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Fact Check: Does 5G make us sick?

2019-11-18T14:55:38.343Z

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Berlin (dpa) - After the criticism of the digital infrastructure in Germany, the federal government has chosen a savior: Thanks to 5G, the mobile network is super fast, seamless and internationally competitive.

But opponents express concerns and warn of dangers that will affect us even more in the air on the future.

CLAIM: 5G makes us sick and can cause cancer.

EVALUATION: This statement has not been consistently proven. Some studies claim that the radiation is carcinogenic. According to other researchers, radiation has no impact on health. Long-term studies for the still quite new technology are not yet available.

FACTS: Most scientists do not believe that cell phones endanger their health. The competent authority also sees no reason to be seriously worried. The President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), Inge Paulini, told the German Press Agency: "The health effects of mobile communications are now well researched." Accordingly, there is no evidence of negative consequences if the radiation is below the limits.

On its homepage, the BfS explains: "Epidemiological studies on adult cell phone use with a useful life of less than 10 years could not find an increased risk for brain tumors, acoustic neuromas (benign tumor of the auditory nerve) or eye tumors." The new standard 5G should also spark in higher frequency bands, for which only a few test results are available so far. Here, the BfS still sees a need for research in terms of health effects.

Mobile radio critics, such as the diagnostose.funk initiative, have already identified such risks and are presenting the following studies: In studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the USA and the Ramazzini Institute (Italy), laboratory rats were exposed to high-frequency electromagnetic fields. They are said to have increased tumors. In the animal NTP study, the mice were irradiated with high dosages for nine hours daily for two years, while the Italian researchers performed similarly at lower doses. The Stiftung Warentest had the studies reviewed by independent toxicologists - with the conclusion: A practical health risk to people can not be derived from the results.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the data are not yet sufficient for periods of more than ten years. It classified high-frequency electromagnetic fields in May 2011 as potentially carcinogenic. According to BfS, this assessment only refers to tumors in the head area and the use of cell phones. An increased risk for other types of cancer or for cancers in the vicinity of base stations - so transmission towers - could be largely excluded.

Tips for users of mobile devices from the BfS

Studies on cancers near base stations

Italian study of the Ramazzini Institute

Study of the US National Toxicology Program

diagnosis: radio on the subject of mobile radio radiation

Fact check of the Stiftung Warentest on mobile phone radiation

Source: zeit

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