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Is 5G mobile wireless a health risk?

The Swiss government has revised the allocation of frequencies, clearing the way for 5G, or fifth generation mobile wireless, but critics are warning it could be bad for our health. (SRF/swissinfo.chExternal link)

This content was published on November 14, 2017 - 15:00

5G is 100 times faster than 4G. It’s a wireless connection built specifically to keep up with the proliferation of devices that need a mobile internet connection. The first 5G applications will be available in 2020 or 2021, allowing higher data transfers with shorter response times. That means content will download quicker, or websites will load faster. Multiple input and output antennas (MIMOs) will probably be used to boost signal anywhere 5G is offered.

Typically when a new mobile wireless technology arrives, it’s assigned a higher radio frequency. 4G occupied the frequency bands up to 20 MHz. Soon the 694-790 MHz frequency range, originally reserved for broadcasting, will be made available for broadband mobile communications applications in Switzerland. The government has also freed up frequencies in the range of 1,400 - 3,500 MHz for mobile communications.

But Peter Kälin, president of the Basel-based Doctors for Environmental Protection group, is warning that 5G uses very short waves, which will be absorbed by the skin. He adds, “The skin is already exposed to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 5G could present an extra cancer risk”. 

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