5G and questions of potential health effects

This page is designed to answer questions you may have about small cells and 5G (including use of spectrum such as millimetre-wave).

The concerns over 5G

Recent years have seen a number of ‘information’ websites appear with warnings over the health implications of 5G deployment. The wireless industry takes these concerns seriously and welcomes ongoing research, but the use of these wavelengths is nothing new. Point-to-point radio systems have used the millimetre-wave for decades to support regional communications before fibre became widespread, with no impact on health of users or communities. The proposed use by 5G and small cells of the same bandwidth is also at a much lower power than historic uses of the wavelength.

The health impacts of wireless communications and small cells

Small cells transmit very low levels of radio waves (also known as radiofrequency electromagnetic fields). The safety of radio waves has been extensively studied for more than 60 years and the research is subject to constant and continual review by government health agencies and independent standards setting bodies round the world. Operators of 5G and small cell installations are closely monitored to ensure operations remain with the stringent safety guidelines in place for the industry. These guidelines are regularly reviewed and compliance is continually monitored.

International health authorities have found no convincing scientific evidence that radiofrequency signals from wireless communications pose any adverse health effects. 

Cross industry research

The links below provide a wide-ranging set of references so that you can better understand the work that has been completed by the healthcare industry, governments, industry associations, universities and independent researchers, as well as operators. 

We believe you will find this to be a useful tool to understand the safety of 5G and the associated equipment and spectrum.

Health Care Industry Links

Government Links

Industry Association Links

Federal Communications Commission: Resolution of notice of inquiry, second report and order, notice of proposed rulemaking and memorandum opinion and order

Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association: What the expert community tells us

Techradar: Exposure to 5G radio-frequency will be far lower than what guidelines allow

World health Organisation and International Telecommunication Union recommend human exposure guidelines developed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP guidelines are designed to provide protection to all people (including children) against all established health hazards

GSMA document: 5G, the IoT and Wearable Devices: What do the new uses of wireless technologies mean for radio frequency exposure?

GSMA leaflet: Safety of 5G mobile networks

GSMA blog: 5G Exploring the safety limits and addressing the myths

GSMA: Health Booklet 

Universities/Independent Studies


Telstra have measurements on 5G Macro & beamforming and a “small cell” showing similar levels to current 4G: 5 surveys of 5G show EME levels well below safety limits

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