Study looks into whether mobile technology could damage wildlife

Study looks into whether mobile technology could damage wildlife


Posted 23rd May 2018 by Peter Byrne


It has been revealed that we have a limited understanding when it comes to appreciating the impacts that electromagnetic radiation will have on wildlife

With pollution levels rapidly rising, the plans for saturating coverage of wi-fi and 5G will push levels higher still. While there is some concerning evidence that this radiation could be harmful to our plants, insects, birds and other species, there is little work underway that is looking into the impacts or to apply even basic pollution limits.

The review, which investigated the impacts of electromagnetic radiation on wildlife found evidence that electromagnetic wireless signals, which came from sources such as powerlines, radar, TV / radio broadcasting, Wi-Fi and 2G/3G/4G communications all represent a threat to our wildlife.

There is a surprisingly low amount of studies published on this, but from the 97 useable papers, scientists were able to highlight the electro-magnetic radiation and the potential risk to bird and insect orientation and movement, along with plant metabolic health. Subsequently, having serious impacts on the environment has not been ruled out.

The authors of the study concluded that there is "an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife. In particular, there is a need to base future research on sound, high-quality, replicable experiments so that credible, transparent and easily accessible evidence can inform society and policy-makers to make decisions and frame their policies."

Commenting on it, Buglife CEO Matt Shardlow said: "We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied. This is a classic case of out of sight out of mind, just because humans cannot see electromagnetic radiation this does not mean that animals cannot ‘see’ the pollution or be significantly impacted at a neural or cellular level.  A proper research programme and clear policy measures are long overdue".

The review was carried out by EKLIPSE, an EU funded body, following a proposal by Buglife.





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