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5G Health Risks: Here's What Experts Say

This year delivered a whirlwind of over-the-top 5G : how it will change life where 5G networks are launching around the world, and when exactly your smartphone will be capable of lightning speed . But some people are concerned that the introduction of 5G is happening so fast that we don't really understand if or how launching next-generation connectivity will have unwanted health consequences.

The short answer: The scientific consensus is that 5G, like 3G and 4G before it, is not harmful to your health. In August, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formally determined that 5G radio waves were safe.

But this finding is unlikely to lead to a rush of concern over 5G rewinding, especially as more 5G phones hit the market and coverage becomes more widespread.

Why Are People Concerned That 5G Is Not Safe?

Early 5G networks ̵

1; including those launched by AT&T Verizon and T-Mobile – use high-frequency, millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum to deliver faster speed. Some people are concerned that these radio waves, along with the additional cellular infrastructure needed to build 5G mmWave networks in major cities, will increase the amount of radiation in the environment.

The scientific consensus is that there are no known health risks from all forms of RF energy at low levels approved for daily use by consumers.

CTIA spokesman

The millimeter wave spectrum has never been used for telecommunications. However, this is not because it is dangerous; higher bandwidths just aren't as effective at transmitting data over distances. 5W signal based on mmWave cannot penetrate objects such as glass windows or concrete buildings. Moreover, it cannot penetrate the body.

Alarms over 5G are an extension of the worries some people have about mobile phones in general.

But 5G is a form of radiation, right?

There are two types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing. Ultra-high frequency ionizing radiation – which includes gamma rays, UV rays from the sun and x-rays – is harmful to humans because it penetrates the body at the cellular level and causes electrons and atoms to break down. Ionizing radiation can cause cancer so you should wear sunscreen outdoors and avoid unnecessary medical x-rays.

(Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Non-ionizing radiation causes no cancer and drives the range of FM radio waves to visible light. Between the two is 5G, which works at a slightly higher frequency than 3G and 4G.

The FCC requires that all electronic equipment sold in the United States comply with the RF Agency's safety standards by determining the device's Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) or the rate at which the body absorbs RF energy. The FCC has recently re-evaluated its standards, established in 1996, in determining the safety of 5G. Recommended exposure limits remain unchanged.

MORE: What is 5G? The Definitive Guide to 5G Network Migration

"The scientific consensus is that there are no known health risks from all forms of radio frequency energy at low levels approved for daily consumer use," CTIA spokesman, trade group about the wireless industry, an email statement said. "The FCC regulates radio frequency emissions, including millimeter waves from 5G devices and equipment, and has accepted the recommendations of expert scientific organizations that have reviewed the science, including dozens of studies focused specifically on millimeter waves and have established safe levels of exposure." [19659018] What triggers the fear of 5G?

There are several factors that contribute to anxiety – or outright fear – about the effects of 5G.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The first is a scientific study that has been interpreted by some to support concerns about the radiation of mobile phones. For example, a study 2018 published by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) found that when rats and mice were exposed to radio frequency waves such as the type emitted by cell phones, they evolved malignant tumors. This particular study looked at 2G and 3G phones. However, this does not mean that 5G will cause cancers in humans.

Skeptics, like the University of California, Joel Moskowitz of Berkeley, call for a halt to the launch of 5G.

"The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that people experience when using a cell phone," says John Bücher, a senior NTP scientist, when announcing the findings. "In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation throughout their bodies. In contrast, people are mostly exposed to specific local fabrics near where they hold the phone. In addition, the exposure levels and duration in our studies were greater than what people experienced. "

NTP said it planned to develop in-depth 5G safety assessment studies.

of the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized radio frequency waves from mobile phones as a possible carcinogen, which is another contributing factor to concerns over 5G But for context, an ingredient in coffee is also considered a possible carcinogen Red meat is categorized as a probable carcinogen, which means that a stronger connection to cancer than mobile

MORE: 5G Phones: Any Known Phone and Release Date

The New York Times reported earlier this year that One of the main ammunition of 5G is Russian propaganda spread on YouTube, Facebook and blogs on the Internet.Discriminatory videos and news articles scare US consumers even as Russia continues with its own plans for 5G.

Have there been studies proving that 5G does not pose a health risk to humans?

5G is the new standard for wireless communication, but technologically, it's not all that different from 3G and 4G. The RF waves from 5G mobile phones are similar to the RF waves from LTE devices (ie non-ionizing). According to the American Cancer Society most studies have shown that "radio frequency waves emitted by mobile phones do not have enough energy to damage DNA directly or to heat body tissues."

(Image Credit: Tom's Guide)

In 2000, a now-defunct study of the effects of radio waves on brain tissue nourished conspiracy theories about cell phones and radiation. The study's author, physicist Bill Curry, claims that wireless devices can cause brain cancer in humans. According to The New York Times Curry neglects to consider that our skin protects our internal tissues from high frequency waves (which, again, why you should wear sunscreen to protect your skin from evenly

" you are more concerned about the base station of your building than you [about] spend an hour in the noon sun without any protection, you may want to think about your priorities. "

Christopher Collins

However, since 5G networks just getting off the ground with a new list of 5G phones mute and long-term studies of the network or devices and their effects on humans have been conducted, and the types of devices we use and the way we use them are constantly changing, which is why skeptics like Joel Moskowitz, director of the Health Center family and community at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health are calling for a halt to 5G implementation.

Moskowitz stated that it would be unethical to conduct a convincing scientific study on humans controlling the health of radiation effects, so that researchers rely on observations and studies on animals. These studies have not clearly shown that mobile phones are harmful to humans, but Moskowitz believes there is sufficient evidence to "put a moratorium on the introduction of new technologies" such as building 5G infrastructure until more research is done.

'I' m sure that within the next five years, radio frequency will be at least possibly carcinogenic [by the WHO]"said Moskowitz.

But Christopher Collins, a professor in radiology at New York University who studies electromagnetic field safety said that the lack of 5G-specific studies does not mean that researchers start from scratch when evaluating the potential effects of 5G on human health.

MORE: That's why Apple's 5G iPhone does not come until 2020

"Go pit portion of the assumptions of people who stand up against 5G or fields of wireless communication as a whole, suggest that we just do not know and need to do more research, "said Collins." We know a lot. We have been experimenting on humans and animals for decades across this spectrum. "

Collins stated that scientists" never want to say the book is closed, "but based on what we already know, there is no evidence that suggest that 5G will cause cancer or other detrimental health effects to most people.

So why are some local governments stopping the development of 5G?

Prior to setting 5G for FCC safety, city and state regulators were hearing from residents who were worried that not enough was enough In particular, people are concerned that the density of small cell sites needed to build 5G networks based on mmWave would emit dangerous amounts of radiation.

5G FAST plan by the FCC, which requires municipalities to approve 5G cells within 60 to 90 days are worrying carriers are moving quickly to build infrastructure without notifying residents, The Wall Street Journal reports, and local lawmakers insist. About 90 cities and counties have filed charges against the FCC in a case that is currently pending in the Ninth Court of Appeal.

Homeowners may not want new antennas outside their homes for aesthetic reasons or because they want advance notice when changes occur in their communities, but the FCC, industry trade groups, and many scientists maintain that there is no proven health risk.

MORE: 5 Ways 5G Will Change Your Life

"Typical exposure to 5G devices – like small cells attached to telephone poles or to the sides of buildings – is far below acceptable levels and is comparable to Bluetooth devices and baby monitors, "said a CTIA spokesman." The FCC continues to monitor science to ensure its regulations are public health protection. "

Or, as Chris Collins of NYU says :

"One thing we know can cause cancer is sunlight. People as a whole will sleep If you are more concerned about the base station of your building than you [about] spent an hour in the noon sun without any protection, you might want to think about your priorities. "

Bottom line

Scientists and researchers will continue to study RF waves, including 5G, to add to existing research. But without replicable, concrete evidence that radiation from mobile phones or wireless networks causes serious adverse health effects for humans, Collins said, there is no reason to stop the deployment of 5G.

"Is it time to stop questioning? No, it's never time to stop questioning, ”he said. – It is important to remember that based on what we know now, there is no effect except for heating. This is based on years of research in these areas. Another thing is to say, "Should we stop progress?" Based on what I would call unfounded concerns. I'm pretty sure there's nothing to worry about millimeter waves. "

If you are concerned, there are ways to mitigate your personal radiation exposure on a cell phone using less wireless devices. This can also work wonders for your mental health too.

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