Wireless carriers are constructing cell towers a stronger, faster 5G network, but some experts warn that the updated service’s health effects are unknown and potentially dangerous.
Today, there are 154,000 cell towers in the US, according to wireless communication association, CTIA. By 2026, it estimates another 800,000 will be needed to support 5G.
The network update will bring more Americans into closer proximity with milimeter waves, very short-wave radiation.
Research on cell phone radiation has yielded mixed findings, but some studies have linked older wireless service generations to cancers of the heart and reproductive organs, and 5G’s health effects have hardly been studied.
Wireless providers have begun installing 800,000 ‘small cell’ towers to support the roll out of the new 5G cellular network, but some public health experts warn they may endanger humans
The new network is slated to support at 100 billion devices, connecting to the internet at anywhere between 10 and 100 times the speeds that information travels through the 4G network.
In order to facilitate these speeds, the new network communicates through millimeter waves (MMWs) rather than microwaves, as previous generations have.
The microwave networks are nearly saturated, hence the switch to the virtually untouched, lower frequency MMWs for 5G.
But smaller waves cannot travel as far, or through as many types of materials.
This means that there will need to be far more individual ‘small cell towers’ closer together – some have suggested they will be on every street corner in the US.
The 5G technology is too new to have been thoroughly tested and studied by many parties outside of cell service providers.
According to Dr Joel Moskowitz, a public health professor at the University of California, Berkeley, MMWs could pose a very real danger.
‘The deployment of 5G, or fifth generation cellular technology, constitutes a massive experiment on the health of all species,’ he told Daily Mail Online.
Because MMWs are weaker than microwaves, they are predominantly absorbed by the skin, meaning their distribution is quite focused there,
‘Since skin contains capillaries and nerve endings, MMW bio-effects may be transmitted through molecular mechanisms by the skin or through the nervous system,’ Dr Moskowitz writes on his blog.
He also told Daily Mail Online that he’s concerned that ‘5G will use high-band frequencies, or millimeter waves, that may affect the eyes, the testes, the skin, the peripheral nervous system, and sweat glands.’
‘Millimeter waves can also make some pathogens resistant to antibiotics,’ he added.
Dr Moskowitz is not alone in aprehensions.
The International Society of Doctors for the Environment, its subsidiaries in 27 countries and more than 200 doctors and scientists are all calling for a stop to be put to the roll out of 5G, ‘due to concern that 5G radio frequency radiation will have adverse health effects,’ Dr Moskowitz says.
So far, their warnings have gone unheeded.
Verizon began rolling out their 5G small cell towers in 11 cities 2017, and AT&T started installing the new generation of service in Waco and Dallas, Texas, as well as in Atlanta, Georgia this year.