The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) - the people who analyse radio broadcasts' health risks - has updated its guidelines for 5G and has assured everyone that they're not going to drop dead from exposure to 5G waves anytime soon.
The ICNIRP set its standards for EMF exposure in the late 90s when mobile phones first came onto the scene. The radio frequencies 5G use “were not anticipated in 1998”, says Dr Jack Rowley, senior director for research and sustainability at GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications). He added:
"The most important thing is that the fundamental health risk assessment is unchanged. The limits that we had in 1998 are still protective now.”
ICNIRP chairman, Dr Eric van Rongen, said he hopes the updated guidelines will "put people at ease" explaining that:
"The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to [electromagnetic field] exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range.”
There are some alarmists who have been concerned about the safety of 5G, like Electrosensitivity UK, which proclaims to be a group for "all people sensitised by electromagnetic fields and radiation," that provides "unbiased and balanced information" to those who have been affected by electrical appliances, which is as nonsensical as it sounds. The group ran an ad last year claiming 5G is capable of causing a multitude of maladies, like cancer, depression, an reduced fertility in men, but - unsurprisingly - the ASA deemed it misleading and it was banned.
Ofcom also waded into the fray last month, after completing its own 5G safety tests, concluding that the radiation levels at base stations are "tiny fractions" of the amounts declared safe for humans. According to the ICNIRP, exposure from base stations is just 1 per cent of the maximum limit. A juiced-up smartphone sits around the 50 per cent mark, but everyday usage is "very similar to the base stations – about 1% of the maximum,” according to Rowley.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.