An interesting question that I got on Quora, https://www.quora.com/How-is-5G-technology-dangerous-to-your-health that I thought I would share my response, although I made some updates here.
Here’s the thing, smartphones distract drivers, and people die, that’s one way it could be dangerous.
However, if you’re looking at the problems that RF can cause on the human body, then let’s not look at 5G, it’s not the technology, it’s the spectrum. I read Robert Ross’ answer, and it’s a great answer. I agree with most of it.
Let me point out a few things that may help you understand what the threat is. First, full disclosure, I work in the wireless industry, I was a tower climber for over 11 years and an RF engineer, and now I work with businesses to roll out wireless systems. Also, I worked with the FCC and OSHA on RF and worker safety.
The technology, like 5G, is not the problem. The problem is the spectrum and the power. The closer you are to the antenna and transmitter, the higher the power. So that’s the first thing to look at. I have conversations all the time where people think that 5G is terrible, it’s not 5G, it’s the spectrum.
The reason people associate 5G with health problems is because the FCC is releasing new spectrum, mmwave, which was used for microwave transmission in the past. Now we need more spectrum for terrestrial connections, so the FCC is “auctioning” it off to the carriers where the FCC will make billions of dollars. They say they put this back into the national debt. It makes you think that the FCC might put spectrum in front of safety, but why would they do that for a measly $10B or so? Not to mention the carriers need it. I am sure that the safety of the
citizens come first.
This spectrum is 24GHz and 28GHz, and you may think it’s bad. It could be, but the reality is that most devices transmit such low power that it should not have any effect on the human body.
Oh, by the way, do you have Wi-Fi in your home? Not 5G Wi-Fi, but normal Wi-Fi? Or, maybe you go where there is Wi-Fi, like a Starbucks or any coffee shop for that matter. One of the spectrum bands that Wi-Fi uses is 2.4GHz. Do you know what else has 2.4GHz? Your microwave. The difference is that the microwave puts out a lot of power whereas your Wi-Fi unit puts out very low power. Oh, 2.4GHz is perfect for boiling water, that’s why it’s used. Source: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Waves/mwoven.html
Power plays a role because your body protects you from much of the RF that is out there. The sun radiates more than sunlight down on us, the body is resilient and protects us. As humans, we had to push it to the extreme so we may not be as protected anymore.
While the FCC says all this RF is safe, they put regulations in place for the carriers to follow. This is in the USA of course. The FCC has transmit power limits for sites, all sites. They are very strict in the radiation that is close to humans. While they have these regulations, there is no way for the FCC to validate every site, there are 10s of thousands in the US.
While the carriers call them small cell deployments on street poles in residential neighborhoods, many are not a legitimate small cell but a CRAN deployment, which means that they have a full power radio head on a pole. This is what they do in many stadiums as well. The larger radio heads can handle much more loading, which means that they can talk to more and more subscribers than a typical small cell. Heavy loading is what the carriers are hoping to achieve.
So, when you look at 5G, the reason people are so worried is that 5G is trying to promise unlimited coverage. The way to get unlimited coverage is densification. Densification means that the carriers are going to put more and more radio heads closer to the people to fill in all coverage gaps.
This is what you should be worried about, all those hotspots, just like your Wi-Fi in your home you added to offload data. It all adds up.
It’s more than the carriers. We now have smart meters, wireless controllers in cars, your smartphone, your laptop, your headset running Bluetooth in the 2.4GHz range, and any other device that communicates wirelessly. It’s everywhere.
If you think it’s affecting you, there are a few symptoms that you could look at like;
- ringing in your ears like tinnitus,
- sickness in your stomach.
These are all extreme, but as someone who worked on towers, just a few inches from many of these antennas, you learned what to look for. One more significant thing, unless you are getting hit with heavy RF, you may be affected differently than someone else. It seems that some people have a lower tolerance than others.
I wrote a few articles about how climbers got sick while working too close to a TV broadcast antenna. This is all too common in our industry. I also know of others that worked on Wi-Fi systems that put the hotspot too close to their head and got sick. I have also gotten radio burns while working on antennas and radios in vehicles for police, fire, and ambulances. It happens. I got better because our bodies are resilient.
I know this is a lot to take in, I hope this helps.
To learn more, I have several blogs that covered this:
- Tower crews, does RF make you sick? Feedback needed!
- A Story of RF Radiation Poisoning, Blogcast
- Silent Hazards for the Wireless Field Worker
- RF exposure to Humans, and much more.
- FCC RF Safety FAQ, RF Safety FAQ
- This video was well done, although, I think it’s a bit extreme. https://youtu.be/F0NEaPTu9oI
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