4G/5G Densification Scheme and Negative Health Consequences

Adapted from an Oct 8, 2019 "Project Censored" article here, by Student Researcher Jamie Wells and Faculty Evaluator Kenn Burrows (SF State).

The prevalence of wireless technologies has spawned a telecommunications revolution that increasingly exposes the public to broader bandwidths and more frequencies (low-band, mid-band and high-band) of pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR). The Telecom industry is promoting a net addition to the current 3G/4G cellular network by keeping all of this 3G/4G spectrum (700 MHz to 2,100 MHz) and adding huge amounts bandwidth on much broader spectrum (600 Mhz to 90,000 MHz) — and branding all of this as the "Fifth Generation" of Wireless, or simply 5G, which is nothing more than a fuzzy marketing term that actually means "what will come next".

The over-hyped "benefits" of Densified 4G + 5G Wireless Telecommunications Facilities ) are

  • Internet of Things
  • Faster wireless data transmission,
  • amazing new gadgets we can’t yet define
  • A "Jetsons-like" lifestyle that mirrors science fiction.

Densified 4G + 5G Wireless, as the story goes, will require a massive increase in the number of wireless antennas (from about 300,000 in 2019 to 600,000 or more WTFs by 2025, in the US alone), resulting in much higher RF-EMR exposures and increased negative health consequences. The story also says that Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRAs), falsely branded as "Small Cells’, will have to be installed every ten or so houses across the country.

Densified 4G+5G Wireless is actually a bait-and-switch and not a solution to close the Digital Divide, as often claimed by the FCC and the Wireless indusry. Densified 4G+5G installations require a fiber optic wire to each cell site with an allegedly short range of a block or two, yet this is even contradicted by Verizon itself:

Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon in May, 2018 on CNBC:

"When [Verizon] went out in these 11 [5G test] markets, we tested for well over a year, so we could see every part of foliage and every storm that went through. We have now busted the myth that [5G frequencies] have to be line-of-sight — they do not. We busted the myth that foliage will shut [5G] down . . . that does not happen. And the 200 feet from a home? We are now designing the network for over 2,000 feet from transmitter to receiver, which has a huge impact on our capital need going forward. Those myths have disappeared."

Jason L., Verizon Field Engineer in May, 2018:

"[Verizon 5G] is really high frequency [28,000 MHz and 39,000 MHz], so everybody thinks it doesn’t go very far, but it’s a really big pipe and so that’s what allows you to gain the super fast speeds . . We’re 3,000 feet away from our radio node. the cool thing about this is that we did not move the radio node. It’s pointing down to serve the customers in that area " . . . here even 3,000 feet away, we’re still getting 1,000 [Megabits per second] speeds . . . So now we’ve driven about 1/3 of a mile away [1,760 feet] from the radio node. we are still getting very good speeds even though we have foliage in between [800 Megabits per second]."

In an article published in Environmental Research, Cindy Russell wrote that, because this is the first human generation to experience “cradle-to-grave lifespan exposure” to high levels of human-made RF-EMR exposures, the “true health consequences” of exposure will not be known for years. Her article documented a range of questions regarding the safety of RF-EMR-EMR exposures in 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless spectrum and it recommended precaution in the rollout of Densified 4G + 5G spectrum — all of this aggregated bandwidth will be used, whether or not it is needed for telecommunications service.

In 2011, RF-EMR exposures — from any source — were classified as a Group 2B carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, and research subsequent to 2011 indicates that cellular phone infrastructure antennas significantly contribute to brain cancer, heart cancer and DNA damage. Other studies have concluded that RF-EMR exposures are associated oxidative stress (which can lead to tissue deterioration and premature aging), disruption of cell metabolism, increased blood–brain barrier leaks, melatonin suppression (which can lead to sleep disturbances), and many other chronic illnesses and conditions.

For Project Censored’s previous coverage of these findings, see John Michael Dulalas, Bethany Surface, Kamila Janik, Shannon Cowley, Kenn Burrows, and Rob Williams, “How Big Wireless Convinced Us Cell Phones and Wi-Fi are Safe,” and Julian Klein, Casey Lewis, Kenn Burrows, and Peter Phillips, “Accumulating Evidence of Ongoing Wireless Technology Health Hazards.”

The effects of Densified 4G + 5G technology on humans and the environment have been subject to fewer studies than the effects of 5G’s predecessors, as Russell and other experts have noted. The addition of this 5G spectrum (600 MHz to 90,000 MHz) to an already complex mix of 3G/4G frequencies (700 MHz to 2,100 MHz) will likely contribute to negative health consequences. Some of the new 5G technology will use millimeter waves (MMW) — frequencies 30,000 MHz and above — which give off the same type of radiation as airport scanners. Continuous exposure to transmitters in close proximity to homes and workplaces may pose serious adverse health effects.

Yael Stein of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University is a strong critic of the new 5G network. As Jody McCutcheon reported in an article for Eluxe Magazine, Stein has raised concerns about the adverse effects of MMW on human skin. In a July 2016 letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Stein advocated against 5G millimeter wave technology, noting that, with adoption of it, we should expect “more of the health effects currently seen with RF/microwave frequencies including many more cases of Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS), as well as many new complaints of physical pain and a variety of neurologic disturbances.” The Eluxe article noted that the Department of Defense “already uses a crowd-control weapon called the Active Denial System, in which MMWs are directed at crowds to make their skin feel like it’s burning.”

5G technology is not only bad for humans, it harms plant and animal life as well. Eluxe reported that one study found low-intensity MMW exposure causes stress responses in the cells of wheat shoots, which could have consequences for human food supplies. The Densified 4G + 5G infrastructure would also pose a threat to our planet’s atmosphere. The implementation of this massive Telecom network will is also encouraging the deployment of many short-lifespan satellites propelled by hydrocarbon rocket engines. Another study cited by Eluxe found that launching these rockets will give off enough carbon to pollute global atmospheric conditions.

There is little or no substantive corporate media coverage of Densified 4G +5G negative health consequences. A May 2018 CBS News report observed that US wireless companies anticipate installing 300,000 new antennas, “roughly equal to the total number of cell towers built over the past three decades,” to support new 4G + 5G networks. CBS reported that this has caused “outrage and alarm in some neighborhoods, as antennas go up around homes.” Yet, CBS’s coverage made no mention of the coalition of 52 grassroots organizations, Americans for Responsible Technology, that has called on the Federal Communications Commission to delay deployment of 5G infrastructure due to “emerging science linking exposure to RF microwave radiation with serious biological harm,” as Jason Plautz reported for Smart Cities Dive.

Instead, corporate news reports have focused on the proposed benefits of Densified 4G +5G— including, for example, faster data speeds, 3D imaging, and investment opportunities —while emphasizing lack of consensus among experts regarding any attendant health risks. This tendency can be seen in a November 2018 CNN article, “Federal Health Agencies Disagree over Link between Cell Phone Radiation and Cancer,” which reported on “confusion and controversy” regarding science in a split between the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

Furthermore, corporate media often frame their stories in terms provided by the technology industry. For example, a February 2019 Washington Post article was based almost entirely on a report from the technology conglomerate Cisco, which indicated that the United States will only remain ahead of China and other nations in implementing 5G technology through “deregulation and policies favorable to the industry.” The only factors “complicating the picture,” according to Cisco and the Washington Post, were “ongoing concerns about the security of networking equipment from companies such as China’s Huawei.” That article made no mention whatsoever of health or environmental damages associated with the corporate race for 5G supremacy.


  • Cindy L. Russell, “5G Wireless Telecommunications Expansion: Public Health and Environmental Implications,” Environmental Research, Vol. 165 (August 2018), 484–95, published online April 11, 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29655646.

  • Jody McCutcheon, “Frightening Frequencies: The Dangers of 5G,” Eluxe Magazine, May 2018, https://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/dangers-of-5g.

  • Jason Plautz, “Grassroots Coalition Asks FCC to Slow 5G Expansion over Health Concerns,” Smart Cities Dive, September 24, 2018, https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/grassroots-coalition-asks-fcc-to-slow-5g-expansion-over-health-concerns/532992.

  • Joel M. Moskowitz, “Scientists and Doctors Demand Moratorium on 5G,” Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, April 26, 2018, https://www.saferemr.com/2017/09/5G-moratorium12.html.

  • Conan Milner, “Resistance to 5G: Roadblock to a High Tech Future or Warning of a Serious Health Risk?” Epoch Times, November 9, 2018, updated November 12, 2018, https://www.theepochtimes.com/resistance-to-5g-roadblock-to-a-high-tech-future-or-warning-of-a-serious-health-risk_2705116.html.

  • Nicole Karlis, “Why Public Health Experts are Worried about 5G, the Next Generation of Cell Network,” Salon, December 4, 2018, https://www.salon.com/2018/12/03/why-public-health-experts-are-worried-about-5g-the-next-generation-of-cell-network.

  • Martin L. Pall, “Wi-Fi is an Important Threat to Human Health,” Environmental Research, Vol. 164 (July 2018), 405–416, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355.