5G, or no 5G? That is the question…

The buzz behind the 5G launch began as a little bit of gentle background noise in 2018, a few angry voices among the many waiting impatiently.

5G appears to be here to stay.

Opposers had their say, voicing their opinions on radiation and cancer, with a few select links to back up their point. All the while, the 5G giants toiled tirelessly towards their launch date.

Opposers were seen as radical, extreme, even being faintly ridiculous, as everyone else welcomed the prospect of the fastest broadband yet. They rubbed their hands at the thought of instant streaming, of buffering becoming a distant memory, and of high-speed file downloads to rival the speed of sound.

Fast forward a year, and suddenly the opinion is more mixed. With some areas already rolling out the new 5G Masts, the high-speed dream is becoming a reality, and with it a new morbid fascination with what the consequences of such technology might be.

5G technology in layman’s terms involves utilizing higher frequency bands in order to support faster speeds, less latency, and more devices. The biggest benefit of 5G is supposedly the speed, yet those opposed to the new tech claim its high radiation is hardly worth the slightly better speeds to what had already become an efficient and speedy service. The days of 5 minute buffering and waiting in vain for loading are a distant memory, so do we REALLY need to push the boundaries further if it poses a risk to our health in the long run?

The real issue.

With RF Radiation, how close the source is to our physical bodies, is more important than the power level (or wattage) of the radiation. RF Radiation dissipates with distance. So a low powered exposure in close proximity to someone is more dangerous than a more powerful exposure far away. Also the longer the exposure time is, the more dangerous it is. 5G is being hailed by many as the worst of both worlds as we will have more sources of powerful and continuous RF emissions around us, and are closer to us.

According to anti-5G organisations, standard 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G use between 1 to 6 gigahertz frequency. According to Kevin Mottus from the California Brain Tumor Association, 5G will use between 24 to 90 gigahertz frequency. Within the Radio Frequency – or RF – Radiation portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the higher the frequency, the more dangerous it is to living organisms.

Yet scientists still insist that 5G is just a previously unused part of the spectrum being utilised – the portion from 22Ghz to 86GHz, which is still a long way off the more damaging ionising part of the spectrum. This radiation is known as non-ionising because it is incapable of breaking molecular bonds, knocking off electrons from atoms for instance, and causing the molecule to have an electric charge. Hence scientists insisting it poses no danger.

So is it safe or not!

While non-ionising radiation is weaker than the ionising kind, there are suggestions it is still capable of altering the body. Yet claims of increased risk of cancer caused by ionising radiation are based on a misunderstanding of the science, according to experts.

And according to the NHS there has been extensive scientific research into the health effects of mobile phone use since the 1990s. None of which has supported claims that mobile phone radiation is similar to the more dangerous forms.

But with more and more input on social media – including people videoing evidence of greenery placed near a 5G mast virtually dying on the side nearest the contraption, it still feels for many that we are playing Guinea pig to this technology and that only time will really tell.

What’s your view on 5G?