Conspiracy theories linking 5G signals to the coronavirus pandemic continue to spread, although there is no evidence the mobile phone signals pose a health risk.
In recent days there have been reports of people setting base stations on fire and internet equipment engineers facing abuse in the street.
Fact-checking charity, Full Fact has linked the claims to two flawed theories.
One suggests that 5G suppresses the immune system, and the other that the virus is somehow using the network’s radio waves to communicate and pick victims, accelerating its spread.
Regarding the first of these – while 5G uses different radio frequencies to its predecessors, it’s important to recognise that the waveband involved is still “non-ionising”.
That means it lacks enough energy to break apart the DNA in our cells to cause damage.
And you don’t have to take the mobile industry’s word for this.
In March, scientists at the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection completed a major study of all the related research into the topic to date.
While it recommended slightly tighter limits on the transmitting capabilities of handsets themselves, its key finding was that there was no evidence that either 5G networks or earlier systems could cause cancer or any other illness.
The second theory appears to be based on the work of a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who suggested bacteria could generate radio waves.
But this remains a controversial idea and well outside mainstream scientific thought.
And in any case, Covid-19 is a virus rather than a bacteria.
There’s another major flaw with both these theories. Coronavirus is spreading in UK cities where 5G has yet to be deployed, and countries like Japan and Iran that have yet to adopt the technology.
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