LEGISLATORS on Thursday called for an independent study into the potential health hazards of 5G before the cellular network technology is fully rolled out.
The matter was discussed during a joint session of the House health and environment committees, also attended by local academics and scientists.
“Before issuing licenses [for the 5G spectrum] we need to take into account people’s health and their concerns,” Akel MP Adamos Adamou later told reporters.
He said that mobile service providers stand to make a great deal of money from the rollout of 5G, but public health must come first.
Diko MP Georgios Procopiou said scientists and university professors cited research indicating higher cancer incidences attributed to electromagnetic radiation.
The headmaster of a primary school in Engomi, Nicosia, said three conventional mobile phone masts had been erected within 20 metres of his school.
He spoke of a ‘cancer cluster’ in the area.
In Cyprus, 5G has to date been utilised on a pilot basis. Antennas emitting 5G have already been installed along the Limassol coastline and within the Nicosia town centre as part of Cyta’s pilot phase.
In line with Cyprus’ national broadband plan, local telecom companies Cyta, Epic, and Primetel were in April given licensing to run pilot 5G programmes pending the official spectrum auction set to begin at the end of 2019 and to wrap up in the first quarter of 2020.
The EU’s 5G Action Plan, drawn up in 2016, laid out the objective of starting the launch of 5G services in a selected city in each member state by the end of 2020 at the latest, followed by a rapid build-up to ensure uninterrupted 5G coverage in urban areas and along main transport paths by 2025.
Malta’s Public Health Authority Sounds 5G Warning, States Potential Danger Is ‘Unclear’
More health studies are needed before Malta introduces 5G technology, the Superintendent of Public Health has warned.
In comments to Lovin Malta about the technology, Prof. Charmaine Gauci cited the World Health Organisation and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks who said that should the overall population exposure to electromagnetic frequency (EMF) remain low, no public health consequences should be expected.
“Given 5G devices and networks are a new concept, the potential increase in overall exposure to EMF is unclear,” she said.
“In view of the uncertainty of potential exposure from 5G and the possible resulting health effects especially in the long term, and considering the high level of urbanisation in Malta, the precautionary principle underlining public health should be upheld and more time allowed for international studies to be carried out and updated guidelines from the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection ) which are currently being revised, be issued.”