Radio waves have been used for more than 100 years. Extensive research has been conducted into possible health effects of radio waves, and overall, the vast majority of scientific studies shows no association between radio waves used for mobile communications and health problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) still recommends more research, and Ericsson is currently co-sponsoring a large study.

Radio waves are needed

Radio waves are needed for mobile communications to function. The website EMF Explained, provides thorough information about radio waves (electromagnetic fields also known as EMF), what they are, and how they are used for communication.

No established health effects

Radio waves have been used for more than 100 years in various sorts of applications. Thousands of studies have investigated the possible health effects of radio waves, and during the last decade, numerous independent expert groups and public health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have reviewed the research. They have consistently concluded that the balance of evidence does not demonstrate any health effects associated with radio wave exposure from either mobile phones or base stations.

At very high exposure, however, it is well-known that radio waves can cause significant heating of body tissue, which ultimately might have adverse effects on health. The radio-wave exposure from mobile communications is, however, far too low to cause heating inside the body. Considerable research has been conducted on possible non-thermal health effects of radio waves but the overwhelming weight of that research has not shown any such effects.

Ericsson supports independent research

The WHO has clearly stated that no adverse health effects can be attributed to mobile telephony; however, the WHO also has stated that more research is needed to increase knowledge and to ensure the best possible assessment of health risks. Ericsson acknowledges the expertise of the WHO, and sponsors research on radio waves and health according to its recommendations. Ericsson has co-sponsored more than 90 studies related to electromagnetic fields, radio waves and health since 1996.

Since its initiation in 2007, Ericsson has co-sponsored the Swedish part of the COSMOS study (International cohort study on mobile phone use and health). COSMOS is being conducted in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The study aims to carry out long-term health monitoring of a large group of people (more than 200,000) to identify if there are any health issues linked to long-term mobile phone use. This kind of study has been identified as a priority by the WHO. The amount of mobile phone use will be verified by information provided by the operators and various health registers will be used to monitor health during a period of at least 20 years. To assure scientific independence, there is a firewall mechanism in place between the industrial co-sponsors and the researchers.