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7 myths about the dangers of 5G that shouldn't be believed
7 myths about the dangers of 5G that shouldn't be believed

The new communication standard is accused of the spread of the coronavirus and other sins.

7 myths about the dangers of 5G that shouldn't be believed
7 myths about the dangers of 5G that shouldn't be believed

Myth 1. 5G mobile towers are spreading coronavirus

Fifth generation wireless communication (5G - 5 Generation) is based on the transmission of data using electromagnetic waves. The same as in 2G, 3G, 4G mobile networks, TV and GPS.

The only difference is that 5G uses higher frequency waves than previous generations of mobile networks, from 6 to 100 GHz. This allows you to increase the transmission speed, the amount of information and the number of devices connected to the network. However, from the point of view of the spread of the virus, the subtle difference in frequencies is absolutely unimportant.

WHO reminds: viruses cannot be transmitted through electromagnetic radiation. And this applies to all viruses, not just the protagonist of the 2020 pandemic.

If we talk specifically about SARS ‑ CoV ‑ 2, then it has only two confirmed routes of spread:

  • airborne - with the smallest droplets of saliva of an infected person;
  • contact-household - when they first touch the surface contaminated with the virus, and then - the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth.

Electromagnetic waves are not capable of transmitting coronavirus. This is physically impossible.

Myth 2. China's COVID-19 outbreak is linked to the launch of 5G networks

Indeed, in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, the 5G network went live in the fall of 2019 - a few weeks before the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded.

However, the closeness of the two events in time (although it is hardly possible to call the events that happened with a difference of several weeks chronologically close) does not at all mean that there is any connection between them.

The search for such a connection is a kind of manifestation of magical thinking. With exactly the same level of evidence, people try to associate, for example, a black cat that crosses their path, with subsequent troubles. This is not about science. It's about superstition.

If you still try to approach the search for a connection between 5G and the spread of coronavirus scientifically, based on statistics, the "magic" theory will immediately collapse. So, SARS ‑ CoV ‑ 2 is actively spreading in Iran, which does not yet use 5G technology. Or in Russia, where it is too early to talk about the full launch of 5G.

Myth 3: 5G networks weaken the body, so people get sick more easily, including COVID-19

Many researchers make claims to 5G. In some countries, the introduction of the standard is blocked pending clarification of the details of how 5G affects health.

But so far there is no evidence that mobile networks, including 5G, may be associated with an increased risk of some kind of disease. If we talk about infectious, then there is not even a scientifically substantiated suspicion.

So for now, the WHO statement made in 2014 remains relevant: "To date, no harmful effects on health that could be caused by the use of mobile phones have been established."

Myth 4. Any radiation is destructive, and so is 5G

No, not any radiation is destructive. Take the same daylight: not only does it not harm the majority of terrestrial organisms, but it is even useful.

However, some types of electromagnetic waves can indeed be deadly. Classic examples are ultraviolet light (especially its shortwave types UVB and UVC) or X-rays. The energy of these electromagnetic waves is enough to break chemical bonds in the DNA of cells, causing them to mutate or die. Such waves are classified as ionizing - radioactive.

Radio waves used in mobile communications, including 5G, are non-ionizing. Their energy is even less than that of visible light. They are physically incapable of damaging the DNA of cells.

The only caveat that can raise questions is the intersection of frequencies at which 5G networks operate, with ultra-high frequency (microwave, microwave) radiation. However, the maximum that rays of this type are capable of is to cause heating of tissues. Moreover, in the means of communication (mobile phones, walkie-talkies, Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi) microwave radiation of low intensity is used, the energy of which is not enough to raise the temperature.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has established acceptable signal power limits in the range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. As long as a 5G mobile network follows these guidelines (and networks are required to follow them), radiation is safe.

Myth 5.5G kills birds

Yes, indeed, there is a story with birds. However, as established by the fact-checking resource Snopes, it is a conspiracy fake.

In the fall of 2018, in one of the parks of The Hague, there really was a massive death of birds - over three hundred starlings and a couple of pigeons were injured. Photos of dead birds quickly spread around the Internet resources. The park administration did not rule out the possibility of poisoning, and therefore temporarily banned the walking of dogs and other pets in the park area. But on the Internet, bird deaths have been linked to test launches of the 5G network.

Indeed, a new standard telecommunications network was tested on the territory of the park. But not in the fall, but at the beginning of the summer of 2018 - that is, several months before the death of the birds. Moreover, the test run lasted only one day, and during the summer there were no mass deaths of birds in the park.

Myth 6: There are studies that prove that 5G causes cancer

Recall: there are no studies yet that would prove any harm to radiation at 5G frequencies.

Nevertheless, the WHO was reinsured and in the person of its division - the International Agency for Research on Cancer - classified the entire spectrum of radio frequency radiation, of which mobile signals are a part, as "possibly carcinogenic." Note that the use of pickled vegetables and the use of talc fall into the same category.

But alcoholic beverages and semi-finished meat products (ham, sausages, sausages) are classified as a more dangerous category, since the evidence of their carcinogenicity is more convincing.

However, there is still one scientific work that opponents of wireless technologies like to refer to. In 2018, the US Department of Health completed a study that found that radio waves used in various wireless communication standards can cause malignant tumors in male rats. However, there are several big buts in these results that the researchers themselves say.

  1. Only male rats were affected. In female rats, as well as in mice participating in the experiment, it was not possible to establish an unambiguous connection between cancer and electromagnetic radiation. This is a curious phenomenon that needs further study.
  2. In the same male rats, despite cancer, life expectancy increased. Therefore, the negative influence of radio waves has acquired some ambiguity.
  3. Animals were exposed to long-term exposure to radiation and were as close to its source as possible. As if a person stood close to a working transmitter tower for weeks.
  4. Scientists have studied the radio frequency radiation on which 2G and 3G networks operate. Therefore, the results obtained cannot be carried over to 5G.

All in all, this popular animal study is not an unequivocal confirmation that wireless networks, much less 5G, can cause cancer.

A separate curious fact is the story of Dr. David Carpenter, one of the most famous critics of wireless technologies, which was taken apart by The New York Times. For many years, the scientist talked about the dangers of mobile radiation, separately warned about the risks associated with 5G. However, in the end he admitted that he was not taking into account one important fact: the human skin acts as a barrier to electromagnetic radiation in the "mobile" frequency range. And if so, then, most likely, information about the ability of wireless technologies to cause cancer - in particular, the brain and internal organs - is exaggerated.

The question remains, however, whether electromagnetic waves at 3G, 4G and 5G frequencies can increase the risk of skin cancer. But there is no evidence of this either. In theory, the risk increases as the power of the electromagnetic radiation increases. However, the signal strength is strictly regulated by sanitary standards. If in a particular mobile network the permissible limits are exceeded, it will simply not be allowed to work.

Myth 7. Too many transmission towers are built for 5G, so this technology is more harmful than others

Indeed, 5G networks require more transmitter masts than previous wireless technologies. This is due to the fact that in an urban environment, buildings, fences, and other objects can impede the propagation of high-frequency signals. To ensure even coverage, the towers have to be placed closer to each other - literally 100-200 meters away.

Tower accuracy has a positive side effect: since there are many transmitters, each of them can operate at a lower power than previous 3G and 4G technologies. This means that the level of electromagnetic radiation from 5G antennas is lower than from the towers of telecommunication standards of previous generations. That is, low-power 5G networks are at least no more harmful than previous generation networks.

However, all this does not negate the need to conduct further research on the impact of modern wireless technologies on human health and life. For example, in Moscow, they plan to test the security of 5G networks within a year - until January 2021. Further, on the basis of the data obtained, the existing norms of permissible (that is, safe) levels of electromagnetic radiation will be revised. But that's a completely different story.

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