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ITREALMS 2020 webinar series: Adebayo to demystify 5G v COVID-19 - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo has been conf...

Monday, April 13, 2020

Public health: ALTON insists ‘no relationship between 5G and COVID-19’ - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has insisted that there is no even a casual relationship between the Fifth Generation (5G) and Chinese Virus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, arguing that your Television (TV) set emits more radition than the 5G technologies, reports ITREALMS.

ALTON through its chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Head of Operations, Gbolahan Awonuga, said that as responsible corporate citizen are concerned over the misguided theories circulating on the Internet, which linked 5G technologies to COVID-19.

“Contrary to these rumours, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever supporting any causal connection between the spread of COVID-19 and 4G, 5G or electromagnetic waves in general,” ALTON declared.

Also said that according to a seven-year-long scientific study published last month, 5G has no detrimental health effects in general, debunking any fear of public health concerns relating to telecommunications cell towers.

“In these unprecedented times, we need to ensure the resilience of telecommunications networks to support the delivery of vital health services and sustained economic recovery,”

Part of the latest statement read: “Digital connectivity has become essential to the social and economic development of the 21st century. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) generate great opportunities, but also raise questions for businesses and citizens. One of these concerns is public health.

“In recent years, questions about health and safety concerning electromagnetic frequencies produced by telecommunication towers have been raised: What are the health implications of this proliferation of antennas and the frequencies they emit? What effects do they have on humans and animals? Can they cause any disorders?

“Public exposure to these frequencies is not new. On the contrary, these radio signals are nearly omnipresent as they have been produced by electric currents or telecommunication antennas for decades. The average household deploys various sources of these signals such as home appliances (microwaves, TVs, refrigerators) or internet connections repeatedly throughout the day.

They quoted the World Health Organization (WHO), the low intensity of cell site emissions is estimated to be between 0.002% and 2% of the levels of safe exposure and is lower than those produced by a radio or TV transmission.[1] Studies carried out by the WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)[2] agree there are no health risks related to radio signals.

Safety of 5G Technologies

As the next generation of mobile technology, 5G has also been a cause for concern over the increased deployment of towers it will require. Radio signals for 5G technology are similar to those already generated by 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks. By using small cells, or low-power, low-range transmissions, 5G smart antennas send signals where required. These cells enable localised use of signals while increasing coverage and efficiency.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) recently published its updated guidelines to provide improved protection for higher frequency ranges. The new guidelines, which include time and body exposure restrictions, provide protection against all adverse health effects from exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, including for frequencies above 6 GHz, such as those emitted by 5G and future technologies.[3] Compliance with these new guidelines ensures the safe use of 5G.

The unanimous conclusion of international public health organizations[4] and more than 25,000 articles[5] on biological and health effects reaffirm the safe use of wireless technologies such as telecommunication antennas necessary for connectivity and social and economic development.
Comparison of emitted frequencies[6]
Hair dryer
50Hz
Mobile telephony
900-1800MHz
Microwave
2.4GHz


Cell tower (BTS) emissions are lower than those produced by a TV or radio (between 0.002% and 2%).

Daily home appliances already emit radio signals similar to those of new wireless technologies without health effects.

COVID-19 and 5G misinformation

According to experts like the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no dispute that animals are the source of COVID-19.

According to WHO, “Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.”[7]

According to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats.”[8]

As with many other conspiracy theories, the supposed 5G coronavirus connection came from uninformed people on the internet trying to link things that are not at all connected. Unfortunately, the power of social media has only amplified some of these misguided comments.

Nenye Dom/Editor


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[1] World Health Organization. “What are Electromagnetic Fields?” May 2016.
[2] World Health Organization. “Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health”. June 2007.
[3] International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. “ICNIRP Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (100 kHz to 300 GHz).” March 2020.
[4] GSMA. “Safety of 5G Mobile Networks”. July 2019.
[5] World Health Organization. “What are Electromagnetic Fields?” May 2016.
[6] Health Ministry’s Directorate-General of Planning and Inspection, Madrid. "10 Basic Issues of Mobile Telephony". June 2012.
[7] https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1 (as at 8 April 2020)
[8] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html (as at 8 April 2020) 

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