Santa Barbara’s liberal City Council voted to delay the implementation of 5G wireless service in the city in the hope they could kill it. They are doing this because they fear the “dangers” of electromagnetic radiation (aka, radio waves). Yet the overwhelming scientific opinion is that 5G radiofrequency radiation is harmless. These science-denier tin-hatters fail to understand this issue. People want 5G. Why don’t they let their constituents vote with their dollars and see if they want it.
Chuck McGill is a character on Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff TV show featuring the sleazy lawyer Jimmy McGill whose trade name is Saul Goodman. Chuck is Jimmy’s elder brother, a highly successful lawyer in Albuquerque, and is Jimmy/Saul’s nemesis. Chuck has a serious problem: he claims to be seriously allergic to electromagnetic radiation. Chuck confines himself to his darkened house devoid of electric power (leave your cell phones at the door). He becomes convincingly ill when he is exposed to anything electric. The thing is that it is all in Chuck’s imagination, psychosomatic if you will, a manifestation of an underlying mental problem. The sad conclusion to Chuck is that he is publicly exposed by Jimmy in an episode where Jimmy reveals Chuck’s mental illness in order to save Jimmy’s law license.
Since the show is set in the years before 5G internet, Chuck couldn’t complain about 5G’s electromagnetic “dangers”. But our City Council has taken up Chuck’s battle cry. On March 3, 2020, the Council by a 4-3 vote postponed its approval of a contract with Verizon to place 5G small cell facilities on City streetlight poles. This vote was the vehicle for these opponents to oppose the implementation of 5G technology. Those voting for the delay were: Kristen Sneddon, Meagan Harmon, Alejandra Gutierrez, and Oscar Gutierrez. Implicit in the opponents’ motives was that 5G technology is harmful to citizens’ health. By the way, they had already approved similar contracts with two other cell providers.
When it comes to scientific issues, it is best to rely on science. And science doesn’t support assertions that the type of radiofrequency (electromagnetic) radiation related to 5G or any G is harmful to human health.
I can say that because I have researched this issue extensively. My sources’ information is based on reliable, science-based research. I ignored any data from industry sources or sources that did not support their claims with valid research. My sources had no point of view other than to promote well-grounded science. I reviewed only the most recent research available. Understand that you can find studies on the internet that support almost any health claim. What one must look for is research based on the highest possible standards of scientific research from credible organizations.
But first, why do we even want 5G? Because it will be far better than anything we’ve had before. It opens up possibilities to improve our lives with new technologies. 5G technology will make your network up to 100X faster than current technology and with little signal delay (latency). The internet of things will be a reality—the world around you will be customized to your needs. Remote surgery, self-driving cars, virtual reality (VR). It’s hard to predict this future but companies using 5G will fiercely compete to make your life better.
I am sure you are asking yourself, if there are any questions about the health effects from 5G internet, why go there? Well, 5G isn’t the first battle about radiofrequency (electromagnetic) radiation. Doubters raised health risks when we introduced 2G, 3G, and 4G. The same claims were raised every time: we don’t know how humans will be affected by this new technology; science hasn’t proven it won’t be harmful; stop the rollout until we know it’s safe.
I can tell you that the adverse health claims made by opponents of 5G are not based on good science. Most of the claims citing dangers are based on spurious or inconclusive research and have ignored the vast body of published studies to the contrary. For example, if you go to the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH), they have a large entry on “Cell Phones and Cancer Risk”. They did an exhaustive review of research related to electromagnetic radiation. Their conclusion: “The most consistent health risk associated with cell phone use is distracted driving and vehicle accidents.” They found no credible evidence that cell phone and radiofrequency radiation caused cancer. They are just one of the many reliable sources to support this conclusion.
The reason you have cell phones and are connected to the internet is because of radiation. These technologies hop on to radio waves to transmit our conversations and data. These radio waves (radiofrequencies) are a form of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation runs from ordinary radio signals (harmless) up to gamma rays (deadly things that come from nuclear bombs). It’s a form of energy that is part of nature which constantly bombards us from space. Most of it is harmless. Only when it has the power to cook you, is it dangerous. For example, if you sunbathe too long you are going to be burned by UV radiation from the sun. This type of dangerous radiation is called “ionizing” radiation and has the power to disrupt your cells. All the frequencies below UV radiation are “non-ionizing” which means that it’s harmless to us.
All the radiation used in cell phone technology, including the frequencies used by 5G, is non-ionizing and thus harmless to us. This conclusion is backed by years of research. If cell phone radiation was harmful, it would show up in the cancer health data. While cell phone and network usage as grown exponentially, cancer rates are going down. Even workers who work very close to cell phone related radiation have cancer rates the same as the general population.
So why are folks opposing the rollout of 5G technology? There are a lot of misconceptions about 5G. Most of these misconceptions are falsehoods perpetuated on the Web by types who see conspiracies everywhere. It’s an emotional response not a rational one.
I watched the entire City Council hearings on this issue. The comments by citizens opposing 5G were a display of misinformation and insinuation. Not one commenter produced any credible evidence of harm from 5G.
Worse yet were the Councilmembers who publicly stated their opposition to 5G without any evidence to support their beliefs. Since the City has no legal right to block 5G implementation (that right is reserved exclusively to the feds in order to prevent local tin-hatters from blocking progress), one wonders why they made such a futile gesture. I would like to think that it was a sincere effort to protect their constituents, but I think it was just another knee-jerk response by these elitist Progressives to prevent what they see as corporate America’s craven desire to exploit us poor misled bourgeoisie.