Now this is a difficult one, but I don’t think we should avoid discussion because it’s difficult.  All around the world, sensible and well-meaning people are coming together to share their fears about the potential health impacts of the roll-out of 5G technology. 

And meanwhile, all around the world, sensible and well-meaning people are coming together to debunk and deride what they regard as a conspiracy theory that 5G has negative health impacts.

We are in no position to take a side on this debate, but we have created this page to reflect on what we understand to be the position, locally and regionally, on this issue.  And also to make a case for transparency and discussion.  Bertrand Russell is credited with the following quote, which pretty much sums up our position on this topic:

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are so full of doubts.”  Bertrand Russell

If anyone says they know FOR SURE that 5G is dangerous to public health, I think it’s fair enough to be skeptical.  But similarly, if anyone says they know FOR SURE that 5G is safe, then I think it’s fair to question that certainty.  Even though Public Health England declares it to be safe, I think it’s fair to allow space in your mind for the possibility that Public Health England might not have all the facts.  I know it’s shocking to think about, but it has been known, once or twice in history, for scientists to be wrong… On the other hand, “conspiracy theorists” have also been known, on occasion, to be wrong… (yes, really!)  It would be arrogant, unsafe and unwise for either side of this argument to take the position of absolute certainty.  As the ancient Confucius quote goes:

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”  Confucius

So here, if no-where else, we are creating space for conversation.  A conversation in which no-one is allowed to claim certainty, and in which people on both sides of the “argument” are expected to take the position that they might be wrong, or that they might later be proven to be so.

We will update this page over time.  As things stand at the moment, here follows our understanding of the regional position.

 

  • At the current time, both Welsh Govt and local councils are taking the position that if Public Health England says its safe, they would not seek to second guess the experts.
  • Within Welsh Govt and local authorities, the view is that 5G fears are unfounded and based on a misunderstanding of “microwave” technology.
  • Major media outlets including the BBC and the Guardian have concluded that 5G does not pose health risks.
  • Several people have filed Freedom of Information Requests asking local authorities and Welsh Government to clarify their position (see below)
  • Much of the recently installed IT infrastructure in Swansea City Centre is “5G ready”.
  • There is a City Deal project relating to Digital Infrastructure, which will seek to roll-out 5G access across the region.
  • As yet, none of the mobile or telecoms operators has “switched on” 5G service in our region.
  • 5G is not the same as superfast Fibre broadband.  We can have superfast internet without 5G.
  • 5G is not the same as rural broadband.  We can have rural broadband without 5G.
  • Self driving cars will not require 5G connectivity, this is a fallacy perpetuated by those who don’t understand the tech.

USEFUL LINKS

If you would like to add useful links or comment to this section, please email mail@4theRegion.com with your contributions.

Summary of Advice from Public Health England on Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields , Feb 2018

Public Health England responds to Freedom of Information request in November 2018

Public Health Wales response to Freedom of Information request in April 2019

Tonia Antoniazzi MP for Gower – Westminster Hall Debate 25th June 2019 – Electromagnetic Fields: Health Effects

Derision for Swansea & Gower MPs as they raised the issue of 5G dangers in a Westminster Hall debate, June 2019

5G Rollout and Health Concerns feature in “issues to pick up in Cabinet Q&A” in Swansea Council’s Agreed Scrutiny Work Programme for 2019/20.

Carmarthenshire Council have noted in a FOI Request response:  “Potential early access to 5G forms part of a digital infrastructure City Deal project planned for the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole. This project is in its business planning stages, with approval required from the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee, the Welsh Government and the UK Government.”

Vodaphone has switched on 5G Network in seven UK cities, including Cardiff (BBC Article July 2019)

BBC Reality Check in May 2019 Reported:

Is 5G safe?

Analysis by BBC Reality Check

Some people have questioned whether there are health risks from 5G, but experts and regulators say there is no evidence of danger.  Similar fears were expressed around earlier mobile internet and wi-fi.  More than 200 scientists appealed to the EU to halt the roll out of 5G, saying that electromagnetic fields may be harmful to humans and the environment, and could increase cancer risks.  But the EU says exposure from 5G will be far below limits set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  “There has been no evidence to suggest that electromagnetic waves from mobile phones and networks are bad for your health,” says Prof Malcolm Sperrin, Director of the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.  He says a causal link between mobile phone use and cancer in humans is unproven.  5G technology is new but experts believe it poses no greater risk than earlier mobile systems.

 

 

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