[Comment] Appeals that matter or not on a moratorium on the deployment of the fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation
- Lennart Hardell
- Rainer Nyberg
Affiliations: Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, SE‑701 82 Örebro, Sweden, Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University, 65100 Vasa, Finland
- Published online on: January 22, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/mco.2020.1984
Copyright: © Hardell
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Radiofrequency (RF) radiation in the frequency range of 30 kHz‑300 GHz is classified as a ‘possible’ human carcinogen, Group 2B, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) since 2011. The evidence has since then been strengthened by further research; thus, RF radiation may now be classified as a human carcinogen, Group 1. In spite of this, microwave radiations are expanding with increasing personal and ambient exposure. One contributing factor is that the majority of countries rely on guidelines formulated by the International Commission on Non‑Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a private German non‑governmental organization. ICNIRP relies on the evaluation only of thermal (heating) effects from RF radiation, thereby excluding a large body of published science demonstrating the detrimental effects caused by non‑thermal radiation. The fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation is about to be implemented worldwide in spite of no comprehensive investigations of the potential risks to human health and the environment. In an appeal sent to the EU in September, 2017 currently >260 scientists and medical doctors requested for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G until the health risks associated with this new technology have been fully investigated by industry‑independent scientists. The appeal and four rebuttals to the EU over a period of >2 years, have not achieved any positive response from the EU to date. Unfortunately, decision makers seem to be uninformed or even misinformed about the risks. EU officials rely on the opinions of individuals within the ICNIRP and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), most of whom have ties to the industry. They seem to dominate evaluating bodies and refute risks. It is important that these circumstances are described. In this article, the warnings on the health risks associated with RF presented in the 5G appeal and the letters to the EU Health Commissioner since September, 2017 and the authors' rebuttals are summarized. The responses from the EU seem to have thus far prioritized industry profits to the detriment of human health and the environment.