Most international studies being done on microwave radiation and its effect on humans tends to skew toward a less-than-positive outcome for the telecom community. Recently, a panel of international experts, The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), announced updated guidelines for 5G regarding human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. After extensive research, 5G was found to be safe.
According to a media release, the ICNIRP’s study covers 5G technologies, as well as AM and DAB radio, WiFi, Bluetooth, and the currently used 3G/4G mobile phones. The ICNIRP released its first study for protection against harmful effects due to EMF exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range in 1998; the recently published research required only minor updates.
According to ICNIRP Chairman, Dr. Eric Van Rongen, the new guidelines took seven years to compile and included a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops, and an extensive public consultation process. Dr. Van Rongen said that the new guidelines are “more appropriate than the 1998 guidelines for the higher frequencies that will be used for 5G.”
The changes in the 2020 guidelines that apply to 5G exposure for frequencies above 6 GHz, according to the media release, include the addition of a restriction for exposure to the whole body; the addition of a restriction for brief (less than six‐minute) exposures to small regions of the body; and the reduction of the maximum exposure permitted over a small region of the body.
“When we revised the guidelines, we looked at the adequacy of the ones we published in 1998. We found that the previous ones were conservative in most cases, and they’d still provide adequate protection for current technologies,” Dr. Van Rongen said.
“However, the new guidelines provide better and more detailed exposure guidance in particular for the higher frequency range, above 6 GHz, which is of importance to 5G and future technologies using these higher frequencies. The most important thing for people to remember is that 5G technologies will not be able to cause harm when these new guidelines are adhered to.”
An independent organization, the ICNIRP, provides scientific advice and guidance on the health and environmental effects of non-ionizing radiation (NIR) to protect people and the environment from detrimental NIR exposure. To review the full 2020 guidelines recently released, visit ICNIRP.org.