Claims Of 5G Health Risks Are Frequently Based On A Single, 20 Year Old Flawed Graph
from the ill-communication dept
If you’ve spent any time on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a rising tide of folks expressing worry about the health impact of 5G.
If you guys have ever seen this movie, it is basically the power 5G will be given to the government.
Plus add cancer and disease to it
5G is a global cancer for humanity and the Earth pic.twitter.com/RirQ0fGeQ8
— Henry Sanchez (@onre1218) July 17, 2019
To be clear, the widespread, long term impact 5G (especially millimeter wave) will have on human health hasn’t been adequately studied yet, which makes absolutist claims on either side of this argument shaky from the start. As such, a lot of the recent health concerns being spread about 5G aren’t based much on actual science, if they rely on actual science at all. Numerous news outlets (like RT) have similarly proclaimed that 5G will “kill you,” without providing much in the way of hard evidence. Their recent segment on the “5G apocalypse” is just one of several the outlet has been running over the last few years or so:
This week however, the New York Times penned a report noting that one of the key bits of “evidence” used by those insisting 5G will be harmful wound up not being evidence at all. Since 2000, those professing that wireless signals can cause brain cancer have relied on a chart by physicist Bill P. Curry, proclaiming to show that tissue damage increases with the rising frequency of radio waves:
Curry’s data was widely used to justify removing wireless communications from many schools, reposted repeatedly online by purported health experts, and even laid the foundation for several lawsuits alleging negative wireless health impacts. It wound up as the foundation for other, broader, but equally shaky theories. The only problem: it was never true. The graph failed to acknowledge that human skin tends to block higher frequencies, making the entire chart inaccurate:
“It doesn?t penetrate,? said Christopher M. Collins, a professor of radiology at New York University who studies the effect of high-frequency electromagnetic waves on humans. Dr. Curry?s graph, he added, failed to take into account ?the shielding effect.? You Make the Call: ?Moving Forward With the American Dream? in New Jersey Dr. Marvin C. Ziskin, an emeritus professor of medical physics at Temple University School of Medicine, agreed. For decades, Dr. Ziskin explored whether such high frequencies could sow illness. Many experiments, he said, support the safety of high-frequency waves.”
Having reported on this subject a few times, I will say that this is a seedier, deeper rabbit hole than you might think. While Russian news outlets do seem to be enjoying amplifying fear on this subject, there’s plenty of home grown folks pushing 5G health risk claims as well. I’ve found a long line of academics happy to go on the record claiming 5G could pose a health risk. I’ve also found plenty of others proclaiming any health concerns are fluff and nonsense. But pretty uniformly you’ll find one consensus buried under the mess: far, far more study is necessary before anybody engages in absolutism one way or the other.