of study participants who reported spending the most total time on cell phone calls, there was some increased risk of glioma, but the researchers considered this finding inconclusive. Furthermore, a large population-based cohort study in Denmark has found no evidence of increased risk of brain tumors. It is noteworthy that brain cancer incidence and mortality rates in the population have changed little in the past decade.”
  1. UK National Health Service (2011)

So do mobile phones definitely cause cancer?

  • No. The IARC’s classification means there is some evidence linking mobile phones to some types of brain cancer but that this evidence is too weak to draw strong conclusions.
  1. UK Health Protection Agency (2011)

  • “HPA advice is that there is no clear scientific evidence of a cancer risk from exposure to radiofrequencies at levels below international guidelines but the possibility remains.”
  1. Cancer Council Australia (2011)

  • “However, these findings need to be put in context. While we need to continue researching the possible link between mobile phones and cancer, it is important to remind people there are many more established cancer risk factors that we can take action every day. Strong action on clear cancer risks like tobacco, alcohol, excessive UV exposure and obesity remain a priority.”
  1. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) (2011)

Statement by ARPANSA on IARC announcement on classification of radiofrequency

  • “ARPANSA does not consider that the new classification should give rise to any alarm.”
  • “ARPANSA will consider the implications of the IARC decision and the underlying scientific evidence and, if necessary, review the current standard and other means of protecting the public.”
  1. Spain’s Comité Cientifico Asesor en Radiofrecuencias y Salud (CCARS) (2011)

  • “According to various agencies, there is no scientific justification for a reduction in current exposure limits for RF EMF.”
  1. Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (2010)

2010:44 Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk: Seventh annual report from SSM:s Independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields, 2010

  • “…for up to about ten years of mobile phone use associations with brain tumour risk are unlikely. …For longer duration of use, for specific subtypes of cancer, and for children and adolescents data are sparse or non-existing, and conclusions are less certain.”
  • “Available data do not indicate any risks related to exposure to RF from base stations or radio or TV antennas. Taking into account also the low levels of exposure that these sources give rise to, health effects from transmitters are unlikely.”
  1. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (2010)

Wireless Technology and Health Outcomes: Evidence and Review

  • ‘…While the most recent review continues to call for additional research to follow up on new findings, after a decade of additional research, there is still no conclusive evidence of adverse effects on health at exposure levels below current Canadian guidelines.’
  • “Given the experience with other sources of non-ionizing radiation (e.g. power lines) that have been in use much longer than cellphones or Wi-Fi, it is unlikely that all controversies related to potential RF effects will be resolved even after decades of additional research.”
  1. European Union (2010)

European Health Risk Assessment Network on Electromagnetic Fields Exposure (EFHRAN)

  • For none of the diseases is there sufficient evidence for a causal association between exposure and the risk of the disease, and the strength of evidence for many outcomes remains as inadequate.
  • Classification: Evidence for Lack of Effect for EHS.
  1. Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (2010)

Electromagnetic radiation from telecommunications and broadcasting equipment and health

  • The conclusions from these publications show that there is strong evidence that RF exposure below a certain threshold does not cause harmful effects to biological systems.
  • The weight of substantial international scientific research is that there is no substantial evidence that the use of communications equipment causes harmful health effects.
  1. European Commission (2010)

Promoting healthy environments with a focus on the impact of actions on electromagnetic fields

  • There is no conclusive scientific evidence of any adverse health effects below the protection limits of exposure to electromagnetic fields proposed by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), implemented in Europe by the Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC. The advantage of applying the ICNIRP guidelines is their solid scientific basis of established biological effects.
  • In conclusion, society and/or decision-makers have to decide which options of exposure reductions are to be applied, given the present scientific uncertainty in relation to some exposure scenarios. However, it is unclear at the moment whether precautionary measures lead to any benefits. For this purpose, the options, their potential benefits, and potential lack of any benefits together with the implementation costs have to be communicated in a transparent manner. At the same time, more data are needed to have a better overview of an individual’s total EMF exposure in a modern environment, to better identify where exposure peaks occur, and how they can be avoided.
  1. Latin America (2010)

Experts Committee on High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields and Human Health. Scientific review: Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation in the radiofrequency spectrum and its effects on human health.

  • “Having many different rules only creates confusion and mistrust of government. Every effort should be made to harmonize standards at all levels (from national to state or municipality level) adopting science-based standards recommended by international bodies such as ICNIRP.”
  • “…the general conclusion, after more than 20 years of in vivo studies, is that no consistent or important effects of RF could be demonstrated in intact animals below international safety standards,”
  • Overall, “current science-based evidence points to there being no adverse effects in humans below thermal thresholds, no hazardous influences on the well-being and heath status of users and non-users of cell phones and people living near base stations, and that no convincing evidence for adverse cognitive, behavioral and neurophysiological and other physiological effects exist.”
  1. European health risk assessment network on EMF exposure (2010)

Report on the analysis of risks associated to exposure to EMF: in vitro and in vivo (animals) studies

  • For the three frequency ranges examined, the conclusions of the 2009 SCENIHR report are still valid in spite of the publication of several positive
  • Many of the new publications originate from laboratories and countries that are new to bioelectromagnetics research. This translates sometimes into unsatisfactory dosimetry or statistical analysis. Health risk assessment to be performed in the coming years (e.g., WHO EMF project) will need to be carried out with strict quality criteria.
  1. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (2010)

The Possible Harmful Biological Effects of Low-Level Electromagnetic Fields of Frequencies up to 300 GHz

  • BEPAG has concluded that the balance of scientific evidence to date still does not indicate that harmful effects occur in humans due to low-level exposure to EMFs. This conclusion remains the same as that reached in its previous position statements, the last being in May 2008, and has not been substantially altered by the peer-reviewed literature published in the past two years.
  1. Austrian Scientific Advisory Board (2010):

Scientific Expert Panel on EMF and health confirms ICNIRP limits

  • “The Austrian Scientific Advisory Board Funk (WBF) has unanimously concluded that the current state of scientific evidence on mobile phone use shows no conclusive health hazard could be proven. WBF says it may therefore continue to be assumed that mobile phones – in compliance with the limits – represents no health risk to humans.”
  1. Australia Cancer Council (2010)

  • “World’s largest mobile phone study fails to find brain cancer link Mobile phones and cancer risk – Interphone study”
  1. FDA (2010)

  • “No evidence linking cell phone use to risk of brain tumors”
  1. ICNIRP (2010)

Note on the Interphone publication

  • ICNIRP therefore considers that the results of Interphone study give no reason for alteration of the current guidelines.
  1. WHO (2010)

Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones

  • To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use.
  1. UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) (2010)

Health Advice on Mobile Phones:

Although HPA mentions in this statement that scientific evidence is limited, in particular regarding long term use and children, they clearly state at the
beginning of the paper:

  • “The scientific consensus is that, apart from the increased risk of a road accident due to mobile phone use when driving, there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.”