A few days ago, I spent a day and a half in Court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice, listening to a Judicial Review in which Michael Mansfield KC challenged the Government for its “failure to give adequate information to the public about the risks of 5G and to explain the absence of a process for investigation of any adverse health effects”. These failures are deemed to be in breach of Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 due to positive obligations to protect human life, health and dignity as stated in Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
I was fascinated by Mr. Mansfield’s take on these issues. Those of us who have concerns about the adverse health effects of radio-frequency radiation (RFR) such as 5G usually argue that the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) safety exposure guidelines relied upon by Government to protect our health are woefully inadequate because they only recognise the heating of tissue as potentially harmful and because many thousands of well-conducted studies have shown harm below the heating threshold.
However Mr. Mansfield pointed out that ICNIRP does not say that RFR is safe. In Appendix B of the 2020 safety exposure guidelines adverse health effects are considered. In most cases it is stated that insufficient, high quality research has been done or that results of studies conflict and that therefore the adverse health effect in question has not been substantiated. This is very different to stating that RFR will not cause this adverse effect or that it is safe. Mr. Mansfield had also provided the judge with a screenshot of an ICNIRP webpage, which stated that health harms were “unlikely”.
This lack of clarity is reflected in the imprecise language used in U.K. Government documents. For example, in its guidance for reducing exposure we read, “excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged”; or on its webpage on 5G and health the Government optimistically tells us that “there should be no consequences for public health” and then says vaguely, “it is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure”. But what is “excessive use” or a “small increase”? The public needs to know.