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Wireless comms safety: A brief background

For many years there have been safety regulations regarding the thermal effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR), the kind of radiation used by mobile phones, phone masts and wifi devices. In essence, these regulations consider how much warmth is generated in the test subject when exposed to the emitting device.

By contrast, the non-thermal effects of RFR have not been meaningfully addressed in these safety regulations. In fact, they have been all but ignored. Yet, a significant body of research suggests that the non-thermal effects are fundamental to our understanding of how we may work with wireless technology safely.

This is important because non-thermal effects are reported to occur at much lower power levels than the current safety limits, which are intended to address thermal effects. This illustrates the problem: if non-thermal effects are taken seriously by the safety standards organisations, the safe level of exposure would likely be a tiny proportion of today’s exposure levels.

There has been considerable reluctance among the safety standards-setting organisations to recognise these non-thermal effects, with suggestions of conflicts of interest preventing a proper review of the known and suspected risks. A Columbia Appeal Court ruling in USA in August 2021 has illustrated the gap between the safety standards and the wide spectrum of current research.

In this case, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was found to have been ‘arbitrary and capricious’ in their choice of which research to consider when reviewing their safety standards. The extensive and involved judgement is briefly summarised here. This judgement has lent strength and enthusiasm to movements calling for a re-examination of the basis for wireless installations, their use in hospitals and schools, and the wider societal impact of unfettered wireless technology usage.

The prevailing lax approach to RFR safety regulation has led to legal challenges in the UK and elsewhere, given additional urgency by the significant number of installations planned and in progress to support the new 5G mobile networks. You may like to examine these challenges and support their evidence-based approach after reviewing the further information on the impact of 5G.

Below are resources to clarify the importance of RFR regulation, to understand the implications of the latest scientific research and steps being taken to draw attention to these results.

RFInfo is a great place to start. It offers a combination of apposite information and steps for further action – get informed in under 1 hour.

The Environmental Health Trust (EHT) is run by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Devra Davis. As part of their mission to promote public health, EHT review developments in 5G and wireless technology safety standards worldwide and provide clear analysis of the current state of the art.

You might like to support the UK legal challenge regarding “[the UK government’s] failure to take notice of the health risks and public concern related to 5G”.

5G has a variety of environmental impacts explored in this article.