5G technology is using bandwidth of the high-frequency millimeter waves (MMWs) between 30GHz and 300GHz with addition of some lower and mid-range frequencies. These high-frequency MMWs travel a short distance and can’t penetrate through walls very well. Besides that, they tend to be absorbed by rain and plants which leads to signal interference. According to this above data, the new 5G infrastructure would require much more many smaller cell towers situated closer together: This would result in wireless antennas on almost every lamp post and on every building in any areas.
To put things into perspective, let’s look at the number of wireless antennas. In 2015, there were 308,000 wireless antennas on cell towers and buildings, which is twice the number of antennas found in 2002. In comparison to that 5G would require exponentially more smaller antennas, placed much closer together, each one emitting bursts of radiofrequency radiation (RFR). Although the levels of radiation would be lower than 4G, it would be a lot harder to avoid since these antennas could be everywhere.
It is important to know that in 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RFR as potential 2B carcinogen and specified that the use mobile phones could lead to specific form of brain tumors. Many studies have associated low-level RFR exposure with a litany of health effects, including:
- DNA single and double-strand breaks (which leads to cancer)
- Oxidative damage (which leads to tissue deterioration and premature aging)
- Disruption of cell metabolism
- Increased blood-brain barrier permeability
- Melatonin reduction (leading to insomnia and increasing cancer risks)
- Disruption of brain glucose metabolism
- Generation of stress proteins (leading to myriad diseases)
As mentioned before, the 5G technology uses high-frequency MMWs bands which give same dose of radiation as airport scanners. The effects of this radiation on public health have yet to undergo more rigorous long-term scientific tests. The early adoption of 5G would bring more signals, carrying more energy through the high-frequency spectrum, with more transmitters located closer to people’s homes a lot of RFR around us. A potential risks to human and environmental health ready to unfold.
One of strongest concerns involves adverse effects of MMWs on human skin described in the letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) written by Dr. Yael Stein of the Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. It is stated that over 90% of the microwave radiation is absorbed by the epidermis and dermis layers. In a nutshell, human skin would act as an absorbing sponge for microwave radiation. Though this may sound concerning, it is generally considered acceptable as long as the violating wavelengths are greater than the skin layer’s dimensions (which MMW’s violate). In addition to that, upper skin layers act as helical antennas (antennas that react to electromagnetic fields) so our bodies will become far more conductive to this radiation. Ramifications of these facts are presently unclear, especially for more vulnerable members of the public (babies, pregnant women and the elderly).
There have already been experiments conducted on animals and the results raised some serious red flags. A US National Toxicology Program study noted that male rats exposed to RFR for nine hours a day over two years developed rare forms of tumors in the brain and heart, and both sexes developed DNA damage. The researchers noted that the increased risk to the rats was relatively small, but if the findings are translated to humans, the widespread increase in cellphone use could have significant impact on populations.
Other animal research illustrates how microwave radiation in general and MMW’s in particular can damage the eyes and immune cells, cell growth rate, even bacterial resistance. AN experiment at the Medical Research Institute of Kanazawa Medical University showed that 60GHz millimeter-wave antennas produce thermal injuries in rabbit eyes with thermal effects reaching below the surface. The study suggested that low-level MMW’s caused lens opacity, a precursor to cataracts. A Chinese study demonstrated that eight hours of microwave radiation damage rabbits’ lens epithelial cells. A Pakistani study concluded that exposure to mobile phone EMF prevented chicken embryo retinal cells from properly differentiating.
The Russian study revealed that exposing healthy mice to low intensity, extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation severely compromised their immune systems. And a 2016 Armenian study showed that low-intensity MMW’s depressed growth of E. coli and changed certain properties and activity of the cells. Same study noted that MMW interaction with bacteria could lead to antibiotic resistance, which is alarming considering that antibiotic immunity is compromised due the overuse of antibiotics. Taking all of this into consideration, 5G technology can have profound impact, not only on human health, but on the health of all living organisms including plants.
Equally disturbing is effect of MMW’s on plant life. A study conducted in 2010 showed that leaves of aspen seedlings exposed to RFR exhibited symptoms of necrosis, while another Armenian study suggested low-intensity MMW’s cause “peroxidase isoenzyme spectrum changes” – basically stress response that damages cells of wheat shoots. 5G can potentially threaten natural ecosystems according to several reports over the last two decades. Low-level, non-ionizing microwave radiation affects birds and bee health. It drives birds from nests, causes plume deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship and death. Bee population suffer from reduced egg-laying abilities of queen bees and small colony sizes. A meta study indicated that 593 out of 919 research studies suggest that RFR adversely affects plants, animals and humans.
Despite all of the warnings, the companies are still pushing the 5G technology further and they are not mentioning the danger the technology presents.