Technology enthusiasts are closely following the roll-out of the new 5G network and looking forward to trying out this blazingly fast new coverage. Mobile phone companies are excited about the new opportunities it will bring to increase customers and sales. But another group of people are also keeping an eye on the developments and for far more negative reasons.
The rush towards these new, untested, high strength microwaves has a lot of people in the scientific and medical communities worried.
In fact it goes directly against many of their recommendations. In the International EMF Scientists’ Appeal 223 scientists from 43 countries called on the United Nations for new safety limits, wave-free zones, more education and more research. Other scientists are campaigning for electrosensitivity - a little understood condition that is triggered by exposure to electromagnetic fields causing nausea, heart palpitations, fainting and other symptoms - to be officially recognised as an environmentally induced illness.
But governments and telecommunications companies are rapidly pushing forward plans for blanket 5G coverage without any concerns for proper testing, people’s health, the safety of the technology and the environmental impact.
Electromagnetic radiation has been found to have dangerous effects including cancer, tumours and infertility. These findings have been repeated in many studies. But there is still much we don’t know. Each study calls for more in-depth, long-term and large-scale further investigation. Because mobile phones, mobile networks and wireless technology are so new there is very little data. We just don’t know the long-term effects they might cause.
Children now are going to be living their whole lives in this electronic smog, including their infancy and most important developmental years. Will there be any side effects later in life? We haven’t had the chance to find out yet.
And it is not as though there aren’t solutions. Better testing and more public education and awareness of the risks of electromagnetic fields and mobile phone radiation is a start. Some places have begun putting this in action with the city of Berkeley in California warning consumers about the health dangers of mobile phones and angering the mobile phone industry. In Krakow, Poland, the mayor has introduced public consultation and EMF reading devices to survey the extent of the electromagnetic pollution.
Wired networks in schools are favoured, to keep the electromagnetic wifi cloud to a minimum while still enjoying high speed access to the internet. New technologies can also do the same job but in safer ways such as passing data over wired connections or li-fi - using light waves to transmit data.
We can can protect ourselves on an individual level too, with radiation shielding technology like WaveWall cases, which block the electromagnetic radiation from our mobile phones from reaching the body - radiation which can cause tumours, cancer and male infertility.