5G : Issues – UPSC GS3

Utility: A direct question can be asked on the topic.


Context: Petition in court against implementation of 5G.


  • Plea alleged that no person, animal, bird, insect & plant will be able to avoid exposure to levels of RF radiation that are 10 to 100 times greater than what exists today.
  • The plea also demanded that the department concerned should certify that 5G technology is safe for humans and also animals and birds.
What are the concerns?
  • 5G emits its own electromagnetic radiation like all other radio waves. The concern is that these radiations can be harmful to humans and other organisms.
  • Besides, critics and studies claim that the increased number of transmitters will further increase exposure to the radiation, potentially impacting a much wider number of people and animals.
Arguments against the claims:
  • No study conclusively points out an impact to humans from Radio Frequency Radiations.
  • There are concrete studies of radiations that suggest no such connection is possible. Radio wave band that is used for mobile phone networks (including 5G) is non-ionising. Such radio waves lack sufficient energy to cause cellular damage by breaking DNA apart.
Existing guidelines for harmful radiations:
  • Higher energy radiation levels such as medical x-rays and gamma rays are known to have health risks with extended exposure.
  • For such energy waves, there are strict advisory limits for exposure.
  • Guidelines on the use of radio waves are also in place, and the 5G spectrum falls easily under those limits.
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