Impact of EMF limits on 5G network roll-out

ITU Workshop on 5G, EMF & Health Warsaw, December 5 2017

Christer Törnevik, Senior Expert, EMF and Health Ericsson Research, Stockholm

This presentation by a representative for Ericsson, Sweden is well worth to consider in detail.

Especially the pictures at pages 8 and 9 are very illustrative of the distribution of radiofrequency radiation. Note these pictures are protected by Copyright.

They show boundaries for compliance with radiofrequency EMF limits. That means that the implementation of 5G will be much more difficult in countries with lower guidelines than those provided by ICNIRP.

The conclusion is that:

In countries with EMF limits significantly below the international science-based ICNIRP limits the roll-out of 5G networks will be a major problem

The situation is even worse if the substantially lower guideline on 30-60 µW/m2 in the Bioinitiative Report is applied ( Using a safety factor of 10 as proposed in the report would give an even lower guideline on 3-6 µW/m2.

This technology will increase the exposure to radiofrequency radiation in the environment and should be banned until proper evaluation of exposure and consequences for human health and environment is investigated, see

No doubt this presentation by Ericsson show that 5G will increase exposure, proper scientific evaluation has not been done and re-enforces the need for a moratorium as demanded in the 5G Appeal.


Radiofrequency radiation from nearby base stations gives high levels in an apartment in Stockholm, Sweden: A case report

We measured radiofrequency radiation in an apartment in Stockholm. The study is open under open access. Due to nearby bases stations high radiation levels were measure both in the apartment and on balconies.

A total of 74,531 measurements were made corresponding to ~83 h of recording. The total mean RF radiation level was 3,811 μW/m2 (range 15.2‑112,318 μW/m2) for the measurement of the whole apartment, including balconies. Particularly high levels were measured on three balconies and 3 of 4 bedrooms. The total mean RF radiation level decreased by 98% when the measured down‑links from the base stations for 2, 3 and 4 G were disre­garded. The results are discussed in relation to the detrimental health effects of non‑thermal RF radiation. Due to the current high RF radiation, the apartment is not suitable for long‑term living, particularly for children who may be more sensitive than adults. For a definitive conclusion regarding the effect of RF radiation from nearby base stations, one option would be to turn them off and repeat the measurements. However, the simplest and safest solution would be to turn them off and dismantle them.

Thus, we concluded that of special concern is the levels in bedrooms, especially those two used by children, since they seem to be more vulnerable to adverse health effects than grown‑ups. They have also a longer expected life in which illnesses may later become manifest. The results indicate that this apartment is unsuitable for long‑term living based on current knowledge of the potential adverse effects on health of RF radiation.

Another conclusion is that RF radiation should be measured in homes, especially before moving into a new one.

Fatal collision? Are wireless headsets a risk in treating patients?

In this recently published article wireless headsets are discussed. There is no open access to the article, but abstract is as follows:

Wireless-enabled headsets that connect to the internet can provide remote transcribing of patient examination notes. Audio and video can be captured and transmitted by wireless signals sent from the computer screen in the frame of the glasses. But using wireless glass-type devices can expose the user to a specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.11–1.46 W/kg of radiofrequency radiation. That RF intensity is as high as or higher than RF emissions of some cell phones.  Prolonged use of cell phones used ipsilaterally at the head has been associated with statistically significant increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma. Using wireless glasses for extended periods to teach, to perform surgery, or conduct patient exams will expose the medical professional to similar RF exposures which may impair brain performance, cognition and judgment, concentration and attention and increase the risk for brain tumors. The quality of medical care may be compromised by extended use of wireless-embedded devices in health care settings. Both medical professionals and their patients should know the risks of such devices and have a choice about allowing their use during patient exams. Transmission of sensitive patient data over wireless networks may increase the risk of hacking and security breaches leading to losses of private patient medical and financial data that are strictly protected under HIPPA health information privacy laws.

A detailed discussion is made of such items as: What are wireless headsets and why are healthcare professionals being encouraged to use them? What is the problem for the medical professional? What is the problem for the patient? What’s the advice to medical professionals?

Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission

This Italian study on exposure to radiofrequency radiation and cancer in rats was started in 2005. It was a whole life-span study including 2448 animals. They were divided into 4 groups; 0 exposure (control group), 5 V/m, 25 V/m or 50 V/m. It has now been published and interestingly the results are similar as in the NTP study.

A statistically significant increase in the incidence of heart Schwannomas was observed in treated male rats at the highest dose (50 V/m). Furthermore, an increase in the incidence of heart Schwann cells hyperplasia was observed in treated male and female rats at the highest dose (50 V/m), although this was not statistically significant. An increase in the incidence of malignant glial tumors was observed in treated female rats at the highest dose (50 V/m), although not statistically significant.

The RI findings on far field exposure to RFR are consistent with and reinforce the results of the NTP study on near field exposure, as both reported an increase in the incidence of tumors of the brain and heart in RFR-exposed Sprague-Dawley rats. These tumors are of the same histotype of those observed in some epidemiological studies on cell phone users. These experimental studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the re-evaluation of IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans.

Considering this study, the NTP study, increasing incidence of glioma, and human epidemiology studies showing increased risk for glioma and vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) for persons using wireless phones it is time for International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to make a new risk assessment. The results indicate that radiofrequency radiation should be a Group 1 carcinogen to humans (sufficient evidence).

National Toxicology Program (NTP) Radiofrequency radiation carcinogenesis in rats (NTP TR 595) and mice (NTP TR 596)

This study is now under peer review during March 26 to 28, 2018; the reports can be found here (NTP TR 595; rats) and here (NTP TR 596; mice). It has been able to submit comments and our views can be found here.

Our overall evaluation of levels of evidence of carcinogenic activity are:

Glioma: Clear evidence
Meningioma: Equivocal evidence
Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma): Clear evidence
Pituitary tumor (adenoma): Equivocal evidence
Thyroid cancer: Some evidence
Malignant lymphoma: Equivocal evidence
Skin (cutaneous tissue): Equivocal evidence
Multi-site carcinogen: Some evidence

Based on the IARC preamble to the monographs, RF radiation should be classified as Group 1: The agent is carcinogenic to humans.

’This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Exceptionally, an agent may be placed in this category when evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is less than sufficient but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence in exposed humans that the agent acts through a relevant mechanism of carcinogenicity.’ (

Increasing incidence of aggressive brain tumour (glioblastoma multiforme) in England during 1995-2015

A recent article describes increasing incidence of the most malignant type of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in England during 1995-2015. The number of patients increased from 2.4 to 5.0 per 100,000 during that time period. In total the yearly increase was from 983 to 2,531 patients, thus a substantial number. The incidence of low-grade glioma decreased but was stabilized from 2004, see figure 2. Thus the increasing incidence cannot be explained by low-grade glioma transforming to high-grade (GBM). The authors conclude that a general environmental factor must be the cause.

The increasing incidence is most pronounced for GBM in temporal or frontal parts of the brain, see figure 6. That is parts with highest exposure to radiofrequency radiation from the handheld wireless phone.

The increasing incidence of GBM was seen in all age groups but was most pronounced in those aged more than 55 years.

We published incidence data on brain tumours for the time period 1998-2015 based on the Swedish Cancer Register. In the age group 60-79 years the yearly incidence of high-grade glioma increased statistically significant in men with +1.68% (+0.39, +2.99 %) (n = 2,275) and in women with +1.38% (+0.32, +2.45%) (n = 1,585), see figures. Few patients were diagnosed in the age group 80+ yielding analysis less meaningful. High-grade glioma includes astrocytoma grades III and IV. Astrocytoma grade IV is the same as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with bad prognosis, survival about one year or less.

Our results are similar to those now published from England. All results are in agreement with wireless phones (mobile phones and cordless phones) causing glioma.








Environment and Cancer

An increasing number of persons are every year diagnosed with cancer or some other chronic disease. The main focus in research is to develop new drugs for treatment. This is of course of large importance, but even more important would be to prevent diseases. Thereby suffering and large costs to the society are avoided.

During many years our research group has studied cancer risks in the environment and during working life. We have published a large number of scientific articles on that issue after conventional peer review. By now our articles have been cited more than 16,000 times by other researchers and different agencies. Our first publication on cancer risk associated with exposure to the herbicides phenoxyacetic acids (Hormoslyr, Agent Orange) and chlorophenols with contaminating dioxins (TCDD) has now been cited 531 times. These high citation numbers show that our research has been successful and of importance for decisions on cancer prevention. Thus, our research has been recognized not the least in other countries. The results were included in the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer at WHO) cancer classification of for example dioxins (TCDD), PCB, glyphosate (Roundup) and radiofrequency radiation.

We intend to continue our research on risk factors for cancer and other diseases. It includes environmental pollutants (for example in food, air, water, building material etc), occupational exposures but also radiofrequency radiation. The latter is an emerging environmental pollutant that so far has been little investigated in spite of rapid technological development and increasing exposures. As the basis for our research in the future we have now constituted The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation and for this we need donations.

In the following you may find our official invitation to support:


Invitation to support The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation

The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation wants to promote scientific research on the association between the environment and cancer and other chronic diseases.

Several forms of cancer, chronic diseases such as diabetes, different neurological conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome and psychiatric diagnoses are increasing even at lower ages. Our environment with exposure to different environmental pollutants and to radiofrequency radiation may contribute considerably and be significant factors for illness. Of special concern are new environmental pollutants and the increasing exposure to radiofrequency radiation in the environment. Long-term health effects have not been studied.

To be able to prevent the increase in disease incidence and sick-leaves, research is needed about the impact of environmental pollutants and radiofrequency radiation on human health. We are all exposed in the society today.

The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation needs your contribution, both to perform own research within the Foundation and to support other researchers within this field. It is also of importance to inform the general public about the results from scientific research regarding the impact of environment on different diseases including cancer.

You are welcome to contribute to bank account Swedbank
IBAN: SE 80 8000 0845 2569 3323 1091

We thank you for your contribution!

Lennart Hardell, Senior consultant, cancer physician  lennart.hardell[at]

Lena Hedendahl, General practitioner  lena.hedendahl[at]

Mikael Eriksson, Senior consultant, cancer physician  mikael.eriksson[at]

Michael Carlberg, Statistician  michael.carlberg[at]

All members of the board of The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation, Örebro, Sweden