5G: Health Hazards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Liberal Democrat, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research his Department has conducted on the potential effect on public health of upgrading infrastructure to support 5G.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) should be adopted and there is no convincing evidence that radio wave exposures below the ICNIRP guideline levels cause adverse health effects. The ICNIRP guidelines cover exposures arising from new 5G base stations, as well as from older technologies.

Many exposure measurements have been made at publicly accessible locations near to mobile phone base stations, and these have consistently been well within guidelines. It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area; however, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequences for public health.

PHE has published information about exposure to the radio waves from mobile phone base stations, including those for 5G networks, at the following link:


PHE continues to monitor the health-related evidence applicable to radio waves and is committed to updating its advice as required.

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