5G-What’s the Latest Information on how it will Affect our Health?Randy Mitchell (VTech)
The coming of 5G has had many people worried about “how will all of that RF radiation affect my health?” since its rollout in 2018. The concern about cell phones in general and their radiation emission has increased over the years, as people spend more time on them and near them than ever before. The FCC developed the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) in 1996, at a time when the cell phone was just a phone. The SAR reflected the average daily use of a cell phone by a 200 pound male with an exposure time of six minutes per day. The SAR was determined to be 1.6 Watts per Kilogram or less averaged over the volume containing a mass of one gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal from cell phones. Jump to 2020, where a phone is NOT just a phone, but a portal to the internet, games, news, social media and electronic entertainment. People spend an average of 3 Hours and 15 Minutes /Day on smartphones, that’s up 5 Minutes/Day since the first blog I wrote on this topic on January 14, 2020. Nomophobia, or fear of being out of mobile phone contact, is becoming a real problem with 66% of people showing some signs of it, 13% of millennials and 5% of baby boomers spend more than 12 hours daily on their phones, and 29% of people would rather give up sex than use of their cell phone. So the FCC Specific Absorption Rate is no longer based on the “average use of a cell phone”, and the average user is getting 50-100 times exposure to RF than was recommended in 1996. Still the question remains “What are the effects of RF radiation on my health?”
There is no definitive answer to that question. There are two camps, one that believes that RF energy causes detrimental effects to the human body and the other saying that there is no real effect of RF on the human body. One side says that living near power lines or cellular towers causes brain cancer, still the data on people who live near the same type of emitters show no higher an incidence of brain cancer than the average person. The testing often takes the form of animal tests, carried out under higher frequencies than humans are normally exposed to, and, again no positive correlation can be made between exposure to radio waves and the condition of health.
Practically speaking, the arguments for RF radiation causing cancer don’t really have a scientific leg to stand on. RF radiation is non-ionizing radiation, meaning that it can not provide enough energy to remove an electron from an atom as the shorter wavelength, higher frequency, end of the EMR spectrum does. Ionizing radiation can and does cause cell mutations and is known to cause cancer. RF Syndrome or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS) have symptoms that are not specific and vary widely between individuals, such as headache, fatigue, sleep disturbances, skin issues (rashes, prickling, and burning sensations) pain and ache in muscles, and many other health issues. In severe cases, these syndromes can be a real and sometimes disabling problem in the effected person, causing psychological distress. Despite the misleading names of these syndromes, there is no hard scientific basis to link such symptoms to electromagnetic field exposure. Despite the explosive increase in use of cell phones since the early 1990s, there has NOT been a corresponding increase in the rate of cancers across the general population that would be expected to be associated with the increase in cell phone use if RF energy caused cancer.
We are all exposed to ambient Electromagnetic Radiation(EMR) every day including non-ionizing Radio Waves (RF), Microwaves (5G), Infra Red Light, as well as the ionizing higher frequency Visible Light, Ultraviolet light, X-Rays, and Gamma Rays. The wavelengths used in cell phone technology have extremely low energy and there is no real established link between health problems and RF and microwave radiation.
- US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in tests published between 2008 and 2018 concluded: “Based on our studies that are described in detail in our report, there is insufficient evidence to support a casual association between radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and tumor formation.”
- US Federal Communications Commission (FCC): “Currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses. Those evaluating the potential risks of using wireless devices agree that more and longer term studies should explore whether there is a better basis for RF safety standards than is currently used.”
- US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “At this time, we do not have the science to link health problems to cell phone use. Scientific studies are underway to determine whether cell phone use may cause health problems.”
V Technical Textiles, Inc. is very interested in maintaining the integrity and safety of electronic signals and power and attends the annual IEEE-EMC Signal Integrity and Power Integrity Symposium, learning about the newest trends and standards in this area.
V Technical Textiles, Inc. manufactures world class RF Shielded Testing Enclosures made out of conductive metalized textiles that are used in testing electronic components for emission of RF and susceptibility to RF Interference for Original Equipment Manufacturers. These are very important steps in making sure their sensitive electronic components will work well together as parts of a smoothly operating system in their end use environment.
These same conductive metalized textiles are use in providing an “RFI clean environment” by shielding these electronic devices in the automotive and aerospace industries, where their efficiency, flexibility and light weight are important considerations. VTT also makes an RF Shielded Suit for personal protective use by 5G Operators and Service Technicians as they perform their daily duties.
Additionally, VTT also manufactures and markets a large line of Wellness Garments made out of our Silverell® Modal Fabrics designed to shield our bodies from RF in our environment that has been tested to achieve a Shielding Effectiveness of 35-40 dB from 900 MHz to 5 GHz and giving a 99.99% reduction in RF to the wearer.
V Technical Textiles, Inc.