Is 5G radiation going to kill us all? The facts and conspiracy theories
Do you like fast cell service & internet? 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, which should mean that it’s bringing faster internet service to cell phone users like you. Except . . . that definition belonged to previous generations, like 4G. 5G is a little more complicated.
According to PCMag, 5G “brings three new aspects to the table: bigger channels (to speed up data), lower latency (to be more responsive), and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (for sensors and smart devices).” Like its predecessor, 4G, it won’t take over all at once, rather, it’s being rolled out over the course of a couple of years.
The last part is brought to you by “high-band, short-range airwaves” that allow 5G to access any frequency per PCMag. Meaning, 5G could potentially run on radioactive frequencies that could be harmful. Cue the conspiracies.
Is 5G killing birds?
Scott Waring of UFO Sightings Daily seems to think so. “World news is telling about hundreds of thousands of birds dying this week for no apparent cause,” Waring wrote on his blog, adding that birds are “hundreds of times more (sensitive) than humans” to things like radiation.
Waring cites a weapon that he believes the U.S. Dept. of Defense has called an “active denial system.” It can shoot 95 Giga-hertz at a target, causing harm to humans. “5G towers can transmit 52.6 GHz which is equal to 55.3 percent of the ADS Department of Defense beam weapon that hurts but won’t kill humans.
Waring is correct on the range of transmission (PCMag claims 5G can reach “airwaves in the 20-100GHz range”, but usually stick to around 100MHz of frequency, with Verizon being the highest at 800MHz. However, the California wildfires are a more likely culprit of the bird deaths per Express.
Does 5G cause COVID-19?
COVID-19 has nothing to do with 5G. Viruses (a half-living microbe that feeds on a host) & radiation (an electromagnetic airwave) aren’t the same things scientifically. Therefore, no, 5G isn’t the coronavirus.
However, the coincidental rollout of 5G around the time COVID-19 hit persuaded conspiracy theorists that they’re related. A deleted tweet from singer Keri Hilson reported that 5G rolled out in China just as COVID-19 ravaged Wuhan. While correlation doesn’t equal causation (also, per Verizon, 5G has been around since 2017), the tin-foil hat theory that COVID was caused by 5G sticks around.
Does 5G cause cancer?
However, there is a disease 5G can possibly give people that has scientists concerned. An increased level of radiation or electromagnetic waves around humans ups their chances of getting cancer. The studies of radioactivity & cancer being linked aren’t new. Any new electromagnetic technology, like microwaves, always caused cancer concerns when they first rolled out.
5G is just the latest in a concern of increasing radiation that can sicken humans. Per The Atlantic, a large group of scientists petitioned the UN in 2015 to change the guidelines about safe exposure from cell phone tower radiation. In 2017, they wanted 5G halted until more testing about its effects could be done.
It’s possible the 5G conspiracy theories are a combination of two things. First, a fear of the new & unknown, a common culprit behind conspiracy theories. Second, a fear of losing control. 5G towers are being rolled out without a lot of public input. While most people don’t complain since it gives them faster internet times, not everyone’s happy.
“You have no rights. These are involuntary exposures,” Patti Wood, executive director of the Grassroots Environmental Education group said to a crowd. Her activist group has criticized the government for ignoring people’s health concerns for the sake of big business. GEE also takes on concerns like fracking and GMOs.
However, other scientists aren’t so sure. David Satiz, an epidemiologist, says in The Atlantic that there could be a link between wifi and cancer, but “there’s no clear indication of a problem.”