In August 2019, Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF), formerly known as MMF, has published a graphic illustration of what is known about potential effects of millimeter waves on human health.

Here, link to the original MWF pdf: MWF on mmWaves 2019_08_13

The MWF, based on this graphic illustration, aims to assure that there will be no health problems whatsoever following the deployment of the 5G wireless networks and activation of the millimeter wave using technology.

However, there are two major problems with the health safety assurances provided by the MWF.

The First Major Problem: The Lack of Research

As stated in the text of the graphic illustration, there  are only around 470 research studies that examined the biological effects of millimeter waves.

  • Firstly, it is a very small number of studies to form a basis of any reliable safety limits or health policy.
  • Secondly, what MWF forgets to mention, the vast majority of these studies are small experiments performed on animals (rats, mice) or cells grown in laboratory (majority of experiments used animal-derived cell lines). There are no epidemiological studies. There is only a handful of studies in human volunteers. This is why claims by MWF, or by ICNIRP and WHO, that the current safety limits protect all users, no matter of their age or health status, have no scientific basis. These safety limits and assurances of safety are based on scientifically unsupported assumptions. Safety claims are simply “taken out of a hat“.

The Second Major Problem: Misrepresentation of the Skin Function

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The MWF, the telecom industry, the ICNIRP, the ICES, the WHO are perpetuating a notion that millimeter waves will not be of health concern because, as stated in the MWF graphic illustration, “‘mmWaves are entirely absorbed in the epidermis and the dermis’.”

Indeed, it is so that the millimeter waves are absorbed in the skin and do not penetrate into internal organs. However, it seems that MWF experts are forgetting that the skin is not just an “overcoat” shielding body from the environment.

Skin is the largest organ of human body and it is involved in regulation of the the immune response as well as other body functions (cardiovascular functions, neurological functions).

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Also, since MWF quotes article by Marvin Ziskin (Bioelectromagnetics 2013; 34: 3–14), it is good to quote few sentences from this review article:

“…[We] were able to demonstrate that the local exposure of skin to low intensity millimeter waves caused the release of endogenous opioids, and the transport of these agents by blood flow to all parts of the body resulted in pain relief and other beneficial effects….”

“…With the wide use of MMW therapy in the former Soviet Union, there have emerged three established general effects: (1) anti-inflammatory and repair-stimulating actions, (2) immune system stimulation, and (3) sedative and analgesic effects.…”

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“...two major mechanisms seem to be involved: 1) stimulation of the nervous system, and 2) stimulation of the immune system...”

and so on, and so on…

All the mentioned above, means that any claims of proven lack of effect on human health or proven human health hazard are baseless because there is no sufficient research to justify either of these claims. In the light of the currently available scientific knowledge, both claims are FALSE. Research is urgently needed to determine whether the indications of possible health effects, stemming from the to-date executed studies, are of concern for human health.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Dariusz Leszczynski