When you hear “5G” - what is the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a faster internet connection for your mobile devices? Or maybe you think about the uncertainty surrounding the possible damaging effects it can bring in the long run. Whatever thought crosses your mind - it is important to understand that more advanced technology may have its pros and cons.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation in data connection technology. A data connection is what is used for wireless internet access when a hardline or Wi-Fi connection is unavailable. A data connection consists of certain electromagnetic field (EMF) frequencies. The overwhelming majority of 5G currently available utilizes frequencies under 6 GHz. This type of 5G is also known as “sub-6 5G” or simply referred to as “5G” by most major US cell phone providers.
Another type of 5G, known as millimeter wave 5G, utilizes frequencies of over 6 GHz that typically start at around 24 GHz. This type of 5G is typically referred to by cell phone providers by a name other than just “5G”, such as “5G Plus” or “5G Ultra Capacity.” The nature of the EMF frequencies above 6 GHz is very different to their sub-6 counterparts. Specifically, the user needs to have an unobstructed line of sight to the cell phone tower, and the signal is more focused. Thus, a massive amount of cell towers will need to be constructed to make millimeter wave 5G more prevalent. Although this is where the future of data may be headed, the current global infrastructure does not support readily available millimeter wave 5G.
In summary, 5G is the latest technology in data communications. It can be broken down into two types: sub-6 and millimeter wave. Sub-6 5G represents the vast majority of 5G that is currently available since current global infrastructure does not support millimeter wave, which will require many more cell towers.
What Are The Pros?
5G connections can help to enable some of the following technological advancements:
- Faster mobile communication by producing higher electromagnetic frequencies. 5G uses higher frequencies than previous wireless networks, making it faster and more efficient.
- Self-driving cars
- Virtual reality appliances
- Remote Surveillance
While all of these things sound great - what are the long term health effects associated with 5G?
What Are The Cons?
According to the World Health Organization, there is limited research on the frequencies used in 5G.
The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), which classified EMFs as “possibly carcinogenic,” is part of WHO. But WHO is completing its separate health assessment of EMFs. This separate assessment is managed by the International EMF Project and WHO established this project back in 1996
Tissue heating is the primary mechanism of interaction of radio-frequency fields with the human body - according to WHO. WHO is planning to release a whitepaper by 2022 and “it will likely include the scientific evidence related to potential health risks from 5G exposure as telcos worldwide deploy the network technology and as more public health-related data becomes available.”
The infrastructure of 5G towers/stations also become a cause for concern. Unlike existing 3G/4G cell towers that are massive structures and located away from densely populated areas, 5G base stations can be smaller than a backpack. This means you can see 5G stations mounted just about anywhere such as utility poles, trees, rooftops in residential areas, schools, stores, bus stops, etc.
“A 5G millimeter network requires cell antennas to be located every 100 to 200 meters, which means thousands of these might be installed in populated areas, raising health concerns.”
What Happens Next?
The lack of clarity both from WHO and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on whether or not 5G infrastructure and radiation emitted from the towers are “safe” - WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have classified all radio frequency radiation as possibly carcinogenic.
One item that people use everyday that sends out EMF’s are Cell Phones. Use of Cell Phones have increased significantly since the 1980’s. Concerned about human health and cellphone use, researchers began what would become the largest study to compare cancer cases in cellphone users and nonusers back in 2000.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
5G is here and with it brings potentially devastating health risks. While we await the results of this massive scale, high stakes human experiment, there are measures that we can take to protect ourselves in an effort to rather be safe than sorry.
Many have pushed for a reduction in tower construction. However, the infrastructure of 5G towers/stations continue to cause concerns and these towers are virtually unavoidable. Although ambient levels are minimal, it is important to note that as users of personal electronics (cell phones, tablets and laptops) we can protect ourselves at the source.
Users can reduce their radiation exposure by avoiding using their cell phones for a long period of time, refrain from using their cell phones in places with bad reception, use a wired headset which allows a safe distance from their device, or use electromagnetic field radiation protection for cell phones.
Using EMF shielding devices such as SafeSleeve can also protect users at the source.
SafeSleeve cases incorporate a Radiation Shielding Technology, which is composed of proprietary blend of lead-free metals. This technology has been tested in an independent FCC accredited laboratory to show reductions of Electromagnetic Radiation of up to 99% (5G, Wi-Fi, cellular, etc.) and up to 92% of ELF (battery, AC power, etc.) cell phone radiation from your Phone. You can find the full lab results here.