We hear it frequently: that if 5G technology generates negative effects on health, that if it has to do with COVID-19, that if it can control the climate or people’s minds. Is any of this real, or is it just conspiracy theory? Is 5G really dangerous?
To get some concrete answers, we contacted the Food and Drug Association of the United States (FDA), a government agency that is not only responsible for protecting public health through the control and supervision of food and drugs, but also of devices that emit electromagnetic radiation.
You will be interested:
These kinds of concerns aren’t new: Consumer anxiety about whether RF radiation can increase the risk of cancerous tumors existed long before the advent of cell phone towers.
In addition, we complement these responses with information from the American Cancer Society and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
What is radiofrequency radiation (RF)?
To begin, let’s define what RF radiation is. At a basic level, it’s not as intimidating a term as it might seem. This is defined as the emission of energy from any source, which means that even the heat that leaves our body counts as radiation.
RF radiation is just another name for radio waves. As the FDA says, RF radiation “is a form of electromagnetic energy consisting of waves of electrical and magnetic energy that move together (radiate) through space.”
A radio wave, in general, can be ionizing or non-ionizing. Ionizing is an ultrahigh-frequency electromagnetic wave, like a gamma ray, that could damage your DNA and ultimately lead to tumors and even cancer.
However, non-ionizing radiation can’t have that effect, and the radio waves used in wireless technologies, like 5G, aren’t even close to the line between ionizing and non-ionizing waves when it comes to electromagnetic frequency (EMF) exposure. .
Is RF radiation safe?
The radiation emitted by cell phones is at the low-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum, making them much safer than high-energy EMF radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays.
While gamma rays emit ionizing radiation, meaning they have enough energy to ionize an atom or molecule and thereby damage cellular DNA and lead to cancer, RF radiation does not.
RF radiation only has enough energy to move or vibrate atoms in a molecule, not enough to ionize it. That means RF radiation does not cause cancer by damaging cell DNA, however there are still ongoing scientific studies on the effects of non-ionizing radiation and our limits on exposure to it.
The FDA said in a 2018 statement that it believes “current safety limits for radiofrequency energy exposure from cell phones remain acceptable to protect public health.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), both from the US, they have not formally classified RF radiation as a cause of cancer.
Meanwhile, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), of the World Health Organization, classifies RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” due to the finding of a possible link in at least one study between cell phone use and a specific type of brain tumor.
However, the IARC considers the overall evidence to be “limited”. It’s also important to note that the IARC places coffee and body powders in the same category of “possibly carcinogenic.”
In one of the most recent studies, conducted by the National Toxicology Program, high exposure to 2G and 3G RF radiation led to the development of cancerous heart tumors in male rats.
However, NTP Principal Scientist John Butcher noted that the levels and duration of RF radiation exposure were far greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, so These findings should not be directly extrapolated to the use of these devices in humans.
In addition, Butcher warned that 5G technology is likely to differ drastically from 2G and 3G, so more research is needed to study the impact of cell phone radiation.
What about 5G?
The FDA shared with Digital Trends that, at this time, “it continues to believe that the current safety limits for exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile phones remain acceptable to protect public health.”
“The limits are based on the frequency of the device, which means that 5G has a different limit than other technologies,” an agency spokesperson wrote in an email. As part of our commitment to protect public health, the FDA has reviewed, and will continue to review, many sources of scientific and medical evidence related to the potential for adverse health effects of RF energy exposure in both humans and animals. animals, and will continue to do so as new scientific data is published.”
The vast majority of frequencies used for 5G have been used for other things in the past.
The agency noted that it lists important ongoing research into the possible biological effect of RF waves. on your website.
It’s also important to note that the vast majority of frequencies used for 5G have already been used in the past for other things, including TV and data transmissions.
So if 5G isn’t secure, it means we’ve been using “unsafe” frequencies for decades. Considering that no increase in cancer rates has been observed, it is clear that these radio waves have no impact on human health.
So is 5G mmWave safe?
According to expert agencies and available studies, there is nothing to suggest that 5G mmWave, or its 5G network and associated wireless technology poses a significant health risk, but it is clear that more research needs to be done on the subject.
If you are one of those who is careful, it is always possible reduce your overall exposure to RF radiation, as you can to microwave radiation. Try sleeping with your cell phone away from your bed at night, for example. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but it will also promote a healthier bedtime routine, a beneficial situation for your health.
That said, the assumption that radio waves, including millimeter waves, have a negative impact on health in general, has been shown to be incorrect.