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Author Topic: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure  (Read 688 times)

Offline Fansome

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Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« on: November 22, 2019, 1943 UTC »
This article does not address the brain bubble issue.

Will 5G Be Bad for Our Health?
IEEE antenna and telecommunications experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
By Kathy Pretz

People march in front of the Swiss House of Parliament in Bern on 21 September as part of a nationwide protest against 5G technology and the deployment of 5G-compatible antennas.

Citizens in several cities including Aspen, Colo.; Bern, Switzerland; San Diego, Calif.; and Totnes, England have been protesting the installation of 5G wireless base stations over concerns about the harmful effects these network nodes could have on humans, animals, and plants. They point to the potential danger of radio frequency (RF) radiation emitted from antennas installed in close proximity to people.

Protestors also cite the lack of scientific evidence showing that 5G signals, specifically those transmitting in the millimeter wave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, are safe. Today’s mobile devices operate at frequencies below 6 gigahertz, while 5G will use frequencies from 600 megahertz and above, including the millimeter wave bands between 30 GHz and 300 GHz.

Enough concern has been raised about 5G that some cities have cancelled or delayed the installation of the base stations.

Members of the IEEE Future Networks Initiative, which is helping to pave the way for 5G development and deployment, took notice of these news reports. In September, the group issued a short paper titled “5G Communications Systems and Radiofrequency Exposure Limits.” The report reviews existing guidelines for RF exposure.

The Institute asked two members of the IEEE initiative about their take on the controversy over 5G. IEEE Fellow Rod Waterhouse is on the editorial board of the initiative’s Tech Focus publication and edited the 5G report. His research interests include antennas, electromagnetics, and microwave photonics engineering. He’s the CTO and cofounder of Octane Wireless in Hanover, Md.

IEEE Senior Member David Witkowski is cochair of the initiative’s Deployment Working Group. He’s a wireless and telecommunication industry expert. Witkowski is the executive director of the Wireless Communications Initiative for Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a nonprofit based in San Jose, Calif., that works to solve problems in that region such as communications, education, and transportation.

5G PRIMER

Most of the concerns about 5G’s supposed negative impact on health stem from its cell towers having such a different architecture than the ones supporting today’s 3G and 4G cellular networks, Waterhouse says. Those towers are kilometers apart and placed on tall, raised structures that are typically located away from populated areas. Because a 5G base station can be smaller than a backpack, it can be placed just about anywhere, such as on top of light poles, street lights, and rooftops. That means the stations will be located near houses, apartment buildings, schools, stores, parks, and farms.

“Wireless companies are going to incorporate the devices into everyday structures, such as benches and bus stops, so they’ll be lower to the ground and closer to people,” Waterhouse says. “There also will be more of these base stations [compared with the number of cell towers around today] because of their limited reach. A 5G mm network requires cell antennas to be located every 100 to 200 meters.”

That being said, one of the benefits of these small base stations is that they would not have to transmit as much power as current cell towers, because the coverage areas are smaller.

“If the same amount of power that’s currently transmitted from a cell tower located 30 meters up were to be transmitted from a 5G base station installed at a bus stop, then there would be cause for concern,” says Waterhouse, “But that will not be the case.”

A 5G radio replacing a 4G radio at 750 MHz will have the same coverage as the 4G radio, presuming no change to the antenna, according to Witkowski. But, of course, it will provide higher data rates and quicker network response times.

Waterhouse predicts that 5G will be rolled out in two stages. The first, he says, would operate in bands closer to the slice of spectrum—below 6 GHz—where 4G equipment works. “There will be a little bit more bandwidth or faster data rates for everyone,” he says. “Also, 5G base stations will only be in certain small areas, not everywhere.”

In the next phase, which he calls 5G Plus, there will be huge improvement in bandwidth and data rates because there will be more base stations and they will be using mm wave frequencies.

Witkowski says U.S. carriers that already have dense deployments in sub-6 GHz bands will start deployment of 5G in the K/Ka band and mm wave. There also will be some swapping of 3G and 4G radios for newer 5G radios.

“For the U.S. carriers that have access to vacated/re-farmed spectrum, such as T-Mobile in 600 MHz and Sprint in 2.5 GHz, their deployment strategy will be to leave 3G/4G alone for now, and add 5G into these lower bands,” Witkowski says.

EXISTING REGULATIONS

Waterhouse points to two international documents that have established safe RF exposure limits. One is the guideline from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which has been around since 1998. The IEEE C95.1, “IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields” was developed by the IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety. and released in 2005. IEEE C95.1 covers the spectrum between 3 kilohertz and 300 GHz. The Future Networks report goes into detail about the various exposure limits for the body listed in those documents.

The ICNIRP and IEEE guidelines, which are periodically revised, were both updated this year. The limits for local exposure (for frequencies above 6 GHz) were set even lower. Belgium, India, Russia, and other countries have established even more restrictive limits.

As to whether the millimeter wave bands are safe, Waterhouse explains that because RF from cellular sites is on the non-ionizing radiation spectrum, it’s not the kind of radiation that could damage DNA and possibly cause cancer. The only known biological impact of RF on humans is heating tissue. Excessive exposure to RF causes a person’s entire body to overheat to dangerous levels. Local exposure can damage skin tissue or corneas.

“The actual impact and the depth of penetration into the human body is less at higher frequencies,” he says. “The advantage of that is your skin won’t be damaged because millimeter waves will reflect off the skin’s surface.”

Waterhouse admits that although mm waves have been used for many different applications—including astronomy and military applications—the effect of their use in telecommunications is not well understood. Waterhouse says it’s up to regulatory bodies overseeing the telecommunication companies to ensure the safety of 5G. The general perception is that mm waves are safe but should still be monitored, he says.

“The majority of the scientific community does not think there’s an issue,” Waterhouse says. “However, it would be unscientific to flat out say there are no reasons to worry.”

Many opponents insist that 5G must be proven safe before regulators allow deployments. The problem with this assertion, according to Witkowski, is that it isn’t logically possible to prove anything with 100 percent certainty.

 “Showering, cooking breakfast, commuting to work, eating in a restaurant, being out in public—everything we do carries risk,” he says. “Whether we’re talking about 3G, 4G, or 5G, the question of electromagnetic radiation safety (EMR) is whether the risks are manageable. The first medical studies on possible health effects from EMR started almost 60 years ago, and literally thousands of studies since then reported either no health risk or inconclusive findings. A relatively small number of studies have claimed to find some evidence of risk, but those studies have never been reproduced—and reproducibility is a key factor in good science.

We should continue to look at the question of EMR health effects, but the vast majority of evidence says there’s no reason to pause deployments.”

Offline Josh

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2019, 1950 UTC »
Pretty sure 5g will be the surveillance system oft dreamed of by despots but never realised till today. Not like they won't be able to radar map out the contents of everyone's homes, along with the people themselves with it or anything.
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Offline ThaDood

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2019, 0637 UTC »
It's my understanding that 5G has been proposed to be installed in street lamps, and when you think about it, that's about the distance between 5G sites that they want to cover, (More like bathe.), us in the mm wavelength. Until now, the strongest mm signals that we've been exposed too is 5.8GHz with Part #15 phones, baby monitors, etc. Most everything else up at the mm wavelength has been point to point with dish antennas, thus making it pretty much harmless. However, the idea of cranking up the power to several watts ERP, to over come the low gain of personal device antennas for only a few hundred feet, could be of grave concern.
       And, while we're on the 5G subject, I came upon this,     https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/business-and-law/fcc-announces-c-band-repurposing-plan

« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 0656 UTC by ThaDood »
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 0500 UTC »
You originally told me brains bubbles were caused by penguin venom in areas with poor wireless service like Nashville, Al? Great underground flocks living in the regions extensive limestone cave systems where rivers and lakes exist. You then said they also come out of sinkholes around Shady Acres, that you were bitten by one, and that's where you got brain bubbles. Is this the truth or is this another one of your woo-woo make up tales?

We're got a new prototype lead-tin hat liner for you. Are you still a 40 lb. elliptic watermelon in size and shape?

Offline OgreVorbis

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 0915 UTC »
I don't understand the fixation on using higher frequencies. Just use more power and bandwidth instead. The cost will be lower also because then they won't have to install a base station every couple of feet (I'm exaggerating, but you see the point.) and can use existing infrastructure. Using 400-800 MHz seems the smartest to me because the antenna is about the size of the phone itself and a relatively efficient antenna can be made, but with these crazy high frequencies, it's not going to go very far at all. If they just use the best QAM with wide bandwidth and high compression, they should be able to make it work on the existing frequencies. The government probably regulates the bandwidth on those frequencies though, which could be the reason. Stupid government.

I don't know about toxicity, but I would think it is still below ionizing radiation.

5G could be a good opportunity for replacing the government with blockchain technologies. You need every device to have a copy of the blockchain for security purposes and with the speed of 5G, it could likely be possible. Blockchain is basically like virtual DNA - where each item contains the whole. The government will obviously hate this idea though, but it really needs to happen. All of the government agencies could be paid automatically and directly through the blockchain and eliminate the money getting into the hands of corrupt bureaucrats.
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Offline Dude111

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Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 1234 UTC »
5G will be even worse than it is now!!

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2019, 1335 UTC »
Just imagine the havoc wreaked when the new 5G cell system goes down in a Carrington event. Gazillions of cell sites, all fried. And I doubt they can back all that up. They apparently have enough problems trying to back up the present cell system during extended blackouts.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 1815 UTC »
Just imagine the havoc wreaked when the new 5G cell system goes down in a Carrington event. Gazillions of cell sites, all fried. And I doubt they can back all that up. They apparently have enough problems trying to back up the present cell system during extended blackouts.

That's what I'm kind of looking forward to, Boombox.

Until the invention of the telegraph, we had no idea these things did what they did or how to track/detect them. Do the big ones occur every century and half or have we simply been in a dry spell?  I've always liked a bit of uncertainty and chaos.

Offline Stretchyman

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 1827 UTC »
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                            Buy one from me, NOW!

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Offline KaySeeks

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 0725 UTC »
It's my understanding that 5G has been proposed to be installed in street lamps, and when you think about it, that's about the distance between 5G sites that they want to cover, (More like bathe.), us in the mm wavelength.

Yes, that has been the discussion. "Shower heads" at street intersections is exactly what I am hearing.

and when you think about it, that's about the distance between 5G sites that they want to cover, (More like bathe.), us in the mm wavelength. Until now, the strongest mm signals that we've been exposed too is 5.8GHz with Part #15 phones, baby monitors, etc. Most everything else up at the mm wavelength has been point to point with dish antennas, thus making it pretty much harmless. However, the idea of cranking up the power to several watts ERP, to over come the low gain of personal device antennas for only a few hundred feet, could be of grave concern.

Hold on.

Keep in mind that given the huge RF path loss at 26/28/39 GHz, the base station antennas will have to form a pretty tight, steerable beam just to keep the signal-to-noise ratio reasonable over the proposed wide bandwidths. So the base stations won't be flinging energy everywhere with reckless abandon. If you aren't using a mobile device or in the path between the base station antenna and the mobile device, the signal will be greatly attenuated.

Also, the TX power is generally expressed in this realm as EIRP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_radiated_power) - not just ERP, so there's an additional 2.15 dB of margin.

In addition, you've got some time. The equipment manufacturers are finding it harder than originally anticipated to deliver 5G signals at mmWave with the quality of service expected to moving mobile devices, so expect the rollout of 5G at 26/28 GHz to come later than originally expected. (In case anyone cares, the 5G that Verizon is rolling out in test cities in the U.S. and that the Chinese are rolling out soon is below 6 GHz, with a much lower bandwidth than the full-blown 26/28 GHz version to come later.)

On the other hand, because of the difficulties in delivering good quality of service to mobile devices and the subsequent delay in rollout, people are now looking at using 26/28 GHz for "fixed wireless access". Think of it as your ISP delivering high-data-rate service to your house by putting a 28 GHz, 400/1000 MHz bandwidth base station on a pole in front of your house, taking the place of Wi-fi. Then I suppose there is some risk if you are right in the path.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 2109 UTC by KaySeeks »
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Offline KaySeeks

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2019, 0844 UTC »
I don't understand the fixation on using higher frequencies. Just use more power and bandwidth instead.

I guess that I don't understand your comment. 5G will use 400 or 1000 MHz of bandwidth, far more bandwidth than conventional LTE. The only way that they can get access to that much bandwidth is to move to mmWave frequencies.


The cost will be lower also because then they won't have to install a base station every couple of feet (I'm exaggerating, but you see the point.) and can use existing infrastructure.

The part that you are missing is that conventional base station technology is pretty much at the limit of what it can do from the perspectives of RF power, bandwidth, and thermal considerations. In order to meet expected data demands, they would have to burn a lot more power in an attempt to approach the data demands of the future but then it still would not really be possible to achieve given the bandwidth limitations of LTE.


Using 400-800 MHz seems the smartest to me because the antenna is about the size of the phone itself and a relatively efficient antenna can be made, but with these crazy high frequencies, it's not going to go very far at all. If they just use the best QAM with wide bandwidth and high compression, they should be able to make it work on the existing frequencies.

The thousands of people around the world working on this for a living reached the conclusion long ago that the data demands asked for in the future cannot be met with LTE. So they are all wrong?
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Offline Dude111

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Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2019, 1746 UTC »
People just willingly allowing the power company to put these newer SMART METERS (Which are 4G cell meters) -- Thier whole house is a big cell signal bombarding them constantly!! (And making havoc on radio)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 0413 UTC by Dude111 »

Offline KaySeeks

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2019, 1908 UTC »
People just willingly allowing the power company to piut these newer SMART METERS (Which are 4G cell meters) -- Thier whole house is a big cell signal bombarding them constantly!! (And making havoc on radio)

Actually, I'm not aware of them using 4G (LTE) frequencies for this. Also, the meter on your house only transmits in response to a transmission initiated from a truck in front of your house. So it's not "constantly bombarding" anything.
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Offline JimIO

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2019, 2226 UTC »
Guess I missed the show when Alex Jones 'splained how smart meters work.    8)

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Online redhat

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Re: Experts address concerns over radio frequency exposure
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2019, 2256 UTC »
Quote
On the other hand, because of the difficulties in delivering good quality of service to mobile devices and the subsequent delay in rollout, people are now looking at using 26/28 GHz for "fixed wireless access". Think of it as your ISP delivering high-data-rate service to your house by putting a 28 GHz, 400/1000 MHz bandwidth base station on a pole in front of your house, taking the place of Wi-fi. Then I suppose there is some risk if you are right in the path.

I've heard this as well, and may make sense in areas where it would be too costly to replace the existing telecommunications infrastructure (New York, London...)

People just willingly allowing the power company to piut these newer SMART METERS (Which are 4G cell meters) -- Thier whole house is a big cell signal bombarding them constantly!! (And making havoc on radio)

Where I live, all of the meters are 915 MHz Zigbee.  In the sticks, perhaps 3G or 4G.  The meters here constantly ping data, and are aggregated on a neighborhood level and sent back to the power company.  Every few block you will find a box with some whip antennas on it.

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« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 2301 UTC by redhat »
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