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Safety concerns for 5G EMF accumulative radiation

Electrical, telecommunication & computer engineers concerned with the safety of 5G network. Please join the discussion 

Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Mar 5, 2019

@durga ch and @Ashraf HZ , is this of interest to you?

@Silvi Dion - What are the concerns? Could you add more information?

Published peer reviewed science already indicates that the current wireless technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G – in use today with our cell phones, computers and wearable tech – creates (create) radiofrequency exposures which poses (pose) a serious health risk to humans, animals and the environment. Scientists are cautioning that before rolling out 5G, research on human health effects urgently needs to be done first  to ensure the public and environment are protected.

Researchers with the renowned Ramazzini Institute (RI) in Italy performed a large-scale lifetime study of lab animals exposed to environmental levels (comparable to allowable limits from cell towers) of RFR radiation and found the rats developed increased cancers- schwannoma of the heart in male rats. This study confirms the $25 million US National Toxicology Programstudy which used much higher levels of cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation, but also reported finding the same unusual cancers as the Ramazzini- schwannoma of the heart in male rats. 

5G will utilize not only the frequencies currently in use, but also higher millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave frequencies. Small cells being installed in cities are usually 4G technology with a wide variety of frequencies. Thus, when we consider the health impacts of 5G and small cells we are looking at research on current technologies and frequencies in use in addition to research on sub-millimeter and millimeter waves. The 5G standard is new  there are no studies that have looked at long term human exposure to 5G. However the current body of research finding effects from current wireless technology provides enough data for scientists to call for a moratorium.

This page lists important research on 5G, millimeter waves, cellular antennas, the environment and human health.

Russell CL. 5G wireless telecommunications expansion:Public health and environmental implications. Environmental Research. Available online 11 April 2018. in press.  

  • “On the horizon, a new generation of even shorter high frequency 5G wavelengths is being proposed to power the Internet of Things (IoT).”
  • “It is argued that the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome both from both physical and mental health perspectives.”
  • “Like other common toxic exposures, the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) will be problematic if not impossible to sort out epidemiologically as there no longer remains an unexposed control group. This is especially important considering these effects are likely magnified by synergistic toxic exposures and other common health risk behaviors. Effects can also be non-linear. Because this is the first generation to have cradle-to-grave lifespan exposure to this level of man-made microwave (RF EMR) radiofrequencies, it will be years or decades before the true health consequences are known. Precaution in the roll out of this new technology is strongly indicated.”
  • “Current radiofrequency radiation wavelengths we are exposed to appear to act as a toxin to biological systems. A moratorium on the deployment of 5G is warranted, along with development of independent health and environmental advisory boards that include independent scientists who research biological effects and exposure levels of radiofrequency radiation. Sound regulatory policy regarding current and future telecommunications initiative will require more careful assessment of risks to human health, environmental health, public safety, privacy, security and social consequences. Public health regulations need to be updated to match appropriate independent science with the adoption of biologically based exposure standards prior to further deployment of 4G or 5G technology.”

Betzalel N, Ben Ishai P, Feldman Y., The human skin as a sub-THz receiver – Does 5G pose a danger to it or not? Environ Res. 2018 May;163:208-216. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.032. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

  • Experimentally we showed that the reflectance of the human skin in the sub-THz region depends on the intensity of perspiration, i.e. sweat duct’s conductivity, and correlates with levels of human stress (physical, mental and emotional). Later on, we detected circular dichroism in the reflectance from the skin, a signature of the axial mode of a helical antenna. The full ramifications of what these findings represent in the human condition are still unclear. We also revealed correlation of electrocardiography (ECG) parameters to the sub-THz reflection coefficient of human skin. In a recent work, we developed a unique simulation tool of human skin, taking into account the skin multi-layer structure together with the helical segment of the sweat duct embedded in it. The presence of the sweat duct led to a high specific absorption rate (SAR) of the skin in extremely high frequency band.
  • In this paper, we summarize the physical evidence for this phenomenon and consider its implication for the future exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum by wireless communication. Starting from July 2016 the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations above 24 GHz (5 G). This trend of exploitation is predicted to expand to higher frequencies in the sub-THz region. One must consider the implications of human immersion in the electromagnetic noise, caused by devices working at the very same frequencies as those, to which the sweat duct (as a helical antenna) is most attuned.
  • We are raising a warning flag against the unrestricted use of sub-THz technologies for communication, before the possible consequences for public health are explored.

• Increased risk of brain, vestibular nerve and salivary gland tumors are associated with mobile phone use.
• Nine studies (2011–2017) report increased risk of brain cancer from mobile phone use.
• Four case-control studies (3 in 2013, 1 in 2014) report increased risk of vestibular nerve tumors.
• Concern for other cancers: breast (male & female), testis, leukemia, and thyroid.
• Based on the evidence reviewed it is our opinion that IARC’s current categorization of RFR as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B) should be upgraded to Carcinogenic to Humans (Group 1)

Ashraf HZ
Ashraf HZ • Mar 6, 2019

Honestly I haven't spent much time with 5G, since in Malaysia we are still riding the LTE wave. There will be 5G trials at the place I am residing this year so will be interested to understand the performance gains vs risks. Having worked in Telco industry previously, there will always be risks in exposure to EMF. You just need to take precautions and understand fully the transmission powers from the equipment you are dealing with (e.g. you obviously do not stand 1m in front of a point to point microwave radio transmitter). 

It is understandable that there will be some concerns with using 24 GHz frequencies and above for consumer devices purely because this is new territory. Won't really speculate further until actual equipment tests and trials are run. I have full confidence in our friends in RF & electronic engineering to use these tests to optimize and safely deploy 5G in public. 

Why are we forced to be Guinea pigs for this technology? .There isn't a single biological test done on the effects of MMWs on living organisms

Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Mar 7, 2019

Can the communications engineers on CE enlighten us on the actual dangers of the radiation and if there's any known evidence of it affecting the health. In India, we've Reliance Jio towers being set up in every nook and corner of the city; and the main opposition people have is that it's hazardous to health. I've a friend who works with Jio and is responsible for setting up the towers. He says there's no known danger in living nearby the cell towers. 

5G is going to need setting up of more towers in closer proximity; and I'm wondering if we should really be excited by the speeds. In any case, there's no escape from the radiation. I've a powerful router right in my room that transmits YouTube and WhatsApp to all my family members. ? 

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