Worries about a plethora of negative effects that could be brought down on public health by cell phone technology have been around for many decades, yet researchers have so far failed to bring up any convincing evidence to lend them much credibility.
More recently, however, people have become concerned over the safety of the fifth generation of cellular technology, commonly known as 5G, and more specifically about the potential deleterious impact of millimetre wavelengths used in the early deployments thereof.
In response to the concerns, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other health agencies, made a statement on Thursday, claiming that, following six years of public input and review, the current safety limits for radio frequency (RF) exposure have been found to be perfectly sufficient.
Furthermore, during a press briefing, an FCC official told reporters that, when it comes to health concerns, there is “nothing special about 5G” as compared to its previous iterations, and this includes even the higher-frequency signals used to deliver it to consumers.
“The available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits,” Jeffrey Shuren, Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote to the FCC. “No changes to the current standards are warranted at this time.”
Another thing of note here is that although the FCC has been criticised for not updating its specific absorption rate (SAR) measurements (which concern the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body upon exposure to RF) used for setting the cell phone safety standards since 1996, other bodies have conducted their own assessments – this time including the latest wireless technology – and found the current safety limits to be satisfactory.
This latest statement by the FCC is the result of the proceedings opened back in 2013 to review the adequacy of RF standards deemed safe up to that point.