Technology

Courtney Allan

5G health risks: Should consumers be worried?

5G health risks: Should consumers be worried?

Scientists are working hard to quash the rumours of ill-effects to your health that could be linked to the rollout of 5G technology.

Potential health effects from 5G technology range from cancers to “allergies”. These are based around radiofrequency electromagnetic energy, which is how mobile phones send and receive information.

Dr Ken Karipidis from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency told journalists that the fear “doesn’t hold weight”.

“(Millimetre waves) don’t travel very far, so because of that there’s going to be a lot more base stations around and I think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people are worried,” Dr Karipidis explained to The New Daily.

“There is going to be a lot of infrastructure that’s near their house, for example.”

Millimetre waves are already used in technology that has been around for sometime, with no proven health effects in the long or short term.

Dr Sarah Loughran said that there is a misunderstanding around 5G technology. As it runs at a higher frequency, people assumes it also emits higher energy levels.

“While there will be more antennas and infrastructure needed to run the 5G network, it will run at a lower power level, and therefore its energy will not penetrate as deeply into the body as older technology,” Dr Loughran said, who is at the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research out of the University of Wollongong.

One thing the two doctors agreed on was that any energy penetration into a human body will only be skin deep. 

Dr Karipidis was involved in an Australian study that sought to compare any increase in brain tumour incidences over the past 30 years with the growing popularity of mobile phones.

Dr Karipidis and his team found that there was no increase in brain tumour rates during this period as well as finding no link in the long or short-term between radiowaves and cancer.

“There are some people who believe they are sensitive to, or ‘allergic’, to electromagnetic energy,” Dr Loughan said.

“This is actually a self-diagnosis … with no medical or scientific evidence,” she said.

The 5G network has begun to be switched on in test sites around the country with a full complete roll out sometime next year.