The European Union prioritises economics over health in the rollout of radiofrequency technologies

Journal - Reviews on Environmental Health

Published online by De Gruyter 22sep2022
From the journal “Reviews on Environmental Health”

by Nils Rainer Nyberg, Julie E. McCredden, Steven G. Weller and Lennart Hardell
“The European Union prioritises economics over health in the rollout of radiofrequency technologies”


The fifth generation of radiofrequency communication, 5G, is currently being rolled out worldwide. Since September 2017, the EU 5G Appeal has been sent six times to the EU, requesting a moratorium on the rollout of 5G. This article reviews the 5G Appeal and the EU’s subsequent replies, including the extensive cover letter sent to the EU in September 2021, requesting stricter guidelines for exposures to radiofrequency radiation (RFR). The Appeal notes the EU’s internal conflict between its approach to a wireless technology-led future, and the need to protect the health and safety of its citizens. It critiques the reliance of the EU on the current guidelines given by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), that consider only heating and no other health relevant biological effects from RFR. To counteract the ICNIRP position, the 2021 cover letter briefly presented recent research from the EU’s own expert groups, from a large collection of European and other international studies, and from previous reviews of the effects of RFR on humans and the environment. The 5G Appeal asserts that the majority of scientific evidence points to biological effects, many with the potential for harm, occurring below the ICNIRP public limits. Evidence to establish this position is drawn from studies showing changes to neurotransmitters and receptors, damage to cells, proteins, DNA, sperm, the immune system, and human health, including cancer. The 2021 Appeal goes on to warn that 5G signals are likely to additionally alter the behaviour of oxygen and water molecules at the quantum level, unfold proteins, damage skin, and cause harm to insects, birds, frogs, plants and animals. Altogether, this evidence establishes a high priority for the European Union towards (i) replacing the current flawed guidelines with protective thresholds, and (ii) placing a moratorium on 5G deployment so as to (iii) allow industry-independent scientists the time needed to propose new health-protective guidelines. This 2021 Appeal’s relevance becomes even more pressing in the context of the EU plans to roll out the sixth generation of wireless technologies, 6G, further adding to the known risks of RFR technology for humans and the environment. This all leads to an important question: Do EU decision makers have the right to ignore EU´s own directives by prioritising economic gain over human and environmental health?


On many occasions in the last century, scientists have alerted governments to the health risks associated with human economic activities. Almost just as many times, due to opposing scientific inertia, lack of political will and the prioritising of economic interests, governments have continued to ignore these warnings, to the detriment of millions of citizens and the environment. Late Lessons from Early Warnings [1] lists twelve key lessons from past poor decisions compiled by the European Environment Agency. If heeded, such wisdom gained in hindsight may enable governments and EU decision makers to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately, in the case of biological and health effects from electromagnetic fields, the scientists who are providing the warnings to governments are observing history repeating itself. This paper documents several unheeded Appeals, delivered to the European Commission over the last 4 years so as to warn the Union and the Commission regarding the risks associated with wireless technologies. The rationales that have been given, the calls to invoke the Precautionary Principle, and the lack of political will to act are recorded here. This document thus bears witness to an unfolding global health tragedy which may yet be prevented, but only if the EU and governments can untangle themselves from corporate binds [2] and only if wisdom can prevail over the current world-wide, deep-seated, naive faith in technology to save mankind from all its ailments in the 21st century [3].

The EU 5G Appeal [4] has now been endorsed by more than 400 scientists and medical doctors from all over the world and has been sent six times to the EU. It requests stricter guidelines on exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and a moratorium on 5G deployment until international guidelines for RFR exposures are adequate to protect health and the environment. It raises grave concerns for the future well-being of humans and the environment. The Appeal urges the EU to allow time for truly industry-independent scientists to propose new health-protective guidelines that can replace those of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The 5G Appeal, including an extensive cover letter (henceforth together termed “the Appeal”) was again sent to the EU Commissioners for Health, for the Environment, and to several other Commissioners and members of the Consilium[1] on 2-6 September , 2021.

The sections below review the Appeal, describing the arguments made to the EU regarding its conflicting goals, with updates on the latest scientific evidence, and a request to the EU for further responses from Commissioners to be based on a consideration of this evidence rather than providing scripted responses from subordinates. The 2021 Appeal presented new research from the EU’s expert groups and from a large compilation of European and international studies. This collective evidence, presented in the review below, undermines any reassurances that current guidelines would protect health, and demonstrates that the heating-only evidence used to justify industry-serving guidelines for decades is short-sighted and potentially harmful. Subsequent calls made by the Appeal for the EU to act by employing the Precautionary Principle, establishing protective thresholds, and placing a moratorium on 5G deployment are then summarised below……

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PDF 10.1515_reveh-2022-0106

  • Great plans, great promises but false claims
  • Conflicting interests within the EU
  • Health risks demonstrated over 50 years
  • Predictable risks from adding 5G frequencies
  • Environmental effects need urgent attention
  • Fundamental planetary systems are being disrupted
  • Wireless energy consumption will have a greater than tenfold increase
  • Greenwashed digital future
  • The current guidelines are compromised and unscientific
  • Advisory bodies are compromised
  • SCENIHR misrepresentations
  • ICNIRP compromised
  • Dismissal of important science
  • Simple modelling of complex systems
  • Inadequate safety testing
  • Exposure of captured agencies
  • New guidelines are needed
  • Citizens’ rights to live in peace
  • Safety-first
  • The 5G Appeal asks EU to invoke the precautionary principle
  • The precautionary principle in practice
  • The EU has failed to act on warnings
  • Great denials continue
  • Conclusions for EU policy
  • Concluding remarks

Source – De Gruyter com – The European Union prioritises economics over health in the rollout of radiofrequency technologies