Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, 5G: dangerous radiation yes or no? Let’s be clear

Which radiation is most harmful to health, emitted by 3/4 / 5G mobile networks, Bluetooth devices or a Wi-Fi router? Here is the truth.

Today we are surrounded by devices that emit electromagnetic waves : smartphones, TVs, Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth headphones and so on. Anything that uses a network, be it WLAN, 3G or LTE / 4G, is “potentially dangerous” to health… But is this really the case? And above all, which of these radio frequencies we use every day can expose us to greater risks ? Let’s be clear.

Smartphone radiation: which waves hurt the most?

Today there are 3 transmission standards for mobile: GSM ( 2G ), UMTS ( 3G ) and LTE ( 4G ), which differ substantially in speed , which increases as the generation goes up.

The frequencies used are now of the following: 

  • 2G – between 900 and 1,800 MHz
  • 3G – between 1,900 and 2,170 MHz
  • LTE / 4G – between 800 and 2600 MHz

None of the aforementioned technologies cause harmful radiation as they are non-ionizing electromagnetic waves , that is, they do not ionize the medium through which they pass and do not alter the molecules.

The only effect on the human body is warming , but the exposure levels are so low that they cannot be considered hazardous.

It is also good to remember that radiofrequency devices, in order to be placed on the market, must comply with maximum exposure levels in order not to incur proven health risks. These requirements are: 8 Watts / kg for the body and 2 Watts / kg for body parts such as the head.


The Wi-Fi devices that we find on the market use the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands to exchange data and information packets. The factor at stake, if we talk about health hazards , could at most be the power , but we consider that the signal emitted by a Wi-Fi router is about 100 milliwatts and that even at normal operating distances the signal intensity is like this. low not to be a cause for concern.


Now technology is moving towards the wireless direction and there are more and more accessories and wireless devices (think of Apple’s AirPods ), but brands have every interest in lowering the power of emissions as much as possible so as to preserve battery consumption. .

As for Bluetooth devices , the power used is too low and the energy impact minimal “to be able to damage any biological tissue with the mechanisms currently known to us. If it was risky to health it should be in ways that no one has ever imagined, ”said John Moulder, a radiation biologist at the University of Wisconsin. Bluetooth uses a frequency of waves very similar to that of Wi-Fi, but we can consider it more of a “Wi-Fi light” and therefore even more harmless .

The bluetooth devices sold by Apple have an output of 10-18 milliwatts, and less than 1% of this energy comes in the form of electromagnetic radiation, a more than negligible amount compared to that to which one is exposed by placing the smartphone to the ear. . Recent research by the International Agency for Research on Cancer has also concluded that the farther a device is from one’s head the less harmful it is, but there is no definitive study on it and the results often come to antithetical conclusions.

What about 5G?

The 5G network is being tested and 2019 will be a crucial year. The first to test the new standard for mobile communication that will allow hyper-fast uploads and downloads and the interconnection of IoT devices .

5G will use the maximum frequency spectrum possible and never used before, i.e. radio waves between 30 and 300 GHz . There is no shortage of alarms about the risks to human health, but despite several pseudoscientific studies, there is currently no real evidence on the harmfulness of 5G. In fact, even in the case of 5G the frequencies have a very low intensity to have ionizing effects on biological tissues. The waves used by 5G have more difficulty in penetrating through the air and walls, and this therefore also applies to organic tissues. All the arguments on the dangers of 5G have no scientific basis and can therefore be relegated to the field of hoaxes .

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