Finland, being home to leading 5G technology developer Nokia, has played a key role in development and deployment of commercial 5G cellular technology. Ironically, as other countries are preparing to roll out 5G networks soon with help from Finland’s Nokia, a group of Finnish citizens are seeking to ban the 5G technology from Finnish grounds completely stating threats to human health from the higher electromagnetic radiations.
Helena Ertz is leading a group of 2,300 backers in a petition to the government which seeks to completely ban 5G technology on the ground that the relatively higher density of 5G base stations from their 4G predecessors increases the exposure of citizens to potentially hazardous radiation. Ertz claims that despite warnings about harmful effects of 5G frequencies on human health by doctors and scientists from multiple countries, the government has brushed the claims aside.
The country’s history of being an experimental ground for creating and testing several cellular technologies makes the 5G situation ironic. Finnish citizens have been first adopters of the 5G networks and there have been countless opportunities before to raise concerns.
University of Oulu and the Finnish government have already started a flagship research to develop next generation 6G wireless communication networks. Elsa became one of the first carrier to launch 5G commercial network. The small Nordic country has a disproportionate contribution in the development of cellular technology.
Small groups in U.S and European cities have popped up seeking either ban or delay of 5G network rollout while waiting for conclusive research on the potential health effects of 5G technology. These local health-focused movements are trying to stop the 5G rollouts but also has loss of zoning revenues and aesthetics as some of their concerns.
The claim that 5G’s new millimeter wave signals and higher concentrations of sub-6GHz radio waves could cause severe damage to human cellular structures, has not been proven by any research study. The petition also claims that 4G, 3G, 2G and Wi-Fi have impacted the human brains, reduced fertility and increased the risks of cancer and that 5G roll out will increase these effects to new levels.
These claims have been dismissed by governments and electronic engineers. Radio waves are non-ionizing which are not capable of penetrating into human body or cause any changes in human cellular structure, experts say. No health impacts have been found from high frequency emissions form airport body scanners, satellites and microwave ovens.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has adopted a wait-and-see approach and suggested that further research is needed to conclusively determine the impact of cellular devices on human health. The response of Finnish government will have to be watched. For the petition be officially considered by the Finnish government, 50,000 signatures are needed and now only 5% of the needed numbers have signed the petition.
Santosh Kumar is a respected voice in the ICT domain. He has authored over 30 studies pertaining to cloud, cybersecurity, AI, and Big Data.