Concern over the potential long-term adverse health effects associated with new 5G mobile phone technology remains according to one of the world’s leading figures on the impact of radio frequency emissions

“The health effect issue of 5G is potentially very controversial as the communications industry is massive and 5G technology will be quite pervasive but its long-term health effects on humans are largely unknown,” says Professor Dariusz Leszczynski, the keynote speaker at the public lecture co-hosted by Griffith’s Centre for Environment and Population Health and the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists.

Professor Leszczynski was one of the thirty experts on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)/WHO 2011 evaluation group that classified all radio frequency (RF-EMF) emissions as a possible carcinogen.

Current safety limits could be insufficient

Professor Leszczynski suggests that the current safety limits imposed on wireless communication devices (WCD) are insufficient to protect all users of such devices. “Besides carcinogenicity, there are numerous health ailments suspected to be caused by exposure to radiation emitted by the WCD,” he says. “However, limitations in the design of many studies makes it very difficult to draw final conclusions.”

In this situation of scientific uncertainty about the health impact of the current WCD, a change is looming. It is the launch of the 5th Generation (5G) networks — expected around 2020 – that will facilitate the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). This term refers to everything from smart door sensors to fully intelligent home appliances, security services and monitoring stations, as well as more traditional networked IT equipment.

“The 5G technology will be a giant leap for the technological development, but even more, it will be a giant leap into a completely unknown and under-researched area of human health impact.”

Professor Leszczynski says that radiation emitted by the 5G technology is different from the current WCD radiation regarding the way it penetrates and interacts with the human body.

“We have no scientific knowledge at all how millimetre wave radiation, that will soon become omnipresent in our homes, cities and countryside, will in short and long-term, impact on human health.

“Will it impact or will it not impact? This is the question to which we do not have any answer. The only answer from the industry is that 5G will emit low power radiation. But in the past, we were also assured that the current WCD, emitting low power radiation, will not have any impact on health. This, as it turns out, was an incorrect assumption.

“In this situation of the scientific uncertainty of the highest degree, it is prudent to call for a wide-ranging use of the Precautionary Principle and to call for a temporary moratorium on introduction of 5G and IoT until appropriate human volunteer and animal toxicology studies are executed.”

Professor Leszczynski, PhD, DSC is Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Chief Editor of Radiation and Health; specialty of the Frontiers in Public Health, an open access journal published in Lausanne, Switzerland.



“Global expansion of the Wireless: The 5G dive into the great unknown.”

This lecture is hosted by the Centre for Environment and Population Health, part of Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, and supported by:

  • Australasian Radiation Protection Society (
  • Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (
  • Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (

Location: Lecture theatre no. 0.03, Macrossan Building (N16), Nathan Campus, Griffith University.

Time: 6pm, tea and coffee will follow the lecture.

Parking code and location will be in the reply to your RSVP.