Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Questions (451)

Michael Harty

Question:

451. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has made an assessment of the health risks that may be associated with 5G wireless broadband radiation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17574/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Irish policy on the public health effects of non-ionising radiation is informed by a substantial volume of internationally-recognised scientific research and evidence. This includes the guidelines set down by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

These guidelines provide scientifically-based exposure limits that are applicable to both public and occupational exposure from electromagnetic fields (EMF), including 5G. ICNIRP guidelines apply up to a frequency of 300 gigahertz (GHz), well above the maximum frequencies being considered for 5G . ICNIRP guidelines are based on evidence gathered from all peer-reviewed scientific literature and not on the conclusions of any single scientific paper, event, or other source.

In 2015, the Irish Government commissioned a report by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands (RIVM). This was published in 2016 and is entitled “Electromagnetic Fields in the Irish Context”. It examined and synthesised existing peer-reviewed research into clear findings, with particular focus on the potential health effects of electric and magnetic fields arising from high voltage power lines, and electromagnetic fields from base stations for mobile communication. This report reaffirms the overall conclusion of an earlier 2007 report, “Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields”, that there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields and adverse health effects.

This Department continues to monitor scientific developments in this area.