Sacramento is one of the first cities in the entire world to receive 5G technology. The City signed a public-private partnership with Verizon in 2017. This contract was not taken through the usual public process and has been heavily criticized as a bad deal for Sacramento. The 5G roll-out began in October of 2018. Since then, roughly 600 “small cell” antennas have been installed, most commonly on top of light poles.
Approximately only 10% of Sacramento has 5G coverage meaning, many, many more antennas will be installed, especially when you consider other carriers will also want to install their antenna networks.
The main problem with the antennas is that they emit pulsed, data modulated, microwave radiation all day, every day. Anyone living near the antennas will be exposed to this radiation inside their home on a continuous basis, whether they have 5G service or not. Because these antennas are being installed lower to the ground and closer to people’s homes than previous generation antennas, exposure from the small cells is MANY times higher than exposure from previous generation antennas, even higher than exposure from cell phones and wireless routers which are typically the greatest sources of microwave radiation exposure.
The only assurance of safety we have been given is that exposure from the antennas will likely be under the FCC safety limit. However, the FCC safety limits are over 20 years old and based entirely on a thermal model for damage, meaning if the radiation source is not literally cooking you, it is assumed safe. Interference with cell function or brain function, genetic damage, even cancer are not considered at all by the FCC safety limit. This is best explained in a 2002 letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which states “the generalization by many that the [FCC] guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified.”