The European Union prioritises economics over health in the rollout of radiofrequency technologies

Nils Rainer Nyberg*, Julie E. McCredden, Steven G. Weller, Lennart Hardell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The fifth generation of radiofrequency communication, 5G, is currently being rolled out worldwide. Since September 2017, the EU 5G Appeal has been sent six times to the EU, requesting a moratorium on the rollout of 5G. This article reviews the 5G Appeal and the EU's subsequent replies, including the extensive cover letter sent to the EU in September 2021, requesting stricter guidelines for exposures to radiofrequency radiation (RFR). The Appeal notes the EU's internal conflict between its approach to a wireless technology-led future, and the need to protect the health and safety of its citizens. It critiques the reliance of the EU on the current guidelines given by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), that consider only heating and no other health relevant biological effects from RFR. To counteract the ICNIRP position, the 2021 cover letter briefly presented recent research from the EU's own expert groups, from a large collection of European and other international studies, and from previous reviews of the effects of RFR on humans and the environment. The 5G Appeal asserts that the majority of scientific evidence points to biological effects, many with the potential for harm, occurring below the ICNIRP public limits. Evidence to establish this position is drawn from studies showing changes to neurotransmitters and receptors, damage to cells, proteins, DNA, sperm, the immune system, and human health, including cancer. The 2021 Appeal goes on to warn that 5G signals are likely to additionally alter the behaviour of oxygen and water molecules at the quantum level, unfold proteins, damage skin, and cause harm to insects, birds, frogs, plants and animals. Altogether, this evidence establishes a high priority for the European Union towards (i) replacing the current flawed guidelines with protective thresholds, and (ii) placing a moratorium on 5G deployment so as to (iii) allow industry-independent scientists the time needed to propose new health-protective guidelines. This 2021 Appeal's relevance becomes even more pressing in the context of the EU plans to roll out the sixth generation of wireless technologies, 6G, further adding to the known risks of RFR technology for humans and the environment. This all leads to an important question: Do EU decision makers have the right to ignore EÚs own directives by prioritising economic gain over human and environmental health?.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReviews on Environmental Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • 5G
  • appeals
  • electromagnetic field
  • EMF
  • environment
  • EU
  • health risks
  • non-ionizing radiation guidelines
  • radiofrequency radiation
  • WHO

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