back to article Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

UK comms regulator Ofcom today published the results of its latest spectrum measurement tests, which tracked electromagnetic field emissions at 16 of the busiest 5G sites. Shockingly, we say with tongue lodged firmly in cheek, the regulator didn't find evidence of a new Chernobyl poised to wipe out humanity. Instead, it found …

  1. romandog

    I'll wait it out.

    Any studies in progress or completed on a 5G transmitter strapped to your skull for a year? A month?

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: I'll wait it out.

      It's not going to affect you through your tinfoil hat.

    2. israel_hands

      Re: I'll wait it out.

      ...strapped to your skull...

      You're holding it wrong.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: I'll wait it out.

      I'm assuming you mean a 5G base station, rather than the transmitter in the phone. Well you'd probably get some neck strain from having it strapped to your skull, but apart from that no change. (They are about the size of a briefcase after all)

      After all, it's not like you can lug around the mains supply for something that needs several kilowatts to run.

      1. Frederic Bloggs

        Re: I'll wait it out.

        "something that needs several kilowatts to run"

        I'm afraid that this is yet more FUD. Somewhere between 50 -200 watts depending on what one counts as the "transmitter" is much nearer the mark. But you need a small 19" rack panel to put it all in.

        Oh, and don't forget the GPS feed and UPS.

        Perhaps you meant Kilo GRAMS?

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: I'll wait it out.

          I'll admit, I'm not a telecoms engineer, I took my info from here which says that adding 5G will increase the power consumption of a typical LTE tower by about 3-5kW. It doesn't sound particularly out of the ball park, but I'll submit to anyone who actually has experience in these things.

          1. Josh777

            Re: I'll wait it out.

            60ghz frequency doesn't require many watts . The same as your mobile doesnt require many wastes to be a mobile hotspot.

            But .. if you transmit 60ghz its heats air not water as 5G does . Which can mess with your eyes and breathing. As the retina is very sensitive to that frequency as is oxygen relating to haemabglobin ie . Getting O2 oxygen into your brain via your blood .

    4. Lomax
      Boffin

      Re: I'll wait it out.

      It is perhaps worth pointing out that any electromagnetic radiation (e.g. visible light) has the ability to cause things to heat up. Certain frequencies are better than others at depositing their energy in living tissue - cf. microwave ovens, which cause polar molecules (e.g. water) to warm up through dielectric heating. Cf. also infrared heat lamps used to keep people, animals and food nice and warm. It would certainly be unpleasant to be exposed to microwave band radiation in the hundreds of watts at close range - the equivalent, if you like, of having a 500 W incandescent light bulb strapped to your head - or indeed of putting your head inside a running microwave oven. Your skin would turn rather crispy, you'd smell like barbecue and burnt hair, and the pain would be intense - though it's very unlikely to give you a brain tumor. Electromagnetic radiation of these wavelengths is not able to penetrate very deeply, and any photons which do do not have enough energy to smash DNA molecules. The photon's energy quanta rises with the frequency, so in a relative sense gamma radiation is more dangerous than x-rays is more dangerous than UV radiation is more dangerous than visible light is more dangerous than infrared is more dangerous than microwaves is more dangerous than radio waves. But I'm sure you all knew that already. I once burned a perfectly circular hole in a piece of stage blackout fabric by leaving a 1000 W spotlight pointed at it at too close a distance. Luckily the fabric was fireproofed, so it carbonised without catching alight. Imagine what it would have done to your face.

      tl;dr

      Don't strap a powerful source of electromagnetic radiation to your head - it will hurt.

      1. Random Handle

        Re: I'll wait it out.

        > if you like, of having a 500 W incandescent light bulb strapped to your head

        Strapping even a 5W UV source to your head will cause PTCH mutation in the mitogenic Sonic Hedgehog pathway which is responsible for many thousands of cancer deaths every year. Truth is often stranger than fiction.

        I'm sure you'll find credible experts to pronounce 5G is safer than sunshine, but the problem for the tinfoil hat brigade is no-one credible will ever say it is 'safe'.

        1. Lomax

          Re: I'll wait it out.

          > a 5W UV source to your head will cause PTCH mutation

          Interesting. I am well aware that UV photons do have enough energy to damage DNA (and potentially cause skin cancer) - that's why I was careful to say "incandescent" light bulb; but perhaps I should have been clearer: a tungsten filament bulb is "safe" in terms of UV radiation unlike, say a halogen bulb or a metal-halide bulb. I did not know that as little as 5 W was enough to pose a risk though! But I expect this would have to be in very close proximity (i.e. touching your skin) - otherwise the inverse square law will keep you safe.

          > sunshine

          Be afraid! No really, be very afraid. That's some dangerous shit. At the same time stellar fusion is our only source of energy (so far), and in the Sun's case the driving force behind all life on Earth our low entropy state. Let's not be ungrateful.

          > no-one credible will ever say it is 'safe'

          Indeed, and that's because nothing ever is. Safety is a relative concept.

          Do:

          Take care to protect your skin from solar radiation.

          Don't:

          Worry about your WiFi router giving you cancer.

  2. Agincourt and Crecy!
    Black Helicopters

    The clear and present danger.

    Nobody is addressing the real risks here.

    This technology will give the muppets even better access to websites peddling this tripe. It allows the misinformation to be spread more widely amongst the credulous idiots.

    1. BOBSta
      Facepalm

      Re: The clear and present danger.

      Wouldn't it be supreme irony for those decrying the technology to be the primary users of it, while complaining and wanting it banned?

  3. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Coat

    Dangerous levels of EMF

    It's unbelievable.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

      Personally, I'd prefer 'dangerous levels of EMP'. Particularly in a very focussed manner, directed at the idiots that insist in shouting at their mobiles on hand-free while failing to hear the tinny voice of whoever is at the far end..

      Oh - and people playing their car steros at very high levels at 2am.

      1. ClockworkOwl
        Coat

        Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

        'dangerous levels of EMP'

        I've not heard their stuff..!

        1. steelpillow Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

          EMP might be a typo for ELP?

          I know a few people who could do with some brain salad surgery.

          1. EnviableOne Silver badge

            Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

            or Possibly ELO

    2. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

      It's unbelievable.

      Not least because unless there has been a change of which I (being retired) am unaware EMF stands for Electromotive Force, which is a voltage, not a Field Strength.

      1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

        It's the usual problem of too few acronyms and too many uses. These days there are very few acronyms that only have one meaning and a lot of meanings are quite niche which can cause confusion/hilarity when small groups collide

        Low Earth Orbit = LEO = Law Enforcement Officer etc etc etc

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

          CEO => Chief Executive Officer => AKA top dog

          CEO => Civil Enforcement Officer => AKA Traffic Warden and definitely not top dog.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

            CEO = Someone who tells the unimportant people what to do.

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

            Limited Slip Differential

            Pounds Shillings and Pence

            Labour Saving Device

            Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

            Any more?

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

              Lysergic acid diethylamide - a drug that causes hallucinations, normally referred to as LSD.

        2. dogcatcher

          Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

          and AI = Artificial insemination

          1. Loud Speaker

            Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

            AI = Actual Idiocy

            1. Colin Wilson 2

              Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

              MS = Microsoft / Multiple Sclerosis

        3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

          ...when small groups collide

          Low Earth Orbit = LEO = Law Enforcement Officer etc etc etc

          Like in the US Space Force? One of our satellites is missing, launch the LEOs! GEO LEOs of course only have jurisdiction above the US and territories.

          1. AndyFl

            Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

            They won't be going anywhere if they are relying on Boeing getting them into space. The company appears to be having problems getting anything up these days

          2. Frederic Bloggs
            Coat

            Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

            What happens if someone else's satellite parks in an unauthorised LEO? Will they send a LEO up there to get it towed away?

        4. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

          True, but a reasonable reader should be able to deduce the context and from that understand which acronym is applicable.

          If we are talking about Starlink and SpaceX launching satellites, then it would be reasonable to infer LEO in that case means Low-Earth Orbit.

          Of course, this could get confusing, as LEO's might get involved with Musk after his marijuana smoking episode this affecting his ability to direct SpaceX to launch satellites into LEO. Of course, if the LEO's cause too much trouble for Musk, he could launch them into LEO so they'd be LEOs in LEO.

      2. Nigel Sedgwick

        Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

        Commswonk writes: "Not least because unless there has been a change of which I (being retired) am unaware EMF stands for Electromotive Force, which is a voltage, not a Field Strength."

        Unfortunately, Commswonk has missed the change (or rather addition). See Wikipedia to confirm that EMF (under Science and Medicine) commonly now stands for both Electromotive Force and Electromagnetic Field.

        Furthermore, ICNIRP's 1998 technical paper "ICNIRP GUIDELINES FOR LIMITING EXPOSURE TO TIME-VARYING ELECTRIC, MAGNETIC AND ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (UP TO 300GHZ)" has set the safety levels for (amongst others) mobile telephone signals. Note that ICNIRP is the usual abbreviation for "The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection". They measure far-field EMF in SI units: Watts per square metre.

        Best regards

    3. lee stone
      Headmaster

      Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

      Woooahhhh.

      You're unbelievabULLLLL !

      I see what you did there..

    4. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

      To mix my genres "not a lot of people know that"

  4. BGatez Bronze badge

    Of course while many things don't cause illness outright, their addition to the cumulative effect is never taken into account. Does anyone believe those non-toxic labels on some products means it's OK to eat them?

    1. awoze

      Water is toxic if you drink enough of the stuff, yet not getting enough of it will kill you in ~72 hours.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
    2. DJO Silver badge

      I think you may have misunderstood this: Don't eat the labels.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Thanks for that ------------------>

    3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      You are of course free to publish your own, peer reviewed scientific studies on said cumulative effects. Presumably you'll be doing this, since you believe the methodolgy thusfar is flawed. Your methodology must be superior. We await your detailed findings.

  5. AndrewD375

    Brighton?

    AND Totnes, Glastonbury and Frome?

    You mean, practically, the entire ageing-hippies-against-the-bomb demographic? What larks...

    Stereotypes exist for a reason, don't they.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Friends of mine had to spend a few months living in Totnes for work reasons. Apparently Totnes is described as "where the hippies who found Glastonbury too commercial and science based moved to".

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Don’t mention a Tor node

        Don’t mention a Tor node round that way.

        They’ll have druids connection it to a ley line. Or something.

    2. Frederic Bloggs
      Black Helicopters

      Psst. Don't tell them that all those dangerous rays that they use on their phones to arrange their next stash from Glastonbury High Street (apparently) are coming from the bell tower in St John's Church.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh?

    This

    16 of the busiest 5G sites

    And exactly how many people are really using 5G at its full extent at the moment?

    Until the number of 5G handsets that are sold/rented gets to a significant level AND the use of those handsets stresses the network capacity won't any current readings be a bit of a red-herring?

    Anyway as 5G is highly unlikely to ever get to my home and 4G is very hit and miss, I'm pretty safe from any nasty radiation coming from my non 5G capable phone until it becomes impossible to get a handset without 5G that is.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After they switched 5G on in my area it turned my dog gay.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      The love that dare not bark its name?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's rough

      2. Ken Shabby

        A gayhound?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          bottweiler actually.

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Coat

      Giga HURTS, people

      Pah you call that evidence!?! That's nothing.

      Animals, even people within the transmission radius have died at or within hours of 5G masts being activated, not to mention myriad oh-so coincidental traffic accidents, personal injuries, headaches, stubbed toes, unwanted pregnacies and premature ejaculations.

      All coincidences you say? Impossible!! Clearly 5G has caused them all. Ban it. Ban it now before it turns your children into lizards!!11!1!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Giga HURTS, people

        It is even worse than that.

        People within the predicted coverage area have died within hours of the mast site being proposed!

        1. Psmo Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Giga HURTS, people

          Hah, I heard that people within the predicted coverage area did not get the predicted coverage?

          There's shocking.

      2. steelpillow Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Giga HURTS, people

        "Ban it. Ban it now before it turns your children into lizards!!"

        Too late, sigh.

      3. Fred Goldstein

        Re: Giga HURTS, people

        Well, there is a way for a 5G mast to kill people. If not properly secured and someone climbs high enough and falls off of it, that can be quite fatal. Professional tower climbers have safety belts and harnesses.

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: Giga HURTS, people

          If not properly secured and ...
          ... it falls over on top of someone, that'd do it.

      4. weezmgk

        Re: Giga HURTS, people

        My children are already lizards and I'll thank you not to engage in repshaming.

  8. iron Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I particularly love the placard in the article pic that reads: 5G STALTH WEAPON

    Immediately shows the calibre of intellect you're dealing with.

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Coat

      They'd already taken an 'E'

      Not necessarily - it shows that someone had taken an 'E' before going on the march...

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Surely it's proof that absence of 5G affects memory, and not for the better. After all, the bearer of that sign was surely a well-educated person well able to assess the evidence for and against, no?

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Memory and critical reasoning.

  9. Thomas Steven 1

    electromagnetic hypersensitivity

    I assume one of the symptoms "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" is that you're a twat

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

      Is that not a cause rather than a symptom?

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

        Circular phenomenon. Self-reinforcing.

        1. Puuru

          Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

          Indeed, an actual "case" reveals that an electromagnetic hypersensitvity reaction is only triggered by a visible source of "dangerous radiation", regardless of the visible source putting a far smaller signal into the victim's locality than an invisible source multiple km away (a cellular-type base station only putting in enough power to operate a handset versus a TV transmitter putting in a signal strong enough to operate a TV receiver - both operating in similar UHF frequency bands, by the way).

          As the Transatlaticites would say in their interesting brand of English: Go figure.

    2. steelpillow Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

      To be fair to those who know nothing about RF beyond Internet memes and who earnestly believe they suffer the condition, the average quack knows even less about RF than they do, will fob them off with unconvincing waffle, prescribe a genuinely damaging tranquilizer then treat its side effects with more tranquilizers. Private clinics will nod sympathetically and sell tinfoil hats starting at $100 for the basic model. As long as you wear your hat, you feel a lot better. Who would you believe?

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

        I can sell them premium model for $200, and that's C.M.O.T.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

        I have a hypothesis about that.

        Seems that some folks are hypersensitive all right, but not to EMF. Its actually a combination of audio sensitivity and ability to detect the odour from hot electronic equipment.

        Turns out the two together can cause problems, but at least it can be tested.

      3. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: electromagnetic hypersensitivity

        To be fair to those who know nothing about RF are wilfully ignorant beyond Internet memes, credulous and who earnestly believe they suffer from hypochondria the condition, the average quack knows even less about RF than they do,

        FTFY.

  10. IHateWearingATie
    Mushroom

    5G is 5 times more dangerous

    Its in the title of the technology, how can you not see? 5G = 5 times more dangerous, 5 times more radiation!

    You'll be sorry The Register, when your hamsters get cancer and your arm hair all falls out.

    A 5G transmitter turned on near me and I haven't slept since - symptoms are profuse sweating, anxiety, lack of appetite and my dog won't stop howling at the moon.

    If that's not evidence, I don't know what is.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

      Spoiler alert:

      It is one of Vodafone's masts and it hasn't been switched on.

      1. Loud Speaker

        Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

        <iIt is one of Vodafone's masts and it hasn't been switched on.</i>

        Probably the first time "Switched On" and "Vodaphone" have appeared in the same post ever!

        - I think mine is a Darth Vadaphone!"

      2. AndyFl

        Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

        The 5G signals are so powerful that they go back in time and affect people before the tower is even built, let alone switched on.

        If we have enough they will cause everyone's grandfathers to become celibate and the problem will resolve itself and fix global warming at the same time. Unfortunately there will be nobody around to see the change.

      3. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

        It is one of Vodafone's masts and it hasn't been switched on.

        Then I'd suggest they contact to Vodafone but I fear that would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

  11. Smody

    This is encouraging news, but I remain skeptical about 5G. In the first place, I simply don't see any NEED for it. Secondly, I suspect testing for its effects is insufficiently subtle to identify cumulative effects of the introduction of a particular kind of EMR in heavy doses, especially for non-human life. I'd prefer using the cautionary principle, vs going hell bent for leather on installing hardware all over the place.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Smody> I suspect testing for its effects is insufficiently subtle to identify cumulative effects of the introduction of a particular kind of EMR in heavy doses, especially for non-human life.

      Electronic Medical Records could be dangerous? I think that's a different discussion.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        In heavy doses, quite probably

        Being hit on the head with a full rack of servers can even be fatal.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

      So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G following your line of reasoning?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

        It isn't... It's all a ticking timebomb.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

          Make sure you keep away from the 400nm - 700nm stuff.

          It's about a million times more energetic!

          1. Trollslayer Silver badge

            Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

            Now it dawns on me!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

          "It isn't... It's all a ticking timebomb."

          Yeah, and there's proof. Almost every adult who lived near the Alexandra Palace Transmitter when it it was first switched on is now dead and those still living have degenerated so much they can no longer work!!!!

          FFS, people have been living near to high powered transmitters, way more powerful than mobile phone masts, for over a century with identifiable ill effects.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

            "with identifiable ill effects."

            Argh!!!! I meant to type "with NO identifiable ill effects."

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

              I meant to type "with NO identifiable ill effects."

              Do you live near any radio transmitters?

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

                Yes. My Phone, wifes phone, three laptops, a netbook, assorted tablets, a wireless router, neighbours wireless routers (at least 11 identifiable from a phone app). Luckily, the only dangerous one, a 3G mobile mast is so far away I only get 1 bar, so I'm perfectly safe. At least so long as none of the ships at the bottom of the street don't turn their radar on!

        3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: So why is it different to WiFi/3G/4G....

          @ticking AC: Do where are the data that show spikes in cancers that can be correlated to the increase in mobile phones? We should now have sufficient historical data in developed countries for this to be obvious, both longitudinally and in comparison with countries with less saturation of the relevant frequencies etc.

    3. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Flame

      You do realise that your monitor and PC emit EMR don't you?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Facepalm

        To be fair, that was a fairly well kept secret. Governments around the world were spending enormous sums helping to develop zero emission LCD screens to replace those hugely dangerous CRT screens (I mean CATHODE RAYS!!!! DANGEROUS!!!!) after pregnant woman were forced to sit in front of them for hours at a time and then gave birth to the MUTATED babies.

        1. Glen 1 Silver badge
          Trollface

          That must have cause quite a TEMPEST...

          1. eldakka Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Aha! Proof the government is worried about it.

            But of course, only the high-ranking civil-servants, government ministers and the military get EMF protection from TEMPEST rated equipment! It's deliberately kept expensive so the peons don't get the protection from the EMF.

        2. Another User

          Do not belittle Cathode Rays

          Cathode rays are a whole other ball park. For CRTs and television screens they are in the 5 keV to 30 keV range. X-rays are in the 100 eV to 200 keV range. You only need a metal like Tungsten as target for your electron beam to generate X-rays. Other metals like copper would also work.

          So there is the potential of a CRT emitting X-rays. Of course this is tested for and due to safety measures taken by the vendors no risk has been found in current CRTs.

          https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/resources-you-radiation-emitting-products/television-radiation

  12. HmYiss

    oh..

    Ofcom and some tedious hipster riding on the back of a once great web site say its all fine.. Must be true.

  13. Elledan Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Chernobyl

    The reference in the article to Chernobyl seems rather apt. As the recent TV series demonstrates, people are perfectly fine with believing that Chernobyl is a global disaster that killed millions and rendered half of Europe uninhabitable, and that Fukushima Daiichi will destroy all life on Earth (still waiting...), while at the same time when you actually go down on the ground in those places you'll find that... it's rather boring.

    Sure, there are many spots around the Chernobyl reactor #4 you probably don't want to lick, and having a sleep-over right next to the Fukushima Daiichi buildings is not advisable (may raise your cancer risk a tad), but in general this 'radiation will kill all of us' fear was just that. In the case of Fukushima Daiichi, the 2011 Diet report and follow-up studies have shown that the evacuation itself was significantly more harmful than leaving everyone in place could ever have been. The number of health issues, suicides and other adverse effects among the (still displaced) evacuees is simply gruesome.

    But hey, radiation, right?

    Doesn't matter if it's ionising, non-ionising, or which part of the EM spectrum it falls on (including blue light), it'll all kill you. Somehow. Yet there are still tobacco plants greedily sucking lead-210 isotopes out of the soil because they like it more than plain calcium and magnesium, to pass these tasty alpha emitters (yes, ionising radiation) straight into the lungs of those same grateful smokers who'll be standing in those protests to protest against 5G.

    I hope they remembered to have their basements checked for radon gas. Darn uranium in the soil.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Chernobyl

      I spent a nice April morning stomping around the site where the first nuclear bomb was detonated some years ago. Still no cancer or extra appendages. Hiroshima seems to be a thriving metropolis.

      I have to assume that "radiation" scares people because they can't see it. Didn't Pasteur have all sorts of problems convincing other scientists that the little bity things seen with a microscope could be the cause of sickness?

      People worry about 5g but don't worry about very high power AM radio stations they have been listening to for years. They sign up for Sirius satellite radio and Dish TV both beaming radio waves down from space right through the top of their heads. Many people are cheering Elon Musk for looking to put up ~30,000 satellites for mobile internet. That last should be the most worrying if the parts that will come raining down make it through the atmosphere.

      If I didn't study science at university, I might be afraid too from all of the hype. Instead of getting "woke", more people should get educated (and not by Alex Jones).

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Chernobyl

        Were you in New Mexico or Japan? The first nuke was lit off on 16 July 1945 at the Trinity Site in New Mexico; they wanted to test the thing as it would have been embarrassing to catty one all the way to Japan and have it not work. The _second_ nuke lit off was Hiroshima, and the third and last of the available nukes was Nagasaki. The Hiroshima bomb was a uranium gun type bomb, which they knew would work, and besides they only had one. The Trinity and Nagasaki bombs were plutonium implosion type bombs, they weren’t sure that they’d work, so they built two and used one as a test.

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Pedant mode

          The Trinity nuclear explosion was not a bomb or any sort of a weapon, it was an experimental device to test the rather complicated implosion lens system needed for a plutonium bomb. Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was of this type but it was quite different to the Trinity "gadget" in many engineering respects.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Chernobyl

          "Were you in New Mexico or Japan? The first nuke was lit off on 16 July 1945 at the Trinity Site in New Mexico; "

          New Mexico. I did a big road trip that also included the Very Large Array and Hoover Dam. I finished off with the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas before flying home.

          I haven't been to Hiroshima or Nagasaki on any of my trips to Japan.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Chernobyl

      This is true: you get more radiation eating one banana than you get living near a nuclear power plant for a year. Source

      1. Trollslayer Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Chernobyl

        I wondered how bananas always get a glowing report.

      2. Glen 1 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Chernobyl

        I didn't click on your link. I don't need to know where you get your Bananas from .

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Chernobyl

      people are perfectly fine with believing that Chernobyl is a global disaster that killed millions and rendered half of Europe uninhabitable, and that Fukushima Daiichi will destroy all life on Earth (still waiting...), while at the same time when you actually go down on the ground in those places you'll find that... it's rather boring.

      Ignorance is the real underlying problem. It's not that people want to believe these things, it's just that they lack the scientific explanation to properly grasp the truth.

      I had previously assumed that Chernobyl would have by now gone on to kill some of us in the UK who were around for the leak, and a few thousand in Ukraine etc. Turns out, not so much, beyond the heroic first responders.

      I'd also assumed Fukushima would go on to kill a few thousand of the local populace due to the leak, and that it may equally kill most of the first responders (see Chernobyl for reasons). That also ended up being untrue.

      It'd be rather more helpful to society if public broadcasters like the BBC focused on quality programming to dispel misconceptions about technology (Radiation, 5G etc) rather than dancing on the ice in the jungle with the z-listers.

  14. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Glad

    to see the idiots out in force today.

    Time for a refresher on howto do science

    Observation

    Idea

    Hypothisis

    Testing <<< most things fail here

    Theory

    More testing << and even more here

    Proof

    Time for a refresher on fake science

    Tech introduced

    My neighbour's sister's best friend says her daughters hubby gets headaches since tech introduced

    Proof

    See the difference

    Anyway I'm getting a new thicker toilfoil hat to protect me from 5G

    1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Glad

      https://areomagazine.com/2020/02/20/how-universities-cover-up-scientific-fraud/

      << One in fifty scientists fakes research by fabricating or falsifying data. They make off with government grant money, which they share with their universities, and their made-up findings guide medical practice, public policy and ordinary people’s decisions about things like whether or not to vaccinate their children. The fraudulent science we know about has caused thousands of deaths and wasted millions in taxpayer dollars. That is only scratching the surface, however—because most fraudsters are never caught. As Ivan Oransky notes in Gaming the Metrics, “the most common outcome for those who commit fraud is: a long career.” >>

      << Universities can make a lot of money from sham science. They lose money from catching fraudsters. Uncovering fraud also brings negative publicity and a host of other headaches, such as potential lawsuits for defamation and wrongful termination. Even in biomedical cases, where the public health consequences of fake research are most severe, universities dismiss almost 90% of fraud accusations without an investigation, or even an auditable record. >>

      1. Schultz Silver badge

        "One in fifty scientists fakes research by fabricating or falsifying data."

        So what is your point? Is this meant to explain the one-in-a-hundred study that claimed high doses of low frequency electromagnetic radiation had an effect on the life expectancy of rats? Or do you think we shouldn't believe the hundred-plus years of finding that low-frequency electromagnetic radiation is rather harmless?

        Context is everything in science. Try to give some context for your statements.

        1. steelpillow Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: "One in fifty scientists fakes research by fabricating or falsifying data."

          That statistic is actually backed up by an interview in the current edition of "New Scientist" - although the researcher quoted said that one paper in fifty has fraudulent content.

          But oh, my, how to avoid bad puns when unleashing excessive 5G power will inevitably lead to cooked results?

      2. Trollslayer Silver badge

        Re: Glad

        Another reason that multiple sources are used.

        It is part of the scientific method.

      3. Trollslayer Silver badge

        Re: Glad

        I just took a quick look at 'Aero Magazine'.

        Amongst it's regular topics is humanism.

        Hardly scientific.

        1. Julz Silver badge

          Re: Glad

          Just did. Wish I Hadn't :(

      4. Chemist

        Re: Glad

        "One in fifty scientists fakes research by fabricating or falsifying data"

        Not too good at arithmetic but that suggests 49/50 don't. Not a bad ratio - wonder what a similar metric for politicians or salesmen would show ?

      5. eldakka Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Glad

        Being a scientist doesn't mean, or even imply, that everything they do follows the scientific method.

        Being a scientist doesn't mean one is not susceptible to the lure of money, have other human failings like committing fraud, falsifying results because either money is dependant on it or status where one is too embarrassed to report the true findings.

        A scientist is also a human, subject to all the upsides and downsides of that.

        Saying that some scientists are crooks and frauds and using that to imply all scientists are crooks and frauds is dishonest. Otherwise, one could infer that because some humans are self-serving genocidal maniacs, that all humans are self-serving genocidal maniacs. Such a claim would make you, @Wade Burchette, a self-serving genocidal maniac (and me too!).

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Glad

          Indeed.

          Scientific fraud is a problem - sometimes a very bad problem indeed (exhibit 1: Andrew Wakefield).

          Probably a bigger problem is how the incentive structure discourages reproducing results, so relatively few studies are ever reproduced. And then there's excessive reliance on relatively weak statistical thresholds (particularly p < 0.05) in some fields, and the dominance of a handful of journals for certain fields, and the capture of a significant portion of research by corporations willing to selectively release results, and various other problems in how scientific research is conducted in practice.

          It's still the best epistemological system we've come up with yet for producing reliable predictions.

  15. rogerroger

    Microwaves are good for you.

    Since the late 1990s mobile phone use has increased exponentially by about a million percent. There are supposedly more mobiles than people! Certainly when you consider all the IoT devices.

    In the same time period, life expectancy globally has also seen a general rise.

    If there are any conclusions about bathing ourselves in low level, high frequency non-ionizing radiation, then it's that it is beneficial!

    1. RM Myers Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Microwaves are good for you.

      Correlation does not imply causation - so no, this does not imply that non-ionized radiation is beneficial. It may be, it may not be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microwaves are good for you.

        r/wooosh.

        A better reply would have been that we didn't have brexit before mobile phones, so they are to blame for johnson and cummings.

      2. Frederic Bloggs
        Coat

        Re: Microwaves are good for you.

        Since the anti-5G brigade are allowed to pretend that there some correlation with things that are demonstrably figments of their imagination, I fail see why someone can't point one out based on some actual facts.

        Who knows? It might even be true. Especially if someone could actually tease out the effects of a few micro watts of 5G mm wavelength signal out of the 1.4KW/m2 that that sodding great bright thing up in the sky bathes us with.

        1. Trollslayer Silver badge

          Re: Microwaves are good for you.

          The one that emits particles as well as EM?

    2. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: Microwaves are good for you.

      Obligatory XKCD

  16. TimMaher Bronze badge
    Coat

    Better call Saul

    I seem to be the first to mention this.

    5G might be a problem in a steep turn, dive or climb.

    I’ll get my tinfoil hat. It’s in the pocket of my reflective coat.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Better call Saul

      Especially if a crew member left their handset undescured......

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too late, the change from HSDPA to LTE already killed us!

    I'd really like to know what changes in the air interface makes 5G-NR so dangerous. Maybe some mischievous engineer read about the "killer POKE" from the Commodore PET days and decided to one-up the command when writing the new spec.

    Oh wait, are they really complaining about the new millimeter cellular band that was opened for use in conjunction with 5G-NR? The same band that has been used for decades with radar, radio astronomy, and back-haul telecommunications? I'm sure they can point out all of the cancer clusters around those uses...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all perfectly safe.

    This excellent article from the Register is very reassuring.

    Now, if they could only find out what is causing the rise in cancer among young people (a rise of 45% for young women), especially brain and intracranial tumours, we could put these nasty conspiracy theories about mobile phones to rest once and for all.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It's all perfectly safe.

      Pollution (many and varied sources), red meat, red wine, burnt toast, not enough red wine, all "E numbers", alcohol, all meat, any non-plant sourced food, wearing leather shoes, not eating enough lentils, Facebook, too much sex, not enough sex...

      1. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: It's all perfectly safe.

        >not enough sex...

        Goodbye cruel world.

    2. Mark #255
      Boffin

      Re: "rise in cancer"

      Implicit in the phrase "rise in cancer" is diagnosis.

      Also, Cancer Research's figures show that the incidence of cancer in the young is vanishingly small, so a massive-sounding 45% increase gives you... 37 cases per 100,000 per year, for females aged 20-24.

      For comparison, female cancer incidence rates peak at 2257 per 100,000 per year (85-89 years old), and for men its 3522 per 100,000 per year (again 85-89 years old).

      The biggest cause of deaths related to mobile phones remains misuse in proximity to vehicles.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: It's all perfectly safe.

      "... rise in cancer among young people (a rise of 45% for young women), especially brain and intracranial tumours,"

      Citations needed (preferably reliable), along with details of changes to diagnostic techniques (I see Mark has made this point too).

      1. batfink Silver badge

        Re: It's all perfectly safe.

        Please also read your Kahneman. This is a good example of Availability Bias.

        News about 5G is highly "available". When you see an effect, you have a bias to attributing it to something highly "available". Therefore "Increase in effect X" must be "because 5G".

        As several other commentards have pointed out, an increase in cancer rates could be caused by any one of a million things. It could be because aliens from the planet Zog are testing out their new weapons on us, but news on that isn't available at all, so it's not all over t'internet (well, maybe it is all over the less-travelled bits...).

        TBF this may have been the thrust of the OP's post.

  19. Slx

    5G's great just as long as you don't stand too close to the transmitter with your tinfoil hat on as it tends to spark. Otherwise, no problems :D

  20. davenewman

    Millimetre waves to come

    According to past Register reports, there won't be any use of millimetre wavebands in 5G for a couple of years. So any measurements at the moment are of 5G masts working at frequencies close to 4G.

    We don't yet know the possible biological effects of millimetre wave exposure. But as their range is so short, that won't be a factor except in conference centres and some malls where the 5G transmitters have been set up for high bandwidth communication.

  21. Barrie Shepherd

    The flaw in the Ofcom tests is that they have reported on the wrong type of 5G. They needed to follow the US of A who have living proof that Huawei 5G is the most dangerous type in the world.

    Huawei 5G causes your skin to turn orange, your speech to be reduced to meaningless collections of words with no structure and your (golf) balls to land in all the wrong areas.

  22. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    What about the 5G signals emitted from chemtrails?

  23. sabroni Silver badge

    Who'd paid for the research...

    ...and did they get the answer they paid for?

    Oh, I must be a hippy because I understand that money skews research results!

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Who'd paid for the research...

      This is (or at least should be) part of the evaluation of any academic paper, so you aren't saying anything ground-breaking.

  24. bobbear

    10G woodstove..

    Dear Deidre,

    I'm very worried about my wood burning heating device. When I sit in front of it I notice that any exposed skin gets very hot as it is exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation at a far higher frequency than 5G. Should I be wearing a tinfoil balaclava, trousers and gloves?

    Yours,

    Paranoid of Pontefract

  25. chilhealth

    MICROSOFT CEO SAYS 5G NOT SAFE

    Here we go boys...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyb2dACQMWo&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3tNNZo7CquibgqMGX8YN7NV9rTcjFcuSTUIZWEtHBX38y8y-SWMyNJokU&app=desktop

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There was an appeal sent to the UN signed by over 200 concerned scientists from 40+ nations a few years ago, including emf scientists in the UK from notable universities, over their concern over the long term effects of 4g and 5g to plant life and other species. I doubt they all wear tin foil hats. I would probably take their concerns on board over Ofcom

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what about

    6G? I mean thats in the THz range, thats not something encountered by life before. I mean it killed off the *DINOSAURS*!!!!!!

    Scuttles off to his flame-proof tinfoil and lead lined concrete bunker inside an artificial cavern originally built as a WWIII bolthole.

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