Health effects of 5G – EU study

Health effects of 5G – EU study

Study by: European Parliamentary Research Service, July 2021

Key Findings: EMFs are probably carcinogenic, EMFs clearly impair male fertility.

The upcoming rollout of 5G mobile networks will enable significantly faster mobile broadband speeds Broadband speeds and increasingly extensive mobile data usage. Technical innovations include a different transmission system (MIMO: use of antennas with multiple inputs and outputs), directional signal transmission or reception (beamforming) and the use of other frequency ranges. At the same time, a change in exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) for humans and the environment is expected. Among In addition to the bands used to date, the 5G pioneer bands identified at the EU level have frequencies of 700 MHz, 3.6 GHz (3.4 to 3.8 GHz) and 26 GHz (24.25 to 27.5 GHz). The first two frequencies (FR1) are similar to those used by 2G to 4G technologies and have been studied in epidemiological and experimental studies for various endpoints (including carcinogenicity and reproductive/developmental effects), while 26 GHz (FR2) and higher frequencies have not been adequately studied for the same endpoints.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency EMF as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) and recently recommended reassessment of RF exposure “with high priority” (IARC, 2019). Since 2011, a large number of studies have been conducted, both epidemiological and experimental. This review addresses the current knowledge of the carcinogenic and reproductive/developmental risks of RF as exploited by 5G. There are several experimental and in vivo epidemiological studies on RF in the lower frequency range (450 to 6000 MHz), which includes the frequencies used in cellular broadband networks of earlier generations, but very few (and insufficient) on the higher frequency range (24 to 100 GHz, centimeters/MMW). The overview shows: 1) Lower 5G frequencies (700 and 3 600 MHz): (a) limited evidence of carcinogenicity in epidemiological studies; (b) sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental bioassays; (c) sufficient evidence of adverse reproductive/developmental effects in humans; (d) sufficient evidence of adverse reproductive/developmental effects.
Developmental disorders in experimental animals; 2) 5G higher frequencies (24.25-27.5 GHz): the systematic review did not reveal adequate studies, either in humans or in experimental animals. Conclusions:

1) Cancer: FR1 (450 to 6 000 MHz): EMFs are probably carcinogenic to humans, especially with respect to gliomas and acoustic neuromas; FR2 (24 to 100 GHz): No adequate studies have been conducted on the higher frequencies.

2) Effects on reproduction and development: FR1 (450 to 6 000 MHz): These frequencies
clearly affect male fertility and possibly also female fertility. They can potentially have adverse effects on embryonic, fetal and neonatal development.


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