No, 5G wont cause cancer

In a world where information is at our fingertips, we battle against false claims nearly as much as we work to educate ourselves.

I’m not nor do I claim to be a doctor, scientist or researcher. However I’ve been fortunate to be exposed in life and my education to learn and trust the scientific process. If a theory doesnt hold up to scrutiny, repeatable double blind testing and rigor from peers in the scientific field, then it’s not something anyone should hang their hat on.

More cell phone subscriptions but a lower cancer rate? Sources: SEER.Cancer.Gov , Worldbank

As another measles outbreak hits the news and airwaves, many people in medicine hang their heads in disbelief. Where did we go wrong, they ask, in our education of the public where people willingly believe charlatans that vaccines cause some horrible disease instead of preventing death or causing life long disability?

Yesterday was a trial of my patience and willingness. I received a phone call from a very pleasant person, but someone who was really not interested in a debate or education, but wanted to make their point known. Cell phones are dangerous and cause cancer.

1st, 5G doesnt really exist yet. It’s a marketing term used for an upcoming standard in wireless technology, but as a real “standard” it still has time to be fleshed out. 5G will likely mean smaller localized towers closer to the home, so that you and I can get much faster speeds then cellular networks typically do now. We’re talking 500mbps and even today 1gbps + equipment is being trialed.

Back to a 20 minute engagement with someone who was adamant that decades of research doesn't hold up to their own opinion that 5G “radiation” causes deadly diseases.

Personally, I never enjoyed being “right” to win an argument, which via various logical fallacies you can do in many ways to debate, not to mention “ad hominem” attacks to deflection to half truths.

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

— Daniel Patrick Moynihan

I personally want to be factual, because winning an argument today might mean losing something much more important down the road.

So in this lengthy conversation I tried many analogies, scientific examples, to lead them down a path to maybe begin to change their opinion. Cell phone towers as I described to this person transmit non-ionizing radiation, which does not lead to damage of one’s cellular makeup, which other forms of radiation can.

To be clear, “radiation” is an extremely broad term. It mostly exists in the common lexicon as a bad, harmful “thing” that people find trouble with relating to their everyday life, but I promise without “radiation” you’d have a pretty bleak existence. The Sun warms the Earth via radiation. You can see in your house with a light bulb, from radiation. And yes you cook your food via radiation in a microwave.

The energy from a light bulb will not cause you cancer, because the wavelength and energy is not strong enough nor of the right “type” to do harm.

Cell phone 5G towers have radiation from their antennas, no denying that, but the power output is very low, the wavelength is a magnitude below even a lightbulb and the overall energy isnt enough to warm your hand if you were right next to it.

In a study involving rodents who were exposed to the dosage equivalent of about 1,363 watts of radio (RF) energy for a 200 pound / 91kg human (imagine a 1,300 watt light bulb) for 28 days (15 watts / kg) and 10w/kg for 2 years. This was 125 times the FCC limit of exposure. They had slightly increased rates of tumors but actually outlived the rodents who had no exposure. The saying “correlation does not mean causation” comes to mind. Does this mean cellular radiation is harmful or is it actually helpful?

(note: I made a math error and incorrectly stated 10,000 watts vs 1,650 watts for a 200lb / 110kg (should be 91kg) human. This study pointed out a 15w/kg and 10w/kg radio RF exposure for mice and showed an increased survival rate. Thanks to Matt Butcher for pointing out the error! — https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/about_ntp/trpanel/2018/march/tr596peerdraft.pdf)

If you wanted to, you could then say that radio wave “radiation” is actually beneficial! The purpose however is to demonstrate that time and time again, studies have proven that radio frequencies are not harmful.

Cell phone radiation is on the far left of the spectrum. Harmful radiation starts on the right, at Ultraviolet and then into X-Rays and Gamma-Rays, which are certainly harmful.

The Sun, which is the reason you and I exist, can damage your skin through ultra violet radiation, but it’s also a massive ball of thermonuclear (fusion) gas so lets give the big guy a bit of a break. To for-go the Sun would mean to you would not be alive today. There is a balance to be had.

In fact, flying is one of the major sources of every day radiation, since you’re closer to the edge of space and you’ve above thousands of feet of protective atmosphere. However the dosage is minimum even for pilots who are flying all the time.

Radiation is all around us. There is good radiation, the Sun, your TV screen to watch your favorite show, a warm fire to keep you warm and bad radiation (in high dosages) like x-rays.

Like everything, dosage (and in this case type) of exposure matters. No one thinks water is dangerous, unless you have the wrong dosage.

Gilbert A Darrell is the Founder of Horizon Communications. He has 18 years experience in information technology and telecom solutions, a veteran in Fire and EMS Services, A member of the Bermuda Fire Service Advisory Board, a crypto enthusiast and a member of the Bermuda Government’s Cryptocurrency Task Force.

Horizon Communications is an upcoming fixed wireless internet and cellular service provider looking to provide services in Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Central America before expanding internationally, utilizing 4th generation and soon 5th generation wireless technology.