Digital minister: ‘There is no convincing evidence that 5G is dangerous’

Written by Sam Trendall on 6 February 2020 in News
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Matt Warman reiterates the line taken by his predecessors that any increase in radiation will be minimal and well within guidelines

Digital minister Matt Warman has reiterated that, as far as the government is concerned, 5G technology should pose no greater health risks to the public as a result of increased exposure to radiation.

Despite the best efforts of both public officials and technology firms, the theory that the deployment of 5G kit will cause a big spike in radiation – and thus pose a far bigger risk to public health than existing comms infrastructure – remains a popular one. And the idea has, evidently, gained some traction in the house of commons with both Warman and his predecessor, Margot James, having fielded written questions related to the issue.


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Last week, Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill asked the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport what steps its ministers are taking “to mitigate health risks to the public from increased EMF/RF (electro and magnetic fields/radio frequency) radiation resulting from the rollout of the 5G network”. 

Like James before him, Warman answered by firmly denying that 5G has been shown to have any negative impact on public health. He said that government’s advice continues to take its cue from Public Health England – which, in turn, calls upon guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

“Exposure to radio waves is not new and health-related research has been conducted on this topic over several decades,” Warman said. “The ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organization and its guidelines underpin health-protection policies at UK and European levels.”

He added: “Provided the ICNIRP guidelines are followed, there is no convincing evidence that 5G is dangerous. Government continues to be guided by Public Health England’s advice on the matter. This states that while a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves under 5G is possible, such an increase would remain well within guidelines and can be expected to have no consequence on public health. It is important to note that the ICNIRP guidelines apply up to 300 GHz, well beyond the maximum frequencies under discussion for 5G.”

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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