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Is 5G really harmful for humanity?

The term 5G indicates new generation technologies and standards for mobile communication. This “fifth generation”, which follows the previous 2G, 3G and 4G, is therefore the connection technology that will use our smartphones, but also and above all the many connected objects (IoT, Internet of things) around us, intended to be more and more numerous (household appliances, cars, traffic lights, street lamps, clocks, etc.). One of the main characteristics of this network is to allow many more connections at the same time, with high speed and very rapid response times.

Unfortunately, the latest news relating to 5G does not focus on the power of the new technology, but on the its hypothetical harmfulness.

On the latter issue, something absurd is happening in the UK. In the last few days, there have been several cases of arson attacks on antennas or control units of the ultra-fast network for latest generation 5G cell phones, or at least presumed such. It happened in Birmingham, Liverpool, Melling (always in English Merseyside) and now also in Belfast, in Northern Ireland. In some circumstances, videos popping up immediately appearing online after some people attacking the antennas and then cheering at the cry of “fuck 5G” or even “viva la revolución”. Movies but immediately deleted from Youtube and other platforms.

Why? The answer lies in some conspiracy theories that have been running online for some time and which link, without any scientific proof, the plague of the coronavirus to the introduction, still gradual, of the 5G telephone-data network. There are two conspiracy theories most common online. The first claims that 5G networks would weaken our immune system, thus making us more exposed to coronavirus. The second theory, instead, maintains that thanks to 5G networks “bacteria could communicate and spread faster and densely” in our communities and therefore in this case also the coronavirus would be facilitated in its action.

Despite the panic that broke out around 5G, at the moment there are no data that allow to exclude or confirm that this new technology has harmful effects on health or not (there are no answers clear and definitive). In order to assess the potential negative health effects of 5G, however, we can refer to the available evidence on the effects of emissions related to 2G and 3G, trying to hypothesize what may occur as a consequence of different exposures. But even in this case, it will take years of study from its diffusion to have clear answers. What we know so far, however, reassures rather than alarming: 5G will travel on higher frequencies than 2G, 3G and 4G (and this is one of the elements that scares), but the antenna network, actually, will use signals with lower power. Furthermore, the fact remains that, even if at higher frequencies, the penetration capacity of these waves into human tissues always remains very low and limited to the surface layers of the skin, also lacking the energy necessary to cause damage to the DNA.

By: Domenico Greco

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