Research Outline

RF radiation: adverse health effects


To identify research conducted on the harmful effects of RF emissions over the past 5 years for new product development.

Early Findings

RF Research

1. World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health - a hard nut to crack (Review)

  • Published year: 2019
  • Research conducted by: Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sweden.
  • Outcome: this is a review of a research study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2011 relating to the health effects of RF emissions. The review highlights the conflict of interest that was apparent in how the research was conducted and emphasizes that it "explains why only short-term thermal effects from RF radiation are accepted as proofs of harm, and why non-thermal biological effects are ignored."

2. 2016 Review: Radiofrequency and Health

  • Published year: 2016
  • Research conducted by: BC Centre for Disease Control, Canada
  • Outcome: ongoing research has not provided clear evidence that RF leads to harmful effects related to cancer, reproduction, and development.

3. Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF)

  • Published year: 2015
  • Research conducted by: SCENIHR, EU
  • Outcome: the epidemiological studies on RF EMF exposure do not show an increased risk of brain tumors, or cancers of the head and neck region. Studies do not support an increased risk of glicoma. However, there is a possibility of an association with acoustic neuroma.

4. Assessment of the Health Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields

  • Published year: 2016
  • Research conducted by: National Institute of Public Health of Quebec
  • Outcome: current research limitations have not enabled the authors to exclude all possibility of risk. However, no short or long-term adverse health risks have been recognized. It further notes that there is a substantial discrepancy between the risks recognized by health organizations compared with the risk perceived by the general population.

5. Human Exposure to RF Fields in 5G Downlink

  • Published year: 2017
  • Research conducted by: Department of Electrical Engineering, Georgia Southern University
  • Outcome: it was found that 5G downlink RF fields generate significantly higher power density (PD) and specific absorption rate (SAR) than a current cellular system. It further states that prior research on RF exposure has only focused on uplink only due to the closer physical contact of a transmitter to a human body.

Other findings

  • According to the US Food and Drug Administration, while some researchers have reported on the biological changes associated with RF waves, the majority of studies fail to show an association between exposure to RF from a cell phone and health issues.
  • An article from Scientific American states that while some new studies show that cell phone radiation causes cancer in lab rats, there is ongoing debate regarding such effects on humans. The article further states that RF radiation has only one known biological effect: the ability to heat tissue by exciting its molecules.
  • Further research on RF radiation can be found here: E&Tand Powerwatch