It seems you have reached this article while looking for true and genuine information about 5G dangers. If that is so, then read along to get all the 5G myths busted for good.
Right after 4G became common, 5G stepped in intending to disrupt the already dynamic world of telecommunication. It gained traction a little more than a year ago (precisely, since late 2018).
Since then, it has always been in the news for one or the other reason. While people have argued about its advantages, the conspiracy theorists focused more on 5G dangers. Thus, turning the disruptive innovation into a dystopian one.
So, what is 5G all about? Why is it so controversial? Will it affect our health system? Will it change our biology? Does it threaten our online security?
Let’s delve into the details of this technology to know if any 5G dangers truly exist for us!
Popular Myths about 5G Dangers
Before moving on to whether 5G is safe for us or not, let’s review some common myths associated with 5G. (Are these all you have heard of? Or is there any other myth too which we missed to mention?)
Disclaimer: The text in the following myths section refers to what the rumor mill is generating. It does not represent the personal opinion of me or the team at 5Gist.
Myth #1: 5G is Responsible for the Coronavirus Spread
While 5G already attracted enough negative propaganda since its inception, what portrayed it as a true villain was this COVID-19 pandemic.
People believed that since 5G compromises immunity, the deployment of this technology directly contributed to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On the other hand, some people also held 5G radiations responsible for direct transmission and spread of the virus.
Myth #2: 5G Causes Cancer
Another interesting myth you might heartily believe is that 5G causes cancer.
Like any other radiation, people believe that 5G radiations will also trigger mutations in human cells, ultimately leading to cancer.
Myth #3: 5G Will Intentionally Alter Human DNA
Extending the myth#2, the other common belief that became popular following the COVID-19 pandemic is that 5G will alter human biology.
Briefly, the conspiracy theorists have directly blamed 5G to impact human DNA.
According to them, under controlled conditions, such an impact may cause alterations in human DNA in the desired manner. Such alterations may have a genocidal impact in the long run, according to what they suggest.
Myth #4: 5G Will Create Human Robots
Coupling the spread of 5G with nanotechnology and coronavirus, conspiracy theorists have claimed that 5G will transform humans into robots.
Briefly, what they have presented is that humans will receive RFID nanochips through Coronavirus vaccines. These chips will integrate within human cells. In turn, the chips will let the villainous authorities to control humans via 5G in the way they want.
The same people have also linked these chips with a breach of human privacy.
Myth #5: 5G Will Fry Us
Because 5G can also operate on high-frequency bands nearing the microwaves, people fear that 5G will microwave human cells.
In simple words, exposure to 5G will fry our brains. This speculation isn’t about all 5G bands, rather for the 5G mmWave.
Myth #6: 5G Will Destroy the Natural Environment
Last, but not the least, is the myth that holds 5G responsible for environmental devastation in the long run.
At first, some posts made rounds on social media stating about some bird deaths near 5G towers. The theorists claimed that 5G network tests caused hundreds of birds to die.
Then, some other claims surfaced online regarding some ‘5G satellites’ that would potentially use this technology for controlling the weather.
Understanding 5G Radiations – Are They Dangerous?
To understand whether 5G is genuinely dangerous or not, let’s first quickly discuss what 5G is.
In simple words, 5G is the fifth-generation of communication technology succeeding 4G. This latest facility will supposedly offer numerous tech advantages including fast communication and better connectivity.
Technically speaking, 5G also works on radiofrequency (RF) radiations, like all other wireless technologies.
Since you now know that 5G is also based on radiation, you might think of the above myths as true. However, this isn’t the case.
5G radiations fall under the non-ionizing waves category, that is, the ones that are not harmful.
Confused? Let me explain.
With regards to health impact, radiations predominantly comprise two broad categories; ionizing, and non-ionizing. While the former is quite dangerous for living beings, the latter isn’t.
Ionizing radiations, as the term implies, are the ones that are capable of inducing ionization in the target body. That is, they excite the electrons of the molecules of the surfaces they strike on. Due to this excitation, the subsequent molecules of the substance become highly reactive.
This phenomenon may also cause structural changes in the substance, causing it to transform into a new substance with different properties. These changes happen due to the damages incurred on the molecular bonds.
Regarding humans, these radiations are harmful since they directly impact the DNA. Hence, due to the changes in this vital molecule, humans can develop cancer and tumors.
Ever wondered why doctors do not advise for frequent X-ray scans? Because the X-rays are also ionizing radiations. And thus, they pose a risk of developing tumors.
For the same reason, excessive exposure to sunlight is also harmful since the UV-rays from the sunrays impact the human body.
Non-ionizing radiations are electromagnetic radiations with very low energy which makes them almost unable to excite electrons. When they can’t induce ionization of molecules, no structural changes happen to the target substance.
Though what non-ionizing rays can do is that some of them produce heat, like microwaves. So, you can cook food with them.
As I said above, 5G radiations are non-ionizing. So, they aren’t harmful or dangerous for humans. (Though, you can’t cook food with 5G as it doesn’t produce enough heat. Hence, all you can do is to communicate.)
What Are Some Potential 5G Radiation Dangers?
Is 5G 100% safe? I hear you ask.
Well, at the moment, no one can deem it 100% safe for humans or other living beings. But that’s the case with most other natural and technological components too.
However, these radiations are neither evidently devastating or damaging as well.
Nonetheless, considering the apparent properties of 5G and the way it will be implemented, two potential dangers can be linked to it.
The first is potential harms due to the heat it will produce; and, the second, excessive exposure to radiation.
Indirect Damage Due to Heat
Although 5G is a low frequency and low energy radiation, at times, people fear that it may be troublesome. As I stated while mentioning the myths about 5G dangers, people fear 5G to fry us.
Well, they won’t actually fry humans, precisely because they do not produce much heat.
To cause damage due to heat, it takes enough absorption of 5G radiations by the target surface. With sufficient absorption, these rays may transform energy into thermal energy or heat.
And thus, any possible damage to the human cells or other living beings is because of that heat.
Nonetheless, this much exposure to 5G radiations isn’t practically possible (as yet).
Plus, we humans have already experienced far more radiations then 5G, and have remained safe. For instance, a portable radio would have exposed you to far more radiations then a 5G device could do.
Hence, though there is speculation of potential damages due to heat, these theories cannot be presently linked to 5G dangers in practical.
Exposure to Radiations
Now this one is something possible – perhaps, the only 5G danger for now.
And why is that?
This is because of 5G works on shorter wavelengths.
So, although it works just like other cellular technologies, it requires more towers to set up near each other for smooth connectivity.
This somehow poses a risk of more exposure of humans to radiofrequency.
However, since these radiations aren’t entirely devastating on their own, excessive exposure is also acceptable to a greater extent.
To put it simply, you are already living in a 4G era.
Throughout time, whether it is about your office, your school, your home, or a public place like a hospital or airport, you are exposed to radiations already! But you certainly have experienced no problems with these radiations, haven’t you?
5G is just like 4G – in fact, a smarter and better variant – so you can trust that it won’t harm you either.
Moreover, there are plenty of options available to you to minimize the exposure to radiations, such as EMF Shields or anti-wave stickers. With these add-ons, you can escape any potential 5G dangers that may have not been established yet.
Quick Look at Some 5G Health Studies
At this point, you might be thinking about whether there are any scientific studies to back potential 5G dangers or safety.
Well, a quick internet search will bring thousands of research papers to you regarding 5G technology. You can find half of these studies in favor of 5G, labeling it entirely safe.
Whereas, the other half would present contrasting results, deeming 5G as nothing less than a nuclear blast!
However, what you, as an independent user with a neutral stance, need to know, are facts backed by strong evidence.
Here I share some prominent studies conducted around 5G dangers and safety status for humans. (I am only giving a summary over here for your quick reference, leaving the interpretations to you.)
WHO IARC Research – 2011
The debate about the safety status of 5G potentially gained traction in 2011 when a WHO paper surfaced online.
As revealed, the paper presented studies conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
With the title “IARC CLASSIFIES RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AS POSSIBLY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS,” the paper apparently concluded electromagnetic fields as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
Many people started citing this paper as potential evidence for 5G dangers.
However, the results section of this paper mentions that the critical reviews of the study evaluate the findings as being ‘limited’ and ‘inadequate’ to relate to cancers.
Reports by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) – 2016
Researchers from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) published a series of articles comprising a report on carcinogenic effects of radiation.
However, in the case of humans, such results may not be significant since humans are only partially exposed to radiation.
Research by Ramazzini Institute – 2018
Following the WHO’s 2011 publication, researchers from the Ramazzini Institute, Italy, came up with another study.
As revealed through their research paper published online in 2018, they experimented with rats to analyze the health effects of radiofrequency radiations (RFR).
They observed an increased risk of developing tumors in rats due to the RFR exposure. However, their study remained focused on rat brains and hearts.
Though they presented a thorough study, yet it has drawn serious criticism too.
Review of Studies Regarding Health Effects Of 5G – 2019
A detailed review of 94 different studies conducted to evaluate the health effects of 5G, surfaced online in September 2019.
In that extensive review, researchers from the SciProof International AB, Sweden, clearly deduced the lack of evidence in all studies.
Briefly, the scientists reviewed publications focused on exposure to 6-100 GHz of radiations, sourced from PubMed, EMF-Portal, and other documents such as WHO, IARC, IEEE, and more.
Whereas, the studies presented in these papers were conducted in vivo (in a living organism) and in vitro (outside of a living organism/in lab vessel).
According to the researchers, reviewing all those papers clearly showed a lack of evidence to clearly mark 5G as ‘dangerous’ or ‘safe.’
The in vivo and in vitro investigations presented conflicting results, whereas, the papers also lacked enough evidence to back any potential health effects due to the ‘non-thermal’ effects of radiations.
5G Dangers Debunked by Studies
Apart from the studies shared above, different scientists and conspiracy theorists have also frequently advocated in favor and against of 5G dangers.
Although, both parties tend to leverage science to back their hypothesis.
However, according to Dr. Alex Berezow, VP Scientific Communications at the American Council of Science and Health, there should first be enough studies to establish 5G dangers, where the logical starting point should ideally be that 5G is as safe to humans as ‘cell phones and WiFi’. As stated in his article,
Yes, we can always do with more, higher quality research. But the logical starting point is to assume that 5G is safe, just like cell phones and Wi-Fi. If sufficient evidence shows something to the contrary, then we should reconsider the status quo.
Certainly, the confusing conclusions drawn by the anti-5G group, the defiant denial of 5G benefits, and blatant advocacy for 5G dangers seem to make people refrain from adapting to 5G technology.
Or even if they do, such as, due to a government decision of rolling out 5G, people will remain distressed, considering themselves helpless and vulnerable.
Something that scientists, in a 2012 study, referred to as Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance Attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF).
For instance, the trail of 5G myths may make people believe any underlying health symptoms as the symptoms of 5G exposure.
Nonetheless, when it comes to debunking 5G myths, studies have given solid evidence that is difficult to deny without equally solid research.
As a quick reference, here I list some more studies that debunk 5G myths.
5G and Cancer – Busted
As I mentioned above (and now mentioning again) 5G radiations do not cause ionization. Hence, they do not induce mutations. For the same reason, the chances of developing cancers or tumors due to 5G exposure are the least.
While that’s a biological stance, Dr. Ethan Siegel, an astrophysicist, in an email to Dr. Alex Berezow, explained the physics behind this phenomenon.
Quoting his comments in his article, Dr. Berezow stated that three factors primarily contribute to making a source of radiation harmful for living beings. These are, the energy per photon (elementary particle of electromagnetic radiation), the total amount of energy in the radiation source, and the absorption capacity of the corresponding object (the one exposed to the radiations).
According to Dr. Siegel, since 5G photons do not possess enough energy to break bonds (or induce ionization) they cannot trigger cancers.
Moreover, human bodies are not exposed to excessive amounts of radiation, nor do our bodies absorb sufficient radiation.
Hence, once again, the chances of developing tumors or cancer due to 5G radiations are minimal.
5G and Thermal Damage – Busted
As I said above, people fear 5G to cook our cells as it’s non-ionizing radiation, and thus, may produce heat.
While that’s true to some extent, what you need to understand is that non-ionizing radiations only produce heat when absorbed.
That is how microwaves cook food because the water content in the food absorbs these radiations. This lets the microwaves to transform energy into thermal energy or heat.
In the case of 5G, though, they fall near to the microwave frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. And that is what the conspiracy theorists like Berkeley’s Joel Moskowitz exploit to back their theories.
However, one needs to understand that 5G radiations aren’t easily absorbed. They are short length radiations which quickly deflect upon striking various surfaces.
You must have noticed the typical 5G infrastructure in various concept photos that shows an overwhelming presence of 5G towers and devices across the cells. This abundance of the structure is because of these deflections that the radiations suffer.
In fact, their absorption to the human body even depends on the thickness of our clothes and the skin. That’s where 5G rays are different from microwaves, while microwaves can penetrate surfaces better, 5G can’t.
Hence, even when you are surrounded by 5G radiations, the deflections and interruptions due to your home furniture and even the plants, are sufficient to affect their absorption to your body.
When you do not absorb enough rays, you should not fear any damages due to heat – Simple as that.
5G and COVID-19 – Busted
Now coming to the most heated debate and the most sought-after myth of today. Does 5G spread coronavirus infection?
Well, it’s just a matter of coincidence that this highly contagious disease transformed into a pandemic at the same time when the world was rolling out 5G technology.
This coincidence, though, served as food for thought for many. (Unfortunately, people really cooked some heated theories with that.)
Perhaps, this is what you might have heard, or are still hearing about 5G and COVID-19:
- 5G towers compromised human immunity, hence, people got quickly infected.
- Due to compromised immunity, 5G radiations made people vulnerable to the virus.
- Coronavirus is a deliberately spread virus to make people sick so that the subsequent vaccines will introduce nanochips to the persons.
- 5G will continue to compromise immunity by altering human DNA to wipe off an entire generation on Earth.
And, the list goes on.
Certainly, with over 5.3 million confirmed cases and more than 342K deaths globally (at the time of writing this article), it isn’t wrong for you to start believing these myths.
But, as a responsible and independent citizen, it’s your right as well as your duty to segregate myths from facts.
So, what you need to realize is that 5G is in no way responsible or linked with COVID-19 or the spread of it.
How come? I hear you ask.
Let me list out all the points for you:
- Not all countries with a high number of deaths due to COVID-19 have a robust 5G infrastructure. For instance, the status of 5G in Iran, Pakistan, India, or Saudi Arabia isn’t close to 5G status in the USA, UK, China, or Italy.
- Coronavirus does not spread through radiation. It isn’t an airborne virus (transmitted via air). However, it does spread person-to-person through droplets or aerosols (check out the details about COVID-19 on CDC and WHO websites). Yet, these droplets do not travel via radiations. The reason why people living nearby got quickly infected with the virus isn’t the 5G tower connecting the cell, but the closeness of infected and healthy humans.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus originated from Wuhan, China, which launched 5G in August 2019. However, it wasn’t the first to adopt 5G. Rather, around 18 months before China, London’s telecom giant O2 tested the technology. Though, the place acquired the infection in 2020 only.
- Though, the devices, even 5G devices, may serve as a vector to transmit the virus. That is, if an infected person touches these devices, for instance, speaks on a phone, some droplets may likely adhere to the device’s surface. Then, if a healthy person touches the same device, infection is possible. However, this, in no way involves 5G radiations or 5G technology. The same phenomenon is also possible with all other devices and gadgets.
- The possibility of injecting nanochips in humans via vaccines is outside of the scope of this article. However, considering that 5G radiations are poorly absorbed by human bodies, it seems unlikely for 5G to trigger something present inside the human bodies.
Considering these points and the stats available online, it is clear that there is no linkage between 5G dangers and COVID-19.
5G Satellites and Weather Control – Busted
Now, come to the other speculative hazard associated with 5G about the control of the weather.
Although, HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program) started as a project to monitor the ionosphere (an upper layer of atmosphere exhibiting ionization due to the striking UV rays from the sunlight) for radio communication.
Yet, this has been a hotspot for the conspiracy theorists for quite a long time who claim that the facility can control the weather.
In the case of 5G too, it was HAARP that instigated the conspiracy theorists to exploit 5G.
Precisely, they rumored that some 5G satellites will be deployed to the ionosphere which will then control the weather.
However, it is pertinent to mention that 5G is more of a terrestrial technology for now. Although such connectivity with satellites up above is theoretically possible, for now, this isn’t practical.
Are 5G Towers Dangerous – What about the Birds?
Okay so, now we know that 5G radiations aren’t that harmful to humans as people think it to be. But, what about the 5G towers?
As an aftermath of all the conspiracy theories, people started hating the technology. And, this even enraged the masses in some countries to the extent of damaging the infrastructure.
Particularly, after the ‘COVID-19 pandemic and 5G dangers’ theory gained traction, numerous incidents of arson attacks happened.
Whereas, those who didn’t individually attacked the towers or damaged the infrastructure, still hated the technology.
But the question that perhaps nobody bothered to find an answer to, is, what makes 5G towers harmful at all?
Well, 5G towers do emit high-power radiations. That is something understandable since the tower is responsible to ensure the reach of radiations at distant locations.
Nonetheless, people can simply refrain from standing immediately close to the towers to stay protected.
Likewise, the authorities can simply label these towers with warning signs mentioning the exclusion zones.
For instance, an exclusion zone with a radius of 10 meters from the tower is sufficient to keep the people safe from direct and excessive exposure to radiofrequency radiations.
Alternatively, towers installed at a reasonable height from the ground will also protect the people from the radiation.
But wait, let me answer another question here that might be popping up in your minds. What about all those birds that were found dead in a park in The Hague, Netherlands?
Well, according to Snopes fact-check report, though, there was a 5G mast in the vicinity. However, no tests were conducted at that time according to the information they sought. Plus, had this been the case in any way, the radiations would not have specifically targeted the starlings only. Rather, there would be other dead birds too.
Fine with Everything – But What about My Privacy?
I’m pretty sure that, until reaching this point, you may have understood well what 5G actually is, and how the conspiracy theorists are exploiting this technology.
So, let’s close wrap up our health discussion over here, and come to the next point.
While it is safe for humans, is 5G also safe concerning our online privacy?
Well, the first thing that you should be clear about is that your data is already there online.
Regardless of 3G, 4G, or 4G LTE, your data has been collected by social media sites, advertising giants, surveillance authorities, tech giants, and even the cybercriminals.
So, any potential breach of data with 5G would be nothing new.
However, talking about the 5G specifically, perhaps online security is the area where 5G isn’t safe enough. Since it is super fast and can handle more data, all of your data will be available on 5G networks. And, at the same time, it will be available to all – including the criminal hackers.
Although, 5G comes with superior anti-tracking and anti-spoofing features with more and better data encryption. It means it won’t be a piece of cake for every hacker to intercept your data over the network.
Nonetheless, the technology is still vulnerable to downgrade attacks. In simple words, the criminal hackers may exploit vulnerabilities in previous generations to meddle with 5G. This vulnerability will continue to exist until a pure 5G only roll-out that may take several years.
Besides, the other susceptible areas adding to 5G dangers to online security include tech abuse by the service providers.
The precision of this technology is what allows potential abusers to gather more accurate data about you. Plus, with 5G, the chances of your smart devices to spy on you are also greater if the attackers are legit snoopers.
Wrapping Up – Is 5G Dangerous for Us?
Indeed, no technology on Earth hasn’t ever been 100% safe to use. With all the pros, there always are some cons.
The same is true for 5G too. As I just mentioned, while 5G may have no serious health effects, it does bear some vulnerabilities regarding online safety.
However, comparing the advantages of 5G with the disadvantages reveals that this technology brings more goods for us.
On top of that, 5G is still in its infancy (at least for a majority of nations globally). Even in the areas where it has been implemented, the research about the tech and health impacts of the technology is still going on.
Hence, we can safely assume that until the time 5G actually takes over the world, we’ll be in safe hands.
As for now, there doesn’t seem any harm for an average user to get on board to 5G.
Bonus: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are 5G radiations technically?
A: 5G are short-wavelength radiations roughly ranging from 6-100 GHz on the electromagnetic spectrum. Technically, the 5G spectrum will include the frequencies used by previous generations, as well as some unique bands constituting the 5G mmWaves. Despite this range, they fall far below the visible light spectrum, and the conventional microwaves.
Q: Are 5G radiations new for me?
A: Actually, no. Considering how 5G works, you are already used to its radiations. In fact, the low-band and mid-band 5G frequencies are the same that have surrounded you for decades. Your TV, radio, and your microwave, all emit similar radiations.
Q: Will 5G terminate 3G and 4G?
A: Not really. At least, until the entire world seamlessly adopts 5G, the previous generations (at least 4G) will exist.
Q: Do I have to buy a new device for 5G?
A: Certainly, the old devices supporting 3G or 4G might not support 5G. So, you’ll have to buy a new one. But the complete roll-out of 5G will take time. Hence, you don’t need to rush to buy a new phone just because it supports 5G. But if you are already planning to get a new phone, and you can afford a handset that also supports 5G, better go with that.
Images via Pixabay.