There's been a lot of conspiracy theories going around about the 5G wireless network, Coronavirus — COVID-19, the end of time, etc.
In a time of uncertainty, theories like these are expected. So I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise to you, right?
Let’s answer the question that is before us now, is 5G wireless network safe?
Yes, or No, we’ll find out at the end of this article.
First off, what the heck is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation of wireless networks, it promises lightning-fast speed. In fact, 5G is said to be 10x faster than 4G/LTE which means it has super high data transfer rate, low latency, high mobility, high energy efficiency and high traffic density which is made possible by the use of additional higher frequency bands.
We’re in a period of rapid technological change. One of the most interesting things about 5G is that it has the ability to support new technologies like advanced augmented reality, self-driving cars, Internet Of Things (IoT) — 5G will elevate the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices, remote surgery and so on.
More so, in the heart of 5G, it uses a new digital technology called Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) which permits the transmitting and receiving of more than one information signal at the same time over a similar radio channel.
Whereas the previous generations operate like floodlights, illuminating an area but with lots of wastage of the light/signal.
The 5G network was designed with certain KPIs as shown in the diagram below:
So now you know what 5G is and why we love it, let’s talk about the disadvantages or the negative effects of 5G.
Does 5G Pose a Health Risk?
Everything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage. But let’s face it, we have always had and lived with networks that emit radiation, from Ultra High Frequency (UHF)to radio frequencies from 2G, 3G, and 4G.
So, why is 5G different?
First of all, let’s create a common ground from the previous generations of wireless technologies and the ones we enjoy now. Then we’ll look at why 5G’s health risk is different in the next paragraph.
Radio Frequencies (RF) radiations are capable of causing cancer and other illnesses
A recent study shows that RF exposure can cause cancer, and thus the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RF-EMF as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Although RF radiations are at the low-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum, If the radiation is absorbed massively by some materials, for example; materials containing water, such as food, fluids, and body tissues, it will produce heat.
The absorbed radiation can lead to burns and tissue damage. Also, RF radiation causes cancer in a different way from how ionizing radiation does, it doesn’t directly damage the DNA, however, there have been some concerns that some forms of non-ionizing radiation might have biological effects that could result in cancer in some circumstances.
For example, in a recent study conducted by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the lab; some mice were exposed to RF from cell phones and these were noticed:
- Clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas.
- Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas.
- Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant, or complex combined pheochromocytoma.
Also, the Ramazzini Institute in Italy repeated the key finding of the NTP using a different carrier frequency and much weaker exposure to cell phone radiation over the life of the rats and found the same results.
Moreso, more than 500 studies have found harmful biologic or health effects from the exposure to RF radiations at intensities too low to cause significant heating.
The Adverse Effect of 5G
Banking on what we already know about Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR), let’s see what is more with 5g.
5G uses Millimeter waves, which are a lot shorter than the wavelengths 4G uses. 5G wavelengths have a range of about 1,000 feet, which is not even 2% of 4G's range.
That means 5G technology requires a lot of new base stations - these are the masts that transmit and receive mobile phone signals. This is an issue, especially for those living in densely populated towns/cities because it means we’ll be exposed to these radiations a lot.
Remember the MIMO technology we talked about earlier that 5G uses? Studies show that they pose unique challenges for measuring exposure.
The truth is, 5G will lead to an exponential increase in human exposures to EMF radiation– at frequencies that have never been used in consumer applications before.
These exposures are not only unprecedented. They are also untested. There have been no surveys to indicate the levels of 5G EMF radiation to which people will be exposed.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has designated this type of EMF as a Class 2B carcinogen. And other research has demonstrated that EMF is genotoxic, which means it can destroy your DNA.
Furthermore, according to a recent study, Dr. Cindy Russell in Santa Clara Medical Association’s The Bulletin references a number of studies linking 5G millimeter wavelengths to heart problems, birth defects, decreased antibiotic sensitivity, cataracts, and immune system suppression. Dr. Russell calls strongly for the development of safety regulations and thorough pre-market testing of 5G technologies.
Since there have been no 5G safety studies into short or long-term 5G health effects, and the health effects of 5G are untested, we cannot say with certainty what 5G effects are on the human body. (Though we do know there are no safe radiation levels of EMF.)
Despite the absence of studies into the long-term health effects of 5G, Dr. Joel Moskowitz from UC Berkeley School of Public Health has explained, “we have no reason to believe that 5G is safe.”
More than 260 scientists and doctors signed an appeal regarding the health risk that 5G poses as it’ll substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields RF-EMF, which has been proven to be harmful to humans and the environment.
According to the scientists:
“The 5G Appeal notes that with ”the ever more extensive use of wireless technologies,” nobody can avoid being exposed. Because on top of the increased number of 5G-transmitters (even within housing, shops and in hospitals) according to estimates, ”10 to 20 billion connections” (to refrigerators, washing machines, surveillance cameras, self-driving cars, and buses, etc.) will be parts of the Internet of Things.”
Here is another note from the scientists:
“The fifth-generation, 5G, for microwave radiation is about to be implemented worldwide in spite of no comprehensive investigations of the potential risks to human health and the environment. In an appeal sent to the EU in September 2017 currently >260 scientists and medical doctors requested a moratorium on the deployment of 5G until the health risks associated with this new technology have been fully investigated by industry‑independent scientists. The appeal and four rebuttals to the EU over a period of >2 years have not achieved any positive response from the EU to date. Unfortunately, decision-makers seem to be uninformed or even misinformed about the risks. EU officials rely on the opinions of individuals within the ICNIRP and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), most of whom have ties to the industry.”
You can find the appeal here to learn more.
Does 5G cause Coronavirus - COVID-19?
This is the most asked question since these conspiracy theories started popping out. 5G base stations have been destroyed in some cities and for some other countries, 5G deployment has been paused. From what we know, there are no studies that suggest that the 5G network can cause coronavirus or it’s symptoms.
We couldn’t find a connection with RFR to cause a viral disease. However, we hope that more research in this area will be funded as there is a possibility that 5G will impact our health as discussed in this article.
If you have seen a study or have done this research yourself and have written a paper regarding this area, we’ll be excited to read what you have.
As far as we know, there is no connection between COVID-19 and 5G network.
If you are concerned about Coronavirus and how it works, you'll find a lot of value from this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtN-goy9VOY.
See the CDC website for more information about COVID-19 and how to stay safe.