5G is a new radio-frequency radiation for our mobile phones, that is currently in process of being distributed across the nation. Some doctors are calling for pause on this “5G Rollout”, and many people are questioning why. We have 3G for our phones and now 4G, so what is wrong (or dangerous) with 5G? This article will explain what the difference with 5G is, and why some doctors are speaking out with their concerns.
The immediate difference between 5G and 4G is that 5G uses 28 GHz of frequency1 while 4G has 700 MHz-2500 MHz frequency. When you do the math that is up to a 40 fold increase in radiation from 4G to radiation from 5G. The push for 5G is due to industries wanting faster speeds, less latency, more capacities for large numbers of connected devices, and eventually smart cars and smart cities1. 5G towers have shorter, but more powerful wavelengths, so they will need to be placed closer together than other cell phone towers. This makes ‘getting away’ from the EMFs more difficult. Elon Musk’s SpaceX17 (contracted with our US government) was approved to deploy up to 1 million small antennas for Starlink internet network into our atmosphere this year, which will provide high speed internet to anywhere in the world. It does this by using satellites in our atmosphere to give a world wide broadband service similar to 5G, operating in high-frequency bands above 24 GHz.
However, this 5G push is concerning to some doctors because there are documented health effects with EMFs now. They are concerned with this 40 fold increase in EMF strength, and because since this is so new, no long-term studies have been done to evaluate the health effects for humans or for our environment. This untested EMF radiation is at levels we have never seen before, and it is being rushed into the marketplace.
Causes for Concern with EMF
Let’s start with what we know already with past EMF studies using lower frequency:
- We know that radiation is linked to cancer15. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded “there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors2”.
- We know that EMF (electromagnetic fields) from mobile phones can affect and change our hemoglobin (the protein in our red blood cells that carries oxygen to all our cells) and impair oxygen transport. “The results indicated that mobile phone EMFs altered oxygen affinity and tertiary structure of HbA. Furthermore, the decrease of oxygen affinity of HbA corresponded to the EMFs intensity and time of exposure.3”
- Causes changes in DNA structure, and can be irreversible. The aim of one study4 was to evaluate the possible biological effect of mobile phone EMF (940 MHz, same as low level 4G) on the structure of calf DNA. They concluded: “Collectively, our results reveal that 940 MHz can alter the structure of DNA. The displacement of electrons in DNA by EMFs may lead to conformational changes of DNA and DNA disaggregation. Results from this study could have an important implication on the health effects of RF-EMFs exposure.”
- Diabetes. People who live closer to cell phone towers have higher incidence of diabetes. This study8 took students (aged 12-17yo) who went to two different elementary schools. One elementary school had cell phone towers 200 meters away from the school buildings and higher EMF was measured inside the school. The children from that school had higher HbA1c levels, and increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Another study13 in rats showed that Wi-Fi (at only 2.4 GHz) caused impaired insulin secretion and increased oxidative stress in rat pancreatic islets, which lead to the diabetes.
- Poor learning for our children. Another study9 examined how mobile phone towers closer to school affected children’s mental health and their learning abilities. They found “High exposure to RF-EMF (radio-frequency electromagnetic field) produced by MPBSTs (mobile phone base station towers) was associated with delayed fine and gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and (worse) attention in school adolescents compared to students who were exposed to low RF-EMF.”
- EMFs can affect plants too. One publication5 did an analysis of 45 peer-reviewed scientific publications (1996-2016) describing 169 experimental observations to detect the physiological and morphological changes in plants. “Our analysis demonstrates that the data from a substantial amount of the studies on RF-EMFs from mobile phones show physiological and/or morphological effects (with plants). Additionally, our analysis of the results from these reported studies demonstrates that the maize, roselle, pea, fenugreek, duckweeds, tomato, onions and mungbean plants seem to be very sensitive to RF-EMFs.”
- Linked to mental health issues. This study6 suggested that EMFs affects us by acting via a voltage-gated calcium channel activation. They explained how “18 more recent epidemiological studies, provide substantial evidence that microwave EMFs from cell/mobile phone base stations, excessive cell/mobile phone usage and from wireless smart meters can each produce similar patterns of neuropsychiatric effects, with several of these studies showing clear dose-response relationships….. Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG change. In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects.” I see this in practice as well with some of my patients who are very sensitive.
- Wi-Fi can be dangerous too. “Repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload7.”
- We have known about these effects for years. This older study10 spoke about how the WHO and other organizations have been researching more into this and how “studies of populations with residential exposure from point sources, such as broadcasting transmitters or mobile telephone base stations have caused widespread health concerns among the public, even though RF exposures are very low. Recent studies that may indicate an increased incidence of cancer in exposed populations should be investigated further.”
- Alters our energy levels. This study12 from 2017 had a group of healthy teenagers who were randomly divided into two groups. One group held their mobile phone (turned on) to their ear, and the other group held their mobile phone (turned off) to their ear. After just “fifteen minutes of RF-EMF exposure exerted quantifiable effects on subtle energy levels of endocrine glands, nervous system, liver, kidney, spleen, and immune system of healthy teenagers.”
- Mobile phone use should be limited for our overall health in my opinion. After doing this research, I am left wondering how many vague symptoms my patients come in with, could be linked (or worsened by) overuse of mobile phones. This last study12 showed “an association between mobile phone use and especially headache, concentration difficulties, fatigue, sleep disturbances and warming of the ear showing also dose-response….. Decreasing the numbers of calls and messages, decreasing the duration of calls, using earphones, keeping the phone away from the head and body and similar precautions might decrease the frequencies or prevalence of the symptoms.”
- This may be hurting our planet. This publication16 from 2018 speaks on the environmental aspect of the increasing man-made EMFs in world. “The potential effects of these anthropogenic electromagnetic fields on natural electromagnetic fields, such as the Schumann Resonance that controls the weather and climate, have not been properly studied. Similarly, we do not adequately understand the effects of (EMFs) on other natural and man-made atmospheric components or the ionosphere. It has been widely claimed that radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, being non-ionising radiation, does not possess enough photon energy to cause DNA damage. This has now been proven wrong experimentally. Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation causes DNA damage apparently through oxidative stress, similar to near-UV radiation, which was also long thought to be harmless… there is an urgent need to address so-called electrosmog. A genuine evidence-based approach to the risk assessment and regulation of EMFs will help the health of us all, as well as that of our planetary home. Some government health authorities have recently taken steps to reduce public exposure to EMF radiation by regulating use of wireless devices by children and recommending preferential use of wired communication devices in general, but this ought to be a coordinated international effort.”
So with the above knowledge we have, some doctors are concerned with pushing for 5G all over our nation without adequate testing first. And in my opinion, rightfully so. As doctors, we must “First, Do No Harm”. And if our doctors, scientists, and researchers have seen previous harm with lower frequency radiation, it is not surprising that many are up in arms about implementing a frequency 40 times stronger into our cities and rural areas. “Dozens of petitions and appeals by international scientists, including the Freiburger Appeal signed by over 3,000 physicians, called for a halt to the expansion of wireless technology”18.
But there is hope! Certain states and counties have already paused or banned 5G rollout. Reach out to your state legislature or governor. Speak at your school board meetings and ask your school systems to not have cell phone towers on school grounds. This tool kit offers more resources for ways to halt expansion of 5G.
- 5G vs 4G: what is the difference? https://www.raconteur.net/technology/4g-vs-5g-mobile-technology
- High Exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation Associated With Cancer in Male Rats https://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsroom/releases/2018/november1/index.cfm
- Effects of mobile phone radiofrequency on the structure and function of the normal human hemoglobin. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24179387_Effects_of_mobile_phone_radiofrequency_on_the_structure_and_function_of_the_normal_human_hemoglobin
- The Toxic Effects of Mobile Phone Radiofrequency (940 MHz) on the Structure of Calf Thymus DNA https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23164448/
- Review: Weak Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure From Mobile Phone Radiation on Plants https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27650031/
- Microwave Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Produce Widespread Neuropsychiatric Effects Including Depression https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26300312/
- Wi-Fi Is an Important Threat to Human Health https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29573716/
- Association of Exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Radiation (RF-EMFR) Generated by Mobile Phone Base Stations With Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26580639/
- High exposure to RF-EMF produced by MPBSTs was associated with delayed fine and gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention in school adolescents compared to students who were exposed to low RF-EMF https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30526242/
- Low-level Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields: Health Effects and Research Needs https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9453702/
- Acute Effects of Mobile Phone Radiations on Subtle Energy Levels of Teenagers Using Electrophotonic Imaging Technique: A Randomized Controlled studyhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28149063
- Mobile Phone Use, School Electromagnetic Field Levels and Related Symptoms: A Cross-Sectional Survey Among 2150 High School Students in Izmir https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28577556/
- Radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) causes impaired insulin secretion and increased oxidative stress in rat pancreatic islets. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29913098?fbclid=IwAR0BP9CdWm7j1kNj_TYFrJbP5nLVLxd6XPdcLgR_GrLOvqcmlVf-Qv9-esc
- Effect of Radiofrequency Waves Emitted From Conventional WIFI Devices on Some Oxidative Stress Parameters in Rat Kidney https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Effect-of-Radiofrequency-Waves-Emitted-From-WIFI-on-Fahmy-Mohammed/fda99233e91f8a40dc764b176602e876737fc8b1
- High exposure to radio frequency radiation associated with cancer in male rats— Reports on rat and mouse studies of radio frequency radiation like that used in 2G and 3G cell phone technologies https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181101133924.htm?fbclid=IwAR1J–225YDqd3JT_zzLzrMPz2YEdgQzfSNDi1Fkig-o-DfG4K2pH2TZgJw
- Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its impact https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(18)30221-3/fulltext?fbclid=IwAR1L3KtKArdTb_S5dG69TW90U264yvKZOV7yvPh3URCdptM3XUVdV5XC0T8
- FCC approves SpaceX to deploy up to 1 million small antennas for Starlink internet network https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/fcc-approves-spacex-to-deploy-1-million-antennas-for-starlink-internet.html