Penzance Town Centre

Penzance Town Centre

Thursday 23 April 2020

5G Conspiracy Theories

In his book ‘The European Witch-Craze’, historian Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote: "When a great fear takes hold of society, that society looks naturally to the stereotype of the enemy in its midst." Witches were the enemy when the Black Death ravaged communities in the 1600’s including Penzance in 1647. Today it appears to be mobile telephone masts (bonkers but at least not murderous as in the 17th Century).

What is the deal with 5G mobile networks and new 5G radio bands? Current mobile telephones use radio frequency bands between 800 MHz (0.8 GHz) and 2.6 GHz. 5G is being rolled out in the UK and elsewhere using 3.6 GHz supplemented by the 24.25 – 27 GHz band and later by the 66-71 GHz band. The driving force behind 5G is user demand for higher data rates – higher frequencies can carry higher data rates. At higher frequencies radio waves behave more like infra-red and light (line-of-sight needed for communication and more affected by mist and rain).

There is nothing especially new about the 5G radio bands other than them being used for mobile telephone communications rather than other uses like radar and satellite communication. Frequencies above 300 GHz (wavelength shorter than one millimetre) are termed infra-red - invisible to the human eye but at high intensity felt on the skin as radiant heat (it is 'thermal radiation' as felt from a radiator or cooking hob).

There is no evidence of harm to human beings or other animals from radio waves except at high power when, like infra-red thermal radiation, they cause heating and burns. An individual’s highest exposure to radio frequency energy is from mobile handsets when put to the ear. Today's handsets might only have a max power of 0.2 watts but it is touching your head when in use. Large mobile telephone base stations emit typically between 20 and 120 watts.  The smaller  5G base stations found in streets, railway stations etc have an emitted power of typically 0.25 watts (250 mW).   Earlier generations of mobile telephone (2nd & 3rd generation) handsets had emitted power of up to 2 watts so the potential hazard to ear/head has reduced a lot over the last 20 years.

Low power electromagnetic radiation becomes hazardous in the ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma ray bands because individual photons have vastly more power at these super high frequencies.  The radiation ionises atoms in essential molecules in cells, including genetic material, causing them to breakup.

Electro-magnetic spectrum: here

Radio Frequency Spectrum Allocations up to 300 GHz (USA used as an example) here

Grandmetric sp - Article on 5G Safety here