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Human Electromagnetic Field Exposure in 5G at 28 GHz

by S. Kim and I. Nasim 

published in IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine Nov. 2020 

A new paper published in IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine evaluated human exposure to radiofrequency for three wireless systems -5G, 4G, and 3.9G and found that  5G’s higher frequencies penetrate into the skin very intensely despite the fact that the depth of penetration is more shallow. The authors state that “the fact that a high-frequency EMF cannot penetrate deep into human skin does not mean that it is not dangerous.”

Excerpts:

“The SAR is inversely proportional to the penetration depth, and hence, a shallower penetration occurring in 5G yields a higher absorption.”

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“The example shown in Figure 4 presents a measurement of SAR being introduced on human skin at the distance of 10 cm from a transmitter in an uplink. It clearly shows a scenario where the current belief is not valid; the fact that a high-frequency EMF cannot penetrate deep into human skin does not mean that it is not dangerous. Specifically, although the penetration is limited only at the skin surface, the SAR (illustrated as a heat map in Figure 4) can be higher within the concentrated area, which can cause subsequent health problems such as skin heating.”

“In this article, the first case study has demonstrated how much EMF exposure is caused in a 5G system compared to 4G and 3.9G.”

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“This article is expected to ignite continued interest in overarching research on the design of future wireless systems that achieve high performance while keeping consumer safety guaranteed.”

 Abstract:

The fifth-generation wireless (5G) has already started showing its capability to achieve extremely fast data transfer, which makes itself considered to be a promising mobile technology. However, concerns have been raised on adverse health impacts that human users can experience in a 5G system by being exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This article investigates the human EMF exposure in a 5G system and compares them with those measured in the previous-generation cellular systems. It suggests a minimum separation distance between a transmitter and a human user for keeping the EMF exposure below the safety regulation level, which provides consumers with a general understanding on the safe use of 5G communications.

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https://ehtrust.org/new-paper-5g-radiation-higher-absorption-into-human-skin/ Source: Environmental Health Trust