A response to concerns about 5G phone masts is due to go before health bosses next week.
Members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, made up of councillors and senior members of Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), are expected to respond to concerns raised in a 2,240-signature petition.
Campaigners fear that guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) – and followed by Public Health England – are not safe.
The country’s first non-university led 5G test bed was set up in central Brighton in 2017 as part of a national Digital Catapault to link businesses and universities, enabling cutting-edge technological innovation.
In the report going before the board on Tuesday (28 January), 5G radio technology is described as offering faster mobile broadband connections with good quality connections.
It said: “5G technology utilises high frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF), around 10 times higher than those used for current network technologies.
“This form of energy is unable to break chemical bonds in the way that X-rays can and is known as non-ionising radiation.
“The higher the frequency of electromagnetic waves, the lower the ability of the wave to penetrate body tissues.”
“High-frequency EMFs are already used widely in a variety of technologies, including communications (mobile phones, base stations, wifi, radio, TV and security devices), in medicine (in MRI scanners) and for heating purposes (microwave ovens).”
Telecoms firms Three and O2 are expected to introduce 5G to Brighton and Hove this year.
The report said that hundreds of scientific papers had been published into the health effects of 5G.
It said: “The consensus from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) are that there is no conclusive evidence of adverse health effects related to short term or long term exposure to high frequency EMF.
“It is possible that if someone is exposed to high levels of EMF, they may experience heating of body tissues, and that is why the ICNIRP set strict safety thresholds that limit the amount of EMF that people can be exposed to.
“The safety threshold they have set is well below the level at which body heating may occur.”
Public Health England has told the council current exposure is “well within” international guidelines.
The council’s position is that planning policy cannot be used to halt the roll out of 5G due to government regulations.
It also looked into economic development. The report said: “The economic benefit to 5G technology is that it offers a step-change in data speeds, offering ten to 20 gigabits per second connectivity.
“It will also address the latency issues of existing mobile technology.
“Latency is how quickly a connection can be made and the data can start being shared, fundamental in applications like driverless cars where a latency of a few fractions of a second between vehicles talking to each other could cause problems.
“5G masts also rely on a dense network of full fibre connections to operate.
“The roll out of 5G will therefore also bring with it the roll out of much more fibre optic cabling in the city, benefiting businesses and homes that the fibre passes.”
The board is being asked to note the report when it meets at Hove Town Hall on Tuesday (28 January). The meeting is due to start at 4pm and should be open to the public.
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