Currently the fifth generation, 5G, for wireless communication is about to be rolled out worldwide. Many persons are concerned about potential health risks from radiofrequency radiation. In September 2017, a letter was sent to the European Union asking for a moratorium on the deployment until scientific evaluation has been made on potential health risks (http://www.5Gappeal.eu). This appeal has had little success. The Health Council of the Netherlands released on September 2, 2020 their evaluation on 5G and health. It was largely based on a World Health Organization draft and report by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, both criticized for not being impartial. The guidelines by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection were recommended to be used, although they have been considered to be insufficient to protect against health hazards (http://www.emfscientist.org).
The Health Council Committee recommended not to use the 26 GHz frequency band until health risks have been studied. For lower frequencies, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines were recommended. The conclusion that there is no reason to stop the use of lower frequencies for 5G is not justified by current evidence on cancer risks as commented in this article. A moratorium is urgently needed on the implementation of 5G for wireless communication. Key Words: 5G, Cancer risk, Health Council Netherlands Core Tip: In this comment, guidelines for radiofrequency radiation are discussed in relation to a recent evaluation by the Health Council of the Netherlands. The Committee recommends that for the deployment of 5G the frequency band 26 GHz should not be used. For lower frequencies, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines are recommended. However, these guidelines are not based on an objective evaluation of health risks, which is discussed in this paper.
Hardell L. Health Council of the Netherlands and evaluation of the fifth generation, 5G, for wireless communication and cancer risks. World J Clin Oncol 2021; 12(6): 393-403 [PMID: 34189065 DOI: 10.5306/wjco.v12.i6.393]