Commission Updates Guidelines to Prep for 5G Expansion





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An international commission issued updated exposure guidelines aimed at keeping pace with the ongoing rollout of 5G networks, tweaking recommendations it started issuing back in 1998.

In a press release this week, the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) discussed its effort to modernize its guidelines to account for 5G, especially its use of frequencies above 6 GHz. While the commission found that the standards it developed in 1998 were conservative in a number of cases, it also said those guidelines would still provide adequate protection from electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) emitted from more modern devices.

“However, the new guidelines provide better and more detailed exposure guidance in particular for the higher frequency range, above 6 GHz, which is of importance to 5G and future technologies using these higher frequencies. The most important thing for people to remember is that 5G technologies will not be able to cause harm when these new guidelines are adhered to,” Eric van Rongen, ICNIRP chairman said in the release.

Among the updated guidelines for frequencies above 6 GHz are:

  • New restrictions on whole-body exposure.
  • New restrictions for brief (six minutes or less) exposure to small regions of the body.
  • Reducing the maximum exposure allowed over a small region of the body.

The ICNIRP said it came to these new guidelines by examining available scientific data, considering adverse effects on humans like nerve stimulation and heat generation, identifying minimum harmful exposure levels, and then recommending exposure restrictions with a large safety buffer.

In its research of scientific reviews and papers, the commission said it found no evidence that EMF causes health issues like cancer, infertility, and electrohypersensitivity.

“We know parts of the community are concerned about the safety of 5G and we hope the updated guidelines will help put people at ease,” Van Rongen added.

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