Health Issues Due to 5G

Health issues specific to 5G microwave radiation

5G antennas will greatly increase levels of existing wireless radiation. The UK radiation level limits are already set much higher than in other countries (see ICNIRP chart) and in addition the ICNIRP have voted to relax guidelines.

5G will use current frequencies in addition to high millimetre wave and sub-millimetre wave frequencies of 100GHz and beyond. Therefore bioeffects from both increased cumulative effects of existing radiation, which may be synergistic and not just additive as well as those specific to high-frequency radiation may be anticipated.


Professor Joel Moskowitz of the University of California

Joel M. Moskowitz is a Professor Emeritus of radiation at the School of Public Health at the University of California Berkeley and an expert in mobile phone radiation and electromagnetic fields. He states:

  • Millimetre waves such as those in use by 5G are absorbed by the first 1-2 mm of skin and the eye cornea. Since the skin contains nerve endings and capillaries, bio-effects may be transmitted further.
  • Thermal (or heating) effects as used by the military’s ADS system occur when the power density of the waves is above 5–10 mW/cm2, The maximum permissible exposure that the FCC permits for the general public is 1.0 mW/cm2 averaged over 30 minutes for frequencies that range from 1.5 GHz to 100 GHz. This guideline was adopted in 1996 to protect humans from acute exposure to thermal levels of radiofrequency radiation. However, the guidelines were not designed to protect us from nonthermal risks that may occur with prolonged or long-term exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
  • With the deployment of fifth generation wireless infrastructure (aka 5G), much of the nation will be exposed to MMWs for the first time on a continuous basis. Due to FCC guidelines, these exposures will likely be of low intensity. Hence, the health consequences of 5G exposure will be limited to non-thermal effects produced by prolonged exposure to MMWs [ie high-frequency millimetre waves] in conjunction with exposure to low- and mid-band radiofrequency radiation [from existing radiation]. Few studies have examined prolonged exposure to low-intensity MMWs, and no research has focused on exposure to MMWs combined with other radiofrequency radiation. It has not therefore been proven safe.
  • Biologic effects of low-intensity MMWs have been studied for decades, particularly in Eastern Europe, study results are often inconsistent because the effects are related to many factors including the frequency, modulation, power density, and duration of the exposures, as well as the type of tissue or cells being investigated. Therefore results vary across studies with not all showing harmful effects.
  • MMWs have been shown to induce or inhibit cell death and enhance or suppress cell proliferation. Some studies found that the radiation inhibits cell cycle progression, and some studies reported no biologic effects (Le Drean et al., 2013)
  • A review of the research in 2010 noted that “A large number of cellular studies have indicated that MMW may alter structural and functional properties of membranes.” Exposure to MMWs may affect the plasma membrane either by modifying ion channel activity or by modifying the phospholipid bilayer. Water molecules also seem to play a role in these effects. Skin nerve endings are a likely target of MMWs and the possible starting point of numerous biological effects. MMWs may activate the immune system through stimulation of the peripheral neural system (Ramundo-Orlando, 2010).
  • In 1998, five scientists employed by U.S. Army and Air Force research institutes published a seminal review of the research on MMWs. They reported:
  • Increased sensitivity and even hypersensitivity of individual specimens to MMW may be real. Depending on the exposure characteristics, especially wavelength, a low-intensity MMW radiation was perceived by 30 to 80% of healthy examinees (Lebedeva, 1993, 1995). Some clinical studies reported MMW hypersensitivity, which was or was not limited to a certain wavelength (Golovacheva, 1995).
  • It is important to note that, even with the variety of bioeffects reported, no studies have provided evidence that a low-intensity MMW radiation represents a health hazard for human beings but they have also not looked at health risks. In view of numerous bioeffects and growing usage of MMW technologies this research objective seems very reasonable. Such MMW effects as alterations of cell growth rate and UV light sensitivity, biochemical and antibiotic resistivity changes in pathogenic bacteria, as well as many others are of potential significance for safety standards, but even local and short-term exposures were reported to produce marked effects. It should also be realized that biological effects of a prolonged or chronic MMW exposure of the whole body or a large body area have never been investigated. Safety limits for these types of exposures are based solely on predictions of energy deposition and MMW heating, but in view of recent studies this approach is not necessarily adequate.” (Pakhomov et al., 1998)
  • Microbes are also affected by MMW radiation. In 2016 a review of the research on the effects of MMWs on bacteria was published (Soghomonyan et al., 2016). The authors summarized their findings as follows: “…bacteria and other cells might communicate with each other by electromagnetic field of sub-extremely high frequency range. These MMW affected Escherichia coli and many other bacteria, mainly depressing their growth and changing properties and activity. These effects were non-thermal and depended on different factors. The significant cellular targets for MMW effects could be water, cell plasma membrane, and genome….The consequences of MMW interaction with bacteria are the changes in their sensitivity to different biologically active chemicals, including antibiotics….These effects are of significance for understanding changed metabolic pathways and distinguish role of bacteria in environment; they might be leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.”
  • Changing the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics by MMW irradiation can be important for the understanding of antibiotic resistance in the environment. In this respect, it is interesting that bacteria [that] survived near telecommunication-based stations like Bacillus and Clostridium spp. have been found to be multidrug resistant (Adebayo et al. 2014), (Soghomonyan et al. 2016)
  • In 1977, N.P. Zalyubovskaya published a study, “Biological effects of millimeter waves,” in a Russian-language journal, “Vracheboyne Delo.” The CIA declassified this paper in 2012. The study examined the effects of exposing mice to millimeter radiation (37-60 GHz; 1 milliwatt per square centimeter) for 15 minutes daily for 60 days. The animal results were compared to a sample of people working with millimeter generators. Here is a brief summary of the paper: studies conducted on humans and animals showed structural alterations in the skin and internal organs, changes in blood and bone marrow composition, changes in enzymatic activity and nucleic metabolism. ‘the degree of unfavourable effect of radiation depended on the duration of the radiation and individual characteristics of the organism.’
  • In sum, the peer-reviewed research demonstrates that short-term exposure to low-intensity millimeter wave (MMW) radiation not only affects human cells, it may result in the growth of multi-drug resistant bacteria harmful to humans. Since little research has been conducted on the health consequences from long-term exposure to MMWs, widespread deployment of 5G or 5th generation wireless infrastructure constitutes a massive experiment that may have adverse impacts on the public’s health.


The research review 5G Wireless Expansion: Public Health and Environmental Implications documents the range of reported adverse effects of RF and millimeter waves. These effects range from cancer to changes in bacteria growth and even to DNA damage. The study concludes that “a moratorium on the deployment of 5G is warranted” and “the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome … from both physical and mental health perspectives” (Russell 2018).


Tissue damage

(Neufeld & Kuster, 2018) showed that due to the heating effect of 5G electromagnetic waves, the exposure times ‘tolerated by the International Council on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines may lead to permanent tissue damage after even short exposures, highlighting the importance of revisiting existing exposure guidelines.’ 30


Sweat ducts

A 2018 study entitled The human skin as a sub-THz receiver – Does 5G pose a danger to it or not? showed that sweat ducts act as mini antennas: 31


In the interaction of microwave radiation and human beings, the skin is traditionally considered as just an absorbing sponge stratum filled with water. In previous works, we showed that this view is flawed when we demonstrated that the coiled portion of the sweat duct in upper skin layer is regarded as a helical antenna in the sub-THz band….The presence of the sweat duct led to a high specific absorption rate (SAR) of the skin in extremely high frequency band. In this paper, we summarize the physical evidence for this phenomenon and consider its implication for the future exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum by wireless communication. Starting from July 2016 the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations above 24 GHz (5 G). This trend of exploitation is predicted to expand to higher frequencies in the sub-THz region. One must consider the implications of human immersion in the electromagnetic noise, caused by devices working at the very same frequencies as those, to which the sweat duct (as a helical antenna) is most attuned. We are raising a warning flag against the unrestricted use of sub-THz technologies for communication, before the possible consequences for public health are explored.



Dr Sharon Goldberg

Goldberg, MD in internal medicine, professor, and clinical researcher has testified at 5G legislation in Michigan.

Some notes from the testimony:

Wireless radiation has biological effects in all life forms. Clear evidence of cancer in humans now, DNA damage, cardiomyopathy, neuropsychiatric effects – the science is settled. Unsustainable healthcare expenditures. We have been sitting on the evidence for decades. Epidemics are linked. Diabetes is linked according to peer-reviewed literature; the nearer to a cell tower the higher your glucose and therefore 5G antennas are dangerous. The way to create diabetes in rats in the lab is to expose them to 2.2GHz. Diabetes causes chronic kidney disease. Mental health epidemic, suicide, violent crime, opioids – the peer-reviewed literature in PubMed shows clear links which have been glossed over by the wireless industry; industry-funded studies are not clear but independent studies are very clear. We need to start measuring how much radiation people are exposed to before we roll out 5G. US Toxicology Programme study is just one cell phone but we have cell towers, smart meters, wifi, 4G and so on – many layers. Don’t roll out a new untested technology. The American Cancer Society saying there is no evidence: this is due to conflicts of interests. In academia 5G is ‘an untested application of a technology we know is harmful from the science. It’s called human subjects research. You can’t just roll out a research on human beings unless you inform them and have their approval. We have decades of evidence to show that it is not safe.


SCHEER (the EU Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks) SCHEER state in their 2018 report that ‘the lack of clear evidence to inform the development of exposure guidelines to 5G technology leaves open the possibility of unintended biological consequences’ and include electromagnetic radiation, especially from 5G, along with e-cigarettes, nanoparticles and other toxins in their list of concerns.


Neufeld E & Kuster N (2018). Systematic Derivation of Safety Limits for Time-Varying 5G Radiofrequency Exposure Based on Analytical Models and Thermal Dose. Health Phys Sept 21 2018.

Betzalel N1, Ben Ishai P2, Feldman Y3 (2018). Environ Res.The human skin as a sub-THz receiver – Does 5G pose a danger to it or not? 63:208-216.


Further resources headed by Dr Erica Mallory-Blythe, 5G campaigner and speaker

EMF Appeal a group of MDs and professors with a large body of evidence showing harm to living organisms.

EH Trust has compiled a list of the key published research showing adverse effects of radiofrequency exposure from the 5G rollout.


Anecdotal reports of EMF toxicity symptoms from existing 5G areas

UN staff worker Claire Edwards in Vienna where 5G has been rolled out on reports of EMF poisoning: Friends and acquaintances and their children in Vienna are already reporting the classic symptoms of EMR poisoning: nosebleeds, headaches, eye pains, chest pains, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, tinnitus, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and cardiac pain. They also report a tight band around the head; pressure on the top of the head; short, stabbing pains around the body; and buzzing internal organs. Other biological effects such as tumours and dementia usually take longer to manifest, but in the case of 5G, which has never been tested for health or safety, who knows?


Coalitions of scientists appealing to freeze 5G

The 5G Appeal Scientists and doctors from 36 countries have signed the Appeal calling for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G and the mandatory exposure to wireless radiation this would impose on humans and the environment.

The 5G Space Appeal Hundreds of scientists from the Appeal state: ‘RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law.’ With “the implementation of 5G threaten serious, irreversible consequences for humans,” warn more than 400 physicians and scientists.

The EMF Scientist Appeal 230 scientists from all over the world have stated in the Appeal that ‘numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines.’

Scientific basis for our common concerns: Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.

These findings justify our appeal to the United Nations (UN) and, all member States in the world, to encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging precautionary measures, and educating the public about health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal development. By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfill its role as the preeminent international public health agency.

Since there is controversy about a rationale for setting standards to avoid adverse health effects, we recommend that the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) convene and fund an independent multidisciplinary committee to explore the pros and cons of alternatives to current practices that could substantially lower human exposures to RF and ELF fields. The deliberations of this group should be conducted in a transparent and impartial way. Although it is essential that industry be involved and cooperate in this process, industry should not be allowed to bias its processes or conclusions. This group should provide their analysis to the UN and the WHO to guide precautionary action.

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