Since physical and mental well-being are my areas of interest, i have picked up the topic of EMF protection with respect to 5G technology. The 5G rollout has begun and is active in many cities around the world. With 5G ,i.e, the fifth generation wireless communication the internet and mobile services will be significantly faster. For example, we can download a high definition movie in merely seconds, where as now it takes many minutes or hours. Not only will internet and cell phone services be faster, the entire planet can become “smart”. We can have smart cities, smart driver-less cars and many other smart services and devices that will emerge as a result of 5G technology. 5G will bring more advanced and faster features to Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. Artificial Intelligence (AI) gets to analyze the data made available by 5G that can learn faster to be able to develop according to user ’ s needs. This fusion of 5G, AI and IoT technologies has the potential to change the way we live and work.

Working Mechanism of 5G

1G or the first generation analog network, just allowed for voice communication between callers. In 2G cellular digital network along with voice calls, data transfer in the form of simple text messages were supported. 3G or third generation introduced high speed internet with faster data transfer that opened up a whole new world for smartphones. 4G or the broadband cellular network that followed 3G allowed for significantly faster data transfer. This allowed for HD mobile TV, video conferencing, IP telephony etc. However with growing network of smart devices and smart phones, this network is getting extremely crowded. The speed that 4G supports is also not keeping up with the AI, IoT technological demands.

5G, or the fifth generation of wireless, will solve this speed issue. With data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps, you will have internet that is 100-200 times faster than the current 4G networks. Not only will the mobile network for 5G be much faster, but more importantly, will have far lower latency. Latency refers to the total round trip time it takes for a data packet to travel. With 4G networks, you’re looking at an average latency of around 50ms. However, 5G has brought the time down to 1ms. Just to give that some context, it takes at least 10ms for an image seen by the human eye to be processed by the brain. Low latency is vital for real-time reactions in machines or self driving cars.

5G will utilize the current frequencies (sub-6 GHz) and the super-20G Hz bands like the higher millimeter wave MMW (30-300G Hz) and sub-millimeter wave frequencies (>300G Hz). These MMW are in the range of frequencies used by military in microwave weapon technology. One of the problems with the MMW is that they are not good at penetrating things as the current frequencies are. Hence, MMW will be blocked by simple things like trees and buildings. This will result in the addition of millions of smaller antennas on buildings, street signs, lamp posts, etc.

5G Radiation Concerns

With 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, humans are exposed to electromagnetic radiation
(EMR). Based on the prior generations of wireless technologies, scientists have been able to study and raise concerns about EMRs and its effect on human biology. 5G currently has no sufficient studies to indicate it is safe. Thus no one knows the true effect of long term human exposure to 5G that is many times powerful than the earlier cellular networks. Since these facts are not widely covered on major media we do not get to know them.

The 5G MMW are highly pulsed. Almost all the studies have shown that pulsed EMFs are in most cases much more biologically active. Hence are much more dangerous than the non pulsed EMFs. We already know that the high frequency and short wavelength MMW do not travel far and through objects. Hence, would require many small cell towers to compensate. It may not be a surprise to find one outside your window resulting in nonstop, daily exposure to the pulsed radiation. Also, smarter devices are known to emit more pulsed radiation. The amount of pulsation generated where 5G antennas interact with the IoT devices in huge numbers is going to be extraordinary. As we are headed towards a world of smarter devices, the whole issue of pulsations being the key should be taken into consideration.

We already know that high levels of exposure to RF microwave radiation from cell-phones and cell-towers can be harmful to health. Further, there seems to be a large body of doctors, scientists and regulators suggesting we do safety testing prior to the release of 5G networks. However, the fact is that they are already being quickly rolled out by the telecom industry in a few countries. It is interesting to note that, insurance companies in a few countries are also expressing a great concern about 5G.

RF Mitigation Strategies

There are a number of things you can do to limit your exposure to EMFs.

  • There are endless ways to use an EMF meter to learn about the exposure risks. However, the trouble is that most EMF meters on the market are designed to measure the RF in the sub 8 GHz range. Luckily though, currently all 5G towers are only using the lower frequency range. However, within the next few years, commercial deployment of 5G in the MMW band may begin and only the Industrial RF meters would be able to measure such high frequencies to a certain extent.
  • Distance, wiring and shielding are your friends. Instead of holding your phone next to your head during a call, always use either “hands free” or a Airtube wired earpiece. Turn off Bluetooth and do not use a Bluetooth earpiece. For reducing your body’s exposure from your cell phone’s EMF, use the cell phone EMF Protection case.
  • Since 3G emits MUCH less radiation, use 3G instead of 4G/LTE, or 5G.
  • You can do a quick search for protective clothing, blankets and even EMF protective paint. These can be worn or used at your discretion. Also, point to note is that these are effective only in the sub-6 GHz frequency range and will not be helpful against the 5G MMW signals.
  • Possibly the best thing you can do if you are worried about exposure is to simply boost your immune system by living an active, healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition and exercise, along with mind-body techniques like meditation and more can go a long way.

Lastly, the infrastructure required to support a 5G network will be so capital intensive, many experts believe that 5G will likely not expand outside of major cities for quite a long time. So, if you live in a smaller city or in a rural area, you are not likely to have 5G or have to worry about the radiation from 5G, for quite a while.

References :

The 5G Megaguide by Christian Thomas
Is 5G Safe? An Easy To Understand Guide
7 Essential Ways to make your home safe from 5G & EMF Radiation by Josh Del Sol
5G : How to protect yourself | Interviews with Experts
Expert talk transcripts from the 5G Summit