Is 5G Bad for Your Health?

February 1, 2023

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You may have heard some scary stuff about 5G. With new technology usually comes some myths about its safety; here’s what you should and shouldn’t be concerned about with the tech and your health.

What is 5G?

5G is the 5th generation of wireless connectivity. This technology is incredibly high-speed, much faster the 4G. But tech companies are pushing 5G for much more than just its speed; it’s significantly more efficient. Every cellular network is split into geographic “cells,” which all have antennae. The new antennae utilize radiowaves previously only used for communication between satellites and radar systems to get the fastest speeds. These cells can also support more user data and connected devices, meaning its more efficient and less infrastructure is needed for each cell. 

Radiation

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are the energy caused by technology like 5G. EMFs can be ionizing or nonionizing. Ionizing is the type of energy found in the sun or x-rays where high levels of exposure can be hazardous to our health. Nonionizing EMFs are low-exposure. This energy is emitted from our phones, Bluetooth devices, and power lines. 

While it’s true that radiation can be harmful, that generally comes at very high doses. The highest frequency that 5G operates at is 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz. Similar frequencies start to ionize around 3 million GHz, presenting a stark difference from the levels emitted with 5G. 

Critics

Those against implementing the tech are generally most concerned about the effects of long-term and frequent exposure to low-dose radiation. This technology is relatively new, and some organizations advocate for a widespread use delay to give more time for high-quality studies. 

One finding that spurred this concern was a suggestion from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). They found the possibility of a link between mobile phone usage and glioma. The evidence was based on small human studies and some animal studies. They suggested these EMF-emitting devices be added to a “Group 2B” classification. For perspective, Group 2B also includes aloe vera and pickled vegetables. 

WHO Says 5G is Safe

The World Health Organization, the overseer organization of IARC, found EMF waves caused no adverse effects. A group of WHO scientists who study EMFs, specifically the International EMF Project, reached this conclusion. 

While there are some legitimate concerns about the long-term exposure and potential health risks due to EMFs, most evidence shows that it’s perfectly safe to roll out nationwide. 

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