Just scaremongering or is 5G really dangerous for humans?

People have often taken to the streets in Switzerland in 2019 to protest against the expansion of 5G networks - there is often talk of a health hazard. But isn't that just panic-mongering, by people who always start from the worst and thus oppose technical innovations?

 

People were also afraid of the railways

The concern that new technologies will have an adverse effect on health is not new. When the railway was introduced in the 19th century, some people thought it was the work of the devil. It was feared that the high speed of trains would lead to brain confusion.

Today we know that you do not suffer brain damage if you travel by train and the scare tactics of that time are due to exaggerated fears. But are the protesters who take to the streets today against 5G even overanxious, or is there a real reason for concern?

 

Scientists demand moratorium

It is said that radiation in the form of electromagnetic fields, i.e. radiation emitted by 5G base stations, cannot rule out a health hazard for humans. There is even a whole group of scientists and doctors who demand a 5G moratorium. According to them, the introduction of 5G technology should be postponed until the level of radiation exposure to humans, among others, has been fully researched.

On the one hand, the scientists and doctors are saying that the current research data on health hazards are not sufficient. At the same time, however, they rely on current studies on radiation, according to which electromagnetic fields would pose a risk to health. Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Above all, the short-wave radiation at 5G is dangerous, as it can be absorbed by the skin, as the Swiss association Ärztinnen und Ärzte für Umweltschutz (AefU) claims. However, the exact health consequences are not known there either.

 

The evidence speaks for 5G

The 5G expert and scientist Rodney Waterhouse, who works for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a worldwide professional association of engineers, says in the magazine "IEEE Spectrum" that the effects of the millimeter waves used in 5G are not entirely clear in terms of telecommunications.

However, it is up to the regulators to take care of and monitor the security of the 5G technology used by companies, the expert explains. "The majority of the scientific community does not believe there is a problem," Waterhouse told IEEE Spectrum. "However, it would be unscientific to say that there is no cause for concern."

Another 5G expert to speak in the "IEEE Spectrum" article is David Witkowski, who considers it exaggerated that many 5G opponents demand that the new mobile standard be safe. Because there is never 100 percent security in life.

"Showering, making breakfast, commuting to work, eating in a restaurant, being in public - everything we do involves risks," Witkowski told IEEE Spectrum. Although there have been a few studies in the past that have found evidence of a risk in relation to electromagnetic radiation, there is still some evidence that we are at risk. However, these critical studies have never been reproduced. Reproducibility, however, is an essential factor if good science is to be pursued. In Witkowski's opinion, the vast majority of the evidence speaks in favour of continuing the 5G expansion.

All in all, we can say that it is not about concrete health risks when people demonstrate against 5G, but about the fear that the consequences of the technology have not yet been sufficiently researched. The problem, however, is that if Switzerland loses the connection to 5G technology, the world will continue to turn. In countries such as the USA, South Korea and China, the expansion of the 5G network is progressing steadily. Switzerland would therefore be ill-advised to oversleep the development of a highly modern and extremely efficient mobile network for fear of unproven dangers.

 

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