On Point: New, 5G-era raises health concerns


by: Kate Tillotson | Newschannel 3
[photo credit: wwmt]

5G-era raises health concerns

West Michigan entrepreneur: Stick-on microchip provides protection from electromagnetic radiation emitted by small cell towers

In a race to roll out the fifth generation of mobile networks, wireless companies are installing new antennas and small cell towers across the United States.

The technology promises faster data speeds. As the network builds, so does the concern for health risks from the technology that supports it.

In many cases, more small cell towers will be necessary to move large amounts of data at a fast clip with little or no interference from other signals. In coming months, those towers will be appearing on street signs, traffic lights and telephone poles in select cities.

The towers emit high levels of electromagnetic radiation; a form of energy that comes from man-made sources, such as x-ray machines. Studies have shown that as high-frequency fields penetrate our bodies, the friction makes us hotter. Scientists say the health risks include cancer, lower sperm counts and headaches.

Grand Rapids-based entrepreneur Ross Pope has examined the potential effects of radiation exposure on human bodies. He said he believes it could be especially harmful for children.

“Their tissue is softer which makes them more susceptible to heat damage from the radiation,” Pope said. “Also, their cells are producing at a faster rate, and they’re more susceptible to what happens at a cellular level.”