What are the Safety Concerns About 5G?

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5G stands for wireless technology of the 5th century. It is said to give a quicker and higher ability to transmit radiations. This covers the Internet of Things (IoT), driverless vehicles, and faster download speeds. 

In 5G the microwave and millimeter-wave interference in our atmosphere will increase significantly. It will also use new frequencies whose safety is yet not assessed by industry-independent experts.

5G uses higher millimeter wave rates that are commonly used for crowd management. These millimeter waves do not pass easily across walls, which means that 5G needs thousands of small cell antennas for towns and cities. The wireless telecommunications industry intends to equip almost every lamp post or utility post around the country with these wireless small-cell antennas. They project radiation everywhere, 24/7 – long term effect unknown.

Some sophisticated antennas can emit 5G radiations, such as phased arrays, delivering microwaves and millimeter waves in narrow bands. A technique initially designed for military use.

5G Operators in UK

In the UK, the EE, Three, Vodafone, and BT networks all deliver 5G. EE offers 5G to 50 UK towns and cities. It promises immediate connectivity, higher coverage, and faster speeds. Three appears to be developing the UK’s largest 5G network with 5G coverage at 140MHz. Vodafone offers 5G at 40 sites throughout the UK. Moreover, BT operates 5G in 61 UK cities and towns, including Norwich, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leicester, London, and Manchester.

The Problem with 5G

The concern with 5G is that it has not been examined for the population’s wellbeing in the short or long term.

The telecom industry and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have not conducted any safety studies with 5G. Little study has adequately evaluated the safety hazards that this new cellular development implies.

Dangers of 5G

For any modern development, there is always a fresh surge of doubts, worries, and conspiracy theories. They consist of sci-fi-like mind and health stories, theories about pandemic illness, and the like. 5G raises questions about the potential dangers of disease-causing technologies, which are leading to what others claim would be increased exposure rates. Is there any reality behind such anxieties?

Several concerns for the health of the population come from radiation. We know that ionizing radiation poses a significant danger. Public Health England has confirmed that ionizing radiation destroys cells later in life and contributes to an increased risk of cancer.

The risk of cancer is not as correlated with cell phone-generated non-ionizing radiation, which is in the electromagnetic spectrum, except at the low end of the scale. Microwaves, radio waves, infrared radiation, and visible light generate these radiations as well. There is no solid study to trigger a serious alarm about non-ionizing radiation—just the recommendation to restrict exposure due to potential health hazards.

In 2011, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified cell phones as potentially carcinogenic, due to a report demonstrating a possible correlation between mobile phones and brain cancer.

Exhaust smoke, pickled vegetables, and chloroform have all been listed as carcinogenic to bring this into perspective. Red meat consumption is mentioned in a bigger spectrum, and thus, it has a much greater connection to cancer, as does alcohol and solar radiation.

In 2020, the BBC announced reported that Ofcom tests find UK’s 5G network well within safety limits, that transmitters would operate at lower power levels than 4G, and the 5G equipment requires lesser transmitters, which implies that the radiation emission rates would be lower. At Uncells, we do not buy this argument, however.

In 2000, scientist Bill P. Curry studied electromagnetic technology’s health implications and discovered a disturbing link between radio waves and brain cancer. He claimed the brain obtained more energy from cellular network systems, with greater strength of the wireless signal, and that 5G was “likely to be a serious health hazard“.

ICNIRP- Frequency Range and Use

The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum covering the frequency range from 100 kHz to 300 GHz is referred to as Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. The electrical and magnetic fields that together comprise the electromagnetic fields are interconnected within this frequency spectrum. And they are collectively used for calculation. The sensitivity to RF-EMF is usually expressed in watts per square meter (W/m2) or watts per kg (W/kg).

The RF-EMF fields are used for a range of methods. Mostly for communication purposes, as well as in medicine, heating, and wireless power transmission.

Exposure & effects on the body

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) specializes in non-ionizing radiation protection, and determine exposure limits for electromagnetic fields used by cellular phones and other devices. On their 5G page they state that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) “have the ability to penetrate the human body, with the main effect of this being a rise in temperature in the exposed tissue”.

The RF-EMF fields may enter the body and trigger charged or polar molecules to vibrate inside. This contributes to friction, and therefore fire. The body can handle a slight increase in heat. Similarly, dissipating excess body heat when doing sporting activities. This is because the human body is very capable of regulating its internal temperature.

Nonetheless, over a certain amount based on the length of the exposure, and exposure to RF-EMF, the resulting increase in temperature may trigger significant health consequences, such as harming tissue. There has been a detailed analysis of the transient and long-term consequences of RF-EMF penetration below the thermal level, without harmful health effects.

Health consequences include headaches, difficulties concentrating, quality of sleep, cognitive performance, cardiovascular effects, etc.

The only reliably reported result is a slight influence on electroencephalography-measured brain function. However, the biological implications of those minor changes are unclear. These were not found to impact sleep efficiency, for example, or correlated with any other negative consequences.

Extensive work related to sensitivity to RF EMFs primarily used in cell telephony and cancer has been conducted. Most epidemiological research has concentrated on the possibility of cancers close to the ear where the handset is kept, e.g., brain tumours. 

Many of these epidemiological research found a significant observational rise in the incidence of such brain tumors among the limited community of long-term and heavy smartphone users.

The findings reported may be explained by reporting biases and weak points in the studies, however. The results of the epidemiological research have also not been verified by laboratory experiments on animals and cells. So, there is no biophysical process that may justify carcinogenicity at these low rates of exposure. 

Furthermore, the elevated incidence found in some of the epidemiological trials is associated with a steady prevalence in which such cancers arise. That is a relevant factor considering the pervasive and substantial growth in the general population’s usage of cell phones during the last few decades.

5G Frequencies

As the amount of knowledge being transmitted rises, additional bandwidth is being made accessible. Also, the maximum frequencies being considered for potential usage of 5G are around 10 times greater than those utilized for existing network technology, up to a few tens of gigahertz (GHz). 

Its usage is not new and has been used for point-to-point microwave communications. And certain other forms of transmitters that have been used in the area for many years. ICNIRP standards extend up to 300 Mhz, far above the current target frequencies (a few tens of Mhz) for 5G.

Radio wave exposure is not new, and over many decades health-related research has been undertaken on this topic. In fact, since 2000, a vast volume of new empirical data has arisen from committed national and foreign research projects that answer questions regarding the increasingly proliferating wireless technologies. Current empirical findings have concentrated mainly on sensitivity to the kinds of radio signals utilized for emerging networking systems.

But, the biophysical processes regulating the contact between radio waves and body tissues are well known at higher frequencies.

5G and Law

5G may be the first technology to genuinely achieve mainstream market penetration at the same pace as companies announce the advantages. 

And this may mean that customer demands will be a crucial burden on policy policymakers, regulators, and attorneys to keep up. Also, it will be a source of entirely new types of allegations.

There is currently a crowdfunding campaign ‘5G Legal Action‘ which states:

The government’s actions in authorising 5G are a breach of human rights. We are challenging the government to stop its unlawful action in failing to protect the public from the health risks from 5G technology which we all face through its rapid deployment. 

actionagainst5g.org

It has almost achieved it’s £50K crowdfunding goal:

The Electronic Communications Code is a set of rights that are designed to facilitate the installation and maintenance of electronic communications networks, and has significantly greased the tires of the negotiation process with landlords in installing telco equipment over the last two years. This, in turn, made it feasible for telcos to enhance their coverage, especially in more rural areas.

The particular UK mechanism in which BT and OpenReach are legitimately obligated to open up their network has led to increasing the involvement of telcos in 5G networks. 

With the Code lowering access barriers, such development has contributed to greater market participation in enterprise proposals for fiber, wireless, and 5G.

EMF Radiation and 5G

Everywhere and almost all the time, we are affected by electromagnetic radiation (EMF). 

It is often viewed as a harmless, non-ionizing, low-level source of radiation. Mobile telephones, television, radio waves, and certain traffic lamps are also examples of these radiations.

Like with previous cellular technologies, 5G networks focus on radio wave transmitting signals between an antenna or tower of telecommunications and the mobile phone. However, 5G uses higher frequency waves than previous mobile networks. 

Also, given that the technology is fully championed across urban areas, 5G infrastructure would require cell antennas approximately every 300 to 700 feet. Such antennas essentially generate a large area of EMF around us.

Conclusion – Is 5G Safe?

A disproportionate volume of 5G networks in suburban areas will theoretically subject other residents to unknown sources of electromagnetic fields, scientists claim. Animal and plant life, too, could be in danger. 

For example, 4G frequencies go as high as 6GHz. 5G brings new pulsed signals to biological life in the 30GHz to 100GHz domain, up to 16 times higher. The general population had never before been subjected to these elevated frequencies. So, ‘healthy’ is a rough term to use when it comes to 5G exposure because it is unstudied.

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