Is 5G harmful to health? Only time can tell

With 5G rolling out globally for a much faster internet experience, some studies have highlighted health risks related to the use of 5G on human tissues – amid conspiracy theories that 5G cellular networks are blamed for the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fear psychosis in some of the people is so great that “anti-5G” necklaces, sleeping masks and children’s bracelets are being sold online on leading e-commerce platforms, claiming that they protect against the harmful effects of 5G cellular networks.

However, these “anti-5G” wearables have now been classified as dangerous themselves!

Also read | DoT launches 5G testbed for trials in early January

The Dutch Agency for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) issued product warnings last week for a pendant, a sleeping mask, two necklaces and five different bracelets, including one for children, DNA damage.

According to industry experts, there is still no concrete evidence that 5G networks have negative human health effects as 5G technology is currently in the early stages of adoption and the extent of changes in exposure to radio frequency fields is still under study. .

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that exposure to 5G infrastructures at around 3.5 GHz is currently similar to that of existing cellular base stations.

“Using multiple beams from 5G antennas, exposure could be more variable depending on the location of users and how they are used,” said the WHO.

In India, where broadband technology is still at various stages of testing as the roll-out of the 5G spectrum is delayed, experts believe that the country is currently following international standards for broadband technologies.

“India has far stricter standards than 198 countries around the world that meet the standards of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP),” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA). IANS.

Also read | Mukesh Ambani says 5G rollout should be India’s priority

ICNIRP is a non-profit organization that provides scientific advice and guidance on the effects of non-ionizing radiation (NIR) on health and the environment in order to protect humans and the environment from harmful NIR exposure.

“For example, our radiation or Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) value is a maximum of 1.6 watts for one gram of tissue, compared to two watts for 10 grams of tissue around the world (except in the US and South Korea),” said Mohindroo.

“5G non-ionizing radiation is no different from 4G or 3G because those standards are limited,” he added.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) clearly stipulates that all new designs of cell phones must comply with SAR values ​​of 1.6 watts / kg, averaged over one gram of human tissue.

Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radio frequency fields and the human body. High-frequency exposure through current technologies leads to a negligible increase in temperature in the human body.

“With increasing frequency, less penetrates the body tissue and the absorption of energy is more limited to the body surface (skin and eyes). Provided that the total exposure remains below the international guidelines, no consequences for public health are expected, “according to the WHO.

To date, and after much research has been conducted, no negative health effects have been associated with exposure to wireless technologies.

Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies across the radio spectrum, but so far only a few studies have been carried out on the frequencies to be used by 5G.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, people are exposed to different types of radiation every day, including sunlight.

“5G generates non-ionizing radiation at a very safe level and within the established security parameters. Unlike previous generations of mobile communications, 5G works in such a way that it uses and emits less power, ”said Ram IANS.

In a recent EPRS paper on the health effects of 5G, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was quoted as citing radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) as “potentially carcinogenic to humans” and recommended RF exposure for reassessment “with high priority”.

The 5G pioneer bands identified at EU level have frequencies of 700 MHz, 3.6 GHz (3.4 to 3.8 GHz) and 26 GHz (24.25 to 27.5 GHz).

“The first two frequencies are similar to those used for 2G to 4G technologies and have been tested for different endpoints (including carcinogenicity and reproductive / developmental effects) in both epidemiological and experimental studies, while 26 GHz and higher frequencies are insufficient were examined for the same endpoints, “says the EU paper.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of information about the possible harm from RF EMF.

“The information gap creates space for deniers as well as alarmists, which leads to social and political tensions in many EU countries. Campaigns to inform citizens should therefore be a priority, ”says the paper.

Early and proactive availability of comprehensive information about 5G and how it works is essential.

“These information resources should be easy to grasp and understand for all consumer demographics,” noted Ram.

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