Some American cities want to keep 5G more from their citizens in the midst of a health debate

While telecom companies are rolling out the next wave of 5G cell towers, some families want their cities to refuse the latest, fastest service due to fear of cancer.


Over the next 20 years, an estimated 800,000 additional mini 5G cell towers will be needed to serve Americans.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and providers such as AT&T and Verizon insist that the radio frequency radiation emitted by the towers is completely safe – but some experts warn otherwise.

And in cities like Sacramento, California, where the smaller towers of the new generation have already been installed, scientists have even told some homeowners that the poles are not safe just outside.

The Mill Valley, California city council adopted an urgent regulation to try to arrange the placement of new towers after citizens expressed their concerns.

Similar steps are being taken by San Francisco and Syracuse, New York, including across the country, where local governments and health experts are often divided about the possible health effects of 5G.

While telecom companies are rolling out the latest 5G wireless network technology in the US, more and more cell towers - such as those already installed in Germany (fiel) - are getting closer together, and that worries some cities and experts


While telecom companies are rolling out the latest 5G wireless network technology in the US, more and more cell towers – such as those already installed in Germany (fiel) – are getting closer together, and that worries some cities and experts

When a small 5G cell tower went up next to Aaron's and Hannah McMahon's house in Sacramento, they quickly felt worried and distrustful, they said CBS Sacramento.

The couple have two young daughters, six and three years old, and wonder what the effects of constant cell transfer are on the growing bodies and brains of the girls.

The McMahons were so worried that they had inspectors come out to check their homes for radiation.

& # 39; We've brought in a few experts who told us we lived in a microwave, & # 39; Hannah told CBS Sacramento.

& # 39; They can't tell me that something that is fairly new and relatively untested will not be harmful in 10-15 years. & # 39;

The problem is that nobody can say without a doubt whether radiation from these towers can ultimately cause damage.



Technically, they do not live in a microwave, because microwaves are a different form of radiation than radiofrequency radiation.

Radiation such as X-rays and UV rays can damage DNA and cause cancer.

But radiation exists on a spectrum and these three categories of radiation have a higher frequency than radio frequency, which means that they transfer more energy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers radio waves only as a possible carcinogen, while UV and X-rays are both well-known carcinogens.


The FCC considers the radiation levels emitted by cell towers to be safe, and the regulations around mobile phones are more than possible carcinogenic effects to protect against hazards caused by overheated phones.

Observation studies have found comparable cancer rates in people exposed to higher and lower radiation levels.

In recent years, however, an important NIH-funded study and a second major study have found both links between cell phone radiation and some cancers, including certain brain tumors and heart tumors.

In their wake, experts and health officials are grimly divided about the problem, with some claiming that cell phone and tower radiation is safe and others claim it is not.

Even within the lower frequency radiofrequency radiation category, there is variation, including between different generations of cellular network technology.


The rollout of 5G technology currently uses radiation with a higher frequency than its predecessors – and some experts are involved.

Higher frequency means higher levels of potentially harmful energy, and the new smaller towers being rolled out for 5G must be closer to each other, which could increase the overall human exposure.


Citizens in Mill Valley, a small town outside of San Francisco, were also concerned and expressed those concerns to the city council.

In September 2018, the council adopted a regulation that obliges telecom companies to apply for the installation of new towers, antennas or boxes in the city.


Although the regulation has been called an effective block against 5G, senior planner for Mill Valley, Danielle Staude, says this is not the case.

Instead, the & # 39; preferences & # 39; of cities for the way additional mobile technology is implemented. If airlines describe an acceptable implementation strategy, the city will approve it and 5G can be implemented.

But the FCC has given the green light and has also required cities to move forward with the implementation of 5G faster.

"I think these citizens are right and the FCC has clearly exceeded its role and (behaves as if it is) blind to the potential health effects of 5G and 4, and others," Dr. Joel Moskowitz, a public health researcher at UC Berkeley.

On the other hand, Dr. Jerrod Bushberg, a radiology expert at UC Davis, says there is a lot of fuss about nothing.

He says that although it is a higher frequency, 5G & # 39; does not travel very far & # 39; and that, although radio frequency is technical radiation, it does not have the same chemical effects as gamma or x-rays.

He says it's not powerful enough to force electrons to peel away from atoms or molecules, a force that causes cancer.

& # 39; But people hear & # 39; radiation & # 39; and see the box and imagine that it is something much worse than it is, & # 39; he told

Dr. Bushberg – who was consulted by the city of Sacramento on the safety and potential health effects of 5G networks – says that the increasing fear of technology has more to do with the increased visibility than the technology itself.

"It happens a lot in our society – it happened when locomotives were introduced, many people were scared to travel because they thought human bodies were not meant to move at those speeds," he says.


& # 39; But we need further research, we never know all the answers about something. & # 39;

And while that research is being done, cities in California and New York will continue to try to limit or delay the implementation of 5G technology, of which Dr. Moskowitz, as said, the & # 39; guinea pigs & # 39; are for safety tests.

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