Why we’re not protected from 5G

April 10, 2023

New and higher-frequency 5G technology is on its way and there’s no guarantee we’re going to be adequately protected from it, say scientists from New Zealand and Australia.

In a paper just published, Drs Mary Redmayne and Don Maisch explain what’s different about the higher-frequency 5G waves and what’s wrong with Australian and international limits for reducing our exposure.

Whereas much of the 5G technology currently in use operates at frequencies similar to those that have been used in the past (700 MHz to 4.2 GHz), newer 5G technologies will operate at frequencies from 24 to 40 GHz and potentially even higher. These higher frequencies, called millimetre frequencies because of the size of the wavelength, are known to penetrate the body as far as the skin. But that’s not all they do – and more on that in a moment.

Another feature of the mm-wave 5G technologies is that they utilise a new feature called beamforming. This feature means that a 5G transmitter will send narrow, focused beams of radiation towards particular devices, say a 5G mobile phone or smart car driving past. This differs from previous technologies where radiation has been transmitted uniformly by the antenna.

This beamforming feature of the technology will affect people’s exposure. ‘[T]he energy in 5G beams will be relatively high for those in their path and those handling receiving/sending devices; the beamed energy will interact with people, trees and animals in its path,’ the authors say. This includes pollinating insects, like bees, which will absorb more 5G radiation because of the size of their bodies.

According to the authors, there are problems with the 2020 Guidelines of the International Commission for NonIonizing Radiation (ICNIRP) on which radiation standards of many countries, including Australia, are based. They point out that ICNIRP is anything but an independent authority. ‘[T]he ICNIRP is a self-governing private organization (NGO) that elects their members internally. Members have been criticized for having telecommunication industry ties and conflicts of interest with other work they have undertaken for the World Health Organisation.’

Its exposure limits are based on various scientific assumptions that have been shown to be flawed.2

When it comes to assessing the risk of 5G millimetre waves, the ICNIRP Guidelines focus on measuring effects on the skin and ignore ‘internal heating from absorbed energy’, the authors point out.

However, it is possible that 5G millimeter waves may, in fact, cause heating inside the body and not just on the skin. ‘Using these and higher frequencies for 5G may create pulses that carry some of the energy more deeply into the body.’

The type of pulse that is most of concern, they say, is the Brillouin pulse which they describe as follows: ‘the generation of electrical charge through living tissue carries mechanical force. Many membranes have charged surfaces; there are dissociated ionic sites in proteins and DNA, and there are a host of chemical ions in tissue. All these are subject to these forces, so they, in turn, “radiate a portion of that energy as a propagating electromagnetic field”. Therefore not only does the energy propagate more deeply than expected, but there is then an increased rate of collisions as they pass on their mechanical energy. This progression raises the total kinetic energy and, thus, the temperature of the medium as a whole.’

In other words, the Brillouin pulse could be causing changes deep inside the body that are not being considered in the ICNIRP Guidelines and Australian radiation standard.

When asked about this, Dr Redmayne added, ‘It’s not just Brillouin pulses. Even with the lower GHz beam-forming there is no requirement to assess exposure to local areas such as hand, head or chest by volume under the surface – a type of 3-D measurement. But earlier research has shown that those measurements can be unacceptably high even when surface measurements are fine.’

The authors conclude that ‘we still do not have adequate research on 5G mmW to be able to assure the public that the many thousands of 5G antennas, in many instances placed very near homes and workplaces, are without a possible health risk because the necessary research has not yet been conducted.’

They say, ‘Once the 5G mmW band is internationally operational, a significant proportion of the world’s population will be exposed to new hazards. The intensity and complexity of near-field exposure, such as when carrying a phone in a pocket or using it next to the head, will be different for 5G, and this is the first time mmW have been used for public telecommunications and the first time beamforming has been deliberately introduced for near-field use. Without research on the impact of near-field 5G, this global step is an experiment at the population level.’

  1. Redmayne, M.; Maisch, D.R. ICNIRP Guidelines’ Exposure Assessment Method for 5G Millimetre Wave Radiation May Trigger Adverse Effects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 5267.

  2. New international authority explains: we’re not being protected from wireless radiation.

What can you do?

  • Don’t buy 5G devices.

  • Measure current and future 5G frequencies and millimetre wave frequencies with our FM5 meter. 

  • Learn how to make your home radiation free with our online course, Your electromagnetic-safe Home.

What else can you do?

  • forward this email to others to inform them, too

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