5G safety is a big question right now. Search the news and you’ll find that there are as many headlines about health concerns as there are about the benefits of the technology. So with unease about 5G safety mounting, we thought it was time to break it down and take a look at what it all means.
Let’s get into the facts: here are nine things you should know about 5G safety.
1. 5G requires hundreds of thousands of cell towers.
With existing 3G and 4G technology, you don’t need to be in close proximity to a cell tower to get a connection. You might be 50 miles away and still be able to connect. Not so for 5G.
5G base stations — called “small cells” — typically need to be spaced 250-300 meters apartin order for you to stay connected.
That means that these small cell towers will soon be blanketing every neighborhood, leading to an increase in radio frequency radiation that’s too dramatic to measure. CTIA, the wireless industry trade association, estimates that there’ll be 800,000 towers and small cells in the US by 2026.
Because of their size, these cell receptors are being mounted on everything from street lamps to trashcans to utility poles. In a short amount of time, they’ll be virtually everywhere.
2. 5G is being rushed out without testing.
5G is promising faster speeds and greater bandwidth to users. But in chasing these benefits, wireless providers and telecommunications authorities are expediting its rollout at the expense of 5G safety testing.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently ruled to remove barriers to the spread of 5G networks in a bid to “win the global race to 5G”.
“To date, regulatory obstacles have threatened the widespread deployment of these new services,” said the ruling. “The FCC has lifted some of those barriers, including our decision in March 2018, which excluded small cells from some of the federal review procedures designed for those larger, 200-foot towers.”
In other words, the FCC have made it easier for small cells to be rolled out by removing the regulations that govern larger cell towers — even though 5G small cells have not been tested for safety.
3. 5G won’t replace existing technology.
Introducing 5G networks won’t mean that the old generations of technology will disappear. 5G uses a different part of the radio spectrum.
In other words, it will be layered on top of the existing networks we already have. This means that the amount of radio frequency radiation bouncing around will grow – very significantly.
If you consider that the number of 5G subscriptions is expected to reach 2.61 billion by 2025, exposure to this new type of EMF will be impossible to avoid.
4. 5G uses millimeter waves.
The reason 5G doesn’t offer the same range is because it operates specifically on the millimetre wave (MMW) spectrum, and these short waves don’t travel as far. But what do we know about the safety of millimeter waves?
According to a research report published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, millimetre waves have a long list of potential health risks.
“Preliminary observations showed that MMW increase skin temperature, alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes, could generate ocular damages, affect neuro-muscular dynamics.”
The damaging effects of MMW are so well documented that they’ve even been used to create weapons — like the U.S military’s Active Denial System, a heat ray that repels people by burning their skin with targeted millimeter waves.
5. Concerns about 5G safety are wide-ranging.
It’s not just millimetre waves specifically that are a concern, but the increase in electromagnetic radiation in general. After all, exposure to electromagnetic fields has already been linked to numerous health issues, from brain tumors to fertility problems to a weakening of the blood brain barrier.
Since 5G dramatically increases exposure to EMF, the potential for any such health problems is equally amplified.
6. Babies and children are more at risk.
If radio frequency radiation poses a threat to human health, then the health risks of 5G for children are even greater. Children absorb more radiation than adults, meaning their developing brains are more vulnerable to 5G’s ubiquitous networks.
And what about unborn babies? One study found that pregnant women exposed to high levels of radiation from sources like cell phones, wireless devices and cell towers had nearly three times as many miscarriages as those exposed to low levels. And that was at day-to-day levels of exposure measured long before the introduction of 5G.
7. It could be an ecological disaster.
The effect 5G will have on the environment is also unknown. Says scientist Dr. Martin Pall, “I predict there will be major ecological disasters as a consequence of 5G.” Pall predicts that plants, insects, birds, and small mammals will suffer dire consequences from 5G radiation.
Even Europe’s top environmental authority, the European Environment Agency (EEA), has warned of the possibility of “looming environmental disasters following the increasing density of electromagnetic fields”.
8. 5G is facing global opposition due to health concerns.
5G safety concerns are real. To understand just how real they are we only need to note that opposition is springing up in all corners, from community groups to the scientific and medical communities to lawmakers and government officials.
In 2017, 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries launched an appeal to the EU to halt the rollout of 5G until independent investigations on 5G safety can be completed. A number of city councils have voiced opposition. An international appeal to stop 5G deployment has garnered over 60,000 signatures. And that’s just to name a few.
9. EMF protection does work on 5G.
One of the most alarming things about 5G is that we won’t know its true effects until we’re already living in the midst of it. Nor can we simply choose to avoid it since, like it or not, small cell towers will be everywhere.
One thing you can do is use radiation-blocking products to minimize your direct exposure as much as possible. SYB’s range of EMF protection products do work on all types of electromagnetic fields, including those from 5G, and are rigorously tested in laboratories around the world.
Browse our full range of EMF protection products here.
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