5G: Risks and Impact

5G is the name for the new generation mobile networks. Presently, there are high international stakes in developing the infrastructure to enable this network with a higher frequency.

The stakes are huge, from both telecommunication companies and companies who deal with applications that use the 5G technology, such augmented reality, self-driving cars, and the growing data usage by consumers. The promise is that our technological world will improve and become even faster, but the technology is not undisputed. Opponents warm for health risks of the radiation on higher frequencies. At least, they say, the possible effects should be researched well before we apply technology like this on this massive scale. In September 2018, over 180 scientists and doctors from over 35 countries wrote to the European Commission in ‘The 5G Appeal’ that the technology is “dangerous”. Among else, they warn for increased risk of various kinds of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and reduced fertility among men. At the same time, for example, the chairman of the ICNIRP, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, says that there is nothing to worry about because the radiation (and thus the risks) fall well below the set maximum limits (read more here).

Green Cross Netherlands believes there is sufficient ground to believe that there are inherent risks in the massive deployment of the 5G-network. It has been concluded in countless studies that there are possible harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation on humans and other living beings. Especially in the compact and developed country of The Netherlands, where we are already exposed to a high degree of electromagnetic radiation. The large-scale roll-out of 5G will likely exponentially increase the impact, without sufficient research on the possible side-effects. This is sufficient reason for us to map the risks and potential consequences of the roll-out of the 5G-network and take a stand based on the outcome. We will share the outcome of the study with the general public in The Netherlands (and abroad). We will also bring it under the attention of decision-makers in this field.


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