A Review of the Health Risks of Radiofrequency Radiation Employed in 5G Technology and the Implications for UK Policymaking by Professor Tom Butler at University College Cork

Professor Tom Butler of the  University College Cork has released “A Review of the Health Risks of Radiofrequency Radiation Employed in 5G Technology and the Implications for UK Policymaking”.

He previously has issued the important briefing document “On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Smartphone and WiFi Radio Frequency Radiation.”   Professor Tom Bulter also filed a complaint with the Office of the Press Ombudsman for the Press Council of Ireland about a story on 5G and cell phone radiation written by William Broad for The New York Times which resulted a February 2020 Press Ombudsman determination that the Broad New York Times story violated the truth and accuracy code of practice of the Press Council of Ireland. Read about that HERE. 

A Review of the Health Risks of Radiofrequency Radiation Employed in 5G Technology and the Implications for UK Policymaking by Professor Tom Butler at University College Cork (PDF)

“This short critical review explores the findings of extant research on the health risks posed by 5G technologies that emit radiofrequency radiation (RFR)1 . It also provides evidence that the processes by which policy decisions have been made concerning the protection of public health may be significantly flawed, as the overwhelming body of scientific evidence appears to have been ignored by relevant government departments and agencies in arriving at decisions about the introduction of 5G. This lacuna comes about due to the over-reliance on expert opinion from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an NGO whose members have traditionally had close ties to industry. It is significant that the UK government and its agencies neither sought nor obtained independent scientific advice on a matter of importance to public health. Consequently, it failed in its duty to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks posed by RFR-based technologies before their introduction, specifically 5G networking and related technologies, thereby protecting public health.”


“Thus, the majority of peer-reviewed scientific studies conclude that 2-4G and WiFi, and by logical generalization, 5G, puts those exposed to RFR signals at significant health risks, even at exposure levels 100,000 times lower than Public Health England (PHE)/ICNIRP safety guidelines.”

“What are the health risks of non-ionizing RFR? A recent research review on the health risks of RFR, involving independent verification based on 5,400 studies in the MedLine database, concludes that “the literature shows there is much valid reason for concern about potential adverse health effects from both 4G and 5G technology” and that extant research “should be viewed as extremely conservative, substantially underestimating the adverse impacts of this new technology” (Kostoff et al. 2020). Kostoff et al. report that peer-reviewed studies show the following adverse health effects well below the safety limits set by the UK based on ICNIRP guidelines:

 “carcinogenicity (brain tumors/glioma, breast cancer, acoustic neuromas, leukemia, parotid gland tumors),

 genotoxicity (DNA damage, DNA repair inhibition, chromatin structure), mutagenicity, teratogenicity,

 neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis),

 neurobehavioral problems, autism, reproductive problems, pregnancy outcomes, excessive reactive oxygen species/oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, blood-brain barrier disruption, pineal gland/melatonin production, sleep disturbance, headache, irritability, fatigue, concentration difficulties, depression, dizziness, tinnitus, burning and flushed skin, digestive disturbance, tremor, cardiac irregularities,  adverse impacts on the neural, circulatory, immune, endocrine, and skeletal systems.”

“Why hasn’t the UK Government and its agencies acted to protect public health?

UK policymakers look to Public Health England (PHE) to assess the safety of non-ionising RFR. The PHE’s position on this draws heavily upon two reports by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR). These were published in 2012 and 2017. The Department of Health’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) also looks to the AGNIR reports for guidance. It is therefore incredible that when it issued its last report, ICNIRP members, from the NGO based in Munich, constituted 30% of the 18 member UK committee. Note that AGNIR’s primary role was to assess the ICNIRP’s safety guidelines, which reflect industry interests not those of public health. In no other regulated sector or area of business activity would this be acceptable from a conflict of interest or corporate governance perspective. ICNIRP scientists were not going to judge their own guidelines unsafe. Thus, they had a significant conflict of interest which compromised the entire decision-making process on UK policy towards RFR and public health, specifically, the introduction of 5G.

The ICNIRP’s 2020 guidelines published in March of this year, update those published in 1998. The new guidelines include only minor changes to the 1998 guidelines, primarily to accommodate 5G’s extremely high-frequency millimeter RFR signals (Barnes and Greenebaum, 2020). It must be remembered the guidelines focus on technical issues and present safety recommendations for the thermal effects of non-ionizing RFR at high-levels of exposure over the short-term measured in minutes. They effectively ignore or deny the existence of non-thermal effects on adults and children and long-term exposure to RFR at low levels. The ICNIRP 2020 Guidelines ignore or dismiss on scientifically spurious grounds the significant body of scientific research since 1998. The majority of independent scientists consider the ICNIRP and the related EU SCENIHR as ‘captured’ organisations—that is they are heavily influenced by industry-funded researchers and industry itself.

Scientists from the ICNIRP, who are also, as indicated, members of SCENHIR and WHO, are accused of conflicts of interest due to their close ties with industry. An Italian court judgment recently recognised this. In December 2019, Turin Court of Appeal president Dr. Rita Mancuso ruled that research reviews carried out by ICNIRP and its members were biased and could not be trusted in determining whether there was a causal link between wireless cell phone use and brain cancer.4 The court decided that there was such a link, and its judgment was based on extant independent scientific studies, such as those cited herein.”

See Professor Tom Butler of the  University College Cork, “A Review of the Health Risks of Radiofrequency Radiation Employed in 5G Technology and the Implications for UK Policymaking”.