On 5G And The Fear Of Radiation

The world around us is a scary place, with a lot of visible and invisible dangers. Some of those invisible dangers are pretty obvious, such as that of an electrical shock from exposed wiring. Some are less obvious, for example the dangers of UV radiation to one’s skin and eyes commonly known, but also heavily underestimated by many until it’s too late. In the US alone, skin cancer ends up affecting about one in every five people.

Perhaps ironically, while the danger from something like UV radiation is often underestimated, other types of electromagnetic radiation are heavily overestimated. All too often, the distinction between what is and isn’t considered to be harmful appears to be made purely on basis of whether it is ‘natural’ radiation or not. The Sun is ‘natural’, ergo UV radiation cannot be harmful, but the EM radiation from a microwave or 5G wireless transceiver is human-made, and therefore harmful. This is, of course, backwards.

Rather than dismissing such irrational fears of radiation, let’s have a look at both the science behind radiation and the way humans classify ‘danger’, such as in the case of 5G cell towers.

Ionizing Versus Non-Ionizing

Ionizing radiation gets a warning sign, non-ionizing does not.

The first thing you should ask about radiation is whether or not it is ionizing. Ionizing radiation has enough energy to kick the electrons out of their orbits within atoms. Ionizing radiation is therefore by definition damaging, with our cells having repair mechanisms in place to fix the damage sustained from the background radiation which we are exposed to every day. Ionizing radiation can cause cancers, create heritable genetic diseases if it reaches reproductive cells, and cause immediate tissue damage. Ionizing radiation takes the form of either charged particles, alpha and beta radiation, or photons with sufficient energy that they can indirectly ionize atoms — gamma rays.

Non-ionizing radiation, instead, makes molecules move using the produced electromagnetic field. Consider the microwave oven, which produces non-ionizing EM radiation at roughly 2.45 GHz, a frequency that works well to affect the dipole moment of water molecules. By rapidly moving the water molecules between different orientations in an alternating EM field, the water molecules begin to dissipate their kinetic energy as heat in a process called dielectric heating. The important distinction is that non-ionizing radiation doesn’t chemically change the water, it just heats it up.

Ultra-violet light is an interesting exception because it straddles the boundary between non-ionizing and ionizing radiation, and even the non-ionizing forms can be dangerous for humans. Although UV light in the UV-A through UV-C range is not ionizing, it damages DNA and parts of the eye. This is why UV-C radiation is used for sterilizing surfaces in laboratories and hospitals: by disrupting DNA and RNA, it kills both bacteria and viruses. Extreme UV (EUV) overlaps slightly with UV-C and is so strongly ionizing that it can normally only be transmitted through a vacuum.

Non-ionizing Radiation is Rather Hot

The dielectric heating principle holds true for all non-ionizing radiation: the primary effect on the human body consists of affecting the dipole moment of molecules in our tissues, causing localized heating. This is why standing in the sunshine, or in front of an infrared (IR) heating lamp, or an operating radar dish makes one feel warm. What we perceive as ‘heat’ radiating off objects is mostly in the IR spectrum, which is why IR-sensitive sensors are commonly used to measure this, for example with IR cameras.

Although in an extreme situation this type of radiation can also affect cell membranes, this requires lots more energy. By the time that happens, the heat produced would be carried by the blood into the body’s core, where it would disrupt essential enzymatic and other functions. Disrupting this core body temperature is almost inevitably lethal, and would get you before the cellular damage even had a chance.

Additionally, the penetration depth of EM radiation (EMR) into biological tissue decreases sharply after about 10 MHz, meaning that high-frequency EMR mostly affects just the skin and the tissues directly underneath it. Before the disruption of cell membranes in that area becomes an issue, one’s core body temperature will already have risen to and beyond lethal levels, in the form of heat stroke.

The Psychology of Fear

Being able to quickly identify threats in one’s environment and figuring out how to react to these dangers is an essential survival trait. The emotion associated with the perception of such a threat is called fear. A fear response can be rational (a response is warranted) or irrational (a phobia). An individual may also dismiss an actual threat, either completely, or mitigate it using presumed factors. An example of the latter is the very real threat from smoking tobacco and the consumption of alcohol where it excused as a coping mechanism against stress and the like.

This selective approach to environmental threats often leads to a patchwork of mitigating factors, as well as perceived threats where none exist. These perceived threats can be the aforementioned phobia, but also originate from paranoia. In the case of paranoia a thought or notion is amplified by anxiety and fears, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. Often these delusions are accompanied by conspiracy elements, with a person or group being accused of being behind this perceived threat. Meanwhile, cognitive bias hampers comprehension of information that should change their mind.

Over the decades, there’s been an increase in fearmongering regarding the safety of wireless equipment, as well as that of ‘unnatural’ radiation, including that from alternating current mains wiring inside houses. As early as 1903 these folk have been referred to as ‘radiophobes‘, with some in this group claiming to be hypersensitive to EM radiation. Fear of radiation in general has effected politicians into making disastrous decisions, and motivated nations like Switzerland to put a moratorium on 5G over the ‘proven harmful effects of HF-EMF‘.

Studies presumably are showing that radiation levels far below that of the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) recommendations (PDF) cause an increase in various types of cancers. In addition the World Health Organization has classified the risk from RF (radiofrequency EM) as ‘Group 2B’, meaning ‘possible human carcinogen’. Mainstream newspaper articles meanwhile promote conspiracy level thinking, suggesting that the truth about the harms from RF EMR are being hidden from us, like with tobacco.

Most recently, a rumor has sprung up that 5G is somehow responsible for, or linked to, the SARS-CoV-2 (informally: ‘coronavirus’) pandemic, with people going so far as to literally torch down towers that contain 5G and other wireless transceivers. As [Joel Hruska] over at ExtremeTech succinctly points out, the millimeter-wave (20+ GHz) part of 5G that people get upset about has very low range, meaning that the overwhelming part of ‘5G radiation’ that we experience would be in roughly the same frequency range as 4G (LTE) and WiFi.

Are you feeling afraid yet?

Science of Radiation Safety

The entire point of the scientific method is to methodically examine and discover how everything around us works, whether it’s on a macroscopic, microscopic or quantum level. When a group of people claim that they can somehow ‘sense’ electromagnetic fields, to the point where it affects their physical well-being, this raises a lot of questions. The primary one being that there is no known biological mechanism that a human would be able to be affected by EMR.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be science if this didn’t deter scientists from setting up controlled tests in which involved subjects who claimed to suffer from hypersensitivity. After twenty-eight of such studies by different researchers, another group of researchers would then write up a review article to summarize the findings of those studies. It should come as no surprise that evidence for EM (hyper)sensitivity was completely absent.

That then leaves the question of whether non-ionizing radiation like that from cell towers and WiFi access points is harmful, as some people claim. It certainly could be, if it heated up tissue significantly. The amount of radiation from 4G and 5G wireless towers, as well as that from a cellphone held next to one’s head during a conversation, however, causes barely any heating due to the low power levels involved. So that’s that?

Perhaps the clearest evidence that can disprove the potential harm of cellphone RF radiation comes from the biggest experiment ever conducted, on over five billion cellphone users. Despite an absolutely astounding ramp-up of RF radiation exposure over the past decades, as cell phones became commonplace, there has been no corresponding increase of tumors or other harmful effects. Not from analog cellphone networks, nor from 2G, 3G or 4G or WiFi.

This fact is noted as well by the US National Cancer Institute on their fact sheet, along with an exhaustive list of cohort, experimental, and other studies. As they note, effects other than thermal heating have not been shown. Findings involving tumors and other harmful effects could not be replicated, and notoriously unreliable cohort studies have to be taken with a grain of sand, especially when experimental studies have failed to turn up any biological mechanisms using with exposure of low levels to RF EMR. The results are most likely attributable to other uncontrolled factors. Cancer Research UK and other institutions concur with the NCI. That’s the science.

Be Safe, Not Afraid

The essence of the matter thus appears to be that of fearful and paranoid people demanding that the industry proves beyond any shade of doubt that RF EMR like that used with cellphones is ‘absolutely safe’. Unfortunately, unlike in mathematics, science doesn’t deal with proof, only with evidence. And while evidence can easily refute a theory, it can’t prove that something is safe — all science can do is rule out potential causes of harm. And so far, that’s being done.

To the best of our knowledge today, we can say with confidence that there are no effects from non-ionizing radiation beyond the thermal effects, except for the edge case of UV radiation. May there be new discoveries in the future that show that e were too optimistic about the safety of RF EMR? The data and evidence regarding cellphone use since the 1980s does not support any of the propositions that their use is somehow harmful, nor do any controlled studies.

To this day, the only real demonstrable harm from smartphone use is that of walking into open manhole covers, against lighting posts, and of course causing traffic accidents. The best advice thus is to use one’s cellphone only when it’s safe to do so, and avoid using it while driving or walking. In addition, be careful about trusting random information from anyone that you haven’t verified yourself. In case of doubt, consult an actual expert in the field.

Be safe, and enjoy your wireless freedom. And please stop burning down cell towers.

178 thoughts on “On 5G And The Fear Of Radiation

    1. I beg to differ. The only data cited is by those with conflicts of interest and none of the thousands of studies showing non-ionizing radiation’s impact on biological organisms are mentioned. Studies have found they are associated with cancer and DNA damage. youtube watch?v=1QIwQf88_N0

      1. I agree, it’s VERY basic science, RF at the right frequency, even at low power can resonate organic structure, because I believe damage is done over many years possibly, it’s also very hard to say it’s harm one way or another, what we can say for sure is NOBODY knows at this time. This is a case of emperor’s clothes, people repeating the same non ionizing arguments and the like whilst really having absolutely no idea of the biologic interactions.

    1. Heh, don’t get ’em going on education “School should have taught me useful stuff like how to do my taxes” and I’m thinking where TF were you in 3rd through 9th grade where addition, subtraction, percentages etc were gone over and over and over.

    2. People don’t really work like that. The problem is not the information but the thinking process itself. What feels “right” to the person has nothing to do with what they know is right – they will still react and behave in irrational ways as if nothing you told them had completely different meanings. Intelligence also does not matter – it’s not a stupid vs. smart question – intelligent people are simply more efficient at coming up with excuses and alternate explanations as to why they’re right and you’re wrong.

      “It was believed that thought disorder occurred only in schizophrenia, but later findings indicate it may occur in other psychiatric conditions including mania, and occurs even in people without mental illness.”

      The issue is that the brain doesn’t operate using logic – it works by association and heuristics – logic is just one procedure that one may learn. Just like how a synesthetic person may see sounds and hear colors, a person with a thought disorder can have their wires crossed in a way that makes them insist 1+2=4.

  1. I think you’re missing the point, or more accurately, being a compliant part of the cover-up.

    5G is just the delivery mechanism for the control codes to the nanoparticles that will be inserted into the human body by the ‘vaccine’ to the fake Covid19 ‘virus’.

    Even now you can see the effects with the plummeting IQs on display on Facebook, Twitter, US government…

    1. As a RF/ microwave engineer lower frequencies in the MHz would be better at that. 5 GHz and above barely penetrate the skin. Up at the high end 90 GHz it can stimulate the nerve ending on the surface of your skin and thats about it. I’d much rather stand in front of a high powered 5G tower and get at worst a skin burn than something below 1 GHz which could cook your guts.

    2. Someone gets scared or angry: their fight-or-flight response kicks in. That shuts down the (smart, but slow) cortex and puts the (fast, but not smart) limbic system in charge: we get stupid. Very helpful when the threat has four legs, fangs and claws; the limbic system has you a quarter mile away or thirty feet up a tree while the cortex is still at “oh, a predator, what would my optimal respons”. Not so helpful when it’s a scientific technical subject.

  2. Had a client sell their home and the new owner was one of these “radiation will kill us all” types. She called us in to remove all the wifi access points in the house and explained while we were working that doing so would “reduce harmful radiation by 10 fold” in the house. We finished, packed up, and left her happily sitting in her living room surrounded by dozens of zigbee light switches, convinced that she now lives in a mostly radiation free home.

    1. Lucky she was also blissfully unaware of broadcast band AM radio, mobile and fixed VHF/UHF FM and TV broadcasters putting out megawatts 24/7/365….

      Then there’s the Radon wafting up from under the house!

    2. Well, then you better not point out that the very walls themselves radiate hundreds of watts of EM radiation per square meter, centered around 10 micron wavelength, which is highly absorbed by human skin. That radiation will heat exposed skin, and if not controlled can even cook it.

      1. 10 um wavelength? If there’s power coming out, there has to be power going in. What is the source of this power? Silly me, I’ve been paying the utility company to heat my house for years. I would never have given them a dime if I had know my walls were already radiating so much power. But, why don’t I feel warm when I stand next to a wall? Do the floor and ceiling also radiate power or is there something special about walls?

          1. If it will heat exposed skin, why doesn’t your skin get warm when you stand near a wall, and why don’t you cook whenever you’re inside a room surrounded by walls? I’ll give you a C for trying to use physics to defend your nonsensical fears, but an F for completely misunderstanding the physics you’re trying to invoke.

          2. It’s clear you didn’t even try to think about it, let alone actually do the calculation.

            Yes, your environment is radiating hundreds of watts per square meter all the time. You don’t get hotter when being irradiated by your walls *because you are radiating too*: the net energy flux to your body is actually negative, because you are usually warmer than your environment (and your skin’s emissivity is also higher than most building materials): you are actually warming the walls by your own radiation.

            Now, go ahead and run the numbers yourself. It’s not difficult. Anybody who is competent to grade someone else on their physics is easily capable of comprehending the subject and doing the arithmetic.

          3. (Snerk). Sorry, hit the wrong button and reported a response (an Undo button would be good).
            To quote Steve Martin, “Hi! I’m radioactive! Shake!”
            Anyone familiar with radiocarbon dating…

    3. noticed a circuit breaker off in a panel box and asked the owner if there was a problem. She said she had to turn off the power to her bedroom because the radiation was making her sick and keeping her awake…..

        1. Or Nothing! Just for fun I was looking at such devices on Amazon and one top selling “emf neutralizer” was just a plug end…like the kind you get to repair extension cords, with some epoxy inside.

    4. I was doing desktop support in a client’s office, probably upgrading something or other. I sat down at the head of marketing’s computer, and found that the mouse was acting strange, so I turned it over and there was a two pence piece taped to the bottom of the mouse (I assume this was supposed to be along the same lines as those copper bracelets which are supposed to cure everything, except that 2p coins have been made of copper coated steel for years now).
      When they eventually came back to their desk I asked why the coin was there, and was told that it was; “to block the bad radiation”. I advised them to try closing their curtains instead, and managed not to start laughing until I was out of the office.

  3. My immediate thought as soon as the content switched to “here’s some psychology” was “wow, apparently this HaD writer has never encountered an internet troll in their life.” I have never observed any scientific evidence that normal cases of this “5G causes coronavirus” kind of paranoia can be solved simply by stating the facts, or by trying to educate those individuals on the “correct” mode of thinking. And I hypothesize that the reason that that is true is because you are informing them that they are wrong, and more importantly that potentially many important figures (which may include: the media, “influencers,” local authority figures, etc.) in their life are wrong. Building on this hypothesis, telling someone the psychology of why they’re wrong or explaining why science deals in hypotheses and evidence are only going to contribute to them not listening to you.

  4. Unfortunately, the testing cited doesn’t appear to be conclusive.


    Twenty-eight studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in this review. In many studies, both with positive and negative results, we identified methodological limitations that might have either fostered false or masked real effects of exposure. The most common limitations were related to the selection of study participants, the counterbalancing of the exposure sequence and the effectiveness of blinding. Many studies further lacked statistical power estimates. Methodically sound studies indicated that an effect of exposure is unlikely.

    1. As Maya says, “… science doesn’t deal with proof, only with evidence.”


      Overall, the evidence points towards no effect of exposure. If physical effects exist, previous findings suggest that they must be very weak or affect only few individuals with IEI-EMF. Given the evidence that the nocebo effect or medical/mental disorders may explain the symptoms in many individuals with IEI-EMF, additional research is required to identify the various factors that may be important for developing IEI-EMF and for provoking the symptoms. We recommend the identification of subgroups and exploring IEI-EMF in the context of other idiopathic environmental intolerances. If further experimental studies are conducted, they should preferably be performed at the individual level. In particular, to increase the likelihood of detecting hypersensitive individuals, if they exist, we encourage researchers to achieve a high credibility of the results by minimizing sources of risk of bias and imprecision.

      One of the best test I read about, used identical 4 routers. Two were fully working, and the other two had there electronics removed. One of each pair had a working LEDs and the other had them disconnected. The participants were 50/50 “sufferers”. The “non-sufferers” had no effect. The sufferers claimed to have an effect only with the routers with the lights on! I thought I had downloaded a copy, but haven’t been able to find it yet. If I find it I will post a link.

    1. we have a history of over 10k years of symbiosis with the plant. There is something to be said for that sort of efficacy, safety, and symbiotic evolution. A boatload of great things are natural, like all the food we grow and cook and eat. but then again, various types of radiation are natural too, but not this kind, and not in such high concentrations or focused points. I think you miss the gist of the argument, that we are creating something new that we have zero experience with regarding the exposure levels and exact types. Furthermore we do not know the outcomes because we are being affected by so many brand new threat vectors at one time. It is a natural and useful for humans to be fearful of the unknown. Take mushrooms for example. If I know a mushroom to be safe, and effective for medicine, yes i can eat it. If i do not know the mushroom, I fear the effects, because they might be death. Your dismissal of a primal function that lives in your own brain is both ignorant and laughable. I get a kick out of YOU sir.

      1. Wow. How did you get that I dismissed a primal function that lives in my brain? Actually, survival is a primary function that keeps me from eating “natural” plants that might actually kill me. But thanks for giving me the win, which always happens when someone devolves into personal attack, evidentiary of a lack of cogent argument.

        “efficacy, safety, and symbiotic evolution” That’s funny. Evolution involves killing off those who eat the wrong plants. “Safety” as you mention is not involved in evolution.

        Wow! You know a mushroom to be safe. I also know many mushrooms to be safe that I buy at Wal-Mart eat all the time. You sound like you are high on those mushrooms that you think are safe.

        “we have zero experience with regarding the exposure levels and exact types” Uh, no. We have lots of experience with this. Astronauts experiences lots of radiation in space. Airline pilots who fly over the north pole experience lots of intense radiation that is, guess what, natural. We have experienced the types of radiation that you fear over millenia – from the SUN!

        I agree that it is natural for humans to be fearful of the unknown. But living in that fear instead of learning and investigating it is asinine. I used to be a health physicist and instructor at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School. In extensively sought understanding and learning in these things. Ignorance is something that I now have little tolerance for when people let it direct their lives.

    2. Alcohol is also natural (fermentation).
      Have a lot and you’ll pay later (and not just the bar attender).

      Reminds me of a comic stating gin (the alcoholic drink) is best as it is all 100% natural.

  5. Its not backwards to have concerns if people don’t truly know what they’re meddling with.
    There are other factors not considered. Non ionizing radiation also does have a warning sign

    There have been multiple studies that cellphone radiation is harmful, not just because of thermal effects
    but also because biological functions can be affected differently by certain electromagnetic frequencies.


    The pulsed electromagnetic waves used in Wi-Fi cause exessive oxidative stress, which can interfere with
    the bodies natural functions to heal properly. While 4G’s using the same frequencies as those of microwave ovens,
    5G is using some frequencies in the range of those of “non-lethal” directed energy weapons

    I don’t understand why we’re not using Li-Fi, 5G has such short range anyway. Concentrating 5G in beams ups its strength.
    Sure not all the frequencies are harmful, but a lot of them are and you won’t know which area is using which.
    They’re installing these systems all over the place with little choice to opt-out if one requires any kinda service.
    Especially with the Starlink plan to beam 5G from space. Being alert and being afraid aren’t the same thing.

    Ofcourse there will be backlash when systems like this are blanket forced on the entire world.

    1. Oxygen causes oxidative stress too. Vitamin A will KILL YOU, And as for your directed energy weapons? You can cut rocks in half with a high enough pressure jet of water and burn holes through steel with enough light. So no, it’s not important that 5G uses the same frequency as some (thankfully) “non-lethal” weapons. It’s about power density. Now stop worrying about this crap and go enjoy your life. Something else will kill you first anyway. Like the Atkins diet. Best advice I have. Best advice on this whole thread.

    2. Yes, there is an effect. However, it is dependent on power (or voltage, if you will).
      The moral of the story, is don’t expose yourself to high RF fields. So if you’re concerned about Elon Musk’s Death Ray, be sure to include the 1/R^2 term in your calculation.

      In other news, you can safely hold both ends of an AA battery in your hand, but don’t try the same thing with your AC power outlet.

  6. My GF was asking me about this and pulled up one of the news reports. They scanned across some of the meters being used to measure and show the “harmful” levels and I had her pause so I could read the meters. I saw on one a power level of about 0.95 mW and pointed to the wifi on the wall putting out ~100 times the levels they were measuring.

  7. With the whole debate about the safety of 5G, there are a few important points being glossed over. Firstly, unlike wifi and most traditional forms of radio, 5G uses MIMO and beamforming. If your router puts out 100mW, it’s omnidirectional and very spread out. 5G phones will be putting out 2W, and that will be sent in a narrow beam to the nearest 5G tower. That’s 20x the power alone, and on top of that, it’s focused into a tight beam, meaning the power density is astronomically higher. The towers are planned to put out about 20W, but the effective power per beamlet will likely be lower, considering how many connections there will be. Secondly, for 5G to work, it requires all the MIMO and beamforming technology to be precise, and know your phone’s location in 3d space far more precisely than it would with a 3G or 4G network. Lastly, it’s quite unnecessary. The range of 5G is so short, it’s now within spitting distance of WiFi. In addition, I have yet to run into the bandwidth cap of LTE personally, nor do I know anyone else who does. There hasn’t been any real new technology to sell in phones in years, which is why you see companies tinkering with folding displays and whatnot. Instead you get higher resolution screen, or a faster CPU, or (rarely) more internal memory. 5G is the cellphone and cell provider’s savior, which is why you even see it pushed in the first place.

    1. While it may be beam forming which does increase the power away from the phone you need a larger aperture or antenna to get that gain. Smaller antenna means less gain so in the near field with the phone next to your head the larger antenna will have less power density than the low gain. Source is me a microwave / RF engineer. Also 5GHz and above doesn’t really make it past your skin so it’s safer in that regard as well. The towers I wouldn’t worry about unless youre sticking your head directly in front of one as power is 1/R^2 and at 50 to 100 ft you’ll be well into mW or less.

    2. for perspective, Motorola’s WIN (wifi) did perhaps 15mbit on 18 GHz about 30 years ago. the range, they claimed, was good (120 feet) and good because of security: “WIN provides data security through the use of low-power 18-GHz signals, which lose strength if they pass through walls or doors.” (today’s reach: there may be more security if enough people get in the way of 5G signals, 18 GHz in the same W-band.)

    3. The phone companies need 5G to take people’s attention away from clamping down on robocalls and shitty rural service, and focus on new, shiny phones that obsolete last year’s.

      Let’s not do handwaving about power levels. “Astronomical” doesn’t mean anything. But the problem is that we are dealing with averages and certain situations. One tower might have a lot of users, at certain times. When you take a whole city and figure out the power density as an average, you will probably find a marked decrease in the total dose. This is part of the attraction of 5G: lower costs for electrical power for transmitters and cooling. This also results in less power absorbed by you.

  8. Unfortunately, a significant part of the public lives in a media bubble that feeds them a steady red meat diet of fear and rage. This is combined with a steady stream of graduates with degrees in physics, medicine, and engineering from Dunning-Kruger university.

    Their beliefs are not rational. No rational argument will change them. To people that truly believe, any challenge to their beliefs are either fake news or some kind of sinister plot.

    I have no good ideas on how to fix this. The best approach that I can think of is to try to limit the damage. One way to do this is to register to vote, and then vote against any and all candidates that express crank science or conspiracy theories.

  9. BigClive had quite a good video on this, the key message in my opinion was that most wavelengths from visible light and longer are harmless in terms of ionisation but if you put 1000W into the antenna and get really close to it you will get heated regardless of the wavelength. That could be from a 1000W light bulb or a microwave, the power is what matters. If you can put potential harm in terms of watts that’s a lot easier to understand. My phone’s 10Wh battery would last a minute if it output 1000W so clearly it doesn’t do that. My energy company would be wasting loads of power if a smart meter consumed 1000W so clearly it doesn’t do that.

    1. No, it’s the power per photon that matters. Einstein got a Nobel Prize for his explanation of the photoelectric effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoelectric_effect) in 1905. In those early experiments, they shined light at a metal slab. They found out that no electrons were liberated from the metal regardless of the intensity of the incident light unless the wavelength of the incident light decreased below a certain threshold (the energy per photon, inversely proportional to its wavelength, increased above a certain threshold; we call that threshold “work function” today).

      There is a systematized way to deal with interactions between photons and matter, which the article does not mention unfortunately. It revolves around the calculations of the so-called cross sections, relating to the probability of interaction of a photon of a certain frequency and polarization (a photon comes either left-circularly or right-circularly polarized) with the system at hand. In introductory quantum mechanics texts, you will see calculations of and approximations of such probabilities for simple systems. Now, biological molecules and systems are more complex, but they still cannot circumvent physics. You will see that the dimensions and other properties of the system have a lot to do with the probability of interaction with a given photon.

      Years ago, I remember reading in the legendary Radio Handbook by the late William Orr, W6SAI (22nd Edition, published by Sams, 1981; there is a newer edition), that radio amateurs exhibited a higher incidence of leukemia than the general population. That statement stuck in my mind. However, correlation does not imply causation. When that book was written, a very viable way to get, say, 1.5kW out of an RF amplifier was a vacuum tube. Power vacuum tubes were operated and many kV anode-cathode potential, so they could generated X-rays. Therefore, I am not sure we can link the higher incidence of leukemia among radio amateurs back then to the RF photons.

      Quantum mechanics tells us that it is highly improbable for many lower-energy photons (e.g. in the microwave range) to get just right to combine and pool their energies together to effect an interaction that would happen with a photon in, say, UV, optical, or infrared range. Anyway, a scientific discussion should quantify these cross sections. I am not a chemist or biologist, but I think that photons of lower energy (longer wavelengths) can affect biological systems, but how so should be accurately quantified. Being able to flip water molecules (as each of the 2.45GHz photons of a microwave oven can) is one thing, but wouldn’t breaking molecular bonds require photons each of a lot more energy (much shorter wavelength)?

      I will also respond to [Luke] and [Miroslav] just below.

      1. The photoelectric effect is not quite that straigthforward. At higher intensities, double and triple photon absorption CAN start to dominate linear absorption. The probability of double photon absorption increases with the square of the intensity, so it’s practically absent at lower intensities.

        Besides, dielectric absorption already means that you’re absorbing the photon into some dipole moment – otherwise the EM photon would just bounce off or go straight through. If the system is also resonant at that frequency then the effects will build up.

      2. The photoelectric effect isn’t the only way non-ionizing radiation can cause significant tissue damage – but most of the other ways they could cause damage will hurt, a lot. A millimeter wavelength transmitter running at 1 kW would give you some pretty intense pain if you got close enough, probably before it left you with any significant tissue damage.

  10. There’s is a hypothesis that microwave frequency EM fields chance the activation potential of calcium channels in the body.


    The idea is that the microwave absorption happens by resonant coupling, since the molecules absorb the energy by being dipoles that vibrate in the EM field. At particular frequencies, relatively low power from the field couples to the molecule and disrupts the shape of the cell membranes, which changes their action potentials, which has biological effects in things like hormone regulation and gene expression.

    The problem is that the strongest evidence for the effect is at relatively low frequencies, not even microwaves, around 10-100 MHz.

      1. Some antennas do work at multiples of their wavelength but molecular absorption happens because it spins the actual molecule and hits a resonance that keeps it spinning and heating it up. It involves mass something that doesn’t scale with frequency.

      2. No, we are not talking about dipole antennas here. Even at 1600MHz, the half wavelength is orders of magnitude longer than the molecule the photon interacts with. We cannot extrapolate from the macroscopic world into the quantum.

        1. It’s not particular to dipole antennas. Any resonant system will respond to multiples of its resonant frequency in general. With QM it’s rather a question of whether you have the right amount of energy to excite that resonance, which means that higher harmonics are probably not going to work – but that’s not entirely given.

          1. @Steven13: You have to treat the interaction of the electromagnetic field (which is not like a continuous fluid!) with a molecule quantum mechanically.

      1. – Yeah, but many also pan out to be valid, and many times it is too late for many injured before there is undeniable proof provided. Most ‘safety’ claims are power or ionizing based – of course, if you are ionizing or causing localized heating of flesh, obviously that is bad. Our body is one giant elctro-chemical system we don’t fully understand (as much as some would like to think they do). Things beyond ionizing and localized heating can/could easily still mess with the massively complex and many times delicately balanced systems, even if minimally noticeable such as you don’t sleep well or have trouble concentrating. Heck, take photosensitive epilepsy – ‘it’s just a strobe light, there is no way it could physically hurt anyone’… Sure, maybe not in any easily measurable way, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to give some people a very bad day.
        -At this scale, we’re not talking about putting a strobe light in at your local skating rink where maybe you’ll be lucky and no one affected will come in, we’re talking blanketing the earth. Even if (yes, if – I’m not arguing EMF is bad, only there are plausible concerns in my opinion) .001% of the population have a sensitivity to any of the frequencies/fields used (now, or in future plans), you’re giving a lot of people a pretty much inescapable permanent bad day.
        – I knew first-hand someone that lived in the country, and was affected by cell phones (headaches). They’d ask you to turn them off when visiting. And if you were visiting, and you forgot, even if they were in another part of the house, they would know and remind you (and only if you actually forgot). So I don’t think EMF sensitivities, in varying degrees or responses, is complete BS. Maybe it doesn’t affect most, and maybe not at commonly experienced frequencies or power levels, but it might be like drinking milk. Even some dairy throws some people’s systems for a loop, most can handle a bit, but most anyone trying to put down a half gallon is going to have issues. Different people’s systems can have different tolerances for different stimuli…

          1. It was probably a local 50 KW AM station being rectified by the metal/oxide junction in his teeth, not Russian short wave on the other side of the earth beaming down to him.

            But you have to watch out for the people who hear voices without dental implants.

      2. There’s also scientific evidence that it works.

        “Our data confirm the existence of the frequency “window” reported by Bawin et al., as well as a narrow power‐density “window” within which efflux of calcium ions is enhanced.”

        More calcium ions are released by chicken brain cells when exposed to 147 MHz RF at 0.75 mW cm−2 which is a fairly high power density but still within “cellphone next to head” range.

      3. Another study – calcium dependent protein expression in rats changes after exposure to 112 MHz RF (1.48 W/kg SAR) for 2 hours a day over 35 days:


        The reason why these changes appear to be happening is because the dipole vibrations change how the molecules behave, such as how proteins fold. It’s kinda like the effect with the early mechanical computers, where they discovered that shaking the whole thing made it perform a lot smoother because the gears wouldn’t stick – if you have this constant jiggling and shaking going on, the threshold for some change to happen becomes less.

        But again, this has nothing to do with 5G because these effects are observed below microwave frequencies.

    1. Luke, what “couples” is really photons, each interacting with the molecules. The RF field is not continuous, but it is comprised of individual photons. We should be very careful not to extrapolate from the macroscopic world into the quantum. How do those photons interact with the molecules? A 100MHz photon has less than 415 neV of energy and a 10MHz one one tenth of that. As I explain above, many photons getting together just right to combine their energy is not probable. Does anybody give data on what energies are required for these effects (distorted membranes, etc.)? From my limited knowledge of chemistry and biology, I know that most common organic chemical bonds resonate (interact with) photons of much higher energies (much shorter wavelengths = much higher frequencies), in the infrared.

      1. Photons are not “discontinuous” even though they come quantised – that’s not how quantum mechanics works.

        “Molecular rotation occurs in materials containing polar molecules having an electrical dipole moment, with the consequence that they will align themselves in an electromagnetic field. If the field is oscillating, as it is in an electromagnetic wave or in a rapidly oscillating electric field, these molecules rotate continuously by aligning with it. ”

        Regardless of the way dielectric heating works in the quantum level, the effect is the same: molecules and ions absorb energy into their rotation. In molecules, the chemical bonds try to keep the dipoles oriented, so they form oscillators, and oscillators are resonant to certain frequencies.

        >”many photons getting together just right to combine their energy is not probable”
        It’s actually not all that uncommon. Photovoltaic panels for example commonly exhibit double photon absorption. It’s a non-linear effect that kicks in at higher intensities.


  11. > In the US alone, skin cancer ends up affecting about one in every five people.

    That’s a ratio; implying that accounting for the rest of the world increases it does not really make sense, to me at least..

  12. I have to say I don’t think the ExtremeTech article helps in any way.

    The author asserts that we shouldn’t worry about microwaves because they don’t PENETRATE things when in fact they don’t PENETRATE things precisely because they’re being ABSORBED by those things.

    But his heart was in the right place (deep in his chest, well away from sources of radiation).

    1. Hm, no, a conductor does not “absorb” a EMF wave, it simply reflects it. A superconductor reflects perfectly, like an ideal mirror, anything else will have some heat losses. But I wish a microwave oven could operate on a 100% efficiency…

      1. A conductor will respond to the EMF by the free charges inside starting to re-distribute, which creates a current, which creates an external EM field. Where the two fields cancel out (destructive interference), energy is absorbed from the wave to the conductor. If it is not dissipated in the conductor, it is then re-emitted out (reflected). You can in principle have a conductor that is 100% absorbent or “black” at a particular wavelength, although it must re-emit the energy at some other wavelength eventually.

  13. My 5 year old daughter asked what color the coronavirus was a few weeks ago – I replied that we had to use pretend colors to draw germs because it was smaller than colored light. After saying that I checked the dimensions of the virus. It took a few attempts at wording the question differently before Google figured out that when I was asking “How small is the coronavirus?” that I meant it literally. It turns out that the virus is four times smaller than the wavelength of purple. 5g is a millimeter wavelength – you could fit 10,000 coronaviruses in one wavelength of a 5G transmission.

    Wait… did someone pick that factoid up and think that they are fitting 10,000 coronaviruses in a 5G transmission? The mind boggles.

  14. While I’m not worried about being directly harmed by 5g, I am concerned by reports that it may damaging our ability to track and predict weather, and the way this issue has been shrugged off by the government

  15. What’s funny about this topic is that soooo many people want it to be dangerous, and there have been sooo many studies. If there were an effect, it’s not hidden from lack of looking.

    But the real elephant in the room is, as Maya said, we’ve been living in a world progressively more and more bathed in low-level RF, and there’s no increase in the relevant cancers. If there were an effect, even if it were _tiny_, it would show up on what’s effectively a study with 5 billion participants.

    Of course, I’m not naive enough to say “there can’t be any effect” but it surely does look like most of the plausible harms have been pretty much excluded.

  16. WRT irrational fear, I concur. Yet, the article omits plenty of non-ionizing, non-thermal photo and electro chemical reactions, and systemic bio-electric effects. For instance, we are photosensitive, needing sunlight to make vitamin D. Electric and magnetic fields can effect calcium ion leakage . Long nerves can act as antenna, leading to field gradients with potential electrochemical effects.

    I cited a few such reports I had researched to a few coworkers as we were discussing the cancer-scare news. A horrible silence ensued, until one finally said, ‘that will not be good news for the price of our stock’. Said I, “Well, its not as bad a smoking or the corellation would be 10:1 and not 1.5:1”.

    Fun hacking ideas?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Body_Electric_(book)

  17. The main thing with 5G would be the localization accuracy. Which gets from 10m (now) to under 1 meter even indoors.

    That is a little “scary”. Not phobic for me personally. We still have “capitalism” here in Europe, so the additional very precise positional and movement data of our devices will be just added to each personal profile and used for advertising. Possibly it can be also used in a case of justice system, as a indirect proof.

    I am just thinking about the non-capitalism nations, and about the time when capitalism will be no more. Imagine dictatorship where everyone is forced to be localized to sub-meter accuracy even indoors. That IS scary. Much more scary then the telescreens of 1984 novel. You can hide before the screen field of view, you cannot hide if the device force-monitors your location and live-functions. Getting shivers just thinking about it.

    To cite science:
    It has been reported that network-based localization in three-dimensional space would be supported in 5G, with accuracy from 10 m to less than 1 m on 80% of occasions, and better than 1 m for indoors [7]. Using such accurate location information, 5G would be the first generation to benefit from localization in wireless network design and optimization [2].
    from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405959517300346
    (Disclaimer: I’ve read the abstract not the full article)

    To this point i hope i spoke facts or subjectively theorized about not-so-bright future with 5G.

    The next thing is just plain “conspiracy” or subjective opinion about possible causes of events that happened:
    I think the Switzerland may have banned 5G over “health reasons”, because it sounds more natural then saying we do not want to be tracked with such high accuracy.

  18. An Oncologist told me that Mitosis is an electromagnetic process. Research since then is not yet solid, but there is evidence that there is (among other things) an effect from low frequency RF on Spermatogenysis (both positive and negative). So, a bit of RF at the right time and right frequency could cause issues.

    1. You forgot the key parameter: POWER. Frequencies don’t kill. these scaremongers always leave out the power density, and have no clue about the inverse square law. Radiation radiates, and spreads as it does.

      1. A single photon can trigger a chemical cascade that leads to action potentials being genrated in the optic nerves. Certain biological systems can be highly sensitive to certain stimuli. Now, I’m not claiming that 5G is going to affect the eyes, just that life is full of dynamically unstable systems and positive feedback loops. Describing the effects of “some incoming energy at some frequency” on these myriad systems is not trivial.

        Personally I dislike 5G because of the orivacy and teacking aspects, because wireless data in my country is ALWAYS capped (and the whole point of 5G is that tou’ll be encouraged to use MORE data!) because the owners of the 5G spectrum will make a huge profit (so they will not be acting in the public interest) and finally because telcos already try and weasel out of building proper infrastructure (e.g fibre to the premises) and this magic bullet of 5G will encourage them to lie about how great their network is because they threw up a smattering of wireless APs that get maxed out all the time, instead of building a proper network that can handle high loads from multiple users.

        1. Funny, I’m, quite the opposite, like 5G exactly for its tracking. Imagine how massively easier SLAM will become in an environmemt with a pervasive 5G coverage. Tracinkg works both ways, and you’ll get your position with a circa 10cm accuracy too, indoors or otherwise. It is a GPS on steroids.

          Of course I am not going to carry a 5G device in my pocket, and I switch off GPS tracking most of the time for the same reason, I do not like all that too personalised advertisment. Leave precise position tracking to robots and vehicles…

          1. “Tracking works both ways, and you’ll get your position with a circa 10cm accuracy too, indoors or otherwise. It is a Global Positioning System (GPS) on steroids.”

            I’d say it’s another cocktail potential for doping up schemes where the accuracy actually probably can be better than 1cm. Figure the Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS is down to 1cm clearly disclosed.

            You wonder what’s still classified and using higher frequencies other than the blatant laser systems and active denial systems that aren’t required to be the power level rated for a crowd?

            I mean beam forming main stream is sort of newer regarding some methods… though laser microphones (why not maser microphone) have been disclosed since the 1970’s and clearly disclosed in the early 1980’s by the U.S. and the U.K..

            Seems like a disinformation or diversionary tactic to use the parabolic dishes/troughs for some systems. That’s like saying… hey… we’re using aircraft searchlights from WW2 technology still at the same power with the same effect. Same goes with antennas or a range of radiation beam forming devices. I guess some do, some don’t.

      1. “All biology is chemical. All bio-chemistry is electric fields and shapes (except using light like photosynthesis). Magnetic? Not so much.”

        Basically in laymens. Electrophysiology does have to do with biochemistry and reading into there must be current associated as well as not only the electric and force associated. With motion fields change.

        Technically, bioelectromangetics can elaborate on what all the human body and living systems are made of and all those components have some magnitude, and I’m thinking direction of, molecular energy associated; electronic, nuclear, transitional, rotational and vibrational clearly.

        There is more than one type and thickness of skin that is on the surface of the body also, i.e. hair, pores and glands. Cavities also that aren’t always tight. Those structures, tissues, cell clusters, cells and cell components will have a resonance or better said, molecular energies with certain energies dominating and others lesser associated with also.

  19. Quack medical fads: 1850 It’s an elixir! 1890 It’s electric! 1900 It’s magnetic! 1910 It’s radium! 1920 It’s X-Ray! 1950 It’s atomic! 1990 It’s nuclear! 2000 It’s organic! 2020 5G shield!

  20. This article inspired me to read up on the claim that UV-A through UV-C range was non-ionising, but still caused damage.
    Turns out that whilst a distinct threshold has been chosen in the definition of “ionising”, in practice the boundary is not sharp – different elements have different ionising potentials, plus there are some other photoreactions that can be triggered around that boundary area.


      1. “Photons don’t need to be ionizing to have an effect on chemical reactions.”

        Excellent observation and the media doesn’t have to be “air” either. This is more obvious with liquid and plasma states of matter. Just have to do a little molecular energy studies… plus consider other catalysts and energy in the reaction dynamics as most men don’t.

        I can chime in here as I was disappointed to only have a typically kitchen microwave at my disposal in my chemistry lab for my first undergraduate degree research where I decided, with support also, to review effects of microwave catalysis on the classic reactions. I was shown the microwave and there it is, already had a spot in the lab.

        My thought at the time was the known resonance frequencies (I was thinking IR might be even better since far more easily to interpret data without the Microwave range unit conversion and digging) can be used to determine optimal synthetic routes to take.

        So, technically… you can elaborate on thermal effects and find there are actually RF specific effects and non-thermal effects that are known.

        Now days I wonder about even lower energy in the presence of magnetic fields catalyst methods that might be more associated to spin resonance.

        There are books and papers on the topic… though as usually get buried from the net and might be hard to find though I suppose you can if you look around.

        People seem to worry about inverse square law for a reason… that’s a good point… though how about adding some optics thoughts like highly concentrated focal points and not just a batch duty cycle.

        Plus… if there’s phase synchronizing and a bunch of sources of signals combined on a target the effect might be more well hidden… especially if is a minimalist energy of a living system resonance.

        1. Was just reminded of the existing infrastructure systems issues and concerns pre-5G.

          Then thoughts of hot spot deployment more and more, amplifiers also that can be used with and what about a little more than just DROPMIRE operations better hidden made with COTS products… especially if operated in close quarters I guess like Akwei vs NSA (1992): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_ANT_catalog

          Funny, reminds me also of the Radenso Theia vs Radar Detector Detector and how much those radar detector detectors actually emit…, as I guess unintentional emissions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIYRt_qX5k0

    1. It’s all relative, but 5G wavelengths have a range of about 1,000 feet, not even 2% of 4G’s range.


      Description: SpaceX seeks a blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with its non-geostationary orbit satellite system.

      And this is just SpaceX, they are far from being the only ones on this market and on this world.

      I think your arrogance and theoretical knowledge of physics have taken you away from common sense and good manners.

      Think about that while you’re at home…

        1. So take care of yourself and of others.
          Understand that my intentions are not hostile, I am just trying to understand and form a correct opinion.
          This is a unique opportunity to make things better.

    1. There could be something to what you are saying. I had a physics professor in college that I did undergraduate research for. He was investigating microwave spectroscopy to identify different compounds by determining the point at which the resonance peaked (using giant, old, Navy surplus o-scopes, LOL).

      He stated that certain bacteria survive microwave ovens (unless you get enough heat). He speculated that it’s possible that the size and structure of a bacterium might have it develop an induced magnetic field that counters the impinging microwaves, much like the earth does do solar radiation. He was telling us about lots of research that still needed to be done. It sounded very interesting.

      1. It think it has more to do with bacteria not being polar like water, and so don’t spin and rub up against each other like water (and anything containing water, like leftover pizza) does, creating heat.

          1. Cold spots are due to standing waves in a cavity. That’s why you have a turntable or mode stirrer. The cold spots are nulls and are appreciable fractions of an inch wide.

    1. “but the same analysis showed that male rats in the high-RF group lived significantly longer than the unexposed rodents.”

      Aha, nobody noticed the proliferation of old farts in Ham radio connection?? :-D

    2. … in which he rants on _solely_ about carcinogenicity ! He links to an article at WHO that claims that by 2016, WHO will have completed a “formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure”. It’s 2020, and I couldn’t find any published results of that assessment. Can you ? Further, in the opinion piece I linked to above, the author is calling only for a moratorium on 5G deployment and a re-evaluation of RF exposure limits that were put in place ~30 years ago and were based on research conducted ~40 years ago. Is that really a rant ?

      1. Hey.

        I dunno, I wanted to leave a comment because, quite frankly, I need to try and make friends, but I don’t really have much to say, I mean, I put my phone in airplane mode fairly often, just to save battery…

  21. Without a professional body to define minimum standards of education, oversee ongoing professional development and impose sanctions for unprofessional conduct, how is the lay person supposed to have any confidence in the professionalism of the attending practitioner? Do you propose professionals compete in the marketplace in a manner akin to the snake oil salesmen of the 1800s?

    The professions are the solution society has devised to manage the risk of attending professionals succumbing to moral hazard when dealing with lay people. The same issues apply to vets, dentists, nurses, lawyers, pharmacists, accountants and doctors; all of these professions a social license act autonomously with sometimes vulnerable clients who lack domain knowledge.

    Ethics approval processes, peer review and conflict of interest declarations are all mechanisms to police self interested behaviour in medical research, and these processed continue to evolve to better protect the interests of wider society.

    You seem to be arguing for an alternative arrangement with no oversight of practitioners, and total disregard for the scientific process, and presumably, distrust of any of the results of scientific enquiry.

  22. The problem with these articles – is that there is a lot of stuff you don’t know, and you don’t even know that you don’t know. The unknown unknowns. In this one, there’s technical unknown unknowns and societal unknown unknowns.

    The author completely ignores the environment this 5g rollout is happening in – this is very important, in fact, to me the most important in order to figure out what’s going on with it – there are many underlying, false assumptions. I will list some of these assumptions below.

    But before that I will say that these assumptions are extremely important. If you don’t know WHY it’s being rolled out, the technology is so complex that the WHAT will escape you. You have to vastly expand your horizon and you have to think holistically.

    – Assumption: “5g is being rolled out to provide faster internet.”

    Is it? How do you know? Yes it’s faster but how do you know that is the reason? You can’t possibly think of an alternate reason. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one, so let’s chalk this up, for now, as an unknown possibility.

    – Assumption: “5g is being rolled out by wireless companies because they want to increase revenues.”

    Is it? Who will pay more for 4G than 5G given that there is no practical benefit, with 99% of people never making use of the speed of 4G? 4G hits 100Mbit downloads.

    – Assumption: “5g will enable new technologies that will provide new revenue streams which will provide a good ROI on the very substantial investments”.

    This assumption comes from erroneous thinking – they invest, so of course they’ll make money. Ok. How? I have not heard a single such application that can be expected to make billions back, even if it works as advertised. Except if it’s one of the business cases related to total control, as I explain below.

    – Assumption: “60Ghz waves are short range and mostly 5g will be a better 4g”.

    Why is 60Ghz even in there? The problem is not with the “better 4g” aspect of 5g, but with these 60Ghz waves. Why are they there? Beamforming can conceivably very easily turn them into weapons, or at the very least, it will provide millimeter level accuracy on the locations of people – it will provide a full real time 3D image of the entire world and all people in it.

    The entire world is currently moving to a totalitarian fascist state – everyone is locked inside, martial law is installed world wide, and 5 g towers are still being installed even though supposedly everything is on pause

    It’s at the very least a reasonable assumption that the “total information” aspect and also – less likely – the potential “deadly rays” aspect of 5g will be used by the totalitarian state/corporate entity, to perfectly control the masses in real time.

    You could very easily upgrade those to in real time monitor all dissenters, turn off their digital money, have AI monitor the entire population in real time and terminate bad actors, either through blocks and locks – “you can’t enter here, Sir” – or through actual automated weapons – the latter would be a future upgrade option in this dark future scenario.

    To me the official business case of 5G makes no sense. And I see everything going totalitarian. A totalitarian regime would be stupid not to use all these wonderful capabilities provided by 5g masts.

    I think the damage from radiation is probably a side effect. But the main use is this. Track, find, and actuate in real time.

    The official use cases and revenue models make no sense. 5g won’t ever make money. Except if you use it to control the population in which case would be a very small price to pay given the capabilities. In which case it would be a no brainer investment, the only problem is selling it to the masses. “control system” doesn’t sound so great…

    1. Just a comment. Whenever I see a rant about “5g”, it tells me that they get their facts (?) from a conspiracy website, because they all use 5g instead of 5G, the industry term. Sort of how they used Haarp instead of HAARP, the Death Ray of ten years ago. (Millions of people have died since then. Wake up, Sheeple!!)

        1. What happened? It worked extraordinarily well.

          We have tons of competition in long-distance phone carriage, and the prices dropped so far that it’s no longer worth distinguishing between long-distance and local calls. Similar things happened in other countries.

          Phone calls are pretty much globally cheap because of this. It was a _huge_ win for the role of government regulation in a competitive economy.

          Das wa happen.

  23. It would be interesting to go back in time with a modern radio, say like to the 1700’s when the earth is bathed in only “natural” RF. Something DC to daylight. :) Just for grins and giggles.
    I’ve read stuff that says that some people are sensitive to smart meters, or wifi or cellphones or whatever.
    Our bodies are living in an ocean of RF radiation from your non-directional beacons below the US AM broadcast band
    to satellites sending down signals from earth orbit. There is a condition and it is rare where people who are exposed
    to light and UV actually burn. They have to stay out of the sun and go out at night.
    Are some people actually sensitive to certain parts of the electromagnetic spectrum? Who knows? They believe they
    are. The power of suggestion is a most interesting phenomenon. Let’s take this COVID19 pandemic for example.
    I think it has always been with us as long as humans have been on the earth. So, someone gets the idea that 5G
    is what is causing the COVID19. In this age of social media, others get the idea at the light speed of the internet,
    and before you know it, this idea is “fact”. (Right Faux News?) It seems any new technology will be the cause of any
    myriad of things. For those that are saying this COVID19 is a hoax, I don’t think it’s the virus itself that are killing
    people, I think it’s just making existing conditions worse. I lost a friend supposedly to COVID19, but he had other
    health issues. He used computers, cellphones, television, microwave ovens etc. ad nauseum.
    So, let’s take a tin foil hat leap of illogic and say that his use of computers, cellphones, microwave ovens etc.
    are what eventually killed him. I once read a story about a ham operator, he didn’t have a huge tower, but a small
    modest one. The coax was coiled up and the tower antenna wasn’t hooked to anything yet he did get a visit from a
    neighbor claiming “TV interference.” The ham showed the neighbor that the tower wasn’t hooked up.
    He offered to take a look. Turned out to be a bad connection to the TV from the cable box. Bad coax cable.
    People tend to gravitate toward the easy and obvious instead of putting in a bit of effort and looking for the
    harder and obscure. Hmm, thinking about it, maybe watching too much TV on a CRT and using a CRT monitor for
    years is the reason I’m one ugly old man….hmmmmm

    1. To measure the exact amount, you need a calibrated test setup. Say you had a receiver that accurately read out the watts going into it. Now you need an antenna with a known gain. If you want a rough guess, you can make some assumptions. Like, if you know the specs on the router, within 10% perhaps, and the antenna gain.

      So you’d get an approximation of the free space radiation. You might not have an anechoic chamber, but you can do this outside away from reflective or dissipative things. You measure the received power at some distance and do the math. Again, you have to know the gain of the receive antenna.

      The Friis equation will give you the power you’re receiving (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friis_transmission_equation). Your SDR might give a decent power measurement by itself. Maybe not. So you get it calibrated to one frequency and start snooping around. You get the aiming and polarization right, and measure the distance to your other source.

      Measuring power at other frequencies requires calibrating or deriving the response of your receiver and antenna. If it’s a time-varying or wide band signal, you’ll have to figure that in, too.

      Those RF snooper boxes that the paranoids carry about? They’re useful for finding where an emitter is (gets louder when you’re closer) but there’s no useful calibration. They assume Yellow means SEVERE DNA DAMAGE and Red means IMMINENT DEATH.

  24. I’ve worked in RF side of telecom for 3 decades now. Including the regulatory side of General Public investigations… I had to talk to people with the radiation or environmental sensitivities. I’ve met people that coat their rooms with tin foil, and line their hats. And spoken to otherwise seemingly sane people who have a fear of RF energy, and will strip their homes of whatever they understand as dangerous. And thus, working for the government, I’ve had to hear them out and be polite. Offer up some concern, and see if anything is indeed out of spec that can be corrected.

    A lot of comments in this thread made great points I can identify with. Mostly unrelated and circumstantial conclusions driven by fear. Emotion. Inability to process logic. Physics and math are not their strong points. The statements made by the quacks pull at their emotional strings, making resonance in their minds. Numbers and facts do not dampen an emotional mind …

    Simply put, I found that I cannot make a logical argument to an emotionally based person. Might as well speak a foreign language. I guess an emotional person could say that logical types are too cold and calculating. Tell them you are an engineer, they really don’t want to discuss things with you as most people don’t want their bubble burst. They don’t want their illusion torn down. This goes for many topics in human relations.

    Human society comes in all shapes, colors, creeds. Various traits are right for various jobs. Diversity is a good thing. I guess, not everyone can be Spock-like… although that might be good to a larger extent.

    Give them a Google link that offers debunking and a counter point. Snopes is pretty good too. Offer an emotional (satisfaction… be informed… what are others thinking) reason to view the counterpoint. If they chose to pursue it, they might be open to what is provided, as it is from the web… not from an individual that may have an axe to grind.

    Live long and Prosper.

  25. “To the best of our knowledge today, we can say with confidence that there are no effects from non-ionizing radiation beyond the thermal effects, except for the edge case of UV radiation.” False. One may BEGIN finding citations for the laundry list of biological effects from non-ionizing radiation using the paper “Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications?” (Di Ciaula, April 2018, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health) “official link”:
    pre-publication fulltext link:
    I don’t really agree where that paper author’s coming from. If it were up to me, we’d build the Borg, full-out. (well, with voluntary assimilation) However… it sure does seem like we *can’t* say with confidence that there are no effects from non-ionizing radiation beyond thermal ones.

  26. The author identifies an overactive threat response as a possible reason for fear of radiation. While that may be a factor, I think the underlying reason for conspiracy theorists generally is a desire to retake control, by taking control of the narrative.

    Humans are “self-domesticated” animals. The vast majority of people do what they are told for the good of society; if a significant minority rebel, ordered society quickly collapses. Humans (and animals generally) feel stress when they lack control, and I think for some the feeling that they are required to believe “what the government tells you” is a stress point.

    By engaging and creating alternative narratives, they are able to take control into their own hands.

    Possibly, spree killings are also a symptom of individuals who feel they are insignificant and they see it as a way to take control.

    For the most part, these alternative narratives are harmless, and may actually benefit the subject. However, we have seen with anti-vaxxers that some of the alternative beliefs can be harmful, which is a problem.

    Better education might help, but the underlying issue of marginalization and the sense of individual powerlessness is what needs to be addressed.

  27. ‘If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’ Nicola Tesla. I have worked around energy all my life including Nuclear. Tesla was right, everything is made up of pure energy and like Einstein stated because of that this physical reality is merely an illusion. Every energy field is defined by its frequency, energy and vibration characteristics. Our bodies as such could be described as a thought or idea which energy pattern can be experienced by our 5 senses. Unless you understand Tesla and Einstein what I am describing will make no sense. One energy pattern always effects the expression of another. As such all matter on the energetic level is one or connected. To state that the only negative effect non ionizing radiation has on the human energetic expression is in heating is pure foolishness and exhibits a deep condition of ignorance of the laws that govern this reality. The article is not based in true science at all as some have so foolishly asserted. Every atom in the human body whether a mineral, hydrogen, oxygen or whatever, has a defining frequency and potential. These energetic characteristics are affected by external energetic fields. All external energy fields effect the human body. The stronger the opposing field, the greater the stress to keep the human idea or form intact. That is why on the cellular level it is stated that stress kills. Stress creates inflammation, which is just a signal warning of an energetic systemic imbalance and breakdown. Does microwave or millimeter energy create stress on the human body? It absolutely has to, based on what we know about the laws of physics and energy. I suggest that this whole controversy over 5G could have been averted had the industry just done transparent independent scientific studies. Knowing a little bit about physics I can tell you why they chose to avoid the testing. Can mankind adapt to growing levels of stress due to ever increasing energetic fields. Perhaps, as they say what does not kill you will make you stronger. But it will definitely weed out the physically weaker and less intelligent humans along the way which is always a good thing. As Tesla, I am a firm believer in survival of the fittest and the need to constantly improve and challenge the human race. I think 5G will be a great positive force in that regard.

    1. “Perhaps, as they say what does not kill you will make you stronger. But it will definitely weed out the physically weaker and less intelligent humans along the way which is always a good thing. As Tesla, I am a firm believer in survival of the fittest and the need to constantly improve and challenge the human race.”

      Seems like a morons association and cliche… not to be rude. I don’t think weeding out the physically weaker and less intelligent humans is a good thing. That’s like Pan Troglodyte and not even Bonobos thinking for development. Talk about taking away the human experience to reproduce, develop and nurture that maybe leads many to what seems to be social encouraged euthanasia, suicide and mass murder. I’m guessing that’s why Tesla didn’t reproduce then. Kind of sad like Charles Proteus Steinmetz attitude and many others also that were very intelligent. A concern with physically weaker is so primate and insecure. Talk about anaerobic minded physique and cellular processes dominating.

      Where I see the human experience at best is rise above instinct that is primitive so to maintain and repair until a corrective and preventative action is implemented to resolve the root cause of the deviation and incident perceived as undesirable to survival. That’s what developing is about. Validly… very honestly and for reproduction sincerely.

      Granted is challenging not to kill imminent threats and those determined to back stab poison all nice sweet and innocent compounding and concealing… or maliciously… as well as those that seem to just typically always have something to do with being in the commission of a crime that assault, maim, murder and serial kill not justifiably.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.