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EMF Studies

18 April 2018

Published Scientific Research on 5G and Health

Published Scientific Research on 5G and Health
Environmental Health Trust, April 2018

Published peer reviewed science already indicates that the current wireless technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G – in use today with our cell phones, computers and wearable tech – creates radiofrequency exposures which poses a serious health risk to humans, animals and the environment. Scientists are cautioning that before rolling out 5G, research on human health effects urgently needs to be done first to ensure the public and environment are protected. 5G will utilize not only the frequencies currently in use, but also higher millimeter wave and submillimeter wave frequencies. This page lists important research on 5G, the environment and human health. Learn more about 5G on EHT’s database of resources here.
  Click here for EHT’s Scientific FactSheets On 5G

Russell CL. 5G wireless telecommunications expansion: Public health and environmental implications. Environmental Research. Available online 11 April 2018. in press.




  • “On the horizon, a new generation of even shorter high frequency 5G wavelengths is being proposed to power the Internet of Things (IoT).”
  • “It is argued that the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome both from both physical and mental health perspectives.”
  • “Like other common toxic exposures, the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) will be problematic if not impossible to sort out epidemiologically as there no longer remains an unexposed control group. This is especially important considering these effects are likely magnified by synergistic toxic exposures and other common health risk behaviors. Effects can also be non-linear. Because this is the first generation to have cradle-to-grave lifespan exposure to this level of man-made microwave (RF EMR) radiofrequencies, it will be years or decades before the true health consequences are known. Precaution in the roll out of this new technology is strongly indicated.”
  • “Current radiofrequency radiation wavelengths we are exposed to appear to act as a toxin to biological systems. A moratorium on the deployment of 5G is warranted, along with development of independent health and environmental advisory boards that include independent scientists who research biological effects and exposure levels of radiofrequency radiation. Sound regulatory policy regarding current and future telecommunications initiative will require more careful assessment of risks to human health, environmental health, public safety, privacy, security and social consequences. Public health regulations need to be updated to match appropriate independent science with the adoption of biologically based exposure standards prior to further deployment of 4G or 5G technology.”


Betzalel N, Ben Ishai P, Feldman Y., The human skin as a sub-THz receiver – Does 5G pose a danger to it or not? Environ Res. 2018 May;163:208-216. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.032. Epub 2018 Feb 22.


  • Experimentally we showed that the reflectance of the human skin in the sub-THz region depends on the intensity of perspiration, i.e. sweat duct’s conductivity, and correlates with levels of human stress (physical, mental and emotional). Later on, we detected circular dichroism in the reflectance from the skin, a signature of the axial mode of a helical antenna. The full ramifications of what these findings represent in the human condition are still unclear. We also revealed correlation of electrocardiography (ECG) parameters to the sub-THz reflection coefficient of human skin. In a recent work, we developed a unique simulation tool of human skin, taking into account the skin multi-layer structure together with the helical segment of the sweat duct embedded in it. The presence of the sweat duct led to a high specific absorption rate (SAR) of the skin in extremely high frequency band. In this paper, we summarize the physical evidence for this phenomenon and consider its implication for the future exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum by wireless communication. Starting from July 2016 the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations above 24 GHz (5 G). This trend of exploitation is predicted to expand to higher frequencies in the sub-THz region. One must consider the implications of human immersion in the electromagnetic noise, caused by devices working at the very same frequencies as those, to which the sweat duct (as a helical antenna) is most attuned. We are raising a warning flag against the unrestricted use of sub-THz technologies for communication, before the possible consequences for public health are explored.


Nasim I, Kim S. Human Exposure to RF Fields in 5G Downlink. Submitted on 10 Nov 2017 to IEEE International Communications Conference.


  • Our results show that 5G downlink RF fields generate significantly higher power density (PD) and specific absorption rate (SAR) than a current cellular system. This paper also shows that SAR should also be taken into account for determining human RF exposure in the mmW downlink.


TRIPATHI et al., Frequency of the resonance of the human sweat duct in a normal mode of operation, BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS 130, Vol. 9, No. 3 | 1 March 2018


  • This result indicates that careful consideration should be given while designing electronic and photonic devices operating in the sub-terahertz frequency region in order to avoid various effects on human health due to these waves.

Betzalel, Y. Feldman, and P. Ben Ishai, “The Modeling of the Absorbance of Sub-THz Radiation by Human Skin,” IEEE Trans. THz Sci. Tech. (Paris) 7(5), 521–528 (2017).


  • In 2008, we demonstrated that the coiled portion of the sweat duct in upper skin layer could be regarded as a helical antenna in the sub-THz band. The full ramifications of what these findings represent in the human condition are still very unclear, but it is obvious that the absorption of electromagnetic energy is governed by the topology for the skin and its organelles, especially the sweat duct.


Di Ciaula, Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications?, Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2018 Feb 2.


  • “Preliminary observations showed that MMW increase skin temperature, alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes, could generate ocular damages, affect neuro-muscular dynamics.”
  • “Further studies are needed to better and independently explore the health effects of RF-EMF in general and of MMW in particular. However, available findings seem sufficient to demonstrate the existence of biomedical effects, to invoke the precautionary principle, to define exposed subjects as potentially vulnerable and to revise existing limits.


Scientific Citations from the published study “Potential Risks to Human Health Originating from Future Sub-MM Communication Systems” by Paul Ben-Ishai, PhD and Yuri Feldman, PhD

Feldman, Yuri and Paul Ben-Ishai. “Potential Risks to Human Health Originating from Future Sub-MM Communication Systems.” Abstract, 2017.

Feldman, Yuri, et al. “Human skin as arrays of helical antennas in the millimeter and submillimeter wave range.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 100, no. 12, 2008.

Hayut, Itai, et al. “Circular polarization induced by the three-dimensional chiral structure of human sweat ducts.” Physical Review, vol. 89, no. 4, 2014.

Hayut, Itai, et al. “The Helical Structure of Sweat Ducts: Their Influence on the Electromagnetic Reflection Spectrum of the Skin.” IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology, vol. 3, no. 2, 2013, pp. 207-15.

Professor Yuri Feldman – Research Study Summaries, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Department of Applied Physics, Dielectric Spectroscopy Laboratory

RESEARCH ON MILLIMETER WAVES

Haas AJ, et al. “Effect of acute millimeter wave exposure on dopamine metabolism of NGF-treated PC12 cells.” Journal of Radiation Research, 2017.

Gandhi OP, Riazi A. Absorption of millimeter waves by human beings and its biological implications. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 34, no. 2, 1986, pp. 228-235.

Haas AJ, et al. “Effects of 60-GHz millimeter waves on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells using high-content screening.” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 618, 2016, pp. 58-65.

Le Dréan Y, et al. “State of knowledge on biological effects at 40–60 GHz.” Comptes Rendus Physique, vol. 14, no. 5, 2013, pp. 402-411.

Sivachenko IB, et al. “Effects of Millimeter-Wave Electromagnetic Radiation on the Experimental Model of Migraine.” Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, vol. 160, no. 4, 2016, pp. 425-8.

Soghomonyan D, K. Trchounian and A. Trchounian. “Millimeter waves or extremely high frequency electromagnetic fields in the environment: what are their effects on bacteria?” Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 100, no. 11, 2016, pp. 4761-71.

Ramundo-Orlando A. Effects of millimeter waves radiation on cell membrane – A brief review. Journal of Infrared Millimeter Terahertz Waves, vol. 30, no. 12, 2010, pp. 1400-1411.

https://ehtrust.org/scientific-research-on-5g-and-health/

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