Cellphones and other wireless gadgets have been ubiquitous since the release of the first cordless portable phone in the early 1970s. High-speed data transmissions are a promise of the evolution of telecommunications networks from 1G to 5G. However, questions have been raised about the safety of 5G due to fears about its possible adverse impacts on human health.
Infertility, neuropsychiatric disorders, cancer, and inflammation have all been linked to cellphone radiation, as shown by studies dating back to the 1970s. The results of research on the side effects of cellphone radiation, however, have been mixed, with some discrepancies attributable to differences in study financing.
2G, 3G, and 4G technologies have all been linked to possible health hazards in animal studies. High exposure to 2G and 3G radiation was linked to an increased risk of cancer and detrimental effects on DNA in rats, according to a study released in 2018 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. However, it is not possible to directly compare the exposure that humans experience while using a smartphone to the exposure that is used in the usage of unusually high radiation levels that do not match real-world exposure scenarios.
The majority of research, however, have failed to provide strong evidence that exposure to cellphone radiation is harmful to health. Research on smartphone radiation published before the 2019 introduction of 5G showed that brain structures within the skull absorbed radiation from phones when they were held close to the ear. A kind of brain cancer called glioblastoma has been linked to heavy smartphone use, according to some studies.
Millimetre waves, like those used in 5G, may not be able to travel through solid matter, but they can be absorbed by the skin. A 2020 research on 5G radiation showed that, when transmitted from 10 centimetres (4 inches), the waves might enter the skin by around 0.9 millimetres.
Understanding the consequences on human health is becoming increasingly relevant as communication networks develop and 5G promises higher speeds and greater connectedness.