Mobile networks worldwide are rolling out the fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology which provides high-speed wireless connections. Concerns have been raised about electromagnetic radiation from 5G base stations which could potentially cause cancer or other health problems; but reliable research in the area has been lacking.
Now, a new case study, conducted by researchers of The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation (Sweden) in association with the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation, has found that installation of a 5G base station near a residential apartment can cause severe health problems. Published in the Annals of Clinical and Medical Case Reports, the study reports that installation of 5G caused a huge increase in radiation exposure and rapid development of microwave syndrome.
Microwave sickness or illness, sometimes termed as microwave syndrome, is an effect of microwave radiation exposure which was reported in the 1960s and 1970s in the East European countries. This syndrome is commonly associated with health effects relating to the neural, cardiovascular and endocrine functions. Studies have shown that microwave exposure at non-thermal levels causes symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, headache, sleep disorders, anxiety and problems with attention and memory.
Significant Observations & Findings
In the case study, a woman aged 52 years was diagnosed to be suffering from microwave syndrome after installation of a 5G base station 60 metres from her apartment. The 5G antenna was placed on the roof of a three-floor building and projected towards her apartment on the second floor. There was previously a 4G base station antenna at the same spot, but it was only after it was replaced by the 5G antenna that the woman quickly developed severe symptoms of the microwave syndrome.
For the study, researchers visited the woman’s apartment, investigated her symptoms and considered radiation effects during four distinct time periods. The first period was in her home without 5G; the second at home with 5G; the third time staying in another apartment without 5G; and, finally, returning to her home with 5G exposure. This allowed the researchers to have a wash-out period of no 5G exposure between the third and fourth time period and gave them the possibility to investigate health effects during on and off exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation from 5G.
Prior to installation of the 5G base station, she was observed to be healthy, in July 2022. After October 2022, when the base station was installed opposite her apartment, she developed severe health problems rather quickly. These included pain and a number of neurological symptoms such as dizziness, balance problems, concentration difficulties, loss of immediate memory and confusion. Nose bleeding and headache were severe problems as well as cardiac symptoms with irregular and transitory high pulse. Furthermore, in spite of fatigue, she described insomnia as a problem. Body pain was another major symptom including skin burning on hands and arms. Nausea was also a major problem, as well as diarrhoea and incontinence.
Interestingly, a month later when she stayed in another apartment with no 5G, all symptoms disappeared except minor dizziness and tiredness. Shortly after returning to her apartment in January, the symptoms reappeared and this time her health declined with symptoms of insomnia, suicidal ideation, heart problems and irritation added to the list of severe health issues.
The woman’s dog also showed signs of ill health after 5G deployment. According to her, the dog was afflicted with diarrhoea soon after the 5G deployment. This disappeared during the washout period in the other apartment with no 5G, but returned when they moved back to her own apartment. She also observed that the dog reluctantly returned to the 5G-exposed apartment, after walks in the nearby park.
When radiation levels were measured, the highest levels were observed in the part of the apartment facing the building with the 5G base station on the roof. The levels measured in this study and in the other two previous case studies were very high, far above levels that have been reported to provoke ill health from previous generations of wireless technology and also far above levels recommended by experts.
Previous Studies on 5G
The same team of researchers has published a case report of two previously healthy persons, a man aged 63 years and a woman aged 62 years, who quickly developed symptoms compatible with the microwave syndrome after installation of a 5G base station on the roof above their apartment. Due to the severity of the experienced symptoms, the couple left the apartment within a couple of days for another dwelling with much lower maximum RF radiation and immediately saw abatement in their symptoms.
In another study, the researchers studied two men that had also developed microwave syndrome after installation of 5G base station on the roof of the building where their office was located at the top floor. Within a short time after leaving the offices, their symptoms disappeared. As in the first study, a base station for 3G/4G was already at the spot for several years prior to the replacement by 5G.
It is important to note that the exposure in this study was non-thermal and well below the guidelines recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Researchers report that the safety limits for exposure to RF radiation applied by most countries around the world are still based on heating (thermal) acute effects that appear within a short time of exposure, thereby excluding protection against long-term exposure and any other harmful effects that are not based on heating (non-thermal).
Furthermore, guidelines for reference values based on heating are set by ICNIRP, a self-appointed private organisation based in Germany. According to the researchers of this study, ICNIRP has managed to get worldwide influence and dominance on the evaluation of scientific evidence of negative health effects from RF radiation. “Their guidelines are based on evaluations that have rejected all scientific evidence on non-thermal effects, despite growing evidence of a range of harmful effects well below the ICNIRP levels. That unscientific evaluation is in the interest of industry thereby facilitating the deployment of 5G and the wireless society,” the study reports.
Current guidelines for exposure propagated by ICNIRP and the Federal Communications Commission in USA have not been lowered, although the scientific evidence of various health effects below these guidelines has increased over the years. They are based only on acute thermal effects, observed within very short exposure from extremely intense RF radiation. The guidelines clearly do not take into account prolonged lifetime exposure for 24 hours every day.
The study notes that roll-out of 5G for wireless communication has continued unabated despite no previous research being available on the possible negative effects on human health and the environment. Exposure to pulse-modulated microwave or RF radiation has increased dramatically across the world and studies on the possible health effects from exposure to the 5G frequencies were non-existent, until recently. Researchers of this study have stressed that governmental agencies need to urgently address health hazards caused by 5G before implementing the technology in their respective countries.