5G misinformation campaign by the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF)

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 “pulled out of a hat“.

The Second Major Problem: Misrepresentation of the Skin Function

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).

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.…”

“...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.


13 thoughts on “5G misinformation campaign by the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF)

  1. Yes, Niels. Our paper will point out what is the problem… but will anyone listen, this is another issue… You should get stuff by the end of this week. Best, Dariusz

  2. dear dariusz

    well said but our paper should clarify all this. any update?

    thanks, niels

    Prof. Niels Kuster Director, IT’IS Foundation (Member of Zurich43 ) | ETH Zurich

    P +41 44 245 9690 | M +41 79 291 9761 Zeughausstrasse 43, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland


  3. Henry, there is a lot of confusion about 5G frequencies caused by the fact that 5G is being developed as well as deployed at the same time. Even the standards dealing with the 5G are not all ready yet.
    5G will include, in due time, also millimeter wave frequencies (mmWaves) ranging from 30GHz to 300GHz.
    For example, the GSMA in Europe is urging governments to provide the frequencies of 26GHz, 40GHZ and 66GHz, for the use by 5G communications systems. As stated in the GSMA open letter: “These bands enable key capabilities of 5G such as ultra-high capacity and ultra-highspeed services.”
    So, 5G uses/will use mmWaves (30-300GHz) spectrum. Not all at once but over the next few years the mmWave technologies will be put to use not only for the industrial use but also for the general public market.
    5G is not only mmWaves but it is also mmWaves.

  4. @Tom Whitney – You are very correct, sir! ICNIRP and the FDA have the same aim and goal (THANK YOU) which is to protect businesses; to manage/ensure that products don’t create a bigger pool of sick people who won’t overtake the pool of healthy able-bodied consumers which would in turn effect profits/tax-ability from the supporting companies and working class. If that happens, well, maybe some additional ‘guidance’ (INCIRP) or ‘regulation’ (FDA) will finally come out. You’re talking about two reactionary, not proactive organisations…..The FDA didn’t do anything about tobacco until after people started winning lawsuits, which was decades after the Surgeon General Warning, which was decades after people started dying from lung cancer and other diseases. Why is it up to the biggest US retailers like Walmart and CVS to change their policies on selling tobacco before government agencies who were formed to protect people, will…because the retailers know if they continue to contribute selling products which would shorten a lifespan, they’ll be less people to buy things and support their business. So, don’t try and further endorse the idea that the mission of ICNIRP and the FDA is for ‘the good of the people’ through ‘guidance’ and ‘recommendations’ when you certainly put that in the correct order because ‘protection’ is last.

  5. @Anonymous – It is ICNIRP’s aim to provide guidance and recommendations on protection from non‐ionizing radiation exposure based on thorough professional evaluation of the published scientific literature. This is also the aim of the FDA. Ergo, there is no conflict of interest! No hypocrisy and no conflict of interest here … except in your imagination!

  6. @Tom Whitney – Thank you very much for referencing ‘relevance,’ as your lengthy comment ‘cannot be directly extrapolated’ to my comment about ICNIRP and on (what and who’s terms) they accept scientific data. Although, glad you brought it up – you don’t find it a conflict the FDA heavily invested in mobile-apps? Or that Sharon Miller, of the FDA, is also a commissioner of ICNIRP? The most very important fact of the whole NTP study was that cancer(s) appeared in the rats that were exposed and next to nothing happened to those that weren’t. If the FDA understood as much as they claim to know what certainly doesn’t cause cancer, less people would be suffering because there would be less cancers or more would be successfully treated. But, until then, trust them to use your phone as much as you want, in any way you want – but remember, the FDA still finds it appropriate for teenagers to use tobacco. Profit before protection.

  7. Anonymous – Check out the news releases from NTP and FDA. Their view on the question of relevance to humans seems to be closely matched. Clearly, you are seeing hypocrisy where none exists.
    (excerpt from Bloomberg News, November 3, 2018 by Shields/Cortez):
    There is “clear evidence” that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation used in mobile phones developed cancerous heart tumors, the U.S. National Toxicology Program said in releasing a final report summarizing a 10-year study. Scientists found “some evidence” of the link when they released a draft report in February. The change followed a peer review.
    “The change from some evidence to clear evidence reflects increased confidence that the cancer observed in male rats was associated with exposure to radio frequency radiation,” John Bucher, a senior scientist at the toxicology program, said in an email. “NTP considers either category a positive finding of cancer.”
    In studies, rodents received radiation across their whole bodies, and at higher exposures and greater duration than what people experience, he said. “The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone,” Bucher said in a news release.
    The Food and Drug Administration, which monitors radiation-emitting devices, said it agreed the findings shouldn’t be applied to human cellphone use.
    “We disagree, however, with the conclusions of their final report regarding ‘clear evidence’ of carcinogenic activity in rodents,” Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a news release.
    The study used extremely high levels throughout the entire body and inexplicably found that exposed rats lived longer than those who didn’t experience any radiation, Shuren said. The controversial heart tumors, known as schwannomas, were only seen in male rats, and the risks of harm didn’t increase along with the dose of radiation, as experts might have expected, he said.
    “The study was not designed to test the safety of cell phone use in humans, so we cannot draw conclusions about the risks of cell phone use from it,” Shuren said.

  8. Not really, the newly discovered sensing cells in the skin are deep enough to be exposed to mmWaves. So, penetration remains skin deep but there is an additional, novel, target to consider. Schwann cells elsewhere will not be exposed to mmWaves… no matter where they are…

  9. Yes, hypocrisy it is. When NTP study showed effects then they complained that it is animal study not applicable to humans. However, when animal study shows no effect then they consider it as a proof of no health risk to humans. ICNIRP as well as telecoms exercise this hypocrisy constantly.

  10. To your second bullet point under First Major Problem; hypocrisy is alive and well at ICNIRP. Here is a snippet of their September 2018 statement: Animal Carcinogeneses “However, in determining the relevance of the
    results for human exposure guidelines, potential limitations need to be carefully considered, and
    whether any of the evidence regarding health effects in rodents is sufficiently strong and relevant to
    humans to serve as a basis for exposure guidelines.”
    They certainly play by Telecom rules.

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