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Is 5G bad for your health? Fears over new superfast network amid claims it emits harmful radiation

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 6/07/2019 Lauren Ferri

a close up of a street: The rollout of 5G mobile internet coverage was officially launched in June, with telecommunication companies saying it will revolutionise how Australians live (pictured: the first 5G Optus tower in Canberra)

The rollout of 5G mobile internet coverage was officially launched in June, with telecommunication companies saying it will revolutionise how Australians live (pictured: the first 5G Optus tower in Canberra)
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Residents of major cities hold fears over the implementation of the high-speed, next generation 5G network, with many claiming it emits harmful radiation.

The rollout of 5G mobile internet coverage was officially launched in June, with telecommunication companies saying it will revolutionise how Australians live.

While the fear of mobile radiation isn't a new concept, the lightning-fast speed of 5G relies on a high frequency spectrum known as millimetre wave (mmWave), causing public concern.

According to The Australian, the effect of the high frequency waves on human health as well as the amount of equipment needed for 5G networks is posing concern.

Traditional networks rely on the use of network towers, however 5G services are distributed though smaller cells, with some as small as a shoebox.

As the cells are smaller, they need to be installed closer to homes and only cover a distance of up to 500 metres.

They will be installed on the top of power poles and other council structures.

Residents are worried that not only will the network affect human health, but it's being installed without any public consultation.

Melbourne resident Bridget Erica, who lives in the bayside suburb of Elwood, is just one of many who have written letters to the local council.

'I have written to my local council for advice on their stance on the rollout of 5G, especially since there is a Telstra site with six cell towers located metres away from Elwood Primary School and the community childcare centre where my two-year-old son attends,' ­Ms Erica said.

Ms Erica said an environmental health officer responded to her letter and told her that no one had inquired about the technologies but she would look into it.

She got the response in May and hasn't been contacted since. 

According to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, the 5G network is not going to pose any serious health threats. 

While there are going to be higher frequencies used for the network, it does not mean there will be a more intense exposure to humans.

'Higher frequency radio waves are already used in security screening units at airports, police radar guns to check speed, remote sensors and in medicine, and these uses have been thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health,' the council said. 

But Ms Erica argues that these are only used on humans at airports and in screenings for seconds at a time.

'No one is sitting under an airport security screen 24/7 for 20 years,' she said.

While Ms Erica acknowledges that she isn't qualified to say whether or not the network is safe, she holds concerns about whether it has been accurately tested for long-term human exposure.

Telecommunication companies are working to ensure that fears about the network won't slow down the 5G rollout.

Principal for Telstra's electromagnetic energy strategy, Mike Wood, said the company is going to keep a close eye on the mmWave radiation.


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