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Brighton Journal | 17th November 2019

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Should we be worried about the health risks of 5G?

Should we be worried about the health risks of 5G?
Lauren Nicolle

Brighton Dome is due to receive a 5G upgrade, making for one of the first 5G-powered large scale performance, arts and cultural venues in the UK. Considering the health risks associated with the new mobile network, is this something we should be worried about? 

What’s happening in Brighton?

5G is a new fifth generation mobile network, which is said to be 100 times faster than its predecessor 4G. The potential for speedy internet comes as good news to many Brighton residents, after a recent report by Which? named Brighton as having one of the slowest 4G download speeds in the country.

The upgrade comes following the success of the Brighton testbed, which allowed businesses to explore the potential new applications of 5G. Initially, the 5G network will be available in the Brighton Dome’s Founders Room and foyer, and it will allow small local businesses, artists and community groups to create and test 5G applications.

Arts and culture might seem like an odd arena to benefit from 5G, however, the network could allow for real-time, high-quality live streaming of performances. It could also boost the region’s economy and aid small businesses and artists, by helping them develop and deliver works in ways that might not have been possible with 4G.

As Andrew Comben, Chief Executive at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival explained: “Not only will it offer artists the chance to create exciting new work but our audiences and visitors to Brighton will be able to enjoy and experience arts events in a completely different way.”

Is 5G hazardous to human health?

However, some Brighton residents are beginning to worry about the potential health concerns associated with the next generation of cellular networking. A resident of Brighton, who wished to remain anonymous, grew concerned as she begun to read posts from friends around the world about the serious health dangers of 5G. She said:

“The quality of life in Brighton is really good. Brighton does not need 5G rays to slowly kill visitors and residents alike. The local media needs to start covering the 5G issue before plans are approved to install it around the city.”

Similar concerns have been voiced across the country after the Environmental Health Trust released a report demanding for international action to halt and delay 5G. The report claims that 1000s of peer-reviewed studies show a wide range of statistically significant DNA damage, brain and heart tumors, infertility, and many other ailments. Yet, nothing is being done.

How much truth is there in these claims?

There are conflicting ideas about whether the next generation of cellular networking could be potentially hazardous to humans. A report by How-To-Geek claims that 5G pundits are concerned that the new network generates radiofrequency radiation that can damage DNA and lead to cancer; cause oxidative damage that can cause premature aging; disrupt cell metabolism; and potentially lead to other diseases through the generation of stress proteins.

However, the report claims that when you study the science close up, the issue seems less worrying. At the root of all concerns about cell phone networks is radiofrequency radiation. It seems the word radiation triggers concern among the general population. However, radiation from mobile phones is non-ionizing and so does not have the ability to cause DNA or tissue damage or have any biological effect.

However, this doesn’t mean that non-ionizing radiation is entirely safe or that no effect exists. The problem is that research into radiation risks is difficult and often inconclusive, meaning it can take a long time to make real progress. In reality, the technology hasn’t been around for long enough to test whether it is harmful in the long-term. However, researchers are continuously conducting studies to test if such radiation could cause any hazardous health effects and scientists will continue to test new networks as technology evolves, to make sure the technology we use everyday remains safe.

So far, the research is inconclusive. But rest assured, tech journalist Dave Johnson states that:

“Everything we know about 5G networks tells us that there’s no reason to be alarmed. After all, there are many technologies we use every day with a substantially higher measurable risk.”

However, it is clear that there is more research to be done on the subject. If you would like to read more about what to expect for Brighton 5G networks, please visit 5g.co.uk where you can also contact them regarding any further questions or queries.

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