April 24, 2024

Let’s Debate on Public Health Associated with 5G Wireless Technology

Image is illustration purpose only

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Neucrad Health India News Desk July 15, 2019

Currently, most of you must be using 4G mobile network on your cell-phones and boasting of the speed with which it can download or upload data. However, do you have any idea that many advanced countries are thinking about launching a more advanced cellular network technology- 5G or 5th Generation wireless technology in the near future? According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, as of April 2019, approximately 224 operators across 88 countries are actively investing for the implementation of this highly advanced wireless technology. They are either in the testing phase or have already obtained the license for conducting field trials for the incorporation of the new system.

South Korea has already adapted this technology on a mass scale. Now, as professionals in the healthcare fields, our primary concern is, whether it would be safe to transform into the new technology? Is there any adverse health effects of 5G Technology, which we should take into consideration before launching it on a mass scale? Continue reading to know more about 5G mobile technology and its associated health risk.

What is 5G Mobile Technology?

As already pointed out, 5G is the latest iteration of cellular technology, which is presumed to enhance the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks by manifold. Many service providers are assuming that with the incorporation of 5G, mobile data would get uploaded and downloaded at a speed of up to 20 Gbps. The technology is also engineered to expedite the transmission of data at a given time due to the sharp increase in bandwidth and advanced antenna technology. It would unite the wireless and satellite services under a common umbrella and offer network slicing where multiple virtual 5G Network would work simultaneous in a shared platform.

Why do we need debating?

Scientist community across the globe are speculating that 5G Technology will bring in sufficient adverse effects on human health in comparison to the benefits offered by them. Detailed below are some of the reasons which are making the politicians and service providers think twice about implementing this technology in their locality.

Dangers from Ultra High Frequency and Intensity of Radio Waves

While offering the incredible speed of 20 Gbps, 5G will be using millimetre waves (MMW) which are actually radio signals having a range of frequency between 30 GHz and 300 GHz. This high-frequency bands will be potent, but, with shorter wavelengths. They will have a low range which can easily get blocked by an interference like a building or a tree. To tackle this issue, mobile companies will be requiring numerous ‘small-cell antennas’ deployed within short distances, sometimes as low as 500 feet. It means that there will be one antenna for every block in society. Service providers will install them along with the street lights or utility poles throughout the city. The epidermal and dermal layer of human skin will absorb this radiation due to the presence of multiple antennas in close vicinity. Sweat ducts will act like helical antennas and absorb a sufficient amount of these radiations. According to the U.S. National Toxicology Program when rats got exposed to this type of radiation for nine hours in a day continuously for two years, they developed brain and cardiac tumours. It is the primary reason health care workers, and scientists are debating the incorporation of 5G technology.

DNA Damages due to Radio Frequency Exposure

Many peer-reviewed scientific studies have pointed out that continuous exposure to radiofrequency can lead to DNA damages, especially in human foetuses during the first three months after conception. Results have also suggested that it is carcinogenic and cause sterility in men.

So, we can say that before jumping at the benefits of 5G technology, mobile companies and city administration should keep the broader picture of human health in mind. Research on primate model may bring more insight about the direct effect on it. If it is related to any concern on public health, it will be wise to introduce regulatory observations and approvals. It is because, the adverse health effects are irreversible, and can even lead to loss of human life.