There are conspiracies that flaunt every big event that humanity ever faced. The 5G networks have brought with it such conspiracy theories at this point of coronavirus pandemic, the famous one being that coronavirus creation as a result of 5G. A seven-year study published in March says that 5g cellular towers have no detrimental health effects.

Children's Health Defense, a health advocacy group said recently that the expanding of 5G could cause "... health problems such as insomnia, miscarriage, memory problems and other neurological issues, and there are widespread reports of annihilation of insect and bird populations." There have been videos seen with burning 5G towers as a result of conspiracy that 5G is harmful to humans.

Also that 5G can corrupt our immune system, making us more susceptible to COVID-19. One bizarre claim says virus could be transmitted using 5G tech.

5g in asia
Representative Image Eric Gaillard/Reuters

These conspiracy theories are "the worst kind of fake news." said Stephen Powis, NHS England Medical Director.

What is 5G?

5G, the fifth generation is the higher-tech upgrade of the wireless communication system that provides higher data speeds than the 4g networks. This is potential in the face of rising technology like the Internet of Things (IoT), such as self-driven cars.

Presently, the 5G network uses the frequency range as that of 4G, which is sub-6 GHz frequency. But 5G can power up to a million devices per square kilometre, whereas 4G does it only up to 100,000 devices per square kilometre.

So, if those signals could cause some sort of metabolic change in animals or people, as some have tried to argue, we would all have experienced their impact a long time ago. We haven't because at the signal strength that all these systems use, there has been no measurable negative connection established between these signals and our health.

coronavirus
Representational Image Pixabay

Harmful?

Wireless networks use Radio waves to transmit info, these waves are a part of Electro Magnetic Radiations (EMR), light is also an EMR. Among radiations, there are ionizing and non-ionizing ones. These non-ionizing waves, used in our networks are those which don't have enough energy to change matter at an atomic level, thus won't harming our body, unlike the ionizing waves.

However, many studies have been done on the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiations from radar, microwave ovens, cell phones, among other sources, but there are no consistent pieces of evidence that say it causes diseases like cancer says cancer.gov. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization also says the same.

However, the risk associated with cell phone use has been distracted driving and accidents.

The scientific study by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection said that health-related concerns for 5G are not a threat. The new guidelines further recommend that if the below points are followed 5G technologies higher than 6GHz will not be able to cause harm:

To point out, there are no concerns mentioned for sub-6 GHz 5G signals in the report which are being used currently. In case of millimetre waves of 5G which are above 24 GHz going up to 72 GHz can't travel far and into the walls.

Different types of electromagnetic radiations
Different types of electromagnetic radiations Wikipedia

Environmental concerns

EKLIPSE, an EU funded review body analyzed 97 studies back in 2018, concluded that radiations from cellphone towers, WiFi and other transmitters are a potential risk to insects and bird orientation, also affects plant metabolism.

There is "an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife," concluded the authors of the study. 237 scientists are reported to have appealed by petition to the UN, raising concerns about EMR and its risks.