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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 256911, tabled on 21 May 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned a regulatory safety testing on 5G radiofrequency radiation.

Answered on

29 May 2019

Public Health England (PHE) has published a webpage about exposure to the radio waves from mobile phone base stations, including those for 5G networks, at the following link:

This explains the health-related reviews and assessments have been performed, as well as the practical measures that are in place to protect public health.

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 guidelines apply to exposures at frequencies up to 300 GHz, well above the maximum few tens of GHz frequencies anticipated for use by 5G systems.

Health and safety legislation requires companies deploying and operating communication networks to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments, as well as put in place measures to reduce the identified risks so far as reasonably practicable. In controlling risks arising from radio wave exposure, the Health and Safety Executive refer to compliance with the ICNIRP guidelines. Industry has committed to comply with the international guidelines and to provide certificates of compliance with planning applications for base stations.

PHE continues to monitor the health-related evidence applicable to radio waves, including in relation to base stations, and is committed to updating its advice as required.