The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

5G is going to kill us all…

…and other lies adults who should know better spread!

On Facebook a friend of mine has joined the crazy Electrosmog people; I was first made aware of it when she posted outrage at an article in a small paper with the headline “Glastonbury Festival 2019 to be first ever music festival to have 5G mobile network“:

A 5G mobile network is to be tested during Glastonbury as part of EE’s ongoing trials of the technology.

The trial will be the first time the technology has been installed at a festival.

5G is the next generation of mobile network and is expected to begin publicly rolling out later this year, offering internet speeds up to double that of current generation 4G.

EE has said it will install five temporary masts across the Worthy Farm site, which will enable festival-goers to connect to 2G, 3G, 4G and for the first time 5G networks.

Pete Jeavons, EE and BT’s marketing and communications director, said: “Smartphones have become a festival must-have as we’ve seen each year with more and more data being consumed at Glastonbury Festival.

“As the long-standing technology partner to this iconic event, we are committed to building a network powerful enough to cope with this huge demand.

“With the introduction of 5G this year, we are able to trial this new technology at Worthy Farm and make history as the UK’s first 5G-connected festival.”

EE is predicting a record amount of data to be used during the festival, which will attract 200,000 people between June 26 and 30.

The firm says it expects more than 70 terabytes to be used – the equivalent to 784 million Instagram posts.

Acts performing at this year’s event include Stormzy, Kylie Minogue, Miley Cyrus, The Killers, The Cure and Janet Jackson.

As well as the 5G trial, EE has confirmed it will again have its Recharge Tent in place, offering free charging to all festival attendees.

The firm will sell Juice Tube Power Bars for GBP20, which once out of battery can be swapped for free, once a day, for a fully charged one to allow mobile charging while on the site.

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said: “We’re extremely pleased to have EE back again, providing the best possible network for our rural site.

“And it’s great that we’re going to be one of the first places in the UK to offer 5G.”

EE has already run a number of 5G trials and is one of a number of telecoms firms currently testing the technology across different parts of the UK ahead of the anticipated public rollout, due to start later in 2019.

Now I won’t claim to be an expert in how mobile telecommunication broadcast works, but those of you who know what I do as a day-job, for fun, have an interest in and whom I work for should know that I am not completely oblivious to the Electromagnetic spectrum1.

So let’s start with the answer to the first question: what is 5G?

5G (short for 5th Generation) is a commonly used term for certain advanced wireless systems. Industry association 3GPP defines any system using “5G NR” (5G New Radio) software as “5G”, a definition that came into general use by late 2018. Others may reserve the term for systems that meet the requirements of the ITU IMT-2020, which represents more nations. 3GPP will submit their 5G NR to the ITU. It follows 2G, 3G and 4G and their respective associated technologies (such as GSM, UMTS, LTE, LTE Advanced Pro, etc.).

In the US the FCC have allowed the 1.4 GHz band to be used, and in Europe they have opened up the 3.6 and 26 GHz bands (The 26 GHz band is between 24.25 GHz to 27.5 GHz) for use with 5G2.

But what does that mean in “clear normative form” English3?

If you remember GCSE Physics you will remember an image that looks like this:

EMF Spectrum
EMF Spectrum

As you will see everything on the left hand end is below visible light in terms of frequency, and everything to the right is above the visible spectrum in terms of frequency. In terms of ionising, vs non-ionising radiation, about halfway through UV (between near, and Extreme UV) is where the energy gets to be enough for the radiation to be ionising,

We are only looking at the band between static magnetic fields, and 300 GHz.


Class Frequency Wavelength Energy
Ionizing radiation γ Gamma rays 300 EHz 1 pm 1.24 MeV
30 EHz 10 pm 124 keV
HX Hard X-rays
3 EHz 100 pm 12.4 keV
SX Soft X-rays
300 PHz 1 nm 1.24 keV
30 PHz 10 nm 124 eV
EUV Extreme ultraviolet
3 PHz 100 nm 12.4 eV
NUV Near ultraviolet
Visible light 300 THz 1 μm 1.24 eV
NIR Near infrared
30 THz 10 μm 124 meV
MIR Mid infrared
3 THz 100 μm 12.4 meV
FIR Far infrared
300 GHz 1 mm 1.24 meV
Microwaves and radio waves EHF Extremely high frequency
30 GHz 1 cm 124 μeV
SHF Super high frequency
3 GHz 1 dm 12.4 μeV
UHF Ultra high frequency
300 MHz 1 m 1.24 μeV
VHF Very high
30 MHz 10 m 124 neV
HF High frequency
3 MHz 100 m 12.4 neV
MF Medium frequency
300 kHz 1 km 1.24 neV
LF Low frequency
30 kHz 10 km 124 peV
VLF Very low frequency
3 kHz 100 km 12.4 peV
ULF Ultra low frequency
300 Hz 1000 km 1.24 peV
SLF Super low
30 Hz 10000 km 124 feV
ELF Extremely low
3 Hz 100000 km 12.4 feV

I promised you the reader that I would try to keep this in simple English, and I tried, really I did! however this is not a simple subject. the table above shows the relationship between Frequency, Wavelength, and Energy, the thing that makes RF emission ionising Vs non Ionising is the amount of Energy they have, up until Near UV they don’t have that energy level

Ionizing radiation (ionising radiation) is radiation that carries enough energy to detach electrons from atoms or molecules, thereby ionizing them. Ionizing radiation is made up of energetic subatomic particles, ions or atoms moving at high speeds (usually greater than 1% of the speed of light), and electromagnetic waves on the high-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Also Frequency has no relationship to power, yes each electron has an energy associated with it, but the POWER of the signal is not frequency dependent.

Different frequencies have difference propagation factors and attenuation in free space:

Average atmospheric absorption of millimeter-waves at sea level (line A, Temperature=20oC, Pressure=1013.25 mb, Water Vapor Density= 7.5 g/m3) and altitude of 4 kilometers (line B, Temperature=0oC, Water Vapor Density= 1 g/m3) .


RF signal propagation and atmospheric attenuation for different frequency bands – This graph has been normalised.

Ah but what about microwave ovens?

If the low energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum doesn’t have the energy to ionise, how do you explain my food from last night being cooked?

Microwaves (2.45 GHz) are absorbed by some of the chemicals in foods—most optimally water. This is because water molecules are polar, meaning that the distribution of charge within the molecule is not symmetrical; one side of the molecule is slightly positive, and the other is slightly negative. as such, in the presence of the electric field component of a microwave, a force will be applied to both dipoles of the molecule which will cause it to rotate.

Because the electric field is continually oscillating, the water molecules continually rotate. The frequency of microwaves is optimal because the time it takes for the electric field to oscillate is consistent with the time it takes for a water molecule to rotate 180°. In a microwave this is tuned so the water molecules are rotating as quickly as possible.

As the water molecules rotate, they bump into other molecules surrounding them and transfer some of their kinetic energy. By the Kinetic Particle Theory, if the particles in the food have more kinetic energy, then the food will be hotter.

This effect rolls off on both sides of the resonant frequency, as such both below and above 2.45 GHz your food would not get warm.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is 2.4 GHz, what about that?

I went to Amazon and found this nice 1 kW microwave oven (103 Watt) that will cook my frozen microwave dinner in about four minutes all in… my Wi-Fi router on the other hand is 100 mW (10-3 Watt) and would take ages to cook a meal.

Wi-Fi has an increased cancer risk

No, it does not! It is true that International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organisation) has classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, including radio-frequency electromagnetic fields from wireless phones as “2b” in its monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. But that’s by no means proof of danger! 2b is “possibly carcinogenic” and as well as Wi-Fi, the category includes coffee, carpentry and pickled vegetables4.

But mobile Phones…

Batman Cancer – meme generator

Right, now we have that all out the way… lets try to get back to the ‘problem’ at hand… I am going to address the accusations levelled at 5G by my friend, if you want to add more feel free (comments section is at the end).

Local Futures told me it would

Is 5G Worth the Risks?

And I am telling you it would not. OK so what are the claims Local Futures make? in the article linked to, which is written by Iishana Artra, Ph.D. (sic) who is currently a “Holistic Wellness and Programs Specialist”, her PhD is in “Transpersonal psychology 5

Telecom lobbyists assure us that guidelines already in place are adequate to protect the public. Those safety guidelines, however, are based on a 1996 study of how much a cell phone heated the head of an adult-sized plastic mannequin. This is problematic, for at least three reasons:

  1. living organisms consist of highly complex and interdependent cells and tissue, not plastic.
  2. those being exposed to radiofrequency radiation include fetuses, children, plants, and wildlife – not just adult male humans.
  3. the frequencies used in the mannequin study were far lower than the exposures associated with 5G.

5G radiofrequency (RF) radiation uses a ‘cocktail’ of three types of radiation, ranging from relatively low-energy radio waves, microwave radiation with far more energy, and millimeter waves with vastly more energy (see below). The extremely high frequencies in 5G are where the biggest danger lies. While 4G frequencies go as high as 6 GHz, 5G exposes biological life to pulsed signals in the 30 GHz to 100 GHz range. The general public has never before been exposed to such high frequencies for long periods of time.

Now for those of you playing along at home… remember just above here, and when you suffered GCSE science there was that spectrum thing above? the one that shows where the visible spectrum is… and that 5G is below that, well that kind of kills the statement “The general public has never before been exposed to such high frequencies for long periods of time”. Also didn’t we see above that 5G is around 26 GHz, and 26 GHz is below 30 GHz and no where near 100 GHz. Also as far as a cocktail of ‘types’ its a continues range.

The graphs above shows a relationship trend between frequency and attenuation, with specific attenuation bands being caused by gasses in the atmosphere, however in general the higher the frequency the more attenuation (and even more when it rains).

RF head

The argument about the “adult-sized plastic mannequin” being the test void is academic as the mannequin is not supposed to be a human head in the traditional crash test dummy way, but allows the testing to be carried out in a repeatable way that allows direct back-to-back comparison between handsets or other devices backcross multiple labs in different countries to ensure compliance with international standards.

This is a big deal. It turns out that our eyes and our sweat ducts act as antennas for absorption of the higher-frequency 5G waves.

Can I go with I can’t even…

I am sure I have shown the lack of relationship between frequency, energy and power; but ok; and yes I do know about the Pentagon’s “Active Denial System” crowd control weapons

The U.S. military is also already well-versed in 5G technology, having long utilized it as a non-lethal form of crowd control. The same 5G wavelengths utilized in the military’s so-called Active Denial System, or ADS, are described as “weapons,” seeing as how they penetrate the top 1/64th of an inch layer of skin when directed at human bodies.

According to reports, ADS 5G is so invasive on human skin that it actually causes an intolerable heating sensation – this being the intended outcome in order to disperse a crowd, or to cause people to flee the area being targeted.

The ADS does not use 5G it uses 95 GHz (The short millimetre waves used in ADS only penetrate the top layers of skin, with most of the energy being absorbed within 0.4 mm, whereas microwaves will penetrate into human tissue about 17 mm).

How the Active Denial System works
How the Active Denial System works

Most human test subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none could endure more than 5 seconds (source).

For the first millisecond, it just felt like the skin was warming up. Then it got warmer and warmer and you felt like it was on fire. … As soon as you’re away from that beam your skin returns to normal and there is no pain. — A spokesman for the Air Force Research Laboratory

According to the limited information in the public domain:

The ADS is a 2.5 megawatt, high efficiency, continuous wave (CW) 95 gigahertz millimeter wave source system

Megawatt is 106 so that is 2500 microwave ovens… however the middle of your dinner will never get cooked.

But But But

The world health organisation have a fact-sheet: Electromagnetic fields and public health and this covers far far more than I have, or will do.

  1. Hint: I am a EMC Test Engineer with a large UK car company in the midlands
  2. Qualcomm Spectrum for 4G and 5G Presentation
  3. See this article
  4. More items can be found here
  5. Transpersonal psychology is a sub-field or “school” of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience with the framework of modern psychology. It is also possible to define it as a “spiritual psychology”.

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