Deployment of 5G wireless Wi-Fi internet service, backed President Trump, appears like a done deal but health advocates are not giving up.

Verizon on Dec. 20 announced it will implement 5G in up to five markets in 2018 serving 30 million Americans. New York, San Francisco, Denver, Arlington and Ann Arbor (Univ. of Michigan) are mentioned in a 2:45-minute video that shows many of the large antenna systems that will be needed.

The potential health risks from the proliferation of new cellular antenna sites have been ignored, says Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., University of California School of Public Health.

The cell antennas will expose the population to new sources of radio frequency radiation including millimeter waves, known as MWWs.

5G, he said, will employ low- (0.6 GHz - 3.7 GHz), mid- (3.7 – 24 GHz), and high-band frequencies (24 GHz and higher), he notes. The Federal Communications Commission has allocated “low-band” spectrum at 0.6 GHz (e.g., 600 MHz), “mid-band” spectrum in the 3.5 GHz range, and 11 GHz of “high-band” frequencies including licensed spectrum from 27.5-28.35 GHz and 37-40 GHz, as well as unlicensed spectrum from 64-71 GHz which is open to all wireless equipment manufacturers. 

MWW Signals Blocked by Buildings

Major cell phone carriers are experimenting with new technologies that employ “high-band” frequencies in communities across the country, says Moskowitz. The “high-band” frequencies largely consist of MWWs, a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths of one to ten millimeters and frequencies ranging from 30 to 300 GHz (or billions of cycles per second).  

The characteristics of MMWs are different than the “low-band” (i.e., microwave) frequencies which are currently in use by the cellular and wireless industries. MMWs can transmit large amounts of data over short distances. The transmissions can be directed into narrow beams that travel by line-of-sight and can move data at high rates (e.g., up to 10 billion bits per second) with short lags (or latencies) between transmissions.

The signals are blocked by buildings, and foliage can absorb much of their energy. Also, the waves can be reflected by metallic surfaces. Although antennas can be as small as a few millimeters, “small cell” antenna arrays may consist of dozens or even hundreds of antenna elements.

Skin or near-surface zones of tissues are the primary targets of the radiation. Since skin contains capillaries and nerve endings, MMW bio-effects may be transmitted through molecular mechanisms by the skin or through the nervous system.  

Verizon conducted 5G residential applications in 111 markets in 2017. It said the launch is based on customer experience and on Verizon’s confidence in new technology powered by millimeter-wave spectrum.

White House Supports 5G

A National Security Strategy report, approved by President Trump, said, “We will improve America’s digital infrastructure by deploying a secure 5G Internet capability nationwide.” Other than natural gas, 5G wireless service was the only area of technology that was mentioned.

By attaching wireless connectivity into national security, the Trump administration is underscoring its commitment to 5G.

The report described 5G as a set of standards and technologies that interoperate in the millimeter wave spectrum to meet the needs of users today. That includes better performance around latency and bandwidth, as well as support for low-power, many-device contexts due to the rise of Internet of Things.

5G Not Proven Safe--Marks

Ellen Marks, head of the California Brain Tumor Assn., said 5G has not been proven safe and Trump is putting the welfare of Americans at risk.

"I have seen telecom executives come into local affluent residential communities pitching the 5G infrastructure and I have seen them booed out of the meetings!"

"Residents, even in Hillsborough, where many tech execs reside, are against the city permitting 5G poles near their homes. They are not willing to risk their family’s health, their property values and the aesthetics of their neighborhoods for more data and faster internet. FTTP is the answer-fiber to the premises. "I agree we may not be able to stop this but I believe their flagrancy may be their downfall. It is sad that it will take many sick people to convince our legislators that public health should take precedence over telecom profit. We need a good attorney to sue the FCC -perhaps someone needs to approach the ACLU."

Miscarriages Linked to Radiation

(Reuters Health, 12/20/17) - Pregnant women exposed to high radiation levels from sources like cell phones, wireless devices and cell towers miscarried at nearly three times the rate as those exposed to low levels, according to new research.

“I hope this study makes us rethink the notion that magnetic field non-ionizing radiation exposure is safe or has no health risk,” said lead author Dr. De-Kun Li, a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California. “This is certainly something we can’t just ignore.” 

Cell phones, cordless phones and other wireless devices, appliances, power lines, smart-meter networks and cell towers generate non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields. Writing in Scientific Reports, Li and his team call rapidly proliferating electromagnetic field emissions “a ubiquitous environmental exposure and a serious looming public health challenge.”

For the study, more than 900 pregnant women in the San Francisco area carried meters that measured their exposure to electromagnetic field radiation for 24 hours. After accounting for age, race, education and smoking, expectant mothers with the highest exposure levels during their typical weekday routines were 2.7 times as likely to miscarry as women with the lowest levels.

Gov. Brown Vetoed Cell Tower Bill

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, on Sept. 10, after about a month’s wait, vetoed Senate Bill 649 that would have removed local control of cellphone tower creation needed for implementation of 4G and 5G technology.

It would have created a state mandated system of cell towers every couple of hundred feet apart in California.

Opposing it were 300 cities, 47 counties and more than 100 community, planning, health, environment and justice organizations.

EMF Safety Network and Ecological Options Network opposed the bill saying cell towers emit harmful radiation. The bill would have allowed unlimited refrigerator-size cell equipment on utility poles, streetlights, sidewalks, in parks, on schools and public buildings with no safety oversight.