The emergence of 5G, fifth-generation telecommunications technology, has been in the news lately because the wireless industry has been pushing controversial legislation at the state and federal level to expedite the deployment of this technology. The legislation would block the rights of local governments and their citizens to control the installation of cellular antennas in the public “right-of-way.” Cell antennas may be installed on public utility poles every 10-20 houses in urban areas. According to the industry, as many as 50,000 new cell sites will be required in California alone and at 800,000 or more new cell sites nationwide.
Early Russian research on millimeter radiation
Russian scientists conducted much of the early research on the effects of exposure to millimeter radiation. The U.S.Central Intelligence Agency collected and translated the published research but did not declassify it until decades later.
In 1977, N.P. Zalyubovskaya published a study, "Biological effects of millimeter waves," in a Russian-language journal, "Vracheboyne Delo." The CIA declassified this paper in 2012.
The study examined the effects of exposing mice to millimeter radiation (37-60 GHz; 1 milliwatt per square centimeter) for 15 minutes daily for 60 days. The animal results were compared to a sample of people working with millimeter generators.
Here is a brief summary of the paper:
Millimeter Wave Research Reviews
Millimeter wave (MM-wave) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are predicted to not produce penetrating effects in the body. The electric but not magnetic part of MM-EMFs are almost completely absorbed within the outer 1 mm of the body. Rodents are reported to have penetrating MM-wave impacts on the brain, the myocardium, liver, kidney and bone marrow. MM-waves produce electromagnetic sensitivity-like changes in rodent, frog and skate tissues. In humans, MM-waves have penetrating effects including impacts on the brain, producing EEG changes and other neurological/neuropsychiatric changes, increases in apparent electromagnetic hypersensitivity and produce changes on ulcers and cardiac activity. This review focuses on several issues required to understand penetrating effects of MM-waves and microwaves: 1. Electronically generated EMFs are coherent, producing much higher electrical and magnetic forces then do natural incoherent EMFs. 2. The fixed relationship between electrical and magnetic fields found in EMFs in a vacuum or highly permeable medium such as air, predicted by Maxwell's equations, breaks down in other materials. Specifically, MM-wave electrical fields are almost completely absorbed in the outer 1 mm of the body due to the high dielectric constant of biological aqueous phases. However, the magnetic fields are very highly penetrating. 3. Time-varying magnetic fields have central roles in producing highly penetrating effects. The primary mechanism of EMF action is voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation with the EMFs acting via their forces on the voltage sensor, rather than by depolarization of the plasma membrane. Two distinct mechanisms, an indirect and a direct mechanism, are consistent with and predicted by the physics, to explain penetrating MM-wave VGCC activation via the voltage sensor. Time-varying coherent magnetic fields, as predicted by the Maxwell-Faraday version of Faraday's law of induction, can put forces on ions dissolved in aqueous phases deep within the body, regenerating coherent electric fields which activate the VGCC voltage sensor. In addition, time-varying magnetic fields can directly put forces on the 20 charges in the VGCC voltage sensor. There are three very important findings here which are rarely recognized in the EMF scientific literature: coherence of electronically generated EMFs; the key role of time-varying magnetic fields in generating highly penetrating effects; the key role of both modulating and pure EMF pulses in greatly increasing very short term high level time-variation of magnetic and electric fields. It is probable that genuine safety guidelines must keep nanosecond timescale-variation of coherent electric and magnetic fields below some maximum level in order to produce genuine safety. These findings have important implications with regard to 5G radiation.
The currently ongoing deployment of the fifth generation of the wireless communication technology, 5G technology, has reignited the health debate around the new kind of radiation that will be used/emitted by 5G devices and networks – the millimeter-waves. The new aspect of 5G technology, that is of concern to some of the future users, is that both, antennas and devices will be continuously in a very close proximity of the users’ bodies. Skin is the only organ of the human body, besides the eyes, that will be directly exposed to the mm-waves of 5G technology. However, the whole scientific evidence on the possible effects of millimeter-waves on skin and skin cells, currently consists of only some 99 studies. This clearly indicates that the scientific evidence concerning the possible effects of millimeter-waves on humans is insufficient to devise science-based exposure limits and to develop science-based human health policies. The sufficient research has not been done and, therefore, precautionary measures should be considered for the deployment of 5G, before the sufficient number of quality research studies will be executed and health risk, or lack of it, scientifically established.
Le Drean Y, Mahamoud YS, Le Page Y, Habauzit D, Le Quement C, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R. State of knowledge on biological effects at 40–60 GHz. Comptes Rendus Physique. 2013; 14(5):402-411.
Betskii OV , Devyatkov ND, Kislov VV. Low intensity millimeter waves in medicine and biology. Crit Rev Biomed Eng. 2000;28(1-2):247-68.
This paper provides evidence on the interaction of objects. Basic regularities of that interaction are discussed.
Summarizing the results of the 30-year study of biological effects of low-intensity MM waves, we may ascertain the following. As it often happens, applied research and commercialization have outdistanced fundamental investigations. The wide application of MM waves in medicine, biotechnology, animal husbandry, and plant cultivation has taken a giant step forward. By this time, Russia has manufactured more than 10,000 MM-wave therapy devices, organized more than 2,500 MM-wave therapy rooms, and treated over 2,500,000 patients....
Open access version of paper: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d0f5/d75d92b7fb8f4d13ae5461e26afa62e87e60.pdf
May EC, Faith LV. The effects of electromagnetic radiation on biological systems: Current status in the former Soviet Union. Science Applications International Corporation. Presented to US Government, Feb 26, 1993. Approved for release by US Central Intelligence Agency, Aug 10, 2000. https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00792R000100070001-9.pdf
(Updated: January 18, 2021)
Christ A, Samaras T, Neufeld E, Kuster N. RF-induced temperature increase in a stratified model of the skin for plane-wave exposure at 6-100 GHz. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2020 Jan 16. pii: ncz293. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncz293. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31950182
Foster KR, Ziskin MC, Balzano Q. Thermal response of human skin to microwave energy: A critical review. Health Phys. 2016; 111(6):528-541. (Note: This work was sponsored by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum. The authors state that MMF had no control over the contents.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27798477
Haas AJ, Le Page Y, Zhadobov M, et al. Effects of 60-GHz millimeter waves on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells using high-content screening. Neurosci Lett. 2016 Apr 8;618:58-65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26921450
Kojima M, Tsai C-Y, Suzuki Y, et al. Ocular response to millimeter wave exposure under different humidity levels. J Infrared Millimeter Terahertz Waves. 40(5):474-484. 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10762-019-00586-0
Parker JE, Beason CW, Sturgeon SP, Voorhees WB, Johnson SS, et al. Revisiting 35 and 94 GHZ Millimeter Wave Exposure to the Non-human Primate Eye. Health Phys. 2020 Jun 3. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001216. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32501817/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32501817/
Wang Q, Zhao X, Li S, et al. Attenuation by a human body and trees as well as material penetration loss in 26 and 39 GHz millimeter wave bands. International Journal of Antennas and Propagation. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2961090.
Wu T, Rappaport TS, Collins CM. The human body and millimeter-wave wireless communication systems: Interactions and implications. IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), Jun 2015. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7248688