Convenience, speed, instant gratification… That’s what we want from the Internet. The more we have it, the more we need it. As existing networks become overworked, providers look to the next big technology solution: 5G. So it’s natural to wonder, what are the health risks of 5G?
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Why Do We Need 5G?
You’ve heard all the talk about self-driving cars, smart homes and appliances that manage themselves. The broader term for this is the Internet of Things (IoT), and for it to become a reality, wireless networks have to evolve to meet increasing data demands.
Wireless companies tout fifth generation (5G) networks as the answer.
The wireless companies promise 5G will bring greater capacity, a higher density of users, faster download speeds, and more reliable connectivity than our current 4G networks.
The companies are planning to use the existing infrastructure to install the new 5G devices. Places like utility poles and on buildings will be some of the areas used to help the signal remain strong. A lot of them are about the size of smoke detectors. This would make them less noticeable and seem like less of an intrusion to homeowners living nearby.
Even so, many people are raising their concerns for this after seeing the 5G cell sites pop up in their neighborhoods (and hearing about the network of 5G satellites being launched), wondering if 5G is bad for health.
So why do people have 5G safety concerns?
All wireless technology functions by sending and receiving signals using electromagnetic radiation (or EMF). So each and every wireless device – as well as the towers and routers that connect them – is a source of EMF.
If you read my post about what is 5g, you’ll realize that the leap to 5G means:
- we will have more 5G connected devices
- communicating with more and new forms energy
- to and from more 5G towers and small cell sites
- closer to the ground
Taken together, this means 5G will lead to an exponential increase in human exposures to EMF radiation – at frequencies that have never been used in consumer applications before.
These exposures are not only unprecedented. They are also untested. There have been no surveys to indicate the levels of 5G EMF radiation to which people will be exposed.
Since there have been no 5G safety studies into short or long-term 5G health effects, and the health effects of 5G are untested, we can not say with certainty what 5G effects are on the human body.
There have been no long term 5G health studies. Despite the absence of studies into the long-term health effects of 5G, Dr. Joel Moskowitz from UC Berkeley School of Public Health has explained, “we have no reason to believe that 5G is safe.”
5G is a type of EMF radiation. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has designated this type of EMF as a Class 2B carcinogen. And other research has demonstrated that EMF is genotoxic, which means it can destroy your DNA.
And in 2018, the US National Toxicology Program released the results from a $30 million study finding “clear evidence” that exposure to cell phone radiation increased the incidence of cancer and genetic damage in mice.
Beyond cancer, multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies have also demonstrated that exposure to this type of radiation can result in a wide variety of conditions, including:
- Hair loss;
- Low energy;
- Appetite loss;
- Bone marrow damage;
- Organs damage;
- Incapacitation and death; and
Even if 5G radiation emissions fall within current safety limits (and, to be clear, there is strong evidence that new 5G exposures do not fall within these limits) does not mean that 5G is safe. Despite that 5G is leading to increased exposures to higher energy forms of EMF radiation, there has been no change to the safety standards that govern the technology.
One characteristic of 5G is its use of millimeter waves.
4G networks use radio waves to broadcast data. But the radio spectrum is already crammed full of signals. 5G seeks to use a whole new spectrum — that of millimeter waves — to allow for more traffic. Think of it like building a second highway when the first one gets too packed with cars.
Millimeter waves get their name because they’re much shorter than radio waves at only 1 to 10mm in length. Shorter waves mean these are higher frequency, which means they transmit more energy.
Millimeter waves are generally considered to be absorbed by the body within a few millimeters of the skin. Since millimeter waves have never been used before in consumer applications, there is limited scientific data on its health effects.
However, research has demonstrated that even short-term exposures can harm the peripheral nervous system, the immune system and the cardiovascular system.
Skin Amplifies 5G Health Risks
5G health risks may be amplified because of how, according to one study, 5G EMF radiation interacts with the human body.
The study lead by Dr. Yuri D Feldman at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that human sweat ducts act as an array of tiny, helix-shaped antennas when exposed to millimeter waves.
The findings suggest that human skin not only absorbs but actually amplifies the radiation from millimeter wave networks.
According to Dr. Feldman and team, “the full ramifications of what these findings represent in the human condition are still very unclear”. They add that further study is “poignant now because of the interest of industry to exploit precisely this signal range (100 GHz – 400 GHz) for communications and possible consequent side effects on the public.”
Other 5G Negative Effects on Health
Beyond the more widely known risks from EMF exposure of cancer and infertility, other studies highlight additional 5G network dangers.
For example, an article by Dr. Cindy Russell in Santa Clara Medical Association’s The Bulletin references a number of studies linking 5G millimeter wavelengths to heart problems, birth defects, decreased antibiotic sensitivity, cataracts, and immune system suppression. Dr. Russell calls strongly for the development of safety regulations and thorough pre-market testing of 5G technologies.
In his book about 5G health risks, Dr. Martin Pall outlines eight pathophysiological effects caused by exposure to non-thermal levels of EMF radiation:
1. Attack our nervous systems including our brains leading to widespread neurological/neuropsychiatric effects and possibly many other effects. This nervous system attack is of great concern.
2. Attack our endocrine (that is hormonal) systems. In this context, the main things that make us functionally different from single celled creatures are our nervous system and our endocrine systems – even a simple planaria worm needs both of these. Thus the consequences of the disruption of these two regulatory systems is immense, such that it is a travesty to ignore these findings.
3. Produce oxidative stress and free radical damage, which have central roles in essentially all chronic diseases.
4. Attack the DNA of our cells, producing single strand and double strand breaks in cellular DNA and oxidized bases in our cellular DNA. These in turn produce cancer and also mutations in germ line cells which produce mutations in future generations.
5. Produce elevated levels of apoptosis (programmed cell death), events especially important in causing both neurodegenerative diseases and infertility.
6. Lower male and female fertility, lower sex hormones, lower libido and increased levels of spontaneous abortion and, as already stated, attack the DNA in sperm cells.
7. Produce excessive intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i and excessive calcium signaling.
8. Attack the cells of our bodies to cause cancer. Such attacks are thought to act via 15 different mechanisms during cancer causation.
Dr. Pall states argues at length that each of these negative health effects from EMF exposures will be exacerbated by the rollout of 5G.
Millimeter Waves Have Been Weaponized
It’s not just scientists that have recognized the harm that can result from exposure to millimeter waves. So has the military.
As far back as the 1980s, scientists began testing whether “millimeter wave energy could create a repel effect that might serve as a non-lethal weapon.” This led to the creation of the Active Denial System (ADS).
According to the US Department of Defense, the ADS “generates a focused and very directional millimeter-wave radio frequency beam” that penetrates the skin’s surface and causes an intense stinging or burning. It is used for purposes like crowd control because “within seconds, an individual feels an intense heating sensation that stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the individual moves out of the beam.”
Mobile networks operate in a different way to ADS weapons. ADS beams are strong and directional, and cause serious injury if exposure is too high or too long. But the existence of such weaponry demonstrates that this type of radiation can indeed have strong, disabling bio effects on human health. Which prompts the question: what happens when we’re exposed to many, constant, low-level beams long term?
5G And Your Child: The Health Risks of 5G for Children
If you’re concerned that the increase in electromagnetic radiation might be detrimental to adults, then here’s something else to bear in mind: the health risks of 5G for children are even greater.
Children And Radiation Absorption
Before we delve into children’s health risks of 5G specifically, it’s important to understand why children are generally more at risk from the effects of electromagnetic radiation.
One of the main reasons is absorption. Says a 2014 study, published in Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, “Children absorb more MWR [microwave radiation] than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller.”
This is therefore true for any kind of radio frequency radiation, whether it’s emitted by a cell phone, wifi router, wireless baby monitor, or other device. This has also been confirmed by other studies — like a Brazilian study from 2015 and, more recently, this 2018 study which concludes that “young eyes and brains absorb substantially higher local radiation doses than adults’”.
One related point of concern is around cell phone safety standards. FCC safety standards are based upon a testing model known as SAM (Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin) — which is a plastic model of an adult male head. This means that, in the words of a 2012 scientific paper, the safety standards are “greatly underestimating the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for typical mobile phone users, especially children”.
The Specific Absorption Rate for a 10-year old is “up to 153% higher than the SAR for the SAM model,” says the study. “When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults.”
So to put it another way: our cell phone safety guidelines are based on the absorption rate of a 220-pound adult male, when multiple research has shown that smaller bodies — especially children’s — absorb at a much higher rate.
Of course, it’s not just cell phones children are being exposed to. If we take into account other types of exposure, what does the future hold?
Children And Cumulative Effect
This leads us to another factor in regards to electromagnetic radiation and children: cumulative effect. Children are now being exposed to EMF from a much younger age, as well as in greater amounts, which means that by the time they reach adulthood their cumulative exposure will be at a level not yet seen — and certainly never before tested — in humans.
As the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure study referenced above explains, microwave radiation from wireless devices “has been declared a possible human carcinogen. Children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen. Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood.”
In short, it could be years before the true health consequences are known.
There are other reasons, too, why children are at a higher risk and require more protection. Like the fact that their bodies and brains are still in development. As British physicist Barrie Trower explains, “Children are physiologically and neurologically immature. It takes years for the blood-brain barrier to form, leaving children more prone to cell-leakage from microwave radiation. And a person’s immune system, which fights off damage, takes 18 years to develop.”
The Health Risks of 5G for Children
This leads us to the introduction of 5G networks, and the subsequent health risks of 5G for children.
As we’ve explored in other posts, the health risks of having a 5G network are not yet known. These next-generation networks are being rolled out without testing and without adequate updates to safety standards. What we do know is that the potential for danger is so real and so strong that 5G rollouts are facing massive opposition — from concerned citizens, from scientists around the world, from local councils, and others.
The reason for the concern is that 5G requires thousands of “small cell” towers to be posted around a city in order for it to work. Because these receptors will be so ubiquitous, residents will have no choice but to have their exposure to EMF dramatically increased.
With 5G, anywhere you go, radiation will follow.
So, when we consider the health risks of 5G for children, the heightened exposure is the key cause for concern. If, as we’ve seen above, children absorb more radiation, are more susceptible to health effects due to their developing bodies, and will have increased cumulative exposure across their lifetimes, when we multiply this with the vastly amplified exposure of 5G the threat becomes very real.
With 5G, children may be exposed to radio frequency radiation constantly: at home, at school, even out in the street. Parents lose the ability to choose, because the bombardment of EMF from 5G cell receptors is outside of their control.
5G Will Not Replace 4G
The new 5G networks, devices and technology will not replace 4G. For the foreseeable future, as millions of new 5G towers and wireless devices are deployed into the world, they will run concurrently with the existing 4G infrastructure.
This means that exposures to 5G radiation will be in addition to the EMF to which we are all already exposed on a daily basis.
And this ties into what I call the fundamental flaw in EMF safety standards. Namely, that such standards exist to regulate the emissions from a single wireless device. These safety standards do not consider concurrent exposures from multiple devices, or cumulative exposures over time.
So what happens when you are exposed to EMF radiation from dozens – or even hundreds – of sources simultaneously. Remember: 5G isn’t just for cell phones– it will also power the networks for your smart homes and smart cars and numerous other devices in your life.
5G means millions of new antennas posted not just in cities but along power lines and street corners in residential neighborhoods.
With cell phone use already linked to cancer, reproductive issues and numerous other negative health effects, the explosive increase in signals that 5G will bring about, and the potential negative effects of 5G networks, is a serious concern.
The preponderance of the evidence suggests that there are significant 5G health risks. The prudent approach would be to adopt the precautionary principle and demand that our governments invest further research into the concerns, health effects and dangers of this new technology.
5G, DNA Damage & the Future of the Human Genome
This post focuses heavily on the impact of 5G on human health. In other words, the risks of 5G to your health, and the health of your family, friends and loved ones.
And that’s an important topic– one that’s obviously important to you.
But it’s also worth taking a moment to consider the impact on humanity as a whole.
Some time ago I gave a talk at the “What If…?” conference in Las Vegas entitled “What If Wireless Technology Is Altering Humanity’s Gene Pool?” This question is now more relevant than ever. Because with 5G, DNA damage is even more likely. And that damage could have serious implications for the future of the human genome.
I’ll explain why. But first, here’s the talk. It’s only eight minutes long and it’ll help contextualize what I’m about to talk about.
Featured Video: What If Wireless Technology Is Altering Humanity’s Gene Pool?
Your Radiation Exposure Is Increasing Exponentially
The first thing to note is that exposure to electromagnetic radiation has skyrocketed since the invention of wireless devices. And our exposure levels are on the brink of again being amplified exponentially.
This fact is not in question.
And 5G does not only mean ushering in an era of new exposures to new types of EMF. It also means a lot more of those exposures.
The new generation of wireless technology requires a vast number of cell receptors and a veritable blanket of EMF in order to function. Even from outer space.
One reason 5G is contentious is that it will be virtually impossible to avoid being constantly bombarded with radio frequency radiation.
So what does this have to do with DNA and the human genome?
With 5G, DNA Damage Risk Increases
Concerns about cell phones and cancer are common. But few people are aware that electromagnetic radiation also has the potential to damage DNA.
Findings by Dr. Henry Lai and colleagues, replicated in various studies across years of research, show that exposure to both pulsed and continuous radio frequency radiation can cause DNA strand breaks in living cells.
In other words, the DNA information stored in those cells becomes corrupted. Sometimes irreparably.
This brings us to sperm. Sperm are more vulnerable to this type of DNA damage as they lack the ability to repair it.
What This Means For Our Genes
We already know that sperm counts have dropped by more than half since the 1970s. What’s causing male fertility to plummet? There’s no one definitive answer, but there is plenty of research to show that electromagnetic fields negatively impact sperm quality.
“From currently available studies it is clear that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) have deleterious effects on sperm parameters (like sperm count, morphology, motility), affects the role of kinases in cellular metabolism and the endocrine system, and produces genotoxicity, genomic instability and oxidative stress,” says one 2018 study published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.
“A correlation exists between mobile phone radiation exposure, DNA–fragmentation level and decreased sperm motility,” says another from 2014.
Or take the most recent research out of Japan which concluded that “EM waves from a portable WiFi router decreases the motile rate and increases the death rate of human sperm,” an effect that was at least mitigated by using EMF sheilding.
Infertility is a growing and unsolved problem. But the bottom line here is that even if increased exposure to radiation doesn’t make us infertile per se, it can still lead to an increase in abnormal sperm. Sperm that contain mutated genetic information, which is then passed onto our offspring.
This may mean that, across the generations, the gene pool is irreversibly altered.
A Problem of Reliance
I hardly need to point out how reliant we’ve become on EMF-emitting technology. Our lifestyles have become inextricably linked to it. You only need imagine what would happen if the internet suffered a global outage, even temporarily: our transport, payment systems, hospitals, communications, everything, would collapse.
This is not the first time in history society has become heavily reliant on a hazardous infrastructure. In my talk I draw an analogy to Ancient Rome, where plumbing systems proved a revolutionary advancement in civil engineering. The only problem? Rome’s pipes were made of lead. And lead is poisonous to humans.
And I ask, what if wireless radiation is our lead pipes? A brilliant technological advancement that has become an ingrained part of our lives — yet is slowly poisoning us?
How Big Wireless Obscures The Truth
With so much basis for concern about the health risks of 5G technology, why aren’t we hearing more about it? And why is the 5G rollout continuing at such a fast pace, seemingly without consideration of the potential impact?
Even as questions mount around the negative effects of 5G, the wireless industry continues to grow in power and influence. According to a 2018 report, the U.S. wireless industry now contributes $475 billion annually to America’s economy, and generates over $1 trillion in economic output.
It’s no wonder: there are hundreds of millions of smartphones plus over 180 million connected devices in the U.S alone, and network demand is constantly increasing.
Big Wireless And The Economy Of Doubt
If we’ve learned anything from other scandals like those surrounding like “Big Tobacco” and “Big Oil” its that powerful industries employ powerful tactics to keep the public on their side.
Spreading doubt is one of them. To keep people buying a product you don’t necessarily need to convince them it’s safe — you just need to convince them there’s no conclusive evidence to the contrary.
“Doubt is our product,” said an infamous 1969 memo from a tobacco executive, “since it is our best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the mind of the general public.” To put it another way, Big Tobacco couldn’t claim that cigarettes were good for health, but they were able to keep people smoking simply by casting doubt on the evidence they were bad.
“Big wireless” trades on the same economy of doubt. As long as the research results on the safety of electromagnetic radiation is conflicting, the public can’t be sure of the truth.
Who’s Funding The Research?
An in-depth investigative piece in The Nation magazine dug into the tactics used by Big Wireless to convince the public cell phones are safe. They point to another key method of manipulation: funding friendly research. This “conveys the impression that the scientific community truly is divided,” says the piece. “Thus, when studies have linked wireless radiation to cancer or genetic damage… industry spokespeople can point out, accurately, that other studies disagree.”
As a member of the public catching news reports on the latest research, it’s often near impossible to tell how a study was funded. The Nation recounts one professor who analyzed 326 safety-related studies into the biological effects of cell phone radiation. The results showed that about half the studies found negative effects while the other half didn’t. The scientific community seemed completely split.
But here’s where it gets interesting. When he redid the analysis to take funding sources into account, two-thirds of independent studies found a biological effect while only 28 percent of industry-funded studies did.
A 2007 study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the effect of funding sources on research outcomes, and landed on a similar conclusion. It found that industry-funded studies were two and a half times less likely to report a biological effect of EMF. “Results from studies of health effects of radiofrequency radiation,” conclude the authors, “should take sponsorship into account.”
If there’s one thing without doubt it’s that the value of the wireless industry gives it a political advantage. As we’ve already seen, 5G health concerns have done little to hold back the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in their push to win the “race to 5G”. On the contrary, the FCC has ruled to remove barriers for Big Wireless by lowering fees and barring state and local governments from regulating the advancement of 5G.
While some local councils have kicked back against the ruling, concerned for the health of their citizens, lawmakers at a national level have the interests of the economy at heart. An industry worth so many billions holds sway — and the FCC are already hearing that money talk.
Marketing The Product, Not The Means
For 5G to work, it requires cities to be blanketed in countless “small cell” receptors. This means EMF radiation will be ubiquitous, unavoidable, and stronger than ever.
Of course, it’s not in the interest of providers to point this out. Telecoms companies market 5G as revolutionary and exciting. They appeal to our growing desire for speed and instant gratification. Verizon, for example, promotes 5G as an “innovation that changed the world”, declaring it the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They promote its speed and tell you how to order it, but nowhere do they explain how 5G actually works or what’s needed to set it up.
Unless the consumer goes out of their way to research for themselves, the potential negative effects of 5G could remain completely unknown.
The Negative Effects Of 5G: Finding The Truth
The reality is that the wireless industry is both powerful and growing. With the rollout of 5G they’ll be able to deliver speeds that will change the game for many industries and bring numerous benefits to consumers.
But all that should not be at the cost of human health. At the very least, 5G should be properly tested and regulated before being implemented across the country. Instead, the rollout is being expedited. Conflicting research, much of it industry-funded, keeps the public in doubt about the negative effects of 5G. And the value of Big Wireless makes it politically favored, meaning they have virtual free reign to implement new technologies faster than they can be evaluated.
For the public, this makes it difficult to get to the truth. So what can you do?
What Can You Do?
Since wireless technology is so bound up in every aspect of modern life, our problem of reliance is even more complicated than Roman plumbing. But we can start by asking the right questions.
Like, what can we do to better test and regulate new generations of technology like 5G and health impacts like 5G DNA damage?
What would we have to invest and what tradeoffs would we have to make to create safer technology? Technology that still provides the benefits to society whilst simultaneously mitigating the risks?
And, what can we do to protect our DNA and the future of the human genome?
These are big questions, and I’m not suggesting there are easy answers.
That said, there are some simple things we can do as a starting point.
1. Learn About 5G and 5G Health Risks
Learn as much as you can about 5G and how it is being rolled out near you. Reading this post is a great start.
The more you know, the more educated you will be about what 5G is and what you can do about it.
And be on the lookout for misinformation. The wireless industry is actively seeking to confuse and mislead consumers about the health risks of 5G radiation, such as we saw in the New York Times’ attempt to debunk 5G health concerns, to lead you to conclude that 5g is not dangerous.
2. Contact Local Officials About 5G Health Risks
The best way to oppose the rollout of 5G is on the local level. Contact local officials — like your mayor, city council, and your county council – to express your opposition and learn more about the status of the 5G rollout in your area.
Here is a sample letter you can use when contacting government officials with your 5g health concerns.
3. Share What You Learn
As you learn more about 5G, and how it is being rolled out in your region, share what you learn with friends, family and colleagues.
Don’t brow beat them, but let them know what this technology is, what it can do to them and their loved ones, and what they can do about it.
4. Boycott 5G Products
As more and more devices come out with 5G connections and capabilities, object by not buying them. And get others on-board.
The fewer people that buy 5G devices, the slower it will rollout. Vote with your wallet and you’ll make a difference.
5. It Starts at Home
Even if 5G is installed in your city, even if you can detect dozens of wifi networks around you, and even if you live in an area that’s extremely polluted by EMFs, what you do with your own devices and at home matters a lot.
So develop some of the habits that can drastically reduce your exposure to EMF.
The easiest thing to do to decrease your risk of developing health issues from 5G is to limit your exposure to EMF overall. It boils down to two key rules:
- Minimize your use of EMF-emitting technology;
- Maximize the distance between you and your technology when you do use it.
There are many ways to accomplish these goals. For example, three simple things you can do to make a huge difference in your exposure are:
- Turn off your wifi router at night.
- Don’t sleep with your phone.
- Don’t carry your phone in your pocket.
Habits like these are completely free and the best way to reduce your exposure to EMF.
6. EMF Shielding Protection Products
Even once you start adopting these EMF reducing tips and techniques, you may still want additional protection from EMF.
Here at SYB, we have a catalog of EMF protection products to help you live healthier by reducing your exposure to harmful radiation.
For example, our SYB 5G Phone Shield and SYB Phone Pouch which make it safer to carry your phone. Both have been laboratory tested to block up to 99% of EMF radiation – including harmful 5G frequencies – away from your body, to help protect yourself from 5G health risks.