Radio waves and health

Ericsson’s radio products are tested for compliance with relevant regulations and standards on electromagnetic fields before they are delivered to the market.

In all mobile networks, connected devices communicate with base stations using radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF), also known as radio waves. The adoption of mobile communication since the 1990s has created some public concern that the radio waves from mobile phones and base stations may cause adverse health effects.

Expert groups and public health authorities, including the World Health Organization have reviewed available scientific studies and have concluded that the balance of evidence does not demonstrate any health effects associated with radio wave exposure from either mobile phones or radio base stations complying with international limits.

Since 1996, Ericsson has co-sponsored over 100 independent studies on electromagnetic fields and health, primarily through the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF). To ensure scientific independence, firewalls were in place between the industrial sponsors and the researchers and all results were made available by publication in the open scientific literature. In 2018 the MWF published a summary of the EMF and health research that has been funded since 1998, “MWF 20 years of research”.

Radio base station

What governmental authorities and international expert groups say about the safety of 5G

  • “Therefore, following all the existing recommendations, the deployment of 5G networks will not have a negative effect on people’s health". European Commission
  • “5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19”. World Health Organization (WHO)
  • “No scientific basis between 5G and COVID-19”. International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • "The most important thing for people to remember is that 5G technologies will not be able to cause harm when these new guidelines are adhered to". ICNIRP
  • “The strict and safe exposure limits for electromagnetic fields recommended at EU level apply for all frequency bands currently envisaged for 5G” European Commission
  • “Contrary to some claims, there are no established health effects from the radio waves that the 5G network uses” ARPANSA (Australia)
  • “The current Canadian limits already cover the frequency ranges that will be used by 5G devices and antenna installations” Government of Canada
  • “The ICNIRP guidelines apply to frequencies up to 300 GHz and cover exposures arising from new 5G base stations as well as older technologies” Public Health England
  • “With the knowledge we have today, there is no need to worry that 5G is hazardous to health” DSA (Norway, in Norwegian)
  • "The radiation safety of the 5G mobile network, as in previous networks (2G, 3G, 4G) is ensured by the radiation legislation” STUK (Finland, in Finnish/Swedish)
  • “Based on today´s knowledge of radio frequency electromagnetic fields, researchers do not see that 5G and the specific frequencies used would pose a health risk” The Public Health Agency of Sweden (in Swedish)
  • “The currently available scientific evidence makes it extremely unlikely that there will be any adverse effects on human or environmental health.” The Government of New Zealand 
  • “No health effects have been proven at levels below the ICNIRP guidelines for members of the public, as such no consequences for public health are expected from the use of 5G”. Ireland´s Environmental Protection Agency 

Ericsson fact sheets and external links

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Base stations and networks

Base station antennas are installed in such a way that the radio-wave exposure in public areas is well below the established safety limits.

5G

5G equipment, whether it be mobile devices or base stations, meet the same safety standards as the equipment used in current mobile networks.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about radio waves and health