Are you a 5G guinea pig? - Katherine Roberts

Whether or not you are one of the people who can feel them, all living things rely on electrical signals at cellular level. It's how our nerves work, and particularly our brains. Electricity is also in the air all around us, in the form of EMFs (electric and magnetic fields) given off by our modern devices, and it's not too big a leap to see how one might affect the other.

Very soon, on top of all our existing EMF producing devices, we will have a new technology: 5G, which promises faster wi-fi connections than 4G and uses microwave frequencies similar to those used in weapons for crowd control. The problem is that digital wi-fi (2G and above) has only been around since the 1990s and so we can't really know the long term effects yet. Also, nobody has actually asked our permission to expose us to this stuff. Following pressure from the public, several places have recently postponed or halted the roll-out of 5G, including in the UK Glastonbury, Frome, Stroud, and in Europe Geneva and Brussels, whose Environment minister Céline Fremault said: “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit."

How happy are you about 5G coming to your town?

These people are clearly eager to see it installed
and your own telecoms provider is probably just as enthusiastic.

These people are not so happy

This site explains why people are getting so worried

And yet (according to the technology companies who are pushing it out, the UK government and most town councils) 5G is "safe". Here's the latest public reassurance from the BBC:

So why all the confusion?

The non-ionising radiation safety guidelines currently in use in the UK (as quoted in the BBC link) are 20 years out of date and have since been upgraded by the ICNIRP:

Doctors in the European Union were concerned enough about the health issues to start this appeal

If you are interested in the potential health risks of wi-fi, this is a good place to start

Tellingly, you cannot insure yourself or your school/business against the adverse effects of wi-fi radiation (which begs the question why not, if such symptoms are supposed to be non-existent, and presumably therefore no claim would arise?)

Will 5G make us happier?

We'll get faster broadband and better connections. Maybe.
Everything in our home will eventually be able to talk to everything else, and we'll be able to control the lot with our 5G phone while we're out. Or someone else will be able to control it with theirs. Oh, and we'll have driverless cars!
I'm sure there are zillions of other things techy people could do with 5G, including spy on us through our smart devices, hack the entire system, or crash all the driverless cars. (It probably won't help sell books, though.)

How badly do you want a 5G phone?

5G non-ionizing radiation is known to harm the environment, killing plants, birds and insects (bees included, which rely on natural Earth magnetic fields to navigate). It also causes cancer in mice and rats. If you want more details, there have been multiple scientific studies on the adverse effects of 5G and other wi-fi on various lifeforms though you might have to dig around a bit to find them.

Because the 5G frequencies do not travel as far as older generation signals, urban areas will require masts every few streetlights, and 400,000 new masts will apparently be erected in rural areas, requiring mature trees to be felled in case they block the signal - so don't think you can escape by moving to the country, like you could to avoid 2G, 3G and 4G. In fact, there is a 5G Rural First partnership in the UK that aims to test it on you if you do... if you were one of the cool crowd at Glastonbury Festival this June, you should probably read this.

Smart meters, which arrived in my neighbourhood last year, are just the start of a so-called 'Internet of Things' that will soon be installed in all new homes (whether we want them or not), requiring and sending 5G signals inside your house, 24/7.

What are the long term health issues of 5G?

Who knows? The technology has not been properly tested yet, and there's only one way to do that... test it on the public and see what happens.

We're due to get 5G in my neighbourhood next summer, and it might be a coincidence that our woefully underfunded and overworked NHS has recently sent me (and thousands of others, I guess) an invitation to come in for a free health check. Or it might not. While researching this blog post, I came across a recent disclosure notice from my local council, presumably in response to a freedom of information request, which I cannot publish in full here due to copyright issues but which declines to answer most of the foi questions on the grounds that the council has either no 5G strategy, or holds no data. In response to the final question "Where do you have 3G and 4G systems in public spaces and public roads?", my local council states: "We have no inventory of apparatus of 3G and 4G systems, as this apparatus would be owned by the statutory undertaker that owns the apparatus and fitted the equipment." Presumably, the same will apply to 5G. So, even though public health and safety is the responsibility of the council, they (apparently) do not know where any of these masts are sited, and therefore cannot be aware of the level of the public's exposure. This seems wrong to me - surely if the telecoms people (I assume) are erecting these masts and antennae to transmit their microwaves, then they should be responsible for public health and safety and not the cash-strapped local council?

What can you do now?

If you are concerned about the roll-out of 5G in the UK, you can sign this Government petition to postpone this potentially harmful technology until independent safety studies have been carried out into its effects on humans and the environment.

Or you can write to the Joint Select Committee on National Security, who have launched an inquiry into the UK's 5G telecommunications infrastructure.

Or you could send a freedom of information request to whoever is building the 5G infrastructure in your town, and ask where they intend to install 5G antennae - hopefully they will be more forthcoming than my local council - and then you can make up your own mind if you want to live in the house with a 'small cell' (i.e. small in size, not in signal) antenna on the streetlight outside your bedroom window, or send your children to a school with a 5G mast on the roof.

Which brings me back to the book whose cover illustrates this post. The Electricity of Every Living Thing was written by a woman diagnosed with autism (one of the health concerns of wi-fi radiation) in her thirties, who sets out to walk the South West Coast Path in a effort to find her way back to health - no, she's not me, but she might well be a younger me. As far as I'm aware, the author does not make any connection between her condition and wi-fi exposure, but it's interesting reading considering that, once 5G gets here, there will be nowhere for any of us to escape these signals, however far we walk.

They're up there now, watching you...


Katherine Roberts writes fantasy and historical fiction.
She has a BSc (first class) in mathematics and computer science.
She has signed the petition.


Susan Price said…
As if we hadn't enough to terrify us, just at the moment.
Umberto Tosi said…
Can't say we haven't been warned... And no place to hide whole or simply one's head in the sand. Resistance seems the only alternative. Thanks for this well sourced post!
To be fair, I just finished 'The Electricity of Every Living Thing' this morning, and there is an interesting paragraph towards the end where the author remarks on the recent epidemic of autism: apparently, some people blame vaccines, some blame a geeky breeding programme in Silicone Valley (I hadn't heard that one!), and some blame over-diagnosis... so perhaps blaming wi-fi signals is equally unfounded, and 5G will turn out to be a lot more useful than harmful. I just thought it would be interesting to pull together the information on 5G that's out there, and there is quite a lot of scary stuff. I suppose that's inevitable... after all, if you read the small print buried in your current smartphone's user guide, that's pretty scary too.
And if you think you have developed emf sensitivity, this blog has some excellent practical tips for shielding yourself and your family:

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