The European Commission is “irresponsible” in not addressing the health risks associated with the future rollout of next-generation mobile network, Bulgarian MEP Ivo Hristov has said.
His comments echo concerns recently highlighted by EU telecoms ministers, related to “non-technical” elements of 5G cybersecurity, as the debate continues around Europe’s ability to keep pace with the rest of the world on 5G deployment.
However, discussion over the potential health risks of establishing denser network infrastructures consisting of considerably higher capacities has recently surfaced as a growing concern among Parliamentarians in Brussels.
Speaking at an event at the European Parliament on Tuesday (10 December), S&D’s Hristov hit out at the Commission for failing to conduct a health impact assessment report on 5G, despite warnings being highlighted by many in the scientific community.
“Currently the EU has no assessment of the human health risk of the introduction of 5G technology,” he said. “The European Commission took the position that such an assessment was not necessary, despite warnings of the scientific community. I find this irresponsible.”
He added that he has asked the Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel to prepare a study of the potential effects on health and the environment from the introduction of 5G networks.
Hristov’s point was supported on Tuesday by a contingency of Green MEPs who came out in force to challenge various telecom industry representatives, keen on making sure that Europe doesn’t lag further behind in its deployment of 5G network infrastructure.
5G technologies were described as an “inevitability” by Prof. Vladimir Poulkov, head of the intelligent communications infrastructure R&D Laboratory at Sofia Tech Park.
Poulkov said there were “forces at play” that would mean 5G deployment in the EU would become a necessity in order to keep up with the demand for higher capacity data transfers and speeds, something, he said, may help with wider goals in reducing Europe’s energy consumption.
This point in particular was heavily refuted by Paul Lannoye, former MEP and chairman of the Environmental Group Grappe, who claimed that there are no benefits whatsoever to the application of 5G in the energy sector.
In terms of the environment,