- The latest 5G network of wireless technology uses higher frequencies than previous wireless networks, thereby making it faster and more efficient.
- The Fifth Generation, 5G, network was released in 2019, and it was designed to support the ever-increasing number of electronic devices and services, such as self-driving cars, virtual reality appliances, telemedicine, remote surveillance, and telesurgery, among many others.
- According to World Health Organization, there is limited research on the frequencies used in 5G. There is little to no research on the effects of this technology. In fact, 4G technology is only about 10 years old, and only a little research is available on its safety.
The beauty of technology is really less about the sophisticated devices that have been produced and more about the potential of producing even more sophisticated devices in the future. We all know how convenient technology has made our lives to be. We get difficult tasks done faster with less energy input, our society is becoming more sustainable, and things have become a lot easier, all thanks to technology.
Compare the achievement and advancements we have recorded in technology over the last two decades with the possibility of what is to come in the next two decades, and it becomes even scarier and mind-boggling, and that right there is the beauty of technology; the idea of what is to come.
For instance, the latest advancement in wireless technology is astounding. The latest 5G network of wireless technology uses higher frequencies than previous wireless networks, thereby making it faster and more efficient. In case you are wondering, this kind of network is used to transmit data between appliances, like mobile phones and Bluetooth devices.
Sadly, these devices also come at a price. There are different drawbacks to the usage of technology devices, the most common of which is the production of electromagnetic radiation. EMF radiation has been associated with different health anomalies and adverse biological effects.
Wireless networks generally produce EMF radiation, including the latest 5G networks. Considering that different studies and research have associated this radiation with health impairments, and more importantly, we already have too many devices coughing out large amounts of this radiation, one would wonder why and how 5G was deemed fit for the environment and human consumption.
Hence, let’s talk about the 5G network and the public information around the details of the 5G tests that deemed it safe to roll out and be around people.
What is 5G?
5G is a wireless network that provides much faster mobile communications. As with every other technology, wireless technology is always evolving, and approximately every ten years, mobile companies roll out new generations of wireless system, which is usually upgraded, much faster, and more advanced version of the existing one.
So, in 2019, the Fifth Generation, 5G, network was released, and it was designed to support the ever-increasing number of electronic devices and services, such as self-driving cars, virtual reality appliances, telemedicine, remote surveillance, and telesurgery, among many others.
5G works by using higher frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. The frequencies range from 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) to several tens of GHz. Note that, before the 5G network, these higher frequencies weren’t used in mobile networks, which means there was little exposure, except in devices such as securities scanners, microwaves, power lines, computers, etc.
The two international bodies that generally regulate and produce exposure guidelines on electromagnetic fields are:
- The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and,
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, through the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety
Many countries currently adhere to the guidelines recommended by these two international bodies. These guidelines are not technology-specific. They cover radio frequencies up to 300 GHz, including the frequencies under discussion for 5G.
According to World Health Organization, there is limited research on the frequencies used in 5G. There is little to no research on the effects of this technology. In fact, 4G technology is only about 10 years old, and only a little research is available on its safety. Bulk of research shows the association of the 4G technology with different health anomalies.
Sadly, 5G will not replace the 4G technology; it will probably accompany 4G for the near future and possibly over the long term, which means we are looking at synergistic effects. The overall risk of harm on exposure to these sources will increase substantially.
However, there is enough research on the effects of electromagnetic fields on human health across the different spectrums. The major health concern of the operating spectrum of 5G is the ability to cause an increase in the temperature of the body.
Unlike the 4G network, 5G promises ten times faster data transmission and connection rates. This would require an increased transmission frequency, and as the frequency goes up, there is an increase in the depth of penetration into biological tissues. Too much absorption of this radiation over a long time can cause a slight increase in the temperature of the body and brain.
Moreso, there have been some studies on the effects of EMF from mobile phones on the brain, precisely the cognitive functions of the brain. In one study, researchers found that exposure to the radiation from cell phones for at least 90 minutes a day can precipitate attention deficit disorders.
In another research, there is an increased risk of neurological cognitive disorders, such as headache, tremor, dizziness, loss of memory, loss of concentration, sleep disturbance, etc., on exposure to radiation from mobile networks.
The most worrisome issue with EMF radiation of this spectrum is the ability to precipitate. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated EMFs are “possibly carcinogenic” to humans. This was a decision of 30 scientists from 14 countries.
Although the results of some other studies have been inconsistent, accumulation of EMF radiation over long-term exposure has been associated with precipitating different forms of cancer, including glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
Considering that 5G networks use much higher frequencies than we’ve seen before, and we are more exposed to it than before, it is safe to assume that it poses more threats to humans. More testing and research need to be done to further ascertain the safety of this latest mobile network.