Throughout April 2019 a number of cities around the world unveiled the latest iteration of mobile internet connectivity. Known as 5G, this new technology is being hailed by many as a step towards creating a more interconnected globe. Yet dissenting voices have recently emerged to highlight 5G’s potential to have a devastating impact on the Earth’s inhabitants.
Broadly speaking, 5G is expected to sure up the reliability of accessing the internet on mobile devices. Indeed, data will transfer at a much quicker rate than it does today, and download speeds will increase. All in all, people should be more connected from all over the globe.
The public’s focus on the notion of 5G has perhaps intensified over recent months. Indeed, given that April 2019 saw the first major rollout of the technology, this should come as no surprise. 5G has thus far been released primarily in South Korea, yet American cities like Minneapolis and Chicago have also deployed it.
With the wheels already turning, reports state that 5G should be available for use globally by the year 2020. And while many celebrate this fact and look forward to a future of swifter downloading speeds, others are less enthused. In fact, it worries quite a number of people.
If you want to fully consider the worries surrounding 5G, you have to first look at how it works. To begin with, for the swift transfer of information, you really need a large bandwidth. In lay terms, bandwidth represents the size of the channel through which data moves.
So to accommodate 5G and its need for bandwidth, you have to put up numerous small cell towers to provide capacity. These would be located near one another, essentially leading to antennas being bunched tightly together throughout any given area. But such a scenario is, to some people, a considerable concern.
The primary cause for worry relates to the fact that each of these cell towers will exude a small level of radiofrequency radiation (RFR). Indeed, this already occurs today with the cell towers used for 4G technology. But the larger number of cell towers necessary for 5G will potentially increase the problems.
In 2011 a report was released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer that considered the health risks posed by RFR. And though the study didn’t suggest beyond doubt that RFR was damaging, it nonetheless suggested that it might be. In fact, it designated the radiation as being a potential carcinogen to human beings.
Worries regarding the possible impact of cellular technologies on human health have been expressed for some time now. In fact, a United Nations meeting back in May 2018 actually touched on the issue. During this session, a U.N. worker by the name of Claire Edwards raised the subject with António Guterres, the secretary-general of the organization.
During her statement to the secretary-general, Edwards referenced the fact that new cellular technologies had been installed in the U.N.’s Vienna offices in late 2015. Claiming that employees stationed there had had no say in the matter, she then suggested the potential dangers they now faced. She mentioned specifically the impact of electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) on human wellbeing.
“The highly dangerous biological effects of EMFs have been documented by thousands of studies since 1932,” Edwards stated. “[These studies indicate] that we may be facing a global health catastrophe orders of magnitude worse than those caused by tobacco and asbestos. Mr. Secretary-General, on the basis of the Precautionary Principle, I urge you to have these EMF-emitting devices removed immediately.”
Edwards continued in an attempt to impress the alleged dangers of 5G upon Secretary-General Guterres. She pleaded for him to cease introducing the technology to U.N. buildings, actually comparing the technology to weaponry. 5G, she claimed, “is designed to deliver concentrated and focused electromagnetic radiation in excess of 100 times current levels, in the same way as do directed energy weapons.”
Following her plea to the secretary-general, Edwards elaborated her concerns in a piece published on website Take Back Your Power. Here, she claimed that the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that will be released in the wake of 5G will injure people. And on top of that, these injuries won’t necessarily be felt immediately.
At one point in her article, Edwards explained that she currently lives in the Austrian capital of Vienna. She went on to claim that the city had already witnessed the establishment of 5G infrastructure throughout many of its areas. This, she alleged, was already proving hazardous to many the city’s inhabitants.
“Friends and acquaintances and their children in Vienna are already reporting the classic symptoms of EMR poisoning,” Edwards pointed out. “[These symptoms include] nosebleeds, headaches, eye pains, chest pains, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, tinnitus, dizziness, flu-like symptoms and cardiac pain. They also report a tight band [sensation] around the head.”
Edwards attempted to develop her argument with an anecdote related to one of her friends. “Seemingly overnight a forest of 5G infrastructure has sprouted in Austria,” she wrote. “In the space of three weeks one friend has gone from robust health to fleeing this country, where she has lived for 30 years.”
The crux of Edwards’ words seems to be that her acquaintance had been suffering from exposure to electromagnetic radiation. “Each person experiences EMR differently,” the U.N. worker claimed. “For [my friend], it was extreme torture so she and I spent her last two nights in Austria sleeping in the woods.”
The problem, of course, with these specific claims is that they are based on personal experience. If the possibility of a threat resulting from 5G is to be taken seriously, then a more scientific angle will likely be needed. So with that in mind, what do some health experts and scientists have to say?
In December 2018 a scientist published a scientific paper that attempted to argue the possible risks 5G poses was published. It appeared in The New Zealand Medical Journal and consequently focused on this specific country. Susan Pockett, an honorary academic at the School of Psychology in the University of Auckland, authored the article.
Pockett’s paper claims that there’s already evidence that cellular technologies can cause health defects such as cancer and dementia. However, as the author suggests, such a point runs contrary to mainstream opinion, which states that additional research is required. Yet even though the impact of these technologies is not yet fully understood, they continue to be rolled out.
This, Pockett asserts, is unethical, as we are all exposed to these cellular technologies everyday of our lives. In essence, we have inadvertently come to be a part of an enormous experiment. And not only is this wrong in its own right, Pockett says, but the experiment itself is flawed.
That’s because it’s extremely difficult to illustrate the effects of radiation from cellular technologies on human beings. To demonstrate how it has affected people who’ve been exposed, it’s necessary to compare them to people who have not. This, however, is impossible – because we have all been subjected to the radiation.
Elsewhere in her article, Pockett develops a more specific argument that calls attention to the adverse effects of cellular technologies. She does so with a brief discussion on the subject of EMR. Indeed, she explains that this can be split up into two separate categories: ionizing and non-ionizing.
“Ionizing radiation (gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet light) has enough energy to knock electrons off molecules and is a known carcinogen,” Pockett wrote. “Non-ionizing radiation (visible and infrared light, microwaves and radio waves) carries less energy than needed to knock electrons off molecules… In the past [it] has been thought to affect biological tissue only by means of heating it.”
For this reason, Pockett has suggested, the regulations meant to limit our exposure to non-ionizing radiation are flawed. Apparently these rules are based on the levels of radiation required to actually heat human tissue. Therefore, any levels that do not do so ultimately fall within the boundaries of acceptability.
Yet Pockett references a number of other studies that indicate biological effects of non-ionizing radiation besides heating. These papers actually come from across the decades, with some pointing toward damage to chromosomes as a result of exposure. Others, meanwhile, suggest that lymphocytes might be affected – all without a rise in tissue temperature.
“Approximately 600 peer-reviewed research reports… show us that radio frequency radiation is linked to infertility, diabetes, various kinds of cancer and psychiatric disorders,” Pockett has claimed, according to New Zealand website Stuff. “The present situation is already bad, and adding 5G on top of it will hugely increase the amount of radiation to which everyone is exposed and make the whole situation much worse.”
“The present guidelines for safe levels of exposure assume that the only biological effect of radio frequency is tissue heating,” Pockett continued. “So if it’s not intense enough to actually cook you, the Ministry of Health and the wireless industry are telling us it’s fine. In fact though, there are multiple proven mechanisms by which radio frequency damages all biological organisms.”
In New Zealand, a telecommunications company by the name of Spark has the task of rolling out 5G. And it intends to do so by some point in the middle of 2020. Of course, the company is aware of opposition to 5G, and it has consequently issued a statement of its own.
“Most scientific opinion shows no clear evidence… that mobile phones or base stations present risks to human health,” a person speaking on behalf of Spark has stated. “Spark will continue to test and comply with all national and international safety limits and always ensure we incorporate substantial safety margins.”
Indeed, research has been undertaken to suggest that radiation emitted from cellular technologies is safe. Yet, as those taking a critical stance have argued, these studies have not been exhaustive. And with so much still to learn, it would appear to these critics to be irresponsible to continue unveiling 5G.
The notion that 5G has the potential to affect human well-being negatively at a biological level is undoubtedly disconcerting. But if we turn our attention back to U.N. worker Claire Edwards, we are alerted to yet another risk. And this particular danger has to with a space-related concept known as Kessler syndrome.
The idea of Kessler syndrome was first put forward in 1978 by the acclaimed NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler. The term describes the idea of objects orbiting Earth smashing together and throwing out detritus that made more crashes probable. It would then be possible, this potentiality suggests, that satellites and their functions could be severely disturbed.
Such an event is made increasingly probable as more and more satellites are sent to orbit the planet. As it stands, there might already be some 600,000 pieces of debris in orbit. And this has a damaging consequence – it seems that roughly one satellite is brought to destruction every year.
The point of this, as Edwards suggested in her article published on Take Back Your Power, is that more launches could bring about the scenario implied by Kessler syndrome. That’s because estimates have it that 20,000 satellites may be launched in the near future. In fact, the authorities will permit Elon Musk’s SpaceX alone to send up 4,425 satellites.
So these satellites might possibly bring about the grim reality suggested by Kessler syndrome. And they might also negatively affect human health by sending radiation down to Earth in the direction of compatible devices. Indeed, this radiation will be more than capable of traveling through walls and people themselves.
Generally speaking, mainstream figures have tended to vehemently dispute these dangers. Yet critics of 5G have suggested that the unveiling of these new technologies amounts to a massive risk. Research is apparently incomplete on the matter, but plans for a global rollout of the technologies trudge onward regardless.
In response, a movement of people across multiple fields have come together under the banner of International Appeal: Stop 5G on Earth and in Space. And as of April 27, 2019, well over 80,000 people had signed this appeal. In essence, the group is calling on major organizations and world governments to bring an end to 5G rollout.
“If the telecommunications industry’s plans for 5G come to fruition, no person, no animal, no bird, no insect and no plant on Earth will be able to avoid exposure,” the appeal states. The levels of radiation, it claims, will be, “tens to hundreds of times greater than what exists today, without any possibility of escape anywhere on the planet. These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects.”
“Immediate measures must be taken to protect humanity and the environment,” the appeal urges. And with more than 80,000 signatures so far collected, perhaps the issue will be dragged to the center of the public consciousness? For now, though, it remains a fringe issue – albeit one with extremely worrying implications.