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The recent introduction of 5G cellular is bound to change a lot of things, but is your health one of them? I have written about 5G in the past, but today I wanted to put together a more comprehensive guide to answer any of the questions you may have.
Before we begin, I really want today’s post to help you focus on where you are putting your energy. While 5G may be a pressing concern for you, there are other things out there, like what you’re eating or the supplements you are taking that have a much bigger impact on your health.
That in mind, I think it’s always helpful to begin with your health. We’ll talk about some actions steps you can take later on in this post, but one of the most important ones might be to ensure you’re taking the right amounts of the right things. Learn more about the Daily Reset Pack here.
What Are Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)?
I don’t think we can properly begin a conversation about 5G without introducing electromagnetic fields, otherwise known as EMFs. After all, this is going to be what grounds much of our discussion today.
EMFs are ‘fields’ that are generated by things that create a current. If you put copper wires, rolled them up in a coil, and put currents through them, they would generate a magnetic current. If that current is strong enough, it can also generate heat.
The thought is that fields can have their own effects on living things (Read More: Will 5G compromise your immune system?). If fields are powerful enough, they can, and they will most likely have a magnetic effect or a heating effect on the things around them.
Then, we need to think about the relationship between electromagnetic waves, EMFs, and how they fit into the whole spectrum of electromagnetic waves more broadly.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Let’s start with the following image as a helpful guide…
This is what we call the ‘electromagnetic spectrum.’ At the very top, you’ll find gamma rays, the bottom radio waves, and everything else in between.
The squiggly line you can see there represents the wavelength. For example, the distance between waves is incredibly long from the bottom up — in fact, the distance between radio waves will often be somewhere around 60 miles!
Once you get to x-rays and ultraviolet rays, we start talking about wavelengths that are smaller than the orbit of an electron around an atom (an incredibly small amount that you cannot even illustrate with the distance between your fingers).
In general, these are little packets of energy that carry a photon. The photo itself, the particle, moves in a wave-like direction as it moves forward.
The direction, and the speed, of that forward movement, is the speed of light. In short, they carry energy because they are moving fast. And, while the straight-line movement is the speed of light, they are going up and down to suit that wave-like pattern.
Key Insight: High-energy particles not only move at the speed of light, but even faster as they go in a top-to-bottom motion. They create more and more energy!
Breaking Down The Spectrum
As we move from bottom to top, there is this cut-off line that occurs. First, we can find visible light (which is shown in the diagram broken out a bit more).
Once we get to a lower wavelength than ultraviolet, now we are getting into ionizing radiation. But, what does that mean and what does it entail?
When people think of the term ‘radiation,’ they are often thinking of the term ‘ionizing radiation.’ This is the process of electromagnetic waves causing a chemical change within an atom (without their being heat effects).
It does that because it is bouncing around, within the orbit of the electron, and it can bump an electron out of place. This is what we call ionizing that particular atom or molecule.
So, when we talk about the dangers of radiation relative to x-rays or nuclear energy, we are talking about the effects of ionizing radiation. These are totally real, and can be seen in terms of the carcinogenic effect that UV light can have on us.
Radiation in a broader sense, though, is everything on that entire spectrum (even the big, long radio waves that we can see at the bottom of the diagram). Read More: How do you know which appliances make the most radiation?
How Do Electromagnetic Waves Affect Us?
Let’s quickly sum things up. Given the spectrum above, electromagnetic fields are part of the electromagnetic spectrum (which have waves inside depending on the type of radiation being produced — from radio waves to gamma rays).
What kind of effect does this have on us, though? Basically, it can reveal itself in three ways:
The first two, heat and magnetism, are true of anything that is ‘plugged in.’ However, they are mechanisms that are quite weak with any distance. They are also quite weak without really high amounts of current.
This goes back to a concept called the ‘inverse cube law,’ which means that for every three feet you are away from something, that power is nine times weaker. Think of it like: 3 x 3 x 3.
The waves themselves travel further than that. They can go for other distances, and some can pass through structures (others cannot). Radio waves, because they are long wavelengths, they can pass through some things but solid substances do slow them down.
Key Insight: That might explain why some parts of your house might have better wi-fi reception than others. Substances are slowing down those waves!
Can These Waves Have An Effect On You?
Overall, those radio waves that are passing through your house, are not ionizing radiation. They do not have an effect on living things.
It’s not impossible, though.
The way it could be possible is if you were right up against the source of that. As in pressing yourself right against it for long stretches of time. Then you may have a magnetic field or a heating effect that is present. But, it can drop off within a matter of inches or a foot of distance from the source.
Bottom Line: The fact is that you do not want to have electronics right up next to your body, especially not near your head, for long periods of time. Devices and appliances: things that plugin, can put out pretty substantial fields. However, distance makes a big difference.
What About Cell Phones?
The argument has often been about various types of cell phones and cell phone coverage, and if cell phones have different effects. Is this true?
Well, cell phones are electrical devices and they do use a fair amount of power. You can even measure that when they are connected to a cellular tower, and they do generate electromagnetic fields. No doubt about that.
However, you can measure how far those fields extend. I would not suggest holding a cell phone up against your head for long periods of time. But, is it true that cell phones cause brain cancer en masse?
This kind of concern totally makes sense. After all, if someone were spending a lot of time with a phone up against their head, that is an area of the body where these effects could have a localized, pronounced action. Theoretically, they could do some damage.
Cell Phones and Brain Cancer Rates
Over the last few decades or so, there are considerably more people using cell phones than ever before. After all, the number of people with cell phones pre-1980 was close to zero!
The above is the rate of adaptation of cellphones in US households. In 1994, we had about 10% of households of people in the US who owned and used them frequently.
By 2010, that had gone up to just about 90%. If we could see data that was even more current, it might well be even higher. It has gone up exponentially.
Cell phone usage will also, of course, correlate with ownership. In earlier times, too, before concerns around cell phones and brain cancer, there may have been even more extensive usage by people who didn’t know the reported risks.
Here is a graph that illustrates how the rates of brain cancer have changed since the introduction of cellphones…
So, with the amount of adoption of cellphones, and the concerns around brain cancer, surely the amount of rapid adoption would result in some sort of change in brain cancer rates, right?
Well, the data would prove otherwise. As you can see from the above graph, between 1975 and 2010, the rate of brain cancer has been completely consistent throughout that time.
It has not budged, at all.
So, given the relationship between adoption and brain cancer rates, it is hard to think of a relationship between the two. Simply put, if phone usage causes brain cancer, and phone usage has gone up exponentially, why haven’t brain cancers changed at all?
Why Does 5G Sound So Scary?
The concern surrounding 5G stems from the fact that it operates at a higher frequency. This, in turn, means that 5G has shorter wavelengths and that properties can be completely different when you are working with it.
Additionally, concerns abound for people when it comes to the necessary infrastructure (towers, etc.) that will be required when 5G is fully implemented. But, why does 5G need these towers?
Technically speaking, we could call 5G a “weaker” frequency. That is because it cannot cover distances as rapidly, or go through objects as well, due to those shorter wavelengths I just mentioned.
If a wavelength is shorter in greater quantities, we can see a categorical distance. Let’s consider the image I shared before illustrating the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Where 5G operates is still within the category of radio waves, they are just shorter within that section.
What we see is that 5G is on the lower end of the spectrum, but what happens with that is that it becomes less able to penetrate objects. It has more power, but it is less able to go through things (like skin, for instance).
So, Why Is There Alarm?
Let’s consider the following image that has fueled a lot of concern…
This came out in 2000. At the time, there was a physicist who argued that the tissue damage, the absorption of microwave or radio waves, could be higher with greater frequencies (the kind where 5G comes into these frequency ranges).
Taking this at face value, this could seem quite worrisome. But, the pitfall is that this gentleman was a physicist but not a biologist. Follow up works noted that it did not take into account the simple effects of human skin as a barrier of sorts1.
5G is composed of waves that have a frequency, but they simply do not penetrate. They can have no effect past the layer of skin (much fewer bones).
That said, if you could be exposed to a super-powerful transmitter of waves in this frequency, they could make your skin feel warm (even at a distance of as close to 10-20 feet). But, the power of cell towers is thousands to hundreds of thousands of times weaker than that.
Key Insight: In the amounts that would be used, 5G waves are unable to do the things we mentioned before (ionizing, heating, or magnetizing).
Ultimately, it also helps to consider history. There were many who spoke of the dangers of cellular frequencies at the same time as the rollout of both 3G and 4G. Yet, these happened with no signs of harm. While it helps to monitor these things, there is little evidence that 5G will be much different.
5G: Action Steps
Given what we know, I don’t think there should be any sort of widespread fear or concern surrounding 5G as a concept or how it will be implemented.
That said, I would like to share with you some action steps you can take, both for 5G and generally for electronics around your home.
Electronics Where You Sleep
First, try to keep electronics far away from your head. This is especially true of where you put your phone when you sleep. After all, when you sleep your body is vulnerable.
- There is the least metabolic activity during this time.
- Your immune system is in a less-vigilant state.
- There is more repair going on in your body.
Key Insight: For these reasons, it helps to be mindful of what you have around you in your sleeping area. In general, try to keep anything plugged in at least two feet away from your head.
Bluetooth & Wi-Fi
When it comes to both Bluetooth and wi-fi, let’s start by asserting that they are radio waves. As such, they can heat and magnetize things, but they cannot ionize them. So, they are not the same and their effects are even more localized.
So, while a bluetooth can operate near your head or your wi-fi can be on 24/7, the signals they create do not have any sort of biological effects. While you wouldn’t want your wi-fi router up against your pillow, you would be fine to have it running all day and night.
Let’s Focus About Outcomes
When it comes to discussing 5G, and electronic devices in general, I find that it is always instructive to talk about what has happened (and not what might happen).
As mentioned earlier, we have such strong data about the rates of brain cancer since the introduction of cellphones, it is kind of hard to deny.
While that isn’t everything, it would be a fairly strong indicator that they might be harming us in one way or another. And, yet, that has not been the case.
Bottom Line: In terms of 5G, I do not see any strong cause for concern. While we should continue to keep an eye on things and understand the “why” behind how things work, there isn’t plausible evidence to suggest that it should leave you concerned.
Put Your Energy Into Your Health
Here is something I want to leave you with today: While it might be tempting to worry about what might be around the corner, the best thing you can do is to focus on your health.
As we discussed today, there is little reason to be concerned about 5G. So, with that time, it might help to consider the ways in which you can focus on your own health.
Try by starting with the Thyroid Quiz today. It can help unlock some hidden insights about your body, and give you some action steps so you can start feeling better today. I hope it helps.
1 – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/science/5g-cellphones-wireless-cancer.html
P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:
1. Schedule a Thyroid Second Opinion with me, Dr. C, Click Here for Details
2. Need a Personalized Supplement? Check out My Thyroid Specific Formulations
3. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
4. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here
Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet, The Metabolism Reset Diet and The Thyroid Reset Diet.
Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.