Radio frequencies (RF) is the name given to waves of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from 3 kHz to 300 GHz, and it is through them that telecommunications towers send and receive information from our mobile phones and other mobile gadgets.
In the 1980s we started with Generation 1 (1G), but as the number of devices increased, and with increasingly heavy information needing to be transmitted, technology had to evolve to keep up with those needs. As the generations of telecommunication towers evolved from 1G to 4G LTE, transmission speeds were increasing, along with the need to resort to higher frequency radio waves.
With 5G technology, a new leap will be made in terms of both the speed offered and the frequencies of the radio waves used.
What’s wrong with using higher radio waves? Follow this logic:
- Higher Frequencies = Waves with a shorter length;
- Waves with a shorter length = Greater Difficulty in Traveling Long Distances;
- Conclusion: more 5G towers will be needed than with the 4G technology. Many more.
How many more? Well, let’s say we’re going to see 5G towers on every street.
What’s wrong with that? The problem lies in a law of physics called the Inverse Square Law, which tells us that when we halve the distance from a radiation emitting source, then we will be exposed to 4x more radiation. That is, as a radiation emitting source gets closer to us, its levels increase exponentially. For example:
|Emitter Distance||Radiation Level|
The 4G towers are within a reasonable distance of the majority of the population, but the 5G towers will be very close to everyone. And that may be a problem.
The Dangers of RF
The dangers of 5G technology have not yet been properly studied, but there are some studies concerning the older telecommunications technologies.
The most comprehensive was the INTERPHONE study which analysed over 5000 cases and found correlations between strong exposure to mobile phone radiation and brain tumour development among mobile phone users over 10 years.
Although there is no proven causality, the correlations are there and remain unexplained.
And one question remains: what will happen to those correlations for those users who will use the mobile phone for their entire life (totalling 50, 60, 70 years of use)?
As a result of this study, the World Health Organisation was forced to recognise the existence of these correlations and to give radio frequency radiation the status of possibly carcinogenic.
This study showed that exposing laboratory mice to legally accepted levels of radiofrequency for 19 hours a day results in a statistically significant increase in heart Schwannomas amongst the male mice.
And, most importantly, this study found strong correlations between living close to a cellphone tower (up to 400 meters) and the 3x rise of cancer incidents amongst those residents. Quoting the conclusion:
“(…) this study has shown that it is no longer safely possible to assume that there is no causal link between radio frequency transmissions and increased cancer rates.“
All these studies refer to the radio frequencies present in the older communication technologies. But there are particularities that are exclusive to 5G.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem did an investigation into 5G technology and its interaction with the human body. The conclusion of this study was that our sweat glands have a geometric shape and size that, by interacting with 5G electromagnetic waves, which have compatible wavelengths, function as receiving antennas. The university raises the question about the possible negative consequences of this interaction to the human health.
But it’s Non-Ionizing Radiation…
If you search the Internet for the dangers of 5G radiation you will always find someone who claims that it is not dangerous because it is non-ionising.
Indeed, it is non-ionizing. In other words, it does not contain enough energy to steal ions from our atoms, which would be harmful to our health, causing cancer. Example of ionizing electromagnetic radiation is strong sunlight or x-rays.
In addition, the telecommunications industry determines that the electromagnetic radiation from our gadgets is safe because, in addition to being non-ionizing, it does not generate enough heat to be dangerous.
Now, if we’re dealing with non-ionizing radiation that generates little heat, then there’s nothing to worry about, right?
There’s another factor. In fact, if you find someone trying to convince you that 5G technology is harmless without mentioning this third factor, then you should know that they are deliberately deceiving you or are simply ignorant.
That factor resides in the way wireless signals are transmitted across devices.
The transmitted data (which can be a call or a YouTube video, for example) is codified using pulsed and irregular wave patterns.
These patterns have characteristics that do not occur naturally in the environment. They are artificially created by men and our organisms didn’t evolve interacting with them.
This is the anatomy of a typical cellphone call:
This problem is explained in a simple manner by reporter B. Blake Levitt in the book Public Health SOS:
“Most living things are very sensitive even to extraordinarily small electromagnetic waves… Living cells interpret these exposures as part of our normal cellular activities (heartbeat, brain waves, cell division, etc.). The problem is that electromagnetic exposures made by man are not “normal”. They are artifacts, with unusual intensities, pulsating patterns and waveforms. And these artificial waves can affect cells in many negative ways.”
If research by a reporter is not good enough to meet your quality standards, you might want to take a look at the scientific studies that have looked at the non-thermal effects that non-ionizing radiation has on human biology.
A Brief Mention of WiFi
So far we have been talking about cellphone towers, but WiFi itself can also be problematic although it does not belong to the 5G technology category (the 5GHz WiFi routers we have at home are not 5G technology, it is just a confusing coincidence of name).
This study made a meta-analysis of 23 studies made regarding the dangers of Wi-Fi in specific. Those studies point to health effects such as oxidative stress; sperm / testicular damage; neuropsychiatric effects; apoptosis; cellular DNA damage; endocrine changes; and calcium overload.
It should, however, be noted that this meta-analysis and the 23 studies referred to therein were criticised by the other side in the argument as being incomplete, imprecise and/or inconclusive:
“(…) a number of studies have reported bioeffects of Wi-Fi exposures, but technical limitations make many of them difficult to interpret (…) if studies are to be done using small exposure levels characteristic of Wi-Fi technology, they need to be done well, with experimental models relevant to human health, with meticulous exposure assessment and with careful attention to good study design. Such efforts, however, are expensive and need to be adequately supported.”
Unlike mobile phone radiation, which has some studies showing very suspect correlations, the dangers with regard to WiFi are not very clear at this point.
But, if it is popularly accepted that talking with your mobile phone next to your ear or living near a telecommunication tower is more dangerous than sleeping next to a WiFi router, it is important to always remember that they are all part of the same artificial electromagnetic waves family.
Even if current studies that point to possible dangers of WiFi can be criticized for not being complete enough, then more and better studies should be done. Due to the prevalence of WiFi in our lives, it seems to me a reasonable request.
Until then, the best solution is to play it safe and connect to the Internet via an Ethernet cable.
It’s All Conspiracy Theory and Fake News
A technology capable of adversely affecting the vast majority of the population is certainly conspiracy theory material. And there are definitely those who believe that this is the case, that 5G is a technology created by the elites to control the masses.
Is it necessary to believe this? No!
The existence of 5G technology is easily explained. It is necessary to exist, to allow the existence of the Internet of Things, which is the next step that makes sense from the technological point of view.
No argument presented in this article attempts to defend any kind of conspiracy theory. So far it has only presented scientific studies and comments from experts.
In addition, this article has not so far referred to any kind of articles such as that one which claimed that hundreds of dead birds died in the Netherlands due to 5G tests carried out.
I didn’t do it because that article is fake news and it is not needed to resort to conspiracy theories or fake news to be against 5G. To do so, all you need is the relevant scientific literature.
Beware of Misinformation
Those who are advocates of 5G technology do so because of (1) ideological skepticism or (2) deliberate deception of the public.
1. Ideological Skepticism
There’s nothing wrong with adopting a good dose of scepticism in our lives. In fact, it’s even recommended.
However, certain people end up identifying so much with the scepticism itself that they base their whole identity around it. And once that happens, ensuring the survival of that identity becomes more important than finding the truth. This is what I call ideological scepticism.
Within this category, for me the worst are those science YouTube channels with hundreds of thousands of followers, with videos with excellent animations, audio and image, but that still defend 5G. Unfortunately the followers of these channels cannot distinguish between the quality of content presentation and the quality of the content itself.
The authors of these videos always place – subtly or not – the other side of the argument in one of two categories: that of the ignorant alarmist or that of the conspiracy theorist. And it is convenient to assume this. After all, if this is the caliber of people who believe in the dangers of 5G, then it is because the problem must not be real and, consequently, does not require very thorough research to refute it.
Shallow research always results in the repetition of the same explanation: “5G is safe because it is non-ionizing radiation”. To date, I have not seen a single such channel counter-argument, or even refer to, the fact that the problem lies in the pulsed and irregular nature of waves, not in their non-ionization.
An ideological skeptic is willfully blind. He will disregard studies that show correlations between two phenomena, claiming that “correlation does not imply causality”, and does not demand that the origins of these correlations be clarified.
In fact, the aims of the ideological sceptic are so misaligned with those of true science that their arguments are contradictory.
Any inconclusive scientific study on the subject ends with the same recommendation: “further research is needed”. The ideological sceptic tries to convince us otherwise: “that everything is fine, that it has been proven that these technologies are safe, that no further research is needed”.
2. The Deceivers
You may not be aware of it, but the Internet of Things will revolutionize much of what exists today, and will become a trillion-dollar industry.
With the profits to come, what you can expect about 5G is the same as it has happened in the past (e.g. tobacco industry), where the information presented to the public is not transparent – and sometimes deliberately misleading – and that is not surprising. This is called a conflict of interest.
A clear example of this is this website created by Verizon where it presents the benefits of 5G, hides the potential risks, offers simplistic answers, and ultimately makes the case for its immediate implementation.
What Can We Do?
If I were an optimist, I would say that you should talk to your legislators. Unfortunately, I know that the economic strength and lobbies behind 5G make this technology inexorable.
Being informed about the risks of technology is a good step to start taking action. Since exposure to radio frequencies will increase dramatically in the near future, we can start by reducing what is already in our lives today (mobile phone being the worst, but also WiFi and Bluetooth), and hope for the best. Some practical things you can do include:
- Don’t talk with your cellphone against your ear. Wear earphones or the loudspeaker;
- Turn off WiFi in your home and connect to the Internet via a network cable.
- If forced to use WiFi, always turn it off when not using it, and also at night when you go to sleep.
- Do not use wireless devices such as mice or keyboards. Use everything wired.
- Learn about Electromagnetic Radiation Readers;
- Say no to 5G technology in your life.
Finally, you should share this information. The more people are informed, the more interest there may be in doing more research into the consequences of exposure to this electromagnetic radiation. And the more creative and entrepreneurial minds are informed about the problem – and the more interest there is in it from the consumers – the more and better protective technologies against this radiation will be developed.
However, in order not to end up on too positive a note, at the risk of you forgetting the seriousness of the situation, I’ll leave you with this uncomfortable comment:
“This is a unique situation in the history of the human kind when the whole human population will be exposed to man-made devices emitting non-ionizing radiation that was insufficiently tested before deployment. What is and what will be the responsibility of the scientists, decision-makers and industry leaders who permit deployment of insufficiently tested technology that will affect us all? The answer is simple – no responsibility… because if any health problems will show up in the future, these will most likely take tens of years of time to manifest and, by then the persons that currently enable deployment of insufficiently tested radiation-emitting 5G technology will be retired or the proverbial “six feet under” – Dr. Darius Leszczynski.