Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
923. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if matters raised in correspondence from a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5557/20]
941. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has conducted health research on 5G; the status of a national risk assessment of technologies or equipment involved with the roll out of 5G networks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6545/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 923 and 941 together.
The matter of potential health impacts of exposure to non-ionising radiationis informed by a substantial volume of internationally recognised scientific research and evidence. International organisations such as the World Health Organisation have assessed that there is no established scientific evidence to support any adverse health effects to individuals below the exposure levels set by International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The ICNIRP guidelines provide scientifically-based exposure limits that are applicable to both public and occupational exposure from electromagnetic fields (EMF). They apply up to a frequency of 300 gigahertz (GHz), well above the maximum frequencies being considered for 5G. The guidelines are based on evidence gathered from all peer-reviewed scientific literature and not on the conclusions of any single scientific paper, event, or other source; updated guidelines, were released in March 2020.
Details of Irish Government commissioned reports in the area of potential health effects of electromagnetic fields are available on my Department’s website at this link: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/environment/topics/environmental-radiation/electromagnetic-fields/Pages/Frequently-Asked-Questions-on-Electomagnetic-Fields.aspx
Moreover, as Minister for Communications, Climate action and Environment, I assigned a new statutory function to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year to provide general information to the public in this regard, to monitor scientific developments and provide independent advice to my Department in this area. Information is published on the EPA’s website at
As regards 5G, the roll-out of infrastructure in Ireland is primarily a matter for private mobile network operators, operating in a liberalised market. The regulation of these service providers, to the extent permitted by law, is a statutory function of the communications regulator, ComReg. This role includes the monitoring of compliance by authorised operators with terms and conditions, including with respect to non-ionising radiation levels. ComReg is statutorily independent in the exercise of its functions. Its most recent report on its measuring of Non-Ionising Radiation levels in public areas can be found on ComReg’s website www.comreg.ie.