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Is 5G Safe? What You Need to Know About 5G Safety & Protection

A lot of people have been asking us about 5G EMF protection and safety. It’s no wonder: 5G is new and untested. And it’s leading to a lot of questions about this technology that’s spreading throughout our communities. If you’re concerned about the safety of 5G and want to know what you can do to shield yourself, read on. That’s what I’m going to address in this post.

This post is part of a trilogy on 5G. For more information about 5G, please refer to 5G Health Risks and 5G Cell Towers.

5G Safety: Is It Safe?

No.

That’s the short answer. And it’s the accurate one, too.

There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that 5G is safe. And that’s because there has been absolutely no testing into the long-term health effects of exposure to 5G.

In fact, there is a large and growing body of evidence about the health risks of 5G that suggest it’s detrimental in a variety of ways.

But thanks to the strong commercial drive from telecoms companies, health and safety have fallen by the wayside.

According to the GSMA trade association, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, 5G is “covered by the same international safety guidelines” as prior generations of wireless technology, like 4G.

And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agrees, having determined that 5G technology and radiation exposures are “safe”.

These are the same standards that were formulated in the late 1990s, based on research from the 1980s, when much less was known about the bioeffects of EMF exposure, and there was vastly less wireless technology emitting EMF into the environment.

These standards are based entirely around the thermal effect of EMF. Namely, if the radiation isn’t sufficiently powerful to heat your tissue and cook you, it’s safe.

Regardless of the attempts by wireless companies and regulators to assure consumers, concerns are growing. Quickly.

As just one example, let’s take the case of the town of Gateshead in England. Since the installation of street lamps that are thought to be 5G enabled, residents have suffered a range of health problems.

After the Gateshead council tried to gag one campaigner who was raising awareness of the 5G health issues, the case went to court. The outcome? The people won, with the judge declaring that “the public have a right to know” about the issues with 5G.

Another example. In September 2017, 180 scientists and doctorates from around the world started a petition to stop the deployment of 5G. They reasoned that radio frequency EMF is already proven to be harmful to humans. As such, 5G rollouts should stop “until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry”.

And these are just a few examples of the need to take 5G safety seriously.

How is 5G Safety Regulated?

The short answer is that 5G isn’t regulated.

Well, more to the point, 5G is regulated the same way as 4G, 3G and all the prior generations of cell networks.

As for the FCC, there’s so far been no move to evaluate the potential long-term harm of 5G radiation. Nor has there been any attempt to update their outdated radio frequency exposure guidelines, which are still based on recommendations from 1996. 

In the time since the FCC created these safety standards, more than 500 studies have been published demonstrating negative effects and outcomes on human health from exposures to EMF that are lower than those producing a thermal effect.

In other words, EMF radiation doesn’t have to be powerful enough to heat your tissue in order to be doing you damage.

“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

Dr. Joel Moskowitz in Scientific American

Science such as this is why more than 240 scientists (including my father, Dr. Martin Blank, who was the face of the campaign in their video appeal) have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal calling for stronger safety standards for EMF exposures and wireless technology.

So in the meantime, while local and federal authorities battle it out for 5G regulatory control, it’s up to individual citizens to stay informed and prepare for the expansion of 5G networks across the country. 

And people are starting to take notice, and take action.

Global Opposition to 5G

Opposition to 5G is springing up so fast it’s hard to keep track. 

I’ve been studying EMF issues for almost a decade at this point; and I was aware of the issues for much longer than that, as my father, Dr. Martin Blank, was very active in the field of EMF health effects and regulation for three decades.

So I’ve been following this stuff for most of my life, and I’ve never seen opposition to the rollout of wireless technology like I’m seeing with 5G.

It’s happening all over the world.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives a rundown of how the movement against 5G technology has been growing globally so far. 

5G Opposition in the United States

  • Oakland, California. April 2018: Verizon announces plans to install 16 new wireless antennas in the Oakland neighborhood of Oakmore. A group of concerned citizens, reportedly failing to get straight answers from the company, form the Oakmore Neighborhood Advocacy Group (ONAG) in opposition to the rollout.
  • Mill Valley, California. September 2018: Community concerns are heeded by the city council of Mill Valley. After receiving 145 letters from citizens in opposition to 5G (and only five in support of it), the council votes unanimously to block 5G deployment. The action is taken via an urgency ordinance — a type of order that can be invoked when the health and safety of a community is at risk. A few months later, the neighboring district of San Rafael also passes an urgency ordinance restricting the distance of 5G cell towers.
  • Gig Harbor, Washington. February 25, 2019: Gig Harbor Mayor and City Council unanimously oppose the FCC’s requirement to allow the deployment of 5G. One month later Gig Harbor residents form an ad hoc committee to inform the public about the dangers of 5G technology.
  • Portland, Oregon. March, 2019:Portland city council raises 5G health concerns in a resolution that calls for greater research by the FCC. Portland lawmakers point to evidence suggesting wireless networks can cause cancer and other health issues, and implore the FCC to demonstrate 5G’s safety.  
  • Nationwide. May 15, 2019. During a nationwide “5G Day of Action”, coordinated events take place across the country. Protests spring up in cities and towns including San Diego, Asheville, Long Island, Woodstock and more. The event calls for wireless companies to suspend the deployment of small cell towers in residential areas. The 2019 event was so successful, another similar event was held on January 25, 2020 with a much larger turnout in many more cities around the world.
  • US Congress. Multiple US Congressmen and Senators have expressed concerns about the safety risks of 5G. One, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut held one such hearing in February 2019. In the hearing, Sen. Blumenthal called the responses of regulators “pretty unsatisfactory” and concluded by saying, “So there really is no research ongoing. We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.” But of course, this is Congress, so nothing happens quickly.

5G Opposition Around the World

  • Brussels, Belgium. March, 2019: Brussels halts a 5G pilot program citing health concerns. Environment minister Céline Fremault tells interviewers, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”
  • Finland. March, 2019: A group of Finnish citizens starts a petition to the government to completely ban 5G on the grounds of the technology being harmful to human health. To date the petition has raised over 5,700 signatures. 
  • Florence, Italy. March, 2019: Florence City Council refuses permission for 5G by invoking the precautionary principle. The principle holds that policy makers have a responsibility to protect the public from harm when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk.
    Indeed, as of the last update, there are 14 municipalities in Italy that have passed a Stop 5G resolution.
  • Isle of Wight, UK. April 2019: Dozens gather to protest the introduction of 5G on the Isle of Wight. According to the protest’s organizer, “To expose people and wildlife to 24/7 pulsed millimetre wave radiation is in clear breach of the precautionary principle and of our human rights, which are enshrined in UN law.”
  • Germany. April, 2019. A German petition imploring parliament to block 5G reaches over 54,000 signatures. The petition cites “scientifically justified doubts about the safety of this technology”. And Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) called for a thorough investigation into the health concerns associated with the new 5G technology. The investigation body used auction of 5G licenses to provide consumers with advice on how people can protect themselves from harmful mobile phone radiation. 
  • Netherlands. April, 2019: The Dutch House of Representatives calls for testing to assess the dangers of 5G. “We still don’t know about the dangers to public health,” says Parliament member Laura Bromet. “Little research has been done into the effects of 5G. We need to take people’s concerns seriously and investigate this.”
  • Switzerland. April, 2019: Both Geneva and The Canton of Vaud adopt moratoriums on 5G until further research is carried out on health and safety. 

5G Safety: What You Need To Know

Opposing 5G at the municipal, state and national levels is incredibly encouraging. It really feels that, for the first time in decades, the voice of EMF health concerns is being heard, and will have a real, tangible impact.

At the same time, while these conflicts play themselves out over a period of years, the rollout of 5G continues. 

In this recording of a live webinar from April 2, 2020, SYB CEO R Blank discusses how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the health risks of 5G technology.

So what do you need to know, right now, about 5G safety in your daily lives?

5G is Urban

As explained in our post about 5G cell towers, 5G networks use technology that, by design, transmits signals that do not travel far. As a result, 5G networks require many cell receptors to achieve adequate coverage.

On the plus side, it also means that 5G coverage will be mostly limited to urban areas.

So the more rural an area you live in, the less the likelihood of being exposed to 5G – at least from terrestrial sources.

5G Won’t Just Be on Earth

That said, there is another thing to realize: 5G won’t just be on Earth. What do we mean by that?

In a nutshell, companies are launching satellites into the lower part of the atmosphere so that they can provide fuller 5G internet coverage.

You can read more about 5G satellites in this post, but the key point here is that radiation from 5G is becoming increasingly inescapable. That makes it even more important to focus on what is in your control (more on that below).

5G is Similar to Other EMF in Important Ways

Now, in many ways, 5G technology is vastly different from 4G and other earlier generations of wireless technology. It uses short, milimeter waves, transmitted via a dense network of small cell antennas, among other new and untested technologies. To understand more deeply, take a look at our post about 5G cell towers which explains the technology in more depth.

Suffice to say that these differences are why 5G poses a unique and novel threat to human health.

But, in many important ways, 5G is also very similar to prior forms of EMF to which we are exposed on a daily basis.

That’s because 5G is a form of EMF, so it behaves the same way.

And this means the two key rules of EMF protection still apply. Namely,

  1. Maximize Distance
  2. Minimize Use

And these rules work because, even as we’re surrounded by more and more EMF from modern technology that’s out of our control, it’s often what we do with the technology that’s closest to us that can matter the most in terms of our exposure.

Why is that?

Distance Matters

One of the aspects of EMF radiation that surprises people the most is that the power of EMF diminishes with distance. A lot.

In fact, the power of EMF diminishes exponentially with distance.

That means as you double the distance between your body and the source of EMF, you cut the power of the radiation to which you’re exposed by 75%.

It has to do with the law of inverse squares. But you don’t need to understand that math in order to realize this is an established scientific fact.

The power of EMF radiation diminishes exponentially with distance.

And that’s why distance matters so much.

But distance is not the only weapon in your arsenal of 5G safety. There’s another.

Minimize Use

This one is pretty obvious when you think about it. After all, the best way to cut your exposure to EMF radiation is to cut back on your use of the technology that emits it.

Practicing the Two Key Rules of EMF Protection

It is true that we as individuals, and society as a whole, are increasingly dependent on EMF-emitting devices. Even so, there are a lot of ways that you can put these two rules into practice without negatively impacting your enjoyment of modern technology.

And these same tips apply to 5G tech, just like they do for 4G and other forms of wireless tech.

For example, don’t sleep with your phone. We all sleep (or at least we should) for six to eight hours each night. That’s 25-33% of our lives. If you make a point to not sleep with your phone, you’ll be eliminating that exposure from over a quarter of your life!

Similarly, you should always use your phone on speakerphone mode or use a radiation-free headset. Holding your phone against your head while you’re on a call leads to really, really high levels of EMF exposure – so much so, that the iPhone manual actually tells you not to do this (if you read the fine print).

Just like there are ways to maximize distance without sacrificing your enjoyment of modern tech, so are there ways to minimize use.

For instance, you can use WiFi calling instead of cell data. WiFi calling on your cell phone gives you all the same benefits and functionality as using your cell phone connection, but with a fraction of the EMF emissions.

Along the same lines, you can selectively enable and disable different wireless connections on your phone when you’re not using them. Not a lot people realize this, but if you’re using WiFi calling, you can turn off your cell connection and bluetooth. Or, if you’re relying on your cell phone connection, turn off the WiFi. With each one of these connections you turn off, the less EMF your phone will emit.

There are so many ways you can put the two key rules of EMF protection into action in your life. We have dozens of them posted on our blog.

EMF Exposure from 5G Satellites Will Be Inescapable

Now, as I’ve just described, I spend a lot of my time encouraging people not to panic; explaining that, even with the increasing rollout of EMF-emitting technology seemingly out of our control, there are things we can do. 

And that it’s what we do with the technology closest to our bodies that matters the most. 

This is because, as explained above, the power of EMF diminishes exponentially with distance. So the more distance you create between your body and the source of EMF, the lower your exposure.

Swiss Healthy Life and Living Foundation for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
A general view shows the newly opened Swiss Healthy Life and Living Foundation for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) apartments in a remote part of Leimbach, on the outskirts of Zurich, on April 3, 2014

And if you want to live a life with less EMF exposure, you can move to areas with fewer sources of EMF. Rural locations often have much less EMF exposure. And there are even EMF free zones around the world for a more complete escape.

And I regularly talk with customers who have developed sensitivities to EMF. They suffer from electrohypersensitivity. And many of these people sacrifice a lot – most of their lives – just to escape to places with less EMF in the environment. 

Just recently, I spoke with a customer of mine, Kathy, who later in life, developed electrohypersensitivity. Close to retirement, she gave up her career and spent a great deal of her savings to move to a remote area of the Smoky Mountains. Just so she could live a more normal life, without the constant ill-effects of EMF exposure.

She, and many like her, are terrified of 5G satellites and the global exposures they will bring. As we proceed through the 2020s, there will be fewer and fewer places on earth where one can escape exposure.

And it’s not just that this network of 5G satellites will lead to more EMF exposure, making escape increasingly impossible, it’s also that these: 

“satellites will be located in the Earth’s magnetosphere, which exerts a significant influence over the electrical properties of the atmosphere. The alteration of the Earth’s electromagnetic environment may be an even greater threat to life than the radiation from ground-based antennas.”

What Can You Do About 5G Satellites?

I still recommend reducing your personal exposure to EMF from the devices that are immediately under your control. I still believe that the best EMF protection is free.

But the exposure from 5G satellites requires a different level of response, above and beyond that. 

And there are four things you can do. And I’m going to address them in level of effort required, from least to greatest.

1) Find the Satellites

5G Satellites - Satellite AR App
A screenshot of the globe view in the Satellite AR app

One of my customers, Sue, recently emailed me to let me know about a pretty nifty app. It’s called Satellite AR and it gives you some pretty amazing insight into satellites that are flying overhead.

Just install Satellite AR for Android or iOS (yes, it’s free). Launch the app, point it at the sky, and you’ll see what satellites are flying overhead. The app uses your GPS data, and cross-references with other databases, to find the satellites. And you can search for specific satellites, or pick from a suggested list.

You can also switch to ‘globe view’ to get a top-down perspective.

It’s pretty amazing.

2) Sign the 5G Space Appeal

Arthur Firstenberg is an American activist who has campaigned since 1996 on the negative health effects of EMF radiation, which he calls the ‘largest biological experiment ever.’

More recently, he has organized the 5G Space Appeal, which reads in part:

“the deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law… If 5G is built, radiation levels will increase 10- to 100-fold, virtually overnight, everywhere. There will literally be no place on Earth to hide from it.”

The 5G Space Appeal has already received hundreds of signatures. And you can add your name here. And I would strongly encourage you to do so. (If you wish, you can choose to sign your name privately, so that it is not published on the site.)

So please read it, sign it, and share it. And if you have the means, consider donating to the cause.

3) Vote With Your Wallet

Another thing you can do that won’t cost you any money – in fact, it will save you money – is by boycotting 5G technology.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go out and get a new cell phone when you need one. I completely recognize the economic and social benefits of modern technology. But with 5G, the number of devices that will be wirelessly connected to the network is going to explode. 

Everything ‘smart’ that you buy over the coming years will be connecting to these networks. Smart homes, smart locks, smart cars – “smart” everything will be running on these connections. And the truth is, while cell phones are incredibly handy, do we really need a smart lock? Or a smart hair brush? Or a smart thermostat?

So, don’t abandon technology. But also, stop buying “smart” stuff you don’t need. The fewer 5G devices that you buy, the lower the demand, and the slower these satellites and other 5G network connections will be rolled out.

4) Join the Protests

5G has spurred citizen action around EMF health and awareness like I’ve never seen before. 

People are actually rising up in protest. On January 25, 2020, Stop5GInternational organized a Global 5G Protest Day. There were hundreds of protests in major cities all around the world.

And by the way, these protests can work! For example, the city of Brussels (the capital of Belgium) has indefinitely halted the rollout of 5G. 

So, if you are so motivated, I would encourage you to join these groups around the world that are dedicated to stopping (or at least, slowing) the rollout of 5G technology, including 5G satellites.

You can find the group in your area on this page, and most have contact information for your local organizers.

5G EMF Protection: What You Need To Know

Now, back to the personal level. As I mentioned above, when it comes to protecting yourself from EMF radiation, the best protection is free. Minimize your use and maximize the distance. Those are the two best things you can do. Science and basic common sense tell us that’s true.

But I also believe that EMF protection products – the kind that are based in real science and really work, like the ones I make and sell here at SYB – are a powerful part of protecting yourself against EMF radiation.

EMF protection products are not a silver bullet, but they are an important weapon in our arsenal against exposures.

Since 5G is meaningfully different than 4G and WiFi and Bluetooth – and all the other wireless EMF we’ve been exposed to for so many years – it’s natural to ask: do SYB products protect against 5G?

And rest assured, you are not the first person to ask that. We get that question a lot.

The answer is YES. And we have lab test results to prove it.

5G is New

We’ve been making EMF protection products for several years – long before the 5G rollout began. In fact, the 5G rollout is still quite young – as of the time of writing, here in the US, it’s only available in certain cities on select carriers with specific cell phones.

This means that we didn’t test 5G frequencies when we performed our EMF shielding effectiveness tests on our products – there was no need.

And in fact, most of the labs that perform these tests didn’t even have equipment that could test for 5G frequencies. Because no communications equipment was using these new frequencies.

And actually, most of these labs still don’t have the right equipment to perform these tests.

Now that 5G is around, and growing, we’re going back and having our products re-tested to ensure they work as promised.

(One of the major concerns with 5G is that 5G is being rolled out without testing. Seeing how hard it was to find a lab that could test these frequencies goes to show just how untested this technology is. Most labs don’t even have the right equipment to perform these tests yet.)

But we searched and found three labs. And so far, we have tested our SYB Phone Pouch, SYB 5G Phone Shield, SYB Bandana and SYB Headset Anti Radiation Device (H.A.R.D.). And the results were stunning.

What Did We Test?

Cell Phone 5G Shielding

Before showing you the test results, it’s important to understand what we actually tested.

5G represents a big chunk of the EMF spectrum. It starts at 600 MHz and goes up to 300 GHz.

But that’s just the range that 5G can use. The initial rollout of 5G doesn’t go up that high.

In fact, many initial deployments of 5G are using the same frequencies as the existing 4G/LTE networks – around 600 MHz. Many carriers are working on developing devices and networks that can support up to 28 GHz. And some go as high as 39GHz.

So while 5G technically can (and someday will) reach frequencies like 300 GHz, they do not currently – for the time being, most 5G will be in the 4G/LTE range, and extend up to around 28 GHz.

The lab we worked with for three of these tests had equipment to test up to 20 GHz – well into the 5G range. And the third lab was able to test up to 26 GHz– even further into the 5G spectrum.

5G Lab Test Results for the SYB Phone Pouch and SYB 5G Phone Shield

At every frequency we tested, our Pouch and 5G Shield had over 71 dB (decibel) attenuation.

EMF shielding tests often report results in decibels. We have a post explaining decibels, but a result of over 71 dB means that…

our SYB Phone Pouch and 5G Phone Shield both shield up to 99.9% of cell phone radiation – including 5G!

Read on below for the test results that show that our SYB Phone Pouch and SYB 5G Phone Shield provide powerful cell phone 5G shielding – as well as 4G frequencies, which were also included in this test.

For more information about these test results, check out our page with all of the EMF shielding test results for our products.

Frequency
(MHz)
Shielding
(%)
Shielding
(dB)
3099.9%71.2
10099.9%72.9
60099.9%74.3
91599.9%76.8
150099.9%77.9
245099.9%77.2
300099.9%77.6
500099.9%77.6
800099.9%76.4
1000099.9%75.2
1200099.9%76.8
1500099.9%75.5
1800099.9%74.6
2000099.9%75.3

5G Lab Test Results for the SYB Bandana

For our Bandana, we found a different lab, and this one was able to test the shielding performance up to 26 GHz. And the results were between 29 and 42 dB, which also equates to over 99% shielding effectiveness.

Frequency (MHz)Shielding Effectiveness (%)Shielding Effectiveness (dB)
3099.9945%42.6
10099.9934%41.8
45099.9931%41.6
95099.9913%40.6
150099.9931%41.6
300099.9955%35.8
600099.9737%35.8
1000099.9206%31
1800099.9369%32
2600099.8741%29

SYB H.A.R.D.

Our SYB Headset Anti-Radiation Device (H.A.R.D.) was tested in a different way, using different equipment. You can read the full test results, but again, we tested it up to 20 GHz (well into the 5G range) and it filtered out all the EMF signal from the headphones.

Our Other Products

Since this post was written, we’ve made some good progress on testing more of the products in our catalog. Click here for a current list of all of our 5G-tested EMF protection products from SYB.

We are working on having more of our products tested for 5G. This doesn’t happen overnight because these tests are not cheap, and there are not that many facilities that are yet equipped to perform this type of testing. But it’s coming.

And remember: while 5G will eventually grow and mature to utilize frequencies up to 300 GHz, for the initial rollout, the frequencies it uses will overlap with 4G. Since all SYB products are designed to shield against and deflect all types of harmful radio frequency radiation, they will all work for 5G networks just the same way.

So yes, the EMF protection products from SYB will provide 5G radiation protection in the same way that they do for 4G, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth from phones, routers, computers, baby monitors and smart meters.

About the Author

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I take pride in designing great, effective products, based on real, measurable science – AND taking the time to ensure that each and every one of you has the information you need to understand EMF and make informed decisions.

So if you have a question, just email me and ask.

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R Blank
CEO, SYB

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