Brief Report from the 5G session at the EMERG meeting in Australia

Meeting of the EMERG, Electromagnetic Energy Reference Group

@ ARPANSA in Yallambie/Melbourne, Australia on May 8, 2018

The 5G Technology session

The Agenda

Presentation #1 by Mike Wood of AMTA – Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association

Slides of the presentation at the EMERG meeting (and the same presentation at the AOCRP congress) are downloadable from this link: Mike Wood (AMTA), The challenges, opportunities and setting the framework for 5G and EMF (May 2018)

Few notes from Mike Wood’s presentation

  • 4G LTE is reaching its maximum capacity
  • Commercial launch of 5G in Australia is expected in 2020 and mass adoption of 5G will be in 2025
  • Launch of 5G networks will come first (MIMO, massive input massive output, – antennas will be similar in size to 4G antennas but of squared shape)
  • At first the 5G will work together with 4G: 4G macro connectivity (cell towers) 5G micro-connectivity (small cells)
  • Later on 5G will also stand alone, without 4G (?): 5G will provide macro-connectivity (MIMO towers) and micro-connectivity (small cells; millimeter-waves 30-100GHz)
  • Launch of 5G handsets will come later – first handsets with 3G, 4G and 5G connectivity expected in 2020 –2021
  • Small cells will be deployed throughout neighborhoods as hot spots to which households will connect
  • 5G will be complementary to the fixed internet systems = 5G is not intended to replace the wired internet
  • Advantages of 5G: enhanced broadband connectivity – more data and faster
    • Latency of data transfer in 5G will be down to 1 millisecond – nearly instantaneous what is necessary for successful robotics; e.g. surgeon operating on patient located far away using robot will be possible with the 1 millisecond latency
    • In 4G the latency was 40-50 millisecond
  • Environmental EMF levels may increase slightly (near to sites) with the addition of 5G networks
    • (DL: what is slight increase in EMF levels for AMTA is still unclear; AMTA confirms that 5G devices must comply with safety standards; safety standards are still not defined by neither ICNIRP nor WHO EMF Project; there are plans to allow higher exposures than current safety limits permit)

Presentation #2 by Dariusz Leszczynski, retired, freelance EMF expert associated with the University of Helsinki

Slides of the presentation at the EMERG meeting are downloadable from this link:

Few notes from Dariusz Leszczynski’s presentation

  • The problem with 5G deployment and health safety
    • Deployment of technology is based on an assumed lack of health hazard
    • The assumed lack of health hazard might be false; in past it happened with cell phones – deployment with the assumption of no health risk but subsequent research has shown radiation to be a possible human carcinogen
    • Very limited biomedical research on 5G-emitted novel radiation (millimeter-waves) shows potentially hazardous outcomes on humans and environment
  • Serious limitations of biomedical research on millimeter-waves
    • Very limited number of studies; EMF Portal ( lists only <200 studies; few more on PubMed database
    • Lack of studies examining responses of human physiology to exposure (human volunteer studies)
    • Lack of studies on chronic exposures
    • Published studies came from a very limited number of research groups
    • Lack of replication studies confirming correctness of the observations
  • False assumption that because the radiation will be absorbed by skin only thus, there will be no major health problem – it is just skin – false assumption from the EMF engineers – skin is the largest organ in human body and plays vital role in regulation of immune responses and is host to a multitude of microorganisms that regulate normal human physiology, it is not just a “coat” covering the body! (e.g. Sanford JA, Gallo RL. Semin Immunol 25, 2013: 370–377)

Presentation #3 by Andrew Wood, Swinburne University of Technology and ACEBR

Slides of the presentation at the EMERG meeting are downloadable from this link: Emerg_May18_Wood_wide_no pics

Few notes from Andrew Wood’s presentation

  • As a scientist, Andrew Wood agrees that more research needs to be done
  • Andrew Wood considers that the current basic restrictions for the millimeter-waves exposures to humans, based on thermal mechanisms, are adequate to protect from any unwanted health effects
  • Reviewed some of the research studies (see slides for details)
    • Interesting studies from Marvin Ziskin who has shown that application of millimeter-waves in some area of skin induces a biological response in other, distant from the exposure area, place
    • Ziskin work suggested that the millimeter-waves can induce non-thermal effects
    • However, Andrew Wood suspects that thermal mechanisms played role in Ziskin’s therapy applications of millimeter-waves
    • Ziskin was awarded in 2011, for his research in EMF, the highest honor of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) – the d’Arsonval Award

Presentation #4 by Rodney Croft, Wollongong University, ACEBR and ICNIRP

Rodney Croft refused to share his slides claiming that these might be misunderstood out of the context of the EMERG meeting.

Few notes from Rodney Croft’s presentation

  • Stated at the beginning that his talk is personal perspective and not ICNIRP’s
  • Rodney Croft agreed that the research on millimeter-waves is limited
  • In response to Leszczynski’s statement that we do not know enough about physiological effects of the millimeter-waves, Croft stated that indeed so but continued that “…we will never know enough…”
  • Croft’s opinion was that “…we know already sufficiently to judge the safety of millimeter-waves…”
  • In Croft’s opinion the potentially dangerous exposures to humans are when the temperature of the internal organs rises more than 2oC and when the temperature of the skin rises more than 5oC
  • It again comes, for Croft and apparently for ICNIRP, to thermal vs. non-thermal effects of millimeter-waves – lack of thermal effects means for Croft lack of any health danger/risk
  • Rodney Croft, when asked about the EHC for RF-EMF being prepared by the WHO EMF Project, said that he knows nothing about any personnel changes to the core group of the scientists who will be preparing draft document for the working group that will finalize the EHC for RF-EMF. Croft also commented that he does not know that any systematic reviews will be prepared to replace the earlier version documents prepared under the guidance of ICNIRP. These were quite surprising responses – either Croft was under-informed or the WHO EMF Project is just “playing games”…



8 thoughts on “Brief Report from the 5G session at the EMERG meeting in Australia

  1. Panagopoulos, D. J. et al. Polarization: A Key Difference between Man-made and Natural Electromagnetic Fields, in regard to Biological Activity. Sci. Rep. 5, 14914; doi: 10.1038/srep14914 (2015).

  2. Pingback: Misleading opinion on 5G small cells presented by the ABC News in Australia | BRHP – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  3. I would not go that far. The science does not support such “zero” idea…

  4. The only biologically safe level of EMR/EMF is ZERO.
    ZERO Rodney & Sarah.
    Stop using humanity and the environment as your test lab rats

  5. Thanks Q. Indeed, the science on how skin, different skin-types and young and aging skin reacts to mm-waves is extremely limited. However, Rodney Croft of ICNIRP, person who is currently chairing the revision of the RF at ICNIRP (!), he is of the opinion that we know sufficiently enough to set safety limits… And again, the whole problem of health effects is being minimized to thermal effects and anything else, for Rodney Croft and ICNIRP, is either irrelevant for health or simply does not exist, except for the imagination of some scientists… The lack of science on mm-waves is really a very serious problem but nobody seems to care. ICNIRP does not, WHO EMF Project does not as it is simply front and bullhorn for ICNIRP opinions, industry is happy with ICNIRP and WHO EMF Projects opinions because they permit telecoms an unrestricted deployment of 5G… Anyone pointing out that things are not so “rosy” as ICNIRP and WHO EMF Project say, is called scaremonger…

  6. Good report, Dariusz, thank you. The body of research on skin bioeffects of mm waves is very limited and little is known about possible irritation of susceptible skin types, especially skin of older people.
    Best wishes,

  7. Thanks for sharing. Very interesting, and very concerning. Not sure how a rational thinker can argue that we know enough about 5G and millimeter waves to deem they are “safe”. Still a puzzle to me.

  8. Pingback: Safety limits and the deployment of the 5G MIMO towers | BRHP – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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