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Don’t give me five

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We live in an increasingly ‘connected’ world, with real social connections substituted for virtual ones. Sitting around a campfire has been traded for Facebook. Microcircuits have made their way into our homes. The future is being prepared for driverless cars—whether or not we actually want them.

Selling us more and quicker connectivity isn’t difficult. Most of us like the idea of bigger bandwidth and quicker download and upload speeds—we wouldn’t want to miss that latest Hollywood blockbuster or cat video. But ignoring the possible hazards to humans and wildlife might leave us in grave danger. And that’s exactly what’s happening with the impending rollout of 5G networks.

The only people I know who really want it either don’t know about the risks or don’t seem to care. They want technological progress at any cost, even if it means wiping out parts of the natural systems we depend on.

5G refers to ‘5th Generation’ wireless technology, new standards for which were agreed upon in 2017. While it will continue to rely on existing technology, especially 4G networks, 5G provides for new frequencies that utilize shorter wavelengths, so-called millimeter-wave frequencies first developed for military use.

The big problem is not the thermal effects that Big Tech likes us to focus on (which you may notice if you put your unprotected cell phone against your head), but the non-thermal effects, including cancer, made much worse by the predicted massive increase in our exposure.

5G’s millimeter waves can’t penetrate through buildings, walls and other solid structures. Based on recent trials, it seems even foliage or a human hand can provide a barrier.

To deal with this, 5G cellular networks require a mosaic (thousands, eventually millions and billions) of local, small cell towers that both emit and receive signals 24/7.

We’re supposed to accept the fact that these small towers will be placed along our roads, on street lights, in front yards, outside of buildings and often even within them, in place of the wireless routers that currently run on much lower frequencies. They will be almost everywhere, especially where populations are dense.

While 4G can support around 10,000 devices per square mile, it’s estimated that 5G can support up to 2.5 million in the same area. On top of that, the number of satellites used to support 5G will likely go from around 2,000 currently to some 20,000.

Existing radiofrequency wavelengths are already conservatively classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as potential human carcinogens.

But the escalating rates of brain tumors among young people are providing ever more convincing evidence that this classification needs to be upgraded to the status of ‘proven human carcinogen’, a view advocated by long time WHO advisor and  electromagnetic fields expert, Dr Anthony Miller.   

What’s more, evidence of disruption in the searching and orientation behavior of pollinators, birds and other wildlife illustrates the other, more subtle ways radiofrequencies can harm not only us, but the environment on which we depend.

The real sting in the tail for 5G is the effect of the massive projected increase in our exposures. In terms of risks, it will be like 4G on steroids.

Getting 5G fully up and running is fast becoming a race for supremacy. President Trump described “winning the race to be the world’s leader in providing 5G” as a “critical issue for our country’s future.”

AT&T’s first tests of 5G in 12 US cities certainly didn’t go as planned. But since 5G is privately controlled by the tech companies and the race is on, don’t expect any detailed investigations into its human health or wildlife impacts.

In fact, a February hearing of the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee found there’s absolutely no expenditure on any research into 5G’s health effects, despite the massive increase in transmission and exposure by the projected explosion of additional cell towers, antennae and satellites.

That’s of course business as usual—the stakeholders have no desire to fund research that might interfere with the rollout plan, and, anyway, there isn’t enough time to do anything meaningful given there’s a global technology race on.

The biggest stakeholder globally is Huawei, which has invested more in the technology, including numerous patents, than any other company, with its sights set firmly on China and other big markets. In the US, key actors include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. European players include Ericsson and Nokia.

Full 5G rollout is expected between 2020 and 2023. The first major public demonstration against 5G, organized by Americans For Responsible Technology, took place on May 15—something the media didn’t want most people to know about, such is its link with Big Tech.

I urge you to sign the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space ( Also do what you can to help others around you avoid supporting 5G and buying into the hype.

What do you think? Start a conversation over on the... WDDTY Community

Article Topics: carcinogen, Mobile phone
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