Australian telecom Telstra is asking the government to combat a misinformation campaign on the health risks of 5G that is spreading via social media, reported The Guardian. Although the build-out of 5G networks is only just beginning across the country, there is already intense opposition from the public, and Telstra claims the misinformation campaign is “gaining traction.”
According to Labor MP Ed Husic, politicians’ offices have been “bombarded” with emails from members of the public complaining about 5G.
Individuals and groups claim 5G is hazardous to humans, and call for the government to stop companies building the networks in Australia.
Telstra is trying to educate the public on 5G. Still, Mike Wood, the company’s principal for electromagnetic energy strategy, governance, and risk, called on the government to help with a, “pro-active education campaign. [People] often don’t trust Telstra,” Wood said.
“There is evidence to suggest that messaging in these campaigns is being influenced by foreign actors,” Telstra said, referencing a New York Times article claiming Russian broadcaster RT is spreading 5G health-related misinformation.
Wood added that Telstra has been testing 5G since 2016, and found EME levels around 1,000 times lower than required by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (Arpansa). Arpansa told the parliamentary committee it assessed that “5G is safe,” per The Guardian. Arpansa also states that high levels of exposure to radio waves can cause tissue damage, but those levels are currently 50 times higher than the limit.
Committee members also raised concerns over small cells. Wood told the committee that small cells are mainly planned for busy areas, and the vast majority of 5G installations would be on existing 4G towers. “We are not going to have these things on every street pole,” Wood explained.
November 25, 2019