5G-technology: fact check

Published on: 
Monday, June 8, 2020
Last updated on 12-6-2020 by Jill Alexandre

Recently, the new  mobile network 5G was launched in Belgium. This fifth generation of wireless communication technology raises a lot of questions and concerns. Together with the fact that, so far, very little research has been done on the health effects of 5G, fake news and conspiracy theories emerged. 

True: Health risks can be estimated based on existing research carried out on comparable frequencies 

The lower frequencies of 5G (between 0.7 and 3.5 GHz) are comparable to the frequencies of existing wireless communication networks (between 0.9 and 2.4 GHz). The radiofrequency exposure limits maintained in Belgium already protect us from harmful effects on our healthSee further information in this article.  

True: Higher frequencies are considered part of the optimal operation of the 5G network (e.g. 26 and 66 GHz) 

Higher frequencies only have a small penetration depth. Potential effects will therefore mainly occur in the superficial layers of skin and eyes. Only lower frequencies can reach deeper tissue. 
The potential effects of the 5G radiations to these surface layers should be further explored. Moreover, it is important to have a clear and reliable view on the nature and intensity of the 5G radiations reaching these superficial layers. As the technology is new, the first studies are being conducted and if any uncertainty about health safety arises, the precautionary principle should be applied.

False: 5G kills birds

The rumour emerged that the installation of a 5G antenna in a neighbourhood of The Hague at the end of 2018, caused the death of many birds.
At that time, no tests of 5G technology had yet been carried out at that location. It can therefore not be the cause of the increased bird mortality. Analyses by the Veterinary Research Department of Wageningen University (WBVR) showed that these birds were probably poisoned, see this article from Wageningen University (WBVR)

False: 5G enrollment and the spread of COVID-19 are linked

Anti-5G activists have set fire to several 5G antennas in England and the Netherlands because they believe that the 5G network’s radiation has had an effect on the spread of  COVID-19.
One of the rumours circulating is that the coronavirus did not appear accidentally in the Chinese city of Wuhan, as it would be the first city to have a 5G network. But this theory is false, because Wuhan is not the first city where 5G was deployed. The technology was already active in about 50 other cities at that time. Furthermore, there is absolutely no scientific explanation for any effect of 5G radiation on the spread of the coronavirus.  
The most significant risk of this fake news is that it could lead to a failure of the mobile communication network, which could, for example, compromise the access to emergency services.

Read more about the risks and severity of elektromagnetic fields.

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