8 November 2019

Is 5G Safe?

As the roll out of 5G has gathered pace across the UK, there have been several reports claiming that 5G presents a serious risk to the health of the UK population.

This has led us to consider the research and guidance available in order to determine whether or not we believe 5G is safe. In doing so, it is important to acknowledge in advance, that at Connect Total we are primarily concerned with providing innovative business connectivity solutions for our customers. We are not scientists with an extensive knowledge of how electro-magnetic radiation can affect humans, and as such, we have conducted our own research into the guidance available in order to satisfy ourselves that 5G is safe.

We do hope you find this research useful and would advocate that should you still have concerns you conduct your own research and form a conclusion of your own.

The Argument Against 5G

Over the last few years several groups have popped up across the world claiming that 5G is not safe. They cite earlier military experiments using electro-magnetic technology to create weapons, the death of several hundred birds in Europe and the fact that it is too early to know if mobile telephony can affect humans.

Whilst official UK sources have shown these examples to be without basis, the general feeling amongst some members of the public has led to an online petition gaining over 30,000 signatures denouncing 5G and demanding an independent enquiry into the possible risks to health. Unfortunately, this fell short of the 100,000 signatures required for a topic to be debated in the UK Parliament. As such, 5G has become one of the latest conspiracy theories to populate the internet and has caused a lot of unnecessary angst.

Research Into The Safety Of Mobile Phones

NASA

The first place we looked in our quest for knowledge was NASA. Respected worldwide for their knowledge and achievements, NASA has conducted a wealth of research into electromagnetic radiation and published this very useful diagram highlighting all of the various forms of radiation which we may be exposed to on Earth.

Whilst we would not propose to understand the science which underpins this diagram, it is however, interesting to note that the area of spectrum which mobile telephones utilise is a narrow band somewhere in between the waves which would be expected from a FM radio and a Microwave oven. Indeed, the diagram below can also be seen to highlight that a human being themselves radiates much more than a mobile phone. It is not until you move a lot further to the right to the denser waves such as X-Rays and the Gamma Rays associated with nuclear power, when the situation becomes a lot more dangerous.

spectrum

US Incidences Of Cancer Data

The website Android Authority has conducted a very useful exercise of their own to look at the incidences of cancer in the US over the last 40 years versus the volume of cellular (mobile phone) subscriptions. This data was so compelling that we have highlighted a screenshot of their findings below:

us-cancer-incidences

As it may be seen in the chart above, whilst mobile phone subscriptions have grown exponentially since their introduction in the 90s, the incidences of cancer has grown only marginally whilst brain cancer incidences have not shown an increasing trend. Indeed, cancer mortality rates in the US over the same period has actually dropped quite significantly over the last 20 years.

Cancer Rates In The UK

In the UK, the organisation, Cancer Research UK, has not found any discernible correlation between cancer in the UK and mobile phone adoption. They have quoted that brain cancer has grown by 34% since the 90s to now whilst mobile phone ownership has grown by over 500%. In fact, Cancer Research UK has gone further to say that whilst brain cancer incidence has grown by 34% they believe this can be attributed to higher detection rates rather than more incidences of brain cancer.

The NHS View

A further reference point as to whether or not 5G can be deemed safe is from the NHS. The NHS website has a useful page which cites various influential scientific bodies from around the world and their own findings regarding the safety of mobile phones. This page can be found here.

Can We Conclude That 5G Is Safe?

Whilst we acknowledge that the research listed above is primarily focused on the safety of mobile phones in general rather than purely 5G, it is important to note that whilst 5G promises many benefits to both individuals and businesses, the technology that underpins it is still very much the same as previous generations of mobile telephony such as 2G, 3G and 4G.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is, however, responsible for providing ongoing scientific guidance and advice on the health risks posed by any form of radiation and as such will continue to monitor any risks from 5G technology. In addition to this, in July 2018 the ICNIRP published a review of their mobile frequency guidelines and stated that none of the frequencies used by mobile phones, including 5G, posed a risk and as such they did not need to amend their guidelines.

To conclude this article we will give the last word to the Department of Health and Social Care who issued a statement along with many scientific references which said,

“Exposure to radio waves has been carefully researched and reviewed. The overall weight of evidence does not suggest devices producing exposures within current guidelines pose a risk to public health.”

As such, based on current guidance and advice, it is our conclusion that we do not believe 5G presents any risk to users, however, as mentioned previously, if you still have concerns, please make sure to conduct your own research in order to form a conclusion of your own.

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Connect Total Communications

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