Are 5G towers more dangerous than the previous cell towers? What can we do? In this guest post, Lois Cadwallader explores the dangers and what we can do individually and collectively to protect ourselves.
Are 5G towers more dangerous than what? 2G? 3G? 4G?
Since the shelf life of 2G has pretty much expired, and there is already a phase-out program for 3G, so we’ll limit this discussion to 4G and 5G cell towers.
Just so that we understand what we are talking about, the “tower” is the structure upon which the antennas are attached. The antennas that transmit and receive are the real culprit here. But cell tower is the popular term, so I’ll go with that.
Why are cell tower antennas the real culprit?
Because they receive and transmit a form of electromagnetic field called radio frequency radiation or microwave radiation.
Thousands of studies link radio frequency radiation of the type emitted by cell towers to many serious and chronic diseases including:
- cancer (see article on cell tower radiation cancer link)
- brain tumors
- chronic fatigue
- Alzheimer’s disease
- breast cancer
- various childhood cancers
- heart disease
- miscarriage and suicide
- and more….
The World Health Organization has classified cell tower type radiation exposures as a ‘possible Class 2B carcinogen’.
In many ways cell towers are an invisible danger—despite literally towering over some neighborhoods it's as if many people don't see them.
But neither 4G nor 5G cell towers have been proven safe and there have been no long-term studies on any of this technology.
Yet, there are specific reasons for heightened concern over 5G towers because some of the technology involved is quite different from the previous generation.
Quick-look comparison of 4G and 5G Towers
1. Continuous vs. intermittent broadcasting
4G cell towers broadcast a signal continuously, 24/7, whereas 5G activates only when a wireless device demands a signal. You might say 5G is, “radiation on demand.”
For that reason, some argue that 5G is less dangerous …except…
If you or your neighbors keep smart devices on and never turn them off, you will undoubtedly experience extended exposure, which turns into continuous, 24/7 radiation, similar to what is generated by 4G.
Smart devices, even when not in use, continually send out a beacon, looking for the nearest wireless connection.
Further complicating things, 4G and 5G can be co-located and 5G can use existing 4G technology as well as new 5G technology. We won’t necessarily know what kind of signal is being generated. 
2. Blanket vs. beams
4G broadcasts a large blanket of radiation whereas 5G can use beamforming (also called phased array) to pinpoint connection.
So, some contend that 5G is actually safer because it is more focused and precise instead of a large area signal, like 4G sends out …except…
Multiple beamforming antennas work together to concentrate the focus. This emits even more radiation than a single antenna. When someone uses a wireless device, their beam is able to switch from one small cell tower to another small cell tower, tracking the device to ensure a seamless connection.
It will be impossible to determine how many “beamforming” signals are passing through your home, or your body from other sources, since 5G small antennas are so close and numerous.
Additionally, there are some serious concerns about this un-tested technology and its effect on the skin, eyes, and the immune system, not to mention plants, birds and insects. [3,4]
You might want to read Lloyd's extensive article on 5G radiation.
3. 5G towers Use Higher frequencies
5G can use existing 4G frequencies, below 6 GHz. But it can also employ much higher frequencies, 20 GHz – 90 GHz. Because they are lower than X-rays and gamma rays, industry and government assure us that 5G frequencies are safe
… except …
They are still high compared to what we find in nature. With the exception of lightning, natural frequencies are way lower. So the man-made “low,” non-ionizing frequencies are only “low” relative to what technology generates. They are not indigenous to the natural world. Life is fragile. We don’t really know how this is going to affect our health and the ecosystem of our planet. And so far, it’s not looking good. Read on.
Beware of ELFs and VLFs
It has been demonstrated that even ELFs (Extremely Low Frequencies) and VLFs (Very Low Frequencies) can:
- Break DNA single and double-strands
- Cause oxidative damage
- Disrupt cell metabolism
- Increase blood-brain barrier permeability
- Reduce melatonin production
- Alter brain glucose metabolism
- Generate stress proteins
- Disrupt voltage-gated calcium channels
All of the above are well-documented. The debate is over whether or not it matters to human health or the environment. And because people are not dropping dead right and left, government and industry scientists contend that the above effects are not significant. [6,7,8]
Independent researchers are saying, “Not so fast.” Anything that affects the body at the cellular level could have unintended health consequences. And, anything powerful enough to activate a machine or electronic device most certainly can interrupt the intricate electro-chemical functions of your body. 
Which leads to the question, is this a big EMF cover-up?
Think about that. 5G can use frequencies already used by 4G technology. And it can also use the higher range (20 – 90 GHz), called millimeter waves (MMWs).
MMWs have been used for years in medicine, satellite TV, airport security, and the military. But they’ve never been tested for continuous use with the general public.
And, it will be impossible for the users to know exactly what their exposure levels are on any day, as this technology can slip from one frequency to another and one antenna to another, instantaneously and seamlessly. 5G is “pretty slick!”
4. Density – 1/2 mile away vs 2 houses close
Where are the cell towers? (If you live in the USA, check out: antennasearch.com to determine the location and number of antennas in your immediate proximity.)
It is difficult, but still possible to find a home a good distance away from a 4G cell tower, whereas 5G antennas needs to be installed in very close proximity to work—antennas could be just 1 or 2 houses away. Or, one could be installed right in front of your own house.
Why so close? The millimeter waves (MMWs) characteristic of 5G are higher frequencies, shorter wave length, and travel less distances. Therefore, the 5G build-out requires many more antennas, very closely positioned and lower to the ground so that users do not lose signal. 
Some people assume that since 5G antennas are so small, that they are less dangerous
… except …
The close proximity of 5G antennas greatly increases the risks associated with exposure to harmful radiation.
What is potentially more dangerous? A super-powerful tower a mile away? Or, a less-powerful, smaller antenna across the street?
Proximity is a big deal when it comes to electromagnetic radiation danger. Radiation levels drop off dramatically with distance.
5G small cells will be placed on lamp posts, corners of buildings, street signs, etc. They are small and relatively inconspicuous. They will most likely not be placed on a designated “tower,” and they may not be readily identifiable. 
5. 5G Tower Intensity – Heavy traffic vs. uber-heavy traffic, all moving faster than ever
One of 5G’s claims to fame is its ability to move massive amounts of data all at once.
Whereas 4G connected people, 5G enables devices to communicate with one another and make intelligent decisions. It enables highly sophisticated applications such as self-driving cars, virtual reality, medical operations, smarter homes and smarter cities. 5G is the necessary infrastructure for IoT (the Internet of Things). [13,14]
“Be Smart. Be Connected.” That was the mantra of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV.
And your smart phone will be the “hub” of all things connected. It will be the ultimate “universal remote.” Smart!
4G was a huge step up from 3G as it is able to handle video streaming and faster speeds. 5G will handle massive amounts of data, delivering speeds up to 1,000 times what has previously been achievable. [15,16]
In addition to speed, 5G can handle many more users simultaneously. So, 5G is a giant leap in service capability.
To make this work 5G requires higher frequencies and greater bandwidth to accommodate the huge demand for data. For example, instead of downloading a movie in 7 minutes, 5G may do it in 7 seconds.
Sounds too good to be true … except …
The convenience and speed doesn’t come without a price. This results in an enormous surge of radiation exposure. All so that we can live just a little bit faster?
If you're still confused as to what 5G means read my extensive article, is 5G dangerous?
Enough! Here’s what you can do
#1 Take Concrete Steps to Protect Yourself
Read How To Protect Yourself From Cell Tower Radiation.
#2 Step Away – Distance Is Your Friend.
Whenever possible, increase distance from all electronics, especially wireless devices.
#3 Limit Your Use Of Wireless Devices.
Use hard-wired options instead of mobile devices when using for extended time—see WIFI radiation protection article.
#4 Zzzzz – Start With Your Sleeping Area And Make It As “Low-Tech” As You Can.
At least turn off all electronics, including router, at night.
#5 Just Say NO – Refuse The 5G Phone “Upgrade” That Is Coming Soon.
#6 Go retro – Reject The “Smart Home” Concept.
Maintain older appliances that do not have wireless sensors.
#7 Get wired – Hard Wire Electronic Devices Whenever Possible Instead Of Relying On Wireless Technology.
#8 Replace – Opt Out Of Your Smart Meter, If Possible, And Return To The Previous Analog Utility Meter.
Protect yourself from smart meter radiation.
#9 Back To The Basics – Begin Changing Your Habits Today.
Check out: 10 Ways You Can Reduce Radiation Exposure Now.
(Download free pop-art-style trifold)
#10 Are you sick? If You Are EHS (Electromagnetic Hypersensitive) Seek Help Early.
You have some time before the 5G infrastructure is fully established and activated. It will only get worse as 5G is implemented.
#11 Choose simplicity – Determine To Un-Plug Whenever Possible.
#12 Contact An EMF Consultant, Especially If You Want To Pursue Shielding, As This Can Get Tricky.
#13 Be A World Changer – Join The Growing Numbers Of Grassroots Efforts Speaking Out About The Dangers Of 5G.
#14 Spread The Word! Please Share This Article With Everyone You Know.
To close, I found it interesting that Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has called for a thorough investigation into the health risks posed by 5G technology, stating: “The technology is still too young to draw a conclusion.” 
What are your thoughts so far? Are 5G towers really more dangerous?
Please leave a comment. We read them all.
Many thanks to Lois Cadwallader for this guest post.
Author bio: Lois Cadwallader, MA, has been a professional educator all her life. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and enjoys volunteering in after-school clubs, hiking and cycling. She is the co-author of Exposed: The Electronic Sickening of America and How to Protect Yourself.
Sources and Bibliography
1. “5G Fifth Generation Cellular Technology” This page last updated January 27, 2019. http://www.createhealthyhomes.com/five_g.php
2. “5G – FROM BLANKETS TO BULLETS” by Arthur Firstenberg https://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/5g-from-blankets-to-bullets/
3. “FRIGHTENING FREQUENCIES: THE DANGERS OF 5G” https://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/dangers-of-5g/
4. “Bees, Butterflies and Wildlife: Research On Electromagnetic Fields And The Environment” https://ehtrust.org/science/bees-butterflies-wildlife-research-electromagnetic-fields-environment/
5. “FRIGHTENING FREQUENCIES: THE DANGERS OF 5G” https://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/dangers-of-5g/
6. Environmental Health Trust. “Clear Evidence Of Cancer Concludes U.S. National Toxicology Program Expert Panel On Cell Phone Radiation,” March 2018 Retrieved from https://ehtrust.org/clear-evidence-of-cancer-concludes-the-expert-panel-to-the-us-national-toxicology-program-on-cell-phone-radiation-study-findings/
7. Sage, C. (Ed.) BioInitiative 2012 (Updated 2017) – A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF). Rensselaer, NY: University at Albany, 2012. Retrieved from https://bioinitiative.org/
8. “Bees, Butterflies And Wildlife: Research On Electromagnetic Fields And The Environment” https://ehtrust.org/science/bees-butterflies-wildlife-research-electromagnetic-fields-environment/
9. “The Many Failures of FCC Guidelines” Retrieved from 5G Sacramento Dangers: https://5gsacramentodangers.com/fcc-guideline-failures/
10. Blackman, C. “Evidence for Disruption by the Modulating Signal,” BioInitiative 2007: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), C. Sage and D. O. Carpenter (editors). Retrieved 2017 from http://www.bioinitiative.org/
11. Miller, Lawrence. 5G RF for Dummies, Quorvo Special Edition, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2017.
12. “5G Cell Towers: Why You See Them and How They Work” https://www.lifewire.com/5g-cell-towers-4584192
13. “Understanding mmWave: Faster connectivity highways for 5G” Nov. 28, 2018 https://www.qualcomm.com/news/onq/2018/11/28/understanding-mmwave-faster-connectivity-highways-5g
14. Miller, Lawrence. 5G RF for Dummies, Quorvo Special Edition, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2017.
15. “5G speed is data transmission in real time” https://www.telekom.com/en/company/details/5g-speed-is-data-transmission-in-real-time-544498
16. “How fast is 5G?” By Sacha Kavanagh https://5g.co.uk/guides/how-fast-is-5g/
17. “5G Networks: Are they Dangerous to our Health?” By Geoffrey Kabat, April 30, 2019 https://www.dw.com/en/5g-networks-are-they-dangerous-to-our-health/a-47981285
Marlene Conner said,
Very informative article with a lot of valuable information. Thank you!
I don’t think any of us know how this is going to affect us, with 5G radiation. It is too bad there isn’t something safe to replace the landline phone. VOIP is the only option, that doesn’t work well, if you have a slower Internet, like those who live out in the country. I won’t be getting a 5G phone anytime soon. I have many concerns about this. Thanks for this update.
Can 5G be delivered to homes over Google fiber (and then to individual routers), rather than being installed on lamp posts?
Wayne W. said,
Yes 5G can be delivered to homes… but when it’s routed through a router it’s going to be a lot worse as you’ll have multiple devices in your home constantly feeding off and broadcasting signals. Basically it’s like you living in a microwave.
Hi, I’m wondering what you mean by seek help early healthwise for the EHS. Thank you 🙂 Marissa
@Fern, 5G _is_ the delivery by wireless. If your internet connection is by fiber it is not 5G. However if someone puts a 5G hotspot inside their home connected to DSL or fiber, then that occupant and surrounding neighbors will get a lot of EMR exposure.
What I’m waiting to hear, is for rural locations where a pole every few hundred feet is nearly impossible, what exactly will be added to the nearest tower several miles away? What will 4G-enhanced add to that existing 4G emitter? Phased array at sub-Ghz bands I’m guessing.
Thanks Lois. Great article.
Power Unseen said,
Gave up ham radio when I read in a 1993 book that ham radio operators get twice as much leukemia as the general population. When mobile phones were relatively new, came across three people who developed brain tumours. Believe in all three cases there were co-factors but decided not to get a mobile. All wired here and have gone back to incandescent bulbs. Recently obtained a mobile, for emergencies only. My late mother had difficulty sleeping when mobile phone antennas went up on a nearby building. She would not move so lined her bedroom walls and ceiling with foil. (And earthed it). Maybe it did some good. Now several ham bands under threat. Wanted for 5G?
Patricia Ormsby said,
It is impossible to say at this time, but two possibilities: in Japan (e.g.) the government is investing in new poles and is also using infrastructure already in place such as traffic signals. Everywhere, satellites are supposed to provide 5G, with thousands of rocket launches to get them up there. If you are aware of the dangers to the atmosphere of that as well as to our health from ubiquitous exposure, it is an incredibly ugly picture.
We lost nearly all the pollinators near our rural house when 4G was introduced. When they brought in smart meters the insect and bird life near areas where they were prevalent, such as our main field in the village declined drastically.
They’ll keep on chanting that it’s climate change and pesticides as famine takes its toll, so we need to keep spreading word about the research showing these kinds of effects, even to the point of repeating ourselves. While the lotus-eaters among us entertain themselves to death, do whatever you can to protect yourself and learn to grow things you can eat that are fairly resilient in the face of this onslaught. Tubers fair better because they are underground, as do whatever pests attack them (our experience this year). Grains don’t need pollination. Important sources of nutrients like berries are hit particularly hard, so sheltering them has to be considered. Hand pollinating seems to work for a few things (apples), but not at all for others (squash).
Clinton Crawley said,
My wife is being seriously injured from the nearby cell tower. It has caused serious hearing problems. My wife can’t sleep a lot of nights due to the tower radiation danger. We may have to sell our house and move but a new location may not be helpful. A heart attack and stroke is bothering me, leaving me feeling bad. The tower has recently been putting on new antennas and is making more noise than ever before.
I would like to get a copy of your 5G article that I can take to my county meetings and local school system. This month I gave short information about cell phones at the county and school system meetings. I would like to do this again with your 5G article and give copies to people. I would like to see your article in black and white instead of color so I could afford to buy several copies to give at the meetings. I have other meetings I would like to attend and tell about the 5G damage headed for states.
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