PUBLIC health experts and watchdog groups are increasingly concerned about the untested aspects that this next-gen cell network requires — including more cell towers and a constant chorus of higher-energy photons streaming through human bodies and dwellings.
Big Telecom’s PR and marketing teams have been busy hyping the possibilities of 5G, while watchdog groups struggle to get funding for even meager studies into potential health effects.
“5G will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity, allowing people to connect to data, experiences and other people in ways never thought possible,” Brian Higgins, vice president of wireless device and product marketing at Verizon, said in a statement. “Together, Samsung and Verizon have made huge gains in bringing 5G commercial services to consumers in several cities. Now, we’re partnering to create a smartphone to put the power of 5G in the palm of your hand.”
According to CNET, the benefits of 5G extend beyond cellular technology. The networks will form the foundation of remote surgery, Internet of Things accessories, improved drone capabilities and more.
Meanwhile, some experts believe the effects of widespread use of mobile 5G need to be better-studied before 5G goes main-stream.
“Even though the radiation associated with 5G technologies hasn’t been investigated as extensively as that associated with current cell phone technologies, there is a substantial body of literature and evidence to indicate a significant impact of exposure on human health and development,” Dr. Jerry Phillips, a professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado said. “Of concern here are not just the potential effects of 5G-associated radiation, but what might result from the combined impact of 5G-radiation with other sources of non-ionizing radiation in our environment. Certainly, a more careful and thorough assessment of the risks to human and environmental health are warranted.”
In 2011, WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This classification, according to the original announcement, was based on “an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.”