Is 5G technology dangerous? Early data shows a slight increase of tumors in male rats exposed to cellphone radiation
As wireless companies prepare to launch the next generation of service, there are new questions about the possible health risks from radiation emitted by cellphones and the transmitters that carry the signals.
Concerns about the potential harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation have dogged mobile technology since the first brick-sized cellphones hit the market in the 1980s.
Industry and federal officials have largely dismissed those fears, saying the radiation exposure is minimal and that the devices are safe. Incidences of and deaths from brain cancer have shown little change in recent years despite the explosion in cellphone usage, they note.
But the launch of super-fast 5G technology over the next several years will dramatically increase the number of transmitters sending signals to cellphones and a host of new Internet-enabled devices, including smart appliances and autonomous vehicles. And the move to the new technology comes after unsettling findings from a long-awaited federal government study of the cancer risk from cellphone use.
National Toxicology Program researchers released preliminary data in May that showed small increases in tumors in male rats exposed to cellphone radiation.
The rats were exposed to nine hours of radiation daily, in 10-minutes-on, 10-minutes-off intervals, over their whole bodies for two years. The researchers found increased incidences of rare brain and heart tumors starting at about the federally allowable level of cellphone radiation for brain exposure, with greater incidences at about two and four times those levels.
There were about 308,000 wireless antennas on cell towers and buildings at the end of last year, double the number there were in 2002, according to CTIA, a leading wireless trade group.
It’s unclear how many smaller base stations would be needed for 5G service. But it’s widely believed that there would need to be exponentially more because of the limited distance the signals can travel. One researcher estimated a station would be needed for every 12 homes in a dense urban area.
The prospect of more transmitters emitting radiofrequency radiation — though at much lower levels than those coming from cell towers — has alarmed people concerned about the effects on humans.
The move to 5G presents additional concerns because there will be more energy in signals traveling over the high-frequency spectrum and the smaller transmitters will be closer to where people live and work.
“There is a big concern with the previous technology and it’s just being made worse with 5G,” said Kevin Mottus, outreach director for the California Brain Tumor Assn., who attend the FCC meeting and unsuccessfully attempted to ask officials about the health effects.
Scientists STUNNED as first-of-its-kind study reveals strong link between fluoridated water and ADHD
Vicki Batts October 21, 2018
Dr. Bahash and his team studied 213 pregnant women and their children to see how fluoride affected the children as they reached school-age. All were part of the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) project, which saw recruitment between the years of 1994 and 2005 and featured continued follow-up.
The team of experts analyzed urine samples that were taken from the mothers during pregnancy, as well as samples taken from the children while they were between six and 12 years old. The goal was to “reconstruct personal measures of fluoride exposure for both mother and child.”
Then, the scientists looked at how fluoride levels related to the children’s performance on a battery of tests and surveys which measured inattention, hyperactivity and conducted overall ADHD scoring.
“Our findings show that children with elevated prenatal exposure to fluoride were more likely to show symptoms of ADHD as reported by parents. Prenatal fluoride exposure was more strongly associated with inattentive behaviours and cognitive problems, but not with hyperactivity,” Dr. Bahash stated.
The team was sure to adjust for other confounding factors, like lead exposure and smoking history. Previous research by Dr. Bahash’s team came to a similar conclusion, with the team finding that high levels of fluoride in the urine during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ and cognition test scores in children. Several other recent studies have also made a connection between fluoride and ADHD.