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NOVEMBER 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 51 "One of the biggest concerns people have about 5G is that the network's radio fre- quency will be unsafe, expose people to ra- diation, and cause cancer. The fears aren't completely unfounded. A 2011 report from the World Health Organization suggested that cellphone radiation should be listed as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." In 2016, a study funded by the U.S. govern- ment showed a link between radio-fre- quency radiation and cancers in rats. And popular phones like the iPhone and Galaxy handsets may exceed the level of radio-fre- quency radiation allowed by the FCC. On the other hand, after years of research and review, the FCC chairman circulated a proposal to deem cellphones as safe, includ- ing ones that use 5G. There's no doubt that we now have decades of exposure to RF radia- tion with no real evidence of decreased health issues caused by it; however, the 5G network will involve the installation of millions of ex- tra antennae, to be placed closer to homes, schools, hospitals, etc., as well as thousands of transmitting satellites, which are also being deployed in space. While the link between cancer and cell- phones may be overstated, let's not forget that as of the last few years, since the last studies, there are now millions of wireless headsets in use. Each of these is a tiny, but very close to the head, RF transmitter/receiver. Also, people spend so many more hours per week holding their phone against their head while talking and using Bluetooth headsets, which use RF to communicate. Low-power signals still add up. In my opinion, I would stick with a wired headset, just in case. Generally, they have bet- ter signal quality, a more reliable connection, and no RF, even if they are much less conve- nient. I remember all of the talk from the '50s and '60s on how smoking cigarettes was safe. Is close RF, even low-power RF, the cigarette of the early 21st century? Something to consider. Conclusion In any case, there is no doubt that things are changing, the use of portable devices in all as- pects of life is increasing, and the abilities grant- ed by 5G technology will increase that rate of change exponentially. Overall, I would expect positive progress, and that most of this change will be for the good of humankind. PCB007 Reference 1. Lynn La, "No, 5G Won't Replace 4G (and Other 5G Myths Debunked)," CNET, September 15, 2019. Is 5G just a trap? Opponents have strong opinions on the matter.

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