Public Accountability Unit
133-155 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UG
Our ref: 23/04/21/cf/165
21 May 2021
Dear Paul Lewis, Re: Case ref: 165 – Freedom of Information request
Thank you for your request received on 23 April 2021 addressed to Public Health
England (PHE). In accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (the Act), I can confirm that PHE partially holds the information you have
Please provide me with the pre-market health studies showing that the
radiation exposure from 5G cell towers is safe.
Public Health England (PHE) advises the UK Government on the public health
aspects of exposure to radio waves, including those from mobile phone base
stations and other radio transmitters in the environment, of which the 5th Generation
(5G) of mobile telecommunications technology will be one of them.
Although 5G technology brings new services and reflects the latest evolution in
mobile communications technology, it does that through the use of radio waves
which are not new and have been transmitted into the environment for a range of
purposes over many years.
The following PHE webpage provides health-related information about exposure to
the radio waves for 5G communications networks: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/5g-technologies-radio-waves-and-
Central to PHE’s advice is that exposure to radio waves should comply with the
guidelines on limiting exposures published by the International Commission on Non-
Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which underpin health protection policies at
UK and European levels. ICNIRP is formally recognised as an official collaborating
non-governmental organisation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the
International Labour Organization.
Like earlier generations of telecommunications systems, 5G networks transmit radio
waves and PHE advises it is possible that 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.
However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to international
guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health.
ICNIRP’s guidelines are based on evaluations of biological effects that have been
established to have health consequences, as set out in the guidelines. The ICNIRP
guidelines for exposures to radio waves (radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields
(EMFs)) were updated in March 2020 and can be found here: https://www.icnirp.org/en/activities/news/news-article/rf-guidelines-2020-
The frequency bands proposed for 5G mobile telecommunications in the UK are
(410 MHz – 7.125 GHz) and (24.25 GHz – 52.6 GHz).
PHE is committed to monitoring the evidence applicable to 5G and other radio
technologies, and to revising its advice, should that be necessary.
Under section 16 of the Act, PHE as a public authority, has a duty to provide advice
Furthermore, you may wish to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s
(DCMS) 5g factsheet here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/telecommunications-security-bill-
DCMS, as a government department has, in collaboration with Ofcom, produced
materials explaining the facts about 5G to help you to combat the disinformation that
is spreading online. Further information can be found in: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/5g-mobile-technology-a-guide
If you wish to contact DCMS regarding their information you can do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any queries regarding the information that has been supplied to you,
please refer your query to me in writing in the first instance. If you remain dissatisfied
and would like to request an internal review, then please contact us at the address
above or by emailing email@example.com.
Please note that you have the right to an independent review by the Information
Commissioner’s Office if a complaint cannot be resolved through the PHE
complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted by
calling the ICO’s helpline on 0303 123 1113, visiting the ICO’s website at www.ico.org.uk
or writing to the ICO at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.