Anyone come across quackery claiming 5G is deadly?

Gidster
Gidster London, UKMember Posts: 224
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I came across a massive thread on an app for local neighbourhood regarding safety concerns about 5G masts going up in my area and causing near hysteria.
The link below is one of those cited as proof of the dangers and lists people with possibly relevant qualifications apparently claiming real dangers. But it also seems to be a scheme to stoke up fear in order to make money - there's offers of free gifts, limited time offers, special packages etc. Deeply dodgy!
Have you come across similar? How do we debunk them? Who should be stopping this kind of misinformation
https://the5gsummit.com/

Head of Product at Fing
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VioletChepil

Comments

  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    edited September 9, 2019 #2
    I've been hearing the same thing since I got my very first mobile phone way back in the early 1990's @Gidster: Every single time there's a new standard, the quacks come out again citing "New studies". If you look hard enough you'll find folk out there telling us that everything we do is going to kill us. Drink water? Death. Breath Air? Death (unless you're a "Breatharian - yeah, kooks everywhere). Use a mobile Phone? Cancer followed by death. Shake someone's hand? Disease, followed by possible death. Use a computer? Cancer then death.

    The worst is when these kooks start telling people do do dangerous things (like, drink bleach, but don't take vaccines) because they then manufactur up evidence to show how dangerous (or safe) it all is.

    Back in the day, I used to imagine a world where the Internet would enable a world of enlightenment and wisdom. Sadly I'd not taken the basic stupidity of people into account.
    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    HronosGidsterVioletChepil
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    I haven't heard that one before.  I went to Snopes and did a quick search, nothing directly relating to that exists on their website, the closest thing was a question about installers needing to wear hazmat suits to install 5G cellular.  That of course was rendered as a false statement.
    Since this topic has my curiosity, I'll continue to look around and see what I can see.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    GidsterVioletChepil
  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    I did come accross this article from the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/science/5g-cellphones-wireless-cancer.html

    It talks about how Dr William Curry managed to totally misunderstand pretty much everything when it came to wireless frequencies and how his mistake still resonates today.
    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    GidsterHronosMarcVioletChepil
  • Gidster
    Gidster London, UKMember Posts: 224
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    Thanks @Pooh good link! I shall share with my hysterical neighbours
    Head of Product at Fing
    kltaylor
  • Gidster
    Gidster London, UKMember Posts: 224
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    And here's another good link shared by a rationale individual over on my local app:
    http://skepdic.com/emf.html
    Head of Product at Fing
    Hronos
  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    @Gidster sadly it always comes down to "you can't prove it doesn't cause cancer, ergo it might and therefore we should not use it. Ever."

    Luddites...
    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    VioletChepilkltaylor
  • wayner
    wayner Member, Beta Tester Posts: 32
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    Doesn't it use many of the same frequencies as previous gens of wireless services?  If that is the case then why is this any worse than 3G, LTE, EDGE, etc?
  • Gidster
    Gidster London, UKMember Posts: 224
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    wayner said:
    Doesn't it use many of the same frequencies as previous gens of wireless services?  If that is the case then why is this any worse than 3G, LTE, EDGE, etc?
    I think that's certainly true for early implementations but spectrum allocated to 5G does go into the higher frequencies
    Head of Product at Fing
  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    edited September 23, 2019 #10
    There's a common misconception folk always make - and that's that the frequencies do not in, and of themselves cause problems.

    High frequency waves are those like X-Rays and gamma rays - so called UV Radiation or ionizing radiation.

    Ionizing radiation is radiation that is so powerful that it can ionize an electron from either an atom or a molecule (ionization = remove). Such action can alter the underlying DNA and thus can cause cancer.

    Radio Frequency radiation is a totally different beast: it's non-ionizing and thus doesn't have that side effect. No matter how high the frequencies are, they're still not going to have the same effect that UV Radiation has.

    Sure, in enough quantities it can vibrate the atoms enough to cause heat (e.g. Microwave ovens) but Microwave ovens are built to target the waves inside the oven at a high wattage.

    The newer body scanners in airports also use MM wave technology - again at a very low amount.

    So, RF radiation doesn't cause cancer directly, what about indirectly? Sure, it is not out the realms of possibility that intensive exposure to RF radiation can have a biological side effect: the US National Toxicology program found that exposing rats and mice to various forms of RF radiation caused increased risk of rare heart tumors called malignant schwannomas in the male rates. However, it's important to add that these rodents were exposed for a solid NINE hours each day for TWO whole years!

    The WHO has placed RF Radiation into group 2B "possibly carcinogenic to humans" - in other words, yes, there's a chance, but there's also a chance you will be hit by lightning, killed by a bus, or felled by a falling toilet seat from a passing jet...
    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    Gidsterkltaylor