This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Postpone the rollout of 5G in the UK, pending further independent investigation.

This is an appeal to postpone the rollout of 5G in the UK, pending the outcome of an independent investigation. 5G will increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields RF-EMF, that has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.

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More than 230 scientists and doctors worldwide have emphasised the potential health risks to the EU:

The Brussels region has already postponed the rollout of 5G due to the associated health risks.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

27,698 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 18 July 2019

Exposure to radio waves has been researched and reviewed. The evidence suggests exposure from 5G radio systems within current guidelines does not pose a risk to public health or the environment.

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The Government takes concerns about potential health and environmental effects from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF), or radio waves, seriously.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE, their Executive Agency who offer independent scientific advice) lead on health issues for Government.

PHE’s advice is that the overall weight of evidence does not suggest devices producing exposures within current ICNIRP guidelines pose a risk to public health.

PHE’s advice is based on health and EMF evidence reviews that have been prepared by scientific expert groups in the United Kingdom and around the world. ICNIRP is formally recognised as an official collaborating non-governmental organisation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization.

ICNIRP published draft updated radiofrequency guidelines in 2018 and is presently finalising these new guidelines. Following a consultation, the documents did not suggest there will be major changes in the rationale and restrictions from their current guidelines which were last reviewed in 2009.

The main conclusion from the WHO reviews is that EMF exposures below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP guidelines do not appear to have any known consequence on health. There may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area; but, this is expected to remain low relative to guidelines.

International product standards applying to mobile phones and other transmitting devices, health and safety legislation, and planning policy for telecommunications developments all look towards compliance with exposure restrictions from the ICNIRP guidelines. The UK network operators are already committed to complying with the guidelines.

A small number of countries have adopted lower restriction values than the ICNIRP guidelines, and it reflects the different ways they have approached concerns about this topic.

The United Kingdom follows the ICNIRP guidelines, along with many other countries and there is no convincing evidence that adverse health effects can occur if these guidelines are complied with.

PHE is committed to keeping its advice under review and will update its advice should new evidence dictate it necessary.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) lead on environmental issues for Government.

Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) has the potential to impact the movement of insects and some species of animals, but there is currently no evidence that human-made EMR, at realistic field levels, has population level impacts on (a) plants, (b) animals or (c) insects.

The latest overview of evidence of current knowledge on the impacts of artificial electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on wildlife, was written in 2018, funded by the EU EKLIPSE project (Knowledge & Learning Mechanism on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services).

The following comprehensive scientific review reports and statements have informed this advice. These can be viewed at:

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.