UK 5G is Safe, Says Ofcom

By Holly Brockwell on at

The anti-5G looneys have been out in force lately, claiming that the ultra-fast mobile signals will fry our brains, sterilise our nice bits and cause the apocalypse, or something.

As always happens when new technology goes mainstream, the tinfoil hat brigade is fully against 5G, just like they were against mobiles in general (remember that TV programme where they put people next to a switched-off mobile mast, and they started experiencing 'symptoms'?).

Well, it seems there's no need for concern, because Ofcom has just completed its first 5G safety tests and found that the radiation levels at the base stations are "tiny fractions" of the amounts deemed safe for humans. In other words, everything's fine, have a cup of tea.

The very highest result from the tests they carried out was a piddling 0.039 per cent of the recommended limit. Hardly 3.6 roentgen, is it?

Image: Ofcom

Said limit is decided by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) -- the "non-ionising" part is very important, because it's what makes the bad kind of radiation different to the type used in 5G and other communications tech.

16 areas in 10 cities were tested, with Ofcom measuring the electromagnetic field (EMF) around the 5G base stations. The result?

"The emissions at each site were a tiny fraction of the maximum levels set out in international guidelines."

The highest measurement was actually in an area with no 5G – Canary Wharf in London. Its reading was 1.5 per cent of the safe limit, so still a pretty long way from being concerning.

Image: Ofcom

Ofcom has been taking these measurements in the UK since 2003, and says it will "continue to undertake EMF measurements to monitor the overall trends in the long term."

Public Health England, meanwhile, says "the overall exposure [to radio waves] is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health."

Will that stop people protesting 5G? Will it heck. [BBC]