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Radio waves and health

In accordance with the Group Policy on Electromagnetic Fields and Health, Ericsson employs rigid testing of radio products with the goal of ensuring that radio wave exposure levels from products and network solutions are below established safety limits.

Mobile communications would not be possible without radio waves; however, some people are concerned that radio waves (one form of electromagnetic fields also known as EMF) from mobile phones and base stations may cause health problems. A substantial number of scientific studies conducted by various research bodies have indicated that electromagnetic fields, at levels within the limits prescribed by public health authority safety standards and recommendations, cause no adverse effects to human health.

Ericsson provides public information on radio waves and health and supports independent research to further increase know­ledge in this area. Since 1996, we have co-sponsored over 100 studies related to electromagnetic fields and health, primarily through the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF), an international association of companies with an interest in mobile and wireless communications including the evolution to 5G and the Internet of Things. To assure scientific independence, firewalls were in place between the industrial sponsors and the researchers conducting these studies, and all results were made available by publication in the open scientific literature. Independent experts and public health authorities, including the World Health Organization, have reviewed the total amount of research and have consistently 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.

Ericsson is currently developing products and solutions for the 5G mobile communication networks. Although 5G will have capabilities that will extend far beyond previous generations, it will be based on similar radio technologies and the same radio wave safety guidelines apply.

Radio base station

Like current products, Ericsson designs and tests the 5G equipment for compliance with established radio wave exposure limits. We are also actively involved in the development of technical standards for 5G to enable that products can be properly tested and that information can be provided to customers on how to install the 5G equipment to ensure that there are no health and safety risks for the general public and workers.

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Base stations and networks

Mobile phones and other mobile devices require a network of base stations in order to function. Base station antennas are installed in such a way that radio-wave exposure in public areas is well below the established safety limits.

Phones and devices

Mobile phones and devices use radio waves at the lowest power level needed to reach the network. The phones are tested for compliance with recommended safety limits expressed as SAR levels. Below the SAR limit, a lower SAR does not mean the phone is safer.

Research

Extensive research has been made into the possible health effects of radio waves. Overall, the vast majority of studies show no association between radio waves used for mobile communications and health problems. Since 1996 we have co-sponsored over 100 studies related to electromagnetic fields and health.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about radio waves and health