Compliance Problems for 5G Rollout Detailed in New Technical Paper

A newly released paper by Esra Neufeld and Niels Kuster identifies serious compliance problems for the 5G millimeter wave rollout and says existing IEEE and ICNIRP safety guidelines are urgently need to be revised.

Systematic Derivation of Safety Limits for Time-Varying 5G Radiofrequency Exposure Based on Analytical Models and Thermal Dose.

by Neufeld E, Kuster N., Health Physics, December 2018, Volume 115, Number 6 | See pubmed.

Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (IT’IS), Zeughausstrasse 43, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland; 2Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.

The paper says is that permanent tissue damage may occur even after short exposures to 5G millimeter wave pulse trains. It says there is an urgent need for new safety standards to address the kind of health risks possible with this new technology.

If 5G millimeter wave transmissions associated with new technologies fail to meet current public safety standards as the authors predict (see the range of applications below), then the rollout of IOT becomes questionable on less controversial safety reasoning than arguing against 5G based on low-intensity (non-thermal) health effects for which no operative public safety standards yet exist.

Excerpts are below.

“THE FIFTH generation of wireless communication technology (5G) promises to facilitate transmission at data rates up to a factor of 100 times higher than 4G. For that purpose, higher frequencies (including millimeter-wave bands), broadband modulation schemes, and thus faster signals with steeper rise and fall times will be employed, potentially in combination with pulsed operation for time domain multiple access.

5G is designed as a ubiquitous communication system spanning applications such as high-bandwidth mobile data and telephony, real-time machine-to-machine communication (e.g., autonomous mobility), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic microwave radiation (RF-EMR) from wireless devices to large radar installations and medical equipment can result in increases in body core temperature or cause localized temperature rises, with the potential for adverse health effects.

The thresholds for frequencies above 10 MHz set in current exposure guidelines (ICNIRP 1998; IEEE 2005, 2010) are intended to limit tissue heating. However, short pulses can lead to important temperature oscillations, which may be further exacerbated at high frequencies (>10 GHz, fundamental to 5G), where the shallow penetration depth leads to intense surface heating and a steep, rapid rise in temperature . . .

Extreme broadband wireless devices operating above 10 GHz may transmit data in bursts of a few milliseconds to seconds. Even though the time- and area-averaged power density values remain within the acceptable safety limits for continuous exposure, these bursts may lead to short temperature spikes in the skin of exposed people."

Another conclusion of this study is that the current ICNIRP (1998) and IEEE (2005, 2010) guidelines urgently need to be revised, as the duty cycle of 1,000 currently tolerated can produce unacceptable temperature increases that may result in permanent tissue damage.