Our Impact

Mobiles, masts and health

On a daily basis, mobile phones help change people’s lives and improve communication worldwide by creating access to services and enabling economic development. Although there is no evidence to convince experts that the use of mobile phones and the masts that make them work carries health risks, some people are still concerned.

Safeguarding the health and safety of our customers, employees and the public is paramount. By demonstrating leading edge practices and encouraging others to follow, we aim to lead the industry in responding to public concerns regarding mobile phones, masts and health.

Find out about our approach to managing health issues

Our Scientific process

There have been thousands of scientific studies into the effects of radio frequency (RF) fields on health. Scientists know more about this than they do about most chemicals. Find out more about the scientific process.

Authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO) agree there is no evidence that convinces experts that exposure to RF fields from mobile devices and base stations operated within guideline limits has any adverse health effects. Read advice from the WHO and find further information on the WHO’s EMF website.

However, there are still some gaps in scientific knowledge. We look to the WHO to identify and prioritise research needs and are dedicated to supporting independent scientific research into these areas. Read more about current research programmes. Scientists and public health officials assess risks to human health based on the entire body of evidence, rather than individual scientific studies. The evidence is considered by panels of experts in this field. We look to such expert reviews for advice on mobile devices, masts and health.


World Health Organisation: Are there any health effects?

"In a recently published factsheet titled ‘Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones’, the World Health Organisation stated that “a large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use." Read more

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cancer hazard assessment

In May 2011, an expert group from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialist agency within the World Health Organization (WHO), announced its cancer hazard assessment for radiofrequency signals (RF), including those from broadcast, mobile communications, microwaves and radar.

Update: The IARC published its full report (‘Monograph 102’) on the classification of RF-EMF as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” on 19 April 2013. Read more

Frequently asked questions

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