It’s been a while since Rich Cattle – the Isolated Skeptic – has shared his views with OnTheWight readers. Guest opinion articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publication. Ed
5G, meaning 5th generation of mobile phone communications, is soon to replace 4G which followed 2 and 3G. Many of its benefits include faster download speeds, energy saving leading to lower costs and better device connectivity.
Local group oppose 5G
Whilst losing the bid to use the Isle of Wight as a test bed for rolling out this new technology was sad news for many businesses and essential services based here, some people rejoiced as they had feared this latest version of telecommunication from the start.
These people have been getting together to voice their opposition with claims that 5G is harmful to delicate life like bees, butterflies and even humans. But why?
Group 2B of possible carcinogens
Non ionizing RF radiation – transmitted by mobile phones, WiFi systems and even baby monitors, was firmly placed in the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Group 2B of possible carcinogens in 2011.
The World Heath Organization promptly issued a press release on May 11 the same year which clearly stated:
“The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for Glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with the use of mobile phones.”
What is the IARC’s group 2B?
Grab your tinfoil hat, head under the hills, expunge yourself of all your gadgets and bath in technophobic bliss. No wait, not so fast, as you would be making the same mistake as many people did when reporting on this rather alarming statement and not asking the simple question of: “What is the IARC’s group 2B?”
The IARC lists 111 agents in Group 1 which is for things that have been proven to be carcinogenic. These include processed meat, tanning devices, and diesel engine fumes. Group 2A is for 66 things that show some evidence of being carcinogenic.
Not been found to be carcinogenic
This includes red meat consumption, occupational exposure from being a hairdresser and contracting Malaria. Group 2B is the list for things that HAVE NOT been found to be carcinogenic but which further studies are requested due to an unintentional environmental exposure to the wider public.
This list includes working in a printing or dry cleaning establishment, bracken ferns … and pickles!
What about pickles or dry cleaning?
So why aren’t these same people who were opposed to 5G also standing with placards outside printers, dry cleaners, or placing warning tape around patches of bracken and even occupying fish and chip shops demanding the owners destroy their large jars of Gherkins?!
RF radiation is bombarding us all the time
Probably because RF radiation sounds ominous, although if you understand it then its quite interesting. RF radiation is bombarding us all the time and always has been.
If you tune an analog radio to just static then 1% of what you are listening to is actually left over static from the big bang!
Always do your own skeptical research
Also the frequencies 5G is going to be using are even less skin penetrating than its predecessors.
So welcome this new technology and enjoy all the benefits it will provide and when you hear of something that sounds frightening in the media always, always do your own skeptical research.
Get in touch
If you have a question about this or any other science issue please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org