Corona Virus has become the latest buzz everywhere in recent times. Be it news, whatsapp messages, facebook posts or phone calls, all you hear is mostly about this pandemic disease. However, not every Corona-related post is true. Recently, people burnt the 5G cell towers in UK amid the fear of 5G radio waves causing corona virus. According to BBC News, three 5G tower masts were burnt down in Melling, Liverpool and Birmigham in the first week of April 2020. As these fake posts are virally forwarded, it is important to know if 5G technology causes Corona or any other health issues.
An Overview of 5G Technology
5G technology is the next generation wireless standard that is redefining the way devices connect and communicate over the network. This fifth generation technology offers high speed internet connectivity of up to 10-20 Gigabits per second with a low latency of 1 millisecond. This is possible because 5G operates across multiple bandwidths to leverage and expand spectrum resources. It operates in both 5G New Radio (NR) sub -6 GHz and 5G NR mmWave (24 GHz – 100 GHz) of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) is the method used by 5G technology wherein it reduces interference with digital signal modulation across multi channels. As such, 5G offers higher internet speeds and accommodates 100x more traffic with greater network efficiency along with a 10x lower latency when compared with 4G. It means you can watch high definition streaming videos, use AR/VR apps and play multi-player HD cloud games in real time.
The availability of multiple sensors and low latency means that you can efficiently monitor operations at a remote industrial plant, assist a surgeon in operation, control logistics, create design and manage smart cities, autonomous cars etc. The list is endless. It allows network slicing wherein you can create subnets and categorize data based on your priorities. While earlier generation wireless standards such as 2G, 3G and 4G operated in the 2.4 GHz – 2.6 GHz spectrum, the new 5G technologies uses both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz spectrum. This broader range of spectrum gives the scalability to accommodate a variety of devices operating at high speeds.
5G and Corona Virus
As 5G operates in a higher spectrum when compared with earlier wireless standards, there has been several theories about the health implications of 5G on humans. Corona Virus is actually named as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS – CoV 2). It is also called New Corona Virus 19 (nCOVID-19). As the name says, nCOVID-19 is a biological virus that spreads from droplets transmitted by humans when they sneeze or cough to nearby people. Once the virus gets into contact with a human, they quickly move into the nasal passage and mucous membrane. These virus particles come with a thronged protein particles on their surfaces that get hooked to human cell membranes. As the genetic material of the virus enter the cell membrane, it will hijack the cell and multiple itself to exponentially reproduce the virus.
On the other hand, 5G technology uses radio waves that have less energy than visible light. While 5G is a physical component, corona virus is a biological component. So, they are two different worlds altogether. As 5G waves cannot carry the virus, it cannot spread the virus. The International Commission On Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the scientific body that sets guidelines for EMF radiation, gave an official statement that 5G technology doesn’t cause Corona Virus.
The Effect of 5G Radiation on Health
The term ‘radiation’ is always frightening as it reminds everyone of nuclear radiation, ultra violet radiation, and gamma radiation. However, 5G technology radiation is not harmful. The electromagnetic spectrum is actually divided into two portions:
- Non-ionising radiation: In this type of radiation, the energy per quantum is not enough to ionize molecules or atoms. In the electromagnetic spectrum, 700 MHz to 750 THz is considered as non-ionizing radiation portion.
- Ionizing Radiation: The energy of the radio waves here have the ability to ionize an atom or a molecule. As the frequency is high, the energy is high too. Gamma rays, X-Rays, UV Rays fall into this category
5G technology operates within the 2.4 GHz – 5GHz. The possible future 5G air waves are expected to operate between 26 GHz and 66 GHz. As such, the radiation has less energy than light. So, it is not harmful to human health. The ICNIRP body regulates the maximum EMF radiation levels and sets guidelines. As per these guidelines, the current 5G emissions are very minimal. While there are a few scientists who claim that 5G radiation is harmful to human health, they haven’t been able to provide minimal scientific evidence to prove their point.