Fact Check: There are no 30.000 studies on health effects of EMF used in wireless communication

Activists and telecoms alike claim there are thousands and thousands of studies on health effects of EMF used in wireless communication devices and networks. Activists claim these thousands and thousands studies show harmful health effects. Telecoms claim these thousands and thousands studies show lack of harmful health effects. To support their claims, often, both sides refer to the EMF Portal, a specialized database in Germany.

The both sides are mistaken and are misleading. The false claim of thousands and thousands studies comes from here (copy/pasted off the EMF Portal homepage):

“…The internet information platform EMF-Portal of the RWTH Aachen University summarizes systematically scientific research data on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). All information is made available in both English and German. The core of the EMF-Portal is an extensive literature database with an inventory of 30,888 publications and 6,706 summaries of individual scientific studies on the effects of electromagnetic fields…”

The number of 30.888 publications concerns all types of studies on all EMF frequencies.

Anyone claiming that the 30.888 publications are on EMF and health, no matter claiming health hazard or no health hazard, is either ignorant or purposefully misleading (simply lying).

The EMF Portal has collected relatively well studies concerning 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G-frequencies related research studies, although there is possible to find some small number of additional studies by searching PubMed database. However, collection of the 5G frequencies related studies is very poor, simply lousy!

The EMF Portal clearly specifies that the number of studies examining the effects of EMF used in wireless communication devices and networks of 1G – 4G is relatively small (data as of March 31, 2020), totaling 1632 studies :

  • Population studies 307 studies in total
    • Brain cancer 116 studies
    • Other 91 studies
    • Hypersensitivity/well-being/subjective complaints 84 studies
    • Other types of cancer 43 studies
    • Leukemia/lymphoma 16 studies
  • Experimental studies on mobile communications 1325 studies in total
    • Health 532 studies
    • DNA 411 studies
    • Brain 404 studies
    • Cells 176 studies
    • Other 152 studies
    • Cell functions 85 studies

The EMF Portal has very poorly collected studies on 5G frequencies. The number of studies examining the effects of 5G EMF used in wireless communication devices and networks (data as of March 31, 2020):

  • Studies on 5th generation mobile communications (5G) 133 studies in total
    • Technical/dosimetric 92 studies
    • Miscellaneous 41 studies

My advice to anyone claiming the existence of thousands and thousands of studies on the health effects of EMF used in mobile communication devices and networks:

Read the studies before spreading false claims

Anyone, claiming that we know enough to assure that the ICNIRP safety guidelines, the old and the new ones, protect health of all users, no matter age, sex or health status, is misleading the users. ICNIRP safety guidelines, recommended world-wide by the WHO, are based on assumptions and not on the sufficiently rigorous scientific evidence.


6 thoughts on “Fact Check: There are no 30.000 studies on health effects of EMF used in wireless communication

  1. Dear Dariusz and Victor, i have been studing wireless radiation for nearly 2 years now and have begun to have a deep knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum. Whilst i am not a researcher of any kind, i am deeply worried about the accelerated roll out of 5G, bringing antennas close to our homes. The 2 of you are both on my list of people i have researched deeply and you are heroes of mine. Our Radiation protection bodies are not listening and i fear the worst.

    Perhaps it is time for a combined meeting of some of you heroes, admittedly this may be hard in current circumstances. May i suggest recording a personal message from all of you researchers to put together and send to the regulatory bodies and the world to see, calling upon a show of research for the claims that 5G is “safe”.

    The 2 of you plus; Charlie Teo, Vini Khurana, Lennart Hardell, Henry Lai, James c Lin, George Carlo, Martin Pall, Barrie Trower, Mark Steele, Sharon Goldberg, Olle Johansson, Vladimir Binhi, Beatrice Golomb, Dimitris J Panagopoulus, Dr Erica Mallery-Blynthe, Anthony Miller, DafnaTachover, Fiorella Belpoggi and more. It would seem at this point in time. The fate of many lives. May depend on it.

  2. Dariusz you are correct the 30,000 studies are a nonsense. Your numbers are similar to the sort of numbers we have in the ORSSAA database.

    In fact, we the wrote about this in an exchange of letters with emf-portal who claimed they had 28,000 papers on this subject see.

    The numbers below from our rebuttal letter; link above.
    In category frequency band UHF
    • Med/Bio Number of emf-Portal= 1,222 compared with numbers in the ORSAA Database 1,211 (427 in vitro plus 784 in vivo)
    • Epidemiological Number of emf-Portal= 275 compared with numbers in the ORSAA Database compared with numbers in the ORSAA Database are 349

    The same lie is also spread about the IEEE where it is often said there are tens of thousands papers on this area of research. When you drill-down the numbers are the same about 1500 papers only on this subject area. I guess if you tell a lie over and over it ends up being a fact

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  4. To supplement what I said previously about paper counts. We may not have incontrovertible evidence of harm but their is sufficient evidence showing radio frequencies from existing technologies cause biological effects that are potentially hazardous to long term health. As such I feel the current ICNIRP Guidelines are not sufficiently protective and putting at risk the environment and public health. A precautionary approach is needed and ICNIRP should incorporate more stringent safety levels for public exposures. The 50 times reduction factor ICNIRP applies is a joke and insufficient particularly when other countries have adopted scientific based RF Standards that limit public exposures 100 times lower than ICNIRP..This is critically important particularly when we see evidence of DNA damage occurring at much lower levels.

  5. Dariusz, my contribution to this topic is thus:
    We know that the US Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) in 1971 reviewed close to 3000 papers and articles at the time when they detailed a list of biological effects under specific categories in their review paper. We also have around 2500 papers in the ORSAA database covering experimental and epidemiological studies mostly from early 2000 to present time. Bioinitiative report has reviewed several thousand papers but there would be overlap with what ORSAA and EMF-Portal have. If we assume that the are around 2000 to 3000 relevant papers published every 10-15 years then would could conservatively say there may be 10,000 – 13,000 papers since the 70s. Of course the papers we have in the ORSAA database only covers scientific papers that either have an abstract in English or the full paper is in English.
    Question: Is EMF Portal an accurate reflection of all available research – I doubt it but it would have a good representation of types of studies conducted and the typical findings. We do know many of the papers in EMF Portal relate to medical applications of RF i.e. RF ablation and are not really relevant for discussing effects from commercial wireless devices and transmitters (cell towers, mobile phones, WiFi smart meters etc.)
    What we don’t have full awareness of is all the papers that are published in foreign languages, particularly Russian and Chinese research which also have no entry on Pubmed. I also would not be surprised if there is military research that is still classified and is not included in the count. However, if we are looking only for studies looking at bio-effects for RF exposures at levels below ICNIRP recommended public limits then the numbers of papers are going to be significantly lower (several thousand at most). If we are looking for chronic long term exposure studies we would be looking at hundreds of papers not thousands.

  6. I agree with your point of view, the studies done are still not enough and above all there is almost nothing in 5g. especially in cellular studies of frequency parameters and exposure time (see maestu 2020)

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