The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) recently announced that 5G does not pose a health risk. The independent panel, which provides scientific advice and guidance on the health and environmental effects of non-ionizing radiation, made the determination after it updated its guidelines for protecting humans exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The new guidelines cover a number of technologies, including 5G.
ICNIRP Chairman Dr. Eric van Rongen said the new guidelines took seven years to develop and are more appropriate than the 1998 guidelines for the higher frequencies that will be used for 5G in the future.
“We know parts of the community are concerned about the safety of 5G and we hope the updated guidelines will help put people at ease,” van Rogen said in a statement. “The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and extensive public consultation process. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to EMF exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range.”
The main changes in the ICNIRP’s 2020 guidelines that pertain to 5G exposures are for frequencies above 6 GHz. The guidelines include adding a restriction for exposure to the whole body; adding a restriction for brief (less than six minutes) exposures to small regions of the body and reducing maximum exposure permitted over a small region of the body.
The organization’s minor guideline changes include more transparency to make the logic and scientific basis of the guidelines easier for the health protection community to engage with and additional means of assessing compliance with guidelines.
“When we revised the guidelines, we looked at the adequacy of the ones we published in 1998,” van Rogen said. “We found that the previous ones were conservative in most cases, and they’d still provide adequate protection for current technologies. However, the new guidelines provide better and more detailed exposure guidance in particular for the higher frequency range, above 6 GHz, which is the 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.”