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Mobile phone masts & 5G

What is RF-EMF?

RF-EMF is part of the overall electromagnetic spectrum which ranges from static electricity and magnetic fields through to visible light, X-rays and nuclear radiation.

RF-EMF is in the middle part of the spectrum and is used for radio communications, mobile phone networks, mobile base stations and mobile phones. It is used to deliver technologies including 3G, 4G and 5G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

What is 5G?

5G is the 5th generation of mobile networks. It is being designed to meet the large growth in data and the connectivity required by modern applications and the ‘internet of things’, such as smart homes, smart cars, smart phones and much more.

5G is being rolled out around the world. The first 5G network in the UK went live on 30 May 2019.

More information about RF-EMF and 5G with evidence relating to any public health concerns.

Electrical (or electromagnetic) hypersensitivity

Electrical hypersensitivity is a term used by people who believe that exposure to everyday electromagnetic fields (including electrical devices, mobile phones, Wi-Fi) causes symptoms in certain individuals. However, systematic review of the scientific and clinical evidence has found no convincing evidence that electromagnetic fields cause these symptoms. The World Health Organisation has recommended that the term electrical (electromagnetic) hypersensitivity should no longer be used.

The reviews below present and discuss the evidence:

  • WHO: Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
  • Bio Electro Magnetics: Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields
  • ICNIRP Guidelines for Limiting exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (100 KHZ To 300 GHZ) - March 2020


In June 2019, a Telecommunications Development Order was launched on the Consultation Hub allowing the public to have their say on the revised version which included the delivery of fast fibre optics and 5G mobile services.

Further reading:

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