After publishing our recent article on how 5G works, reader Margaret Buckler mentioned her concerns about the potential harmful effects of 5G on the body.
We didn’t find any mention of this in our research, so we’re glad she brought this to our attention. There are some who claim that 5G’s radiofrequency radiation might damage DNA, cause premature aging, and disrupt cell metabolism.
This scared us a bit, we admit. However, after further review, our conclusion is that 5G does not appear to be dangerous – and neither are cellular signals, wi-fi signals, electromagnetic fields or any other invisible forces that keep us connected.
But don’t take our word for it – let’s dig into the science!
What’s the worry about wireless signals?
The concerns are mainly centered around the concepts of “electromagnetic sensitivity” and “radiofrequency radiation”. Both have been claimed to potentially cause the negative effects mentioned above. However, decades of studies have found no link between cell phones and cancers like brain tumors.
In addition, cell phones have been in use for decades. One of the biggest claims against them is that they may cause cancer, specifically brain tumors.
But comprehensive studies conducted in multiple countries (including the US, Australia and the UK) have all found no increase in brain cancer since cell phones became widely adopted.
Of course, we can’t know everything with complete certainty. But we do know, based on their widespread use, that the signals “floating through the air” (such as cellular signals, microwaves, and wi-fi signals) do not cause any noticeable effects on the human body. By now, we’d have noticed at least a few abnormalities if something dangerous was afoot… but we haven’t. (In fact, even humans emit small amounts of radiation!)
However, this hasn’t stopped some from claiming negative effects – and they may have a good reason for it.
What is Electromagnetic Sensitivity?
Some people claim to have a condition called “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” – in which they experience debilitating symptoms when near electromagnetic fields.
However, many “blind tests” have been conducted… and so far, nobody has been able to tell when they are near an electromagnetic field – even those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
Does this mean they’re making it up? No, of course not! The likely answer is that they are experiencing the extremely powerful “placebo effect” (or, in this case, it’s technically the “nocebo effect”).
(Of course, we’re only talking about the human body here, so it excludes anyone who may have a pacemaker or other electronic device that could interact with electromagnetic fields. However, those situations are unique and don’t provide any conclusions about electromagnetic fields in the general public.)
So, we won’t dismiss someone’s claims of electromagnetic hypersensitivity – the placebo effect is very real. But we can rest easy knowing that it is not a serious danger to the public.
But hey… isn’t 5G different? How can we know for sure that this new network isn’t dangerous?
To find out, we need to learn a bit about radiation. If you’re like us, you freak out at the idea of radiation going through your body… but when you look at the science, it’s actually not all bad. (Perhaps we’ve all seen too many horror flicks…)
The two types of radiation: “Ionizing” & “Non-Ionizing”
Cellular signals work using something called radiofrequency radiation (RFR). This technology has been in use for decades – in everything from radios, airport scanners, X-ray machines, microwaves and more.
Now, it’s important to note that there are two types of RFR: Ionizing and Non-Ionizing.
Ionizing RFR can be dangerous – because it alters chemical bonds. It’s thought to be responsible for the negative effects mentioned at the beginning of this article, including DNA damage and increased cancer rates.
The best example of Ionizing RFR comes from the sun’s ultraviolet light – that’s why you’re not supposed to spend too much time tanning. In addition, x-ray machines, gamma rays (which are caused by nuclear events) and many other sources emit this Ionizing RFR. That’s why we do need to be careful with this powerful natural force.
That said, Non-Ionizing RFR – which is what cellular signals use to communicate – is too weak to break chemical bonds. This means Non-Ionizing Radiation cannot cause damage to human cells.
This also means that at any given moment, there is a lot of Non-Ionizing RFR around you. It may sound scary, but like we said, it does not appear to have any negative effect at all – and we surely would have noticed something by now if it did.
So, are we certain that 5G isn’t dangerous?
Well, not really – but only because it’s really hard to achieve 100% certainty here. All we know is that it hasn’t been shown to cause any negative effects yet, and we’ve seen a LOT of test subjects. In fact, 3.5 billion people (45.12% of the population) have a cell phone these days!
Unlike tobacco, which caused a massive rise in cancer rates, we’ve seen no link between cell signals and cancer – at all.
Now, you might be wondering why 5G is getting so much heat despite these facts. One reason is that 5G uses a slightly higher frequency than previous networks like 3G and 4G, called “millimeter waves”.
This could lead you to believe that 5G is too new to be considered safe. However, the RFR used in 5G is not new! We’ve actually been using millimeter waves in other applications since the 1950s, such as military fire-control radar, airport security scanners, short range wireless networks, and scientific research. In all this time, we haven’t found any negative effects – despite tons of studies being conducted since they were introduced.
In addition, millimeter waves are Non-Ionizing because they have longer wavelengths. As we know, this means they don’t have enough energy to damage cells.
Conclusion: As far as we know, 5G is safe – but more research can surely help!
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the deeper workings of 5G – and why it’s safe (at least as far as science and medicine have been able to measure, which is all we really have). We would not have written this without doing extensive research, and we’re confident that 5G won’t cause problems.
With that said, we’ll gladly admit that even 50 years is relatively short in the grand scheme of things. More research is needed to fully understand the effects of radiation and electromagnetic fields.
Thankfully, all the tests so far have been positive. But as scientists continue to monitor this technology, so will we. If anything develops, we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!
Finally, if you have further questions or think we missed something here, we’d love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below!