4 min read

Why you shouldn't worry about 5G health risks

Can you get cancer or other illnesses from cellphones? What about WiFi networks? Are there 5G health risks?

The answer is a definitive no. There are no ifs and buts. Wireless communications pose no health risks.

How can we so certain there is no problem?

The first answer is that wireless networks have been widespread for 30 years now. Over that time many scientists have researched the subject. They have found a heating effect from high power wireless equipment. But that’s not used for communications. We’ll come back to this later.

Conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theorists suggest scientists and governments suppress bad results. They don’t. As you will see if you read on, we can be sure of this.

This brings us to the second reason why we know wireless is safe. There are no queues of patients showing up at hospitals with cellphone cancer. The technology has had 30 years to do its worst and still there are no signs of an epidemic.

It’s not hard to understand why there are conspiracy theories. Governments and industries have lied to people in the past.

Its’s also not hard to understand why radiation seems frightening. There are harmful versions of radiation. That’s why dentists and their assistants wear lead lined overalls to take X-rays.

Ionising and non-ionising

This is because X-Rays are ionising radiation.

In plain English ionising means radiation knocks molecules about. In living cells ionising radiation can trigger cancer.

Wireless signals are non-ionising radiation. Which means it doesn’t knock molecules about. There is no cancer effect.

Both types of radiation are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Everyday wireless communications only uses non-ionising parts of the spectrum.

Non-ionising wireless radiation does generate heat. You can see this everyday with microwave ovens. They cook food. A microwave oven could cook you if you climbed inside.

You need a lot of power to heat anything with electromagnetic energy. A lot more energy than you need to send and receive wireless signals. Microwave ovens use hundreds of watts. If you stand at the bottom of a cellular tower the energy will be much less than a single watt.

The networks in place today operate at levels that are about one percent of the power needed to warm a human body.

Cooking with wireless

We learnt the hard way about electromagnetic heating. In the 1940s, high power equipment cooked people working on the UK’s radar defence. Since then we’ve learned how to shield radio waves. Your home microwave oven includes a shield.

There are people who blame cellular electromagnetic fields for health problems.

One complaint is that electromagnetic radiation causes people to feel tired or confused. You also hear about headaches. Laboratory tests using placebos suggest these problems are not caused by radio waves.

Other causes can explain these symptoms. Hay fever has a similar effect and is often hard to track down. There are other possibilities.

As humans we often look for the most obvious answers for problems we don’t understand. If someone suggests a phone caused your ailment, it may sound plausible. Even if it is not. You might as well blame aliens.

5G is different, not that different

This brings us up to date at the dawn of the 5G era. Some anti–5G campaigners point out the technology is different to earlier cellular technologies. That’s true. 5G uses a wider range of frequencies. When and if cellular companies build denser tower networks, they will bath us more often in this wider range of frequencies.

Even so, the frequencies are still non-ionising radiation.

And although there will be more antennae, we will still be subject to low total levels of radiation. If if you are in range of a dozens of towers, there will not be enoough power for a measurable heating effect. There is no 5G health risk from heating.

Another comforting thought is that 5G uses higher frequency radiation. One of the characteristics of higher frequencies is that they penetrate less distance. They will only get a millimetre or two into your body.

In other words, 5G radiation is not going to kill you. It won’t even make you sick.

The risk is zero. Compare that with the risk of picking up your 5G phone while driving a car. That’s something you do need to worry about.

Can you trust them?

You might accept all this and still worry that governments and the industry are lying about 5G risks.

First, while we’ve never had to deal with the 5G spread of frequencies in the past, the science doesn’t change. It’s still non-ionising.

Second, communications industries are competitive. If a phone maker lied about their product, rivals wouldn’t hesitate to blow the whistle.

Likewise, if a 5G service provider bent the truth, rivals in competing technologies like fibre broadband wouldn’t hold back. This isn’t happening.

5G health rumours

The hardest aspect of this for some readers is that it feels like all radiation is dangerous. It may also feel like we are being lied to. Even with plenty of convincing evidence some people still think 5G feels wrong. Some of this is manipulation. There are people playing with your mind on matters like this.

You might ask yourself why people spread these rumours (paywall). It’s a huge problem and not only for 5G. Similar misinformation stops people from vaccinating children. In part, spreading these stories makes some people feel powerful and important.

There’s another angle, dark forces want to break any trust you might have in authorities. They want to turn you away from fact-based reasoning. This paves the way for their power plays. This aspect is well beyond the scope of this story.

At this point go back to what you can see with your own eyes. There are no busy hospital phone radiation departments. You don’t know anyone phone radiation has harmed or killed. Nor do your doctors or anyone else.

In short, you can stop worrying about 5G radiation. There are plenty of other things you should worry about more than 5G health risks.