5G Technology – The Future of Communications or a Health Threat?

In the current era, change of technology occurs at a lightning pace. Due to the ever-changing technologies, it is hard to keep track that if the advantages of these technologies outweigh the disadvantages or not. Currently, the world is racing towards the next generation of internet technology which is commonly known as 5G technology.

Despite the high success rate, many believe that the radiofrequency waves are harmful to our health, but authorities continue to deny these concerns. The world is now slowly moving towards the Internet of Things devices or better known as IOT Devices.

The need for better network

According to IOT, all our everyday usage devices would be connected to the internet. To connect all these devices to the internet, there is a dire need of faster internet speeds with low latency.

Also, things like automated driving and robotics cannot work on current 4g speeds and thus require the speeds and latency promised by 5G technology. 5G also plans to revolutionize the medical services and it is expected to completely change the way new technology integrates into our life.

5G focuses on higher frequency radio waves which experts say are much harmful to humans than the low-frequency waves being used in 4G technology.

An electromagnetic field is generated when electricity flows. The electromagnetic field consists of electric fields and Magnetic fields.

Wherever there are power lines, there would be an electric field whether the electric current flows through the lines or not. However, if current flows through the lines then the magnetic field is produced. These two combines make Electro-Magnetic fields of EMF.

The costs of a faster network

The power lines usually have 50-60 Hz of power. When these waves are combined with the other waves like radio and microwaves, each of these transforms into the Mega-Hertz or Giga-Hertz. This is known as nonionizing radiation.

Right above these rays is the Gamma rays and the X rays which posses the power of ionizing radiation. This means that they carry enough energy to break molecules and can thus become harmful to the human body.

Radiofrequency EMF or also known as RM-EMF’s are the wavelengths ranging from 30 Kilo-Hertz up to 300 Giga-Hertz.

These are all the waves emitted by our radio devices like mobile phones, radios, TV antennas, etc. These are usually not considered very harmful and the most extreme effect of these until now is heating of the exposed skin. But the arrival of 5G has given this debate a new life.

Evidence of effects of 5G technology

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer conducted a study to find out the risk of RF-EMF’s and their link to the development of cancer in humans. The research was carried out by 30 International scientists. It was then published in The Lancet Oncology.

The study was performed on 5 humans. It was meant to find out any connections to RM-EMF exposure to the development of glioma, which is the cancer of the central nervous system. Another study was conducted on about 40 mice and rats.

The team concluded with that is possible that glioma and exposure of RF-EMF have a relation. It determined that the RM-EMF belong to Group 2B meaning that they are carcinogenic to humans.

Despite such results by this study and of similar studies, the World Health Organization (WHO) still does not consider these to be harmful to human beings. Many have been critical of this decision by WHO to not list RF-EMF as harmful to humans.

A report known as the BioInitiative report was published by 29 scientific and medical experts. It clearly states that the effects of exposure radiofrequency radiation and low-level EMF are clear. It states DNA damage, oxidative stress, neurotoxicity, sperm morphology as some of the effects of these exposures. They also state autism as one of its effects as well.

A study was conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services called the National Toxicology Program. In the study, rats were exposed to radiation of up to 900 MHz. The presence of a tumor in the heart of male rats was clear. There was also some evidence of the presence of tumor in the brains and adrenal glands of male rats.

The bottom line

Certainly, there exists evidence connecting RF-EMF to the increased risk of cancer. This is a very serious matter and should be dealt on a serious note. If the 5G program goes through without further investigation, it could lead to serious consequences especially to people living in densely populated areas.

To sum up, the study teaches the new generation to at least try to cut down the time to spend on their mobile devices.

Parents should also make their children spend lesser time on devices that emit radio waves considering their health. For now, this seems to be the only sensible option the study gives us. We need to wait and see how this unfolds in coming times.

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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