Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Ceisteanna (566)

Róisín Shortall


566. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the basis on which his Department has established that there are no discernible health implications from the roll-out of 5G here; and the extent to which medical guidelines underpinning same are updated and kept under review. [27986/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In 2015, the Government commissioned a report by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands (RIVM), which examined and synthesised existing peer-reviewed research 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. The report, published in 2016 and entitled“Electromagnetic Fields in the Irish Context”, 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.

Irish policy in this area continues to be 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 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 this regard, I have recently assigned a new statutory function to the Environmental Protection Agency to provide general information to the public on matters pertaining to public exposure to non-ionising radiation, to monitor international scientific developments, and to provide independent advice to my Department in this area.