5g in Streetlights Blog Image

Streetlights in Gateshead

Finger Pointing in Social Media

Hello there, Ted Sturgeon here.

Recently I have been reading in the news about false news, so I’m not exactly sure how true this is in itself as it was read as news.

Among all the private ‘news’ agencies that run rampant on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever social media platform you subscribe to, it proves that if you write it, somebody, somewhere will believe it.

This is not really the main reason for writing this blog, but in light of some of the things that have happened in the last year and finger pointing in social media, and people buying into it because it was on ‘Facebook’…. Well, it must all be true mustn’t it?

Even if these events are not true, they become true in peoples minds if they are repeated enough, by enough people. It’s the old ‘no smoke without fire’ adage gone crazy.

Anyways, getting back to my main point ‘Gateshead Council’ or to be more precise, streetlights in Gateshead.

A good conspiracy

I read (in the news) about how Gateshead council are using 5G (more about 5G later) technology in their streetlights.

According to the ‘false newsers’, the streetlights in Gateshead “cause cancer”. Not only do they cause cancer, but they cause miscarriages in pregnant women. On top of that they cause nosebleeds, headaches, insomnia and are killing the local birds and insects.

All of this because Gateshead council are carrying out some “secret government trials” in 5G technology via the street lights.

Now I, like the next man (who unusually isn’t next to me right now, probably been picked up by some government agency) love a good conspiracy. But this is all it is, it’s a conspiracy and certainly not a credible one.

My main point was to talk a little bit about radiation, prompted by what I had read about the streetlights, and take a look into 5G, to see if the concerns (not about the streetlights) about the radiation hazards have any truth.

5G is still a work in progress

5G is promising us the world, literally at our fingertips. Fortune.com have suggested that it will be between 10x and 100x faster than the current 4G system and will support 100 billion devices. So working on planet earth having about 7.4 billion inhabitants, we can all have 13.51 devices simultaneously connected to the 5G network. I don’t think I even own 13.51 connectable devices, maybe in the future…

The reason 5G is required is down to us and our use of mobile devices. 1G allowed us to make phone calls, 2G brought us into the realm of text messaging, 3G got us online on our mobile devices for the 1st time (Facebook, yay) and 4G gave us the speed we demanded because we all need to watch films and videos on our phones. But, as more users come online the more the demands on 4G become apparent.

Each of the previously mentioned systems uses lower frequency energy waves and a longer wavelength than its successor, suggesting that the next Gen (see how cool I am) will follow suit, and it does.

Millimetre waves (MMW’s) are high frequency energy waves but have a short wave’length’, they are easily absorbed by our surroundings including buildings, trees, even rain and snow… and people.

5G will utilise smaller but more frequently placed cell stations to counter this… and this is where the conspiracy starts… These smaller cell stations could appear on lampposts, telegraph poles, houses and businesses eventually throughout whole communities, towns and cities.

Bringing with them all that high frequency energy.

Radiation is all around us

5G is still a work in progress, they still have a few kinks to iron out including the millimetre waves, small cell receivers\transmitters, beamforming and full duplex issues in case you wanted to read further.

I think most people’s concerns are going to be the concerns that have always accompanied mobile devices (do you remember in the 90’s when using mobile phones undoubtedly gave you brain cancer?)

Radiation falls into two categories. Ionising and non-ionising.

The one we are concerned with here is the non-ionising type. Non-ionising radiation can potentially be linked to many things including:

  • Effects on the skin and eyes.
  • Effects on the heart and the immune system.
  • Effects on cell growth rate and bacteria resistance.
  • Effects on plant life and the atmosphere.
  • Effects on DNA.

Among many others.

So it seems there is reason for concern. But this radiation is all around us now and has been for a long time. Looking at what the suggestion for 5G is, this radiation is going to increase.

Looking at the scaremongering online, it’s going to kill us all as soon as it is turned on. However, this is online scaremongering with a much more boring reality being likely.

All radiation has its dangers and hazards, our use of mobile devices and our demand for more and more bandwidth has pushed communications to this point, and 5G is still a work in progress. As mentioned, they still have to iron out some kinks regarding millimetre waves, smaller but more frequent cell stations and a whole slew of issues before it is rolled out to the public (estimated 2020).

And just to be sure, if you live in Gateshead, the council has assured you all that there is nothing fishy going on with the street lights.

I’m not one for scaremongering or misinformation, and at the moment the whole 5G thing seems steeped in science and conspiracy, so I seriously would not like to make a comment one way or another.

But surely they wouldn’t introduce it if it wasn’t safe…… would they?

Either way, until all the facts are on the table panicked myths won’t help anyone. Personally for now, I’ll stick to my old analogue mobile phone while wearing my best tinfoil hat.

All the Best



*Being serious for a moment; Radiation is covered in many of SHEilds NEBOSH Certificate and Diploma courses in differing detail, if this is something that interests you, or any aspect of Health and Safety, why not contact one of our course advisors.