On 5G Radiation

by Colin Berkshire

I’m not one of those people who thinks every radio antenna is causing cancer. But Radio Frequency (RF) and health is something I keep my ears perked to listen for. The jury is still out on what impacts RF have on the human body.

In 1980 the engineering planning department of AT&T that I worked in ran into an interesting issue. We discovered that there was a strong correlation between health insurance claims involving impotence and tower workers. The correlation was stronger in colder climates. This was first brought to our attention by RCA Alascom, who operated the long distance system in Alaska.

The short of it is that tower workers learned it was warmer to stand in front of the transmit horn when working up on a tower. It turned out that the workers were microwaving themselves and it was enough to cause sterility.

You may have noticed that WiFi in an office can be severely impacted by a nearby running Microwave Oven. This is because both Microwave ovens And WiFi use the same frequency of 2.4 Ghz. You are correct to conclude that every WiFi access point is a miniature microwave oven; this includes your smartphone when connected to WiFi. Of course there is a 10,000:1 power difference. But there can be no doubt that the molecules in your body are being vibrated by WiFi. Is it harmless? Likely as it is minimal.

This brings us to 5G. Brussels has one of the strictest RF safety regulations in the world and while 4G/LTE meets these standards, 5G does not. 5G radiates more power than 4G. And, because of the shorter range of 5G there must be many more towers, which are much closer to people. The bottom line is that 5G will expose people to much more radiation than 4G. Some have estimated it could be 100X more energy, largely because towers will be closer to people.

I’m not really afraid. But Apple does recommend that you hold your iPhone several centimeters away from your brain. (Asking people to do that is about as reasonable as expecting people to test their home smoke detectors monthly.)

Studies on the health impacts of RF are contradictory or non-conclusive. I would like to see more and better studies. I’m sure the attitude of the cellular companies from doing extensive RF/Health studies is: “No good is going to come out of that.”

I would discount those whole RF/Health issue entirely if we hadn’t had that darn sterility problem in the 1970s. It just slightly nags me like a pesky mosquito.