So, what are the key 5G health effects on human body? What is the 5G impact on health? Is 5G bad for health? What are the harmful effects of 5g? We end up answering a lot of these questions. While we had written about health effects of 5G in our earlier blog as well, that was long time back. So, we thought of refreshing our understanding of the issue with latest learnings and inputs.
Most of them are justified given the current roll status of 5G networks world over. At this time when this blog was written, Ookla estimated 22408 5G deployments globally. In India, the roll out horizon is expected to be end 2021 – beginning 2022.
There is a lot of noise and clutter on the health effects from 5G radiation. Some of it is true, most of them are highly aggravated. Some are true, but most of them do not get the facts right. Most of the blogs that i have read on this matter focus on the consequences, without giving emphasis on the other trade off factors and key perspectives.
In early 2018, we had done the 5G shielding for Airtel- Huawei 5G trials in the Airtel Labs in Gurgaon, India. We spent a week doing 5G radiation measurements and seeking best shielding solutions thereof. We provided 98.6% shielding efficacy for 6 Watt 5G radiation. These are our learnings and understanding of the 5G health risks, 5G effects on body, 5G health issues, 5G side effects in humans, health effects of 5G radiation.
Understanding 5G – the demand and supply perspective.
5g networks will work on higher frequencies beyond 3GHz and provide a greater bandwidth to accomodate higher network and nodal traffic. Today only your phone or a modem is wirelessly connected to the network. The WiFi is connected to back end wireline networks. In some areas, such as high rises, even network capacity is provided by wireless / mobile signal repeaters.
Automation, Smart homes, Connected devices will increase the traffic load on networks quite exponentially. This creates a huge demand. 5G was developed to address this demand. It was the supply side solution to address demand for wireless technology that can accommodate all this data traffic.
This is the demand and supply perspective that 5G was built for.
5G – constraint and trade-off
There is a key constraint when we talk of 5G technology especially anything above 3GHz. The carpet coverage area is drastically reduced. 5G deployments will not be in terms of mobile tower antennas. Rather 5G micro antennas called Femto and Pico cells will be installed in buildings and homes. This is like a micro cell tower or a WiFi router equivalent in every home, all offices etc. Hence, 5G roll outs will not be streetwise, it will be unit wise. So, instead of an antenna beaming at 60 Watt addressing a sector traffic of 120 devices, 5G will work on low power ~ 1 Watt or few hundred milli-Watts but it will cater to a larger number of connected devices at home.
So, there is a tradeoff. You are increasing connected devices, making better data traffic, using less power per unit 5G device/ router – but distance between the antenna and the user is vastly reduced. For the trained eye, that is a chief concern.
5G will provide benefits of additional speeds, lower latency, more bandwidth and ability to cater to demand from multiple devices. However, it will also operate in close proximity to the user. The other thing is that 5G will operate on far low power than the conventional 3G,4G networks.
Low power radiation.
One key aspect of lower carpet area is that the power that will be used to power 5G radiation will be considerably low.
In early days, network strength was measured in terms of the fact that the signals could pass through lifts, basements etc. Such radiation has enough power to pass through human bodies, human bones, tissues etc. By inducing heating effects inside the body, such radiation was known to cause damage by damaging cell-membrane barriers, oxidative stresses etc – a key bio-mechanism which can lead to lasting health hazards and negative health effects.
Thankfully, then – 5G radiation which is inherently low power will not be able to penetrate the body, skull, tissue etc. That is a good thing, right?
5G health effects
Low power radiation will not be able to penetrate human body. Much less, it will loose all its energy few millimeters into the skin. Therefore, energy lost will be precipitated as heat on the skin. (On an exaggerated level – imagine this hot blunt jab on your skin. Did that prick?)
Most of the nerve endings that perceive the sense of touch are just under the epidermal level i.e just under the skin. Additionally, these nerves also sense hot and cold. Ergo, 5G exposure will result in prickly heat sensations in the body and the skin. (as perceived under the nerve endings).
Heat depositions due to 5G radiation exposure will cause red skin, itchiness, burning sensation and surface rashes. (And we experienced such rashes during the Airtel-Huawei trial). On an exaggerated scale again, this could lead to skin cancer (though, this is pushing the case too far). Theoretically there is a prevalent risk.
To quote a research on Millimeter wave dosimetry of human skin – Millimeter waves penetrate into the human skin deep enough (delta = 0.65 mm at 42 GHz) to affect most skin structures located in the epidermis and dermis. This study was reported by the quad of Alekseev, Radzievsky, Logani and Ziskin.
The skin is far more sturdy than the eye. If heat deposits on the eye, can that lead to eye damage. Blindness, may be? Theoretically, yes again. Here is a study on the subject by Kojima, Sasaki, Suzuki, Sasaki, Tasaki, Mizuno, Taki, Wake, Watanabe. However, we are yet to compile studies on this subject.
Concluding this blog, (and i hope it has been of interest and knowledge to you) – we have covered understanding and basis for current risks on adverse effect of 5G radiation. However, like every other subject – our understanding may not be complete. Indeed, the situation is complicated. Consequently, these are our notes on the topic thus far.
(Let us know if this was of interest to you. Give us your feedback. We are always eager to hear from you.
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