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Feedback archiveFeedback 2020

Answering question about 5G and COVID-19

Published: 2 May 2020 (GMT+10)

G. W. from Australia wrote in with a question about coronaviruses and 5G wireless technology.


I would like Robert Carter’s biological view on these two assertions:

1) that Coronavirus looks like a viral response to respiratory difficulty, and

2) that 60 GHz radio frequencies can reduce oxygen uptake thus causing that response in the lungs.

I have a congregant who is alarmed. Snopes is quiet and I’m unsure where to look for credibility.

Figure 1: Our eyes can only see a narrow part of the electromagnetic spectrum, from longer red wavelengths to shorter blue wavelengths.

Dr. Robert Carter responds:

G. W.,

Thank you for trusting us enough to write in with such a question.

First, the virus is not a ‘response’ to respiratory difficulty. It is, in fact, an infectious particle that often causes respiratory difficulty. Many people are getting cause and effect messed up, and I believe this is due to nefarious actors on social media. We know what viruses are. We know how they behave in the body. And we know how they can be passed from person to person. To say otherwise is to reject too much science, and much of the medical science we rely on was first developed by Christians like Joseph Lister and Louis Pasteur.

This is a matter of operational science. We can actually know what is going on and everything is based on scientific knowledge that goes back well over 100 years. Yet, this spiders into claims about 5G signals and other conspiracy theories. It is a question of how to think and how we are supposed to approach difficult subjects with a sober, scientific mindset while multiple town criers are trumpeting nonsense from the parapets.

I am going to answer your second question in small steps, defining terms as I go. Some readers will be unfamiliar with the science terminology, and I don’t want to lose people. This is an important topic.

GHz (gigahertz)

A ‘Hertz’ is a unit of frequency, measured in cycles per second. The name comes from the German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894). Giga means billion. So, 1 GHz = 1 billion cycles per second.

We hear this term a lot when we are talking about computer processors (and it is kind of amazing when you think about it). We also use it a lot when talking about radio signals. It is impractical to use GHz when talking about visible light because the waves oscillate between 430 trillion Hertz (red) to 750 trillion Hertz (violet). However, radio waves are much longer, and so they oscillate much more slowly. Hence, we use GHz when talking about radio, WiFi, and now 5G.


The ‘G’ in 5G has nothing to do with GHz. In fact, 5G just means “5th generation”. The telecommunications community has rolled out several sets of standards over the years and this is the 5th major step. We could not have had 5G devices earlier because we had to wait for technological improvements in many areas. In the 1980s, 1G allowed for simple analogue voice communications. Cell phones worked like a radio and had all the limitations of pre-digital radio broadcasts. 2G brought in digital voice. Then came 3G, which allowed mobile data, and 4G, which was a significant improvement in speed. There is nothing all that different with 5G. It is just faster and more reliable. Part of this is because our devices have faster processors, and so can handle faster data transmission rates. Part of this is because it uses a better part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum

Our eyes can only see a narrow slice of the electromagnetic spectrum, from red to blue. Red light has a long wavelength and does not have much power per photon. Blue light has a much shorter wavelength and carries a lot more energy. 5G uses frequencies beyond the red end of the visible light spectrum and so it is biologically safe.1

Beyond red is infrared, which we perceive as heat. Beyond that are radio waves, which we cannot even feel unless you are standing next to an extremely strong transmitter. This can give you an “RF burn”, which just means you absorbed enough energy to dangerously heat up your skin. But since the power of a signal is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, even being a few feet away from a strong signal is generally safe (but the general public are not allowed near transmission stations anyway). Either way, 5G uses a very weak signal.

On the other side of the spectrum, beyond visible blue light, is ultraviolet (UV). UVA is safe. This is the light that is closest to the blue end of the visible spectrum. It is what comes out of a blacklight. UVB is not too bad in small doses. Too much can give you a sunburn. But UVC can much more easily give you cancer. There is so much power in each photon that it can rip apart biological molecules and damage DNA. On the far side of ultraviolet are X-rays, which have the ability to penetrate many substances deeply (partly because the wave is so small) and cause extensive damage at high doses.

Wavelength vs frequency

Light travels at a constant speed (3 x 108 m/s). But it also oscillates at specific frequencies. A high-frequency signal has a shorter wavelength than a low-frequency signal. Thus, there is an inverse relationship between wavelength and frequency. The signals we use for communications have fairly long wavelengths.

Figure 2: The relationship between wavelength and frequency. If a long-wavelength radio wave (far right) were passing through your body, there would be many fewer oscillations per second than if you were being hit with short-wavelength gamma rays (far left). Thus, high frequency = short wavelength, and vice versa.

Absorption vs wavelength and frequency

The frequencies used for 5G vary from country to country but 3.4, 25, and 60 GHz are common. These line up with the 8.8 cm, 1.2 cm, and 0.5 cm transmission bands, respectively (Figure 3). Note that the X-axis on figure 3 is on a log scale and the wavelengths range from nanometres (billionths of a metre) to kilometres (thousands of metres). A microwave oven operates at 2.45 GHz (with a wavelength around 12.2 cm). This wavelength is strongly absorbed by water. It is also easy to block. That screen you see on the front window of a microwave has small holes in it. Those holes are large enough for visible light to easily pass through, but they block 100% of microwaves. Some people are afraid of microwave ovens, but their effect is only to heat up water molecules. Water easily absorbs light of that wavelength, so this is a very efficient way of heating things that contain water.2 In fact, when you put something in a standard oven, the exact same thing happens. The molecules absorb infrared light and heat up, from the outside only. Do molecules get destroyed or scrambled in a microwave oven? Yes. Does DNA get damaged? Sure enough. But this happens any time you cook food. In fact, you want the proteins to denature and the cells to burst open a little. This is a major reason why cooking your food also kills the bacteria in it.

Higher frequencies also penetrate poorly into the human body, but is any signal penetration dangerous? Actually, no, for the total power is incredibly low. The phone broadcasts with more power than it receives, however. A slight thermal effect has been noted using older 3G phones (a 1 degree temperature rise in the brain after one hour of phone use), and there is ongoing research into non-thermal effects on the body. But, so far, research has failed to show any significant risk.

Even so, the power level of the phone is a billionth of a Watt or less. Without advanced signal processing techniques and vastly improved hardware all of this would be impossible. Higher frequency does not mean higher power.

Figure 3: The visible portion of the spectrum just happens to lie in a frequency band that is poorly absorbed by the atmosphere. But large portions of the electromagnetic spectrum (brown areas) are strongly absorbed. Thus, we are limited in what frequencies we can use for radio and internet communications.

Interestingly, satellites can measure atmospheric temperature by looking at how much 60 GHz radiation is being produced. The warmer oxygen molecules are, the more they vibrate at this frequency. Thus, part of the controversy surrounding 5G is that atmospheric scientists are worried that they might lose this frequency band for an important aspect of science. On the other hand, you are naturally bathed in 60 GHz ‘radiation’ all the time.

Importantly, a 60 GHz (5 mm) radio signal cannot rip apart oxygen molecules. Oxygen does have a natural vibrational mode at 60 GHz, but to break up a water molecule you need ionising radiation, like x-rays or gamma rays. Thus, anyone saying that water is being ripped apart by a 5G signal does not understand the science involved. Not only that, but there is no evidence that a 5G signal (of any frequency) will interact with oxygen uptake in the lungs, and there are many places that have no 60-GHz 5G signal towers, and others with no 5G towers at all, and yet have high rates of infection.

In the end, some people simply like to be afraid and other people know how to feed off those fears. Thus, crazy or incorrect factoids tend to float to the top of the social media stew. When you apply a general ignorance about how science works and what scientists know, things only get worse. I understand how difficult it is to work with certain people. All I can say is that you need the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon. Love them. Educate them as you are able. And may God bless you with the means to convey truth while not getting distracted from your main ministry focus.

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References and notes

  1. Koyama, S., et al., Effects of long-term exposure to 60 GHz millimeter-wavelength radiation on the genotoxicity and heat shock protein (Hsp) expression of cells derived from human eye, Int J Environ Res Public Health 13(8):802, 2016. Return to text.
  2. Microwaves actually cause water molecules to rotate, while infrared causes them to vibrate. We normally feel vibrations as heat, but it takes time for rotational energy to be dispersed among vibrational modes. Hence the need for standing a bit after microwave cooking. There are other frequencies that water absorbs more easily, but if we used those the signal would all be absorbed at the surface, which would reduce desirable cooking properties. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Philip H.
Dr Carter,
In several places you imply blue light is the lower end of the visible spectrum ("On the other side of the spectrum, beyond visible blue light, is ultraviolet (UV)", for instance).
While this is strictly true, surely the correct term would be "... beyond visible violet light ..."?; as per the spectrums in Figures 1 - 3. A minor point perhaps, and no-one else appears to have commented on it, but for us science graduates and data analysts, it detracts from your otherwise well-written article.
Aleth P.
Many distinguished University professors are not so sure the electromagnetic fields are innocuous. For instance: Barrie Trower on 5G [link deleted per feedback rules] Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pubmed 21 août 2015 - Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression. Pall ML(1). Author information: (1)Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University, 638 NE 41st Avenue, Portland, OR 97232-3312, USA. de ML Pall - ‎2016 - ‎Cité 100 fois [link deleted per feedback rules] The 5G Trojan Horse (Documentary), 15 Feb. 2020 [link deleted per feedback rules] Dangers of 5G / WIFI - Martin Pall, PhD 15 Feb. 2015 [link deleted per feedback rules] Why EMF Exposures and 5G WiFi Technology Will Cause Great Harm And Why Canada's Current Safety Guidelines Do Not Predict Safety British Columbia, June/July 2019 Martin L. Pall Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences Washington State University Pr. Paul Héroux, Medicine Faculty, McGill University, explains in a conference (in French) that the guidelines and norms chosen for the EMF have been projected from the values measured for the acoustic waves, because the toxic effects of the EMF upon the living cells are not known. Which means that these values may be false with a factor of 10 or more. We need to be very cautious. There are many, many documents that describe ill effects on humans of the EM waves.
Robert Carter
And yet, many other 'distinguished' professors disagree and would call the people on this list 'quacks". Plus, we have yet to see a massive wave of negative health effects from previous century of human bodies being bombarded with radio waves and only ambiguous evidence that the higher frequencies used for 5G are of any concern. Note that I did not say, and do not believe, there is zero risk. This is something we must continue to explore. Note also that the main subject of the article is the thought that 5G is somehow related to Covid-19, which it is not.
Stephen C.
Thank you Mr. Card for filling in information about 5G. I do want to bring up a recent development about the speed of light. I understand that there is very strong evidence that the speed of light is slowing down, that it is a logarithmic curve. It has garnered enough attention that it is in many of the scientific journals now. Barry Setterfield had brought this to the attention of the scientific community a number of years ago. He is a young earth creationist, and was understandably ignored for quite a while. Apparently the evidence is now being looked at by many other scientists. Barry had a talk with Chuck Missler before Chuck died giving an explanation as to his belief in why the speed of light was slowing down. He also said that the speed of light is apparently tied to atomic processes, and may also be tied to time itself. He pointed out that those that are in charge of our atomic clocks in Switzerland and Colorado have noted that their clocks appear to be slowing down, or they said, the sun, the moon and the stars are speeding up.
Robert Carter
I hate to disappoint you, but c-decay is on our list of Arguments We Think A Creationist Should Not Use. While Setterfield's ideas we robustly argued among us several decades ago, most creationists, and most of the major creationist organizations, have rejected them.
Paul A.
The 5G - COVID-19 'conspiracy' link is merely a straw man attempt to detract from each issue. On 5G Dr Carter writes: "there is ongoing research into non-thermal effects on the body. But so far, research has failed to show any significant risk." Is he including the $30M, 10-year U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Toxicology Program under Dr Robert Melnick, to: "...test the (null) hypothesis that cell phone radiation at non-thermal exposure intensities could not cause adverse health effects, and to provide dose-response data for any detected toxic or carcinogenic effects," concluding: "Partial findings released from that study showed significantly increased incidences and/or trends for gliomas and glial cell hyperplasias in the brain and schwannomas and Schwann cell hyperplasias in the heart of exposed male rats. These results, as well as the findings of significantly increased DNA damage (strand breaks)"? So non-thermal non-ionising RFR at 900mHz and 1900mHz can break DNA strands, give rats brain and heart cancers and abnormal growths with FCC-level device SARs. Why is this not valid research, since they're rats? "Because animals and humans exhibit similarities in biological processes of disease induction, data from studies in experimental animals are used to assess health risks from exposures to environmental or occupational agents” Or simply 60GHz is a much shorter wavelength (notwithstanding '5G' involves longer wavelengths, plus more 4G)? How many 5G safety studies has the industry carried out? 0. It would behove any 5G 'conspiracy theory' debunker to give a full picture of RFR safety, even basic information such as IARC's 2011 Group 2B classification. "A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work."
Robert Carter
Yet the IARC report says, "The evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. The evidence from the occupational and environmental exposures mentioned above was similarly judged inadequate." [Emphasis added, and several references removed. For the interested reader, this report is easy to find online.]

One of the authors stated. "The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."

In other words, yes, we need to be paying attention, but no, there is no reason to be afraid. The risk is not acute. That much is clear. And it is difficult to statistically separate out the cancer signal (if it even exists) from the background cancer noise. The most effective strategy to mitigate risk would be to use Bluetooth, instead of holding the phone up to your head. And, since the strength of the signal decreases with the square of the distance, if you want to reduce the radiation your body is absorbing don't keep the phone in your pocket but instead to put it at arms length whenever possible.
Wes M.
Thank you for your attempt to address this question. While I really appreciate most of your articles, I believe that you need to do a lot more research on this subject. I will not attempt to debate this issue, but to start your study I would recommend that you read Dr Joseph Mercola's book regarding emf / rf and the effects on human cells.
Robert Carter
Yet all the research that I have done on the issue tells me that the conclusions of Mercola are incorrect. It is not like I am unaware of alternative medicine, nor what its practitioners claim, but when critically examined, and when weighed on the balance of operational science, Mercola's claims generally fall apart.
Tex W.
" He emphasizes that the power level of 5G transmission at the receivers [the thing you put up against your head] is extremely low " 1) Why if the level is supposed to be low the Telecom lobbies are asking to increase the limit by law to 61V/m instead of the 6V/m which are now allowed in some countries (and which are still actually too high, many studies suggesto to go to 0.6V/m)? 2) Do you realize that this level does not take into account the TRANSMISSION from the phone, which is a lot higher anyway (hundreds of V/m without limitation)?
3) Salford and others have shown that only 2 hours of exposition to cellular phones open some holes in the brain "membrane" with consequent entrance of dangerous materials causing cancer Maybe Hartnett should talk only about cosmology, if ever
Robert Carter
1) The power is low. That is not in debate. 2) I specifically said, "But the phone itself broadcasts with more power than it receives." So, yes, I 'realize' this. 3) The cancer claims have not held up. The research publication trail has gone back and forth on this, but the argument leans toward 'almost no cancer risk'. Science can always surprise us, but at present there is no reason to suspect a significant risk of cancer from cell phone use. 4) Actually, cosmology is a sideline for Hartnett. High-frequency signals, however, are well within his bailiwick.
Dayeton L.
Thanks for this timely reassuring information!
Arnold B.
Thank you so much for this article, Dr. Carter. A google search will produce "evidence" for almost any position we want to have. So many "experts" are willing to provide proof for a particular idea, especially conspiracy theories. More so now than ever, we are exposed to just about every idea possible. I often will hear from someone the phrase, "they know........" My question is who are they and what do they know? Can they back up what they are saying? Most of the time when someone does a bit of research, it's easy to debunk what is being presented. I'm thankful that you wrote this response. Hopefully many people read it and will share it, and those that have a different view will think it through.
Richard C.
Thank you for this wonderful information needed at this time. You mentioned that the speed of light is constant and that reminded me of the one thing that's not talked about much that is used to hammer the creation debate, due to the star distances. Barry Setterfield and Chuck Missler had some articles about the speed of light slowing down even in the short time since we first started measuring it, which would make it much, much, faster in the not too distant past. I know that this is another subject, and I have read Dr John Hartnet's Starlight and Time. I would love to hear if there was any more information regarding the speed of light.
Robert Carter
The search function on Creation.com is a handy tool for things like this.
Joanne K.
There is a 5G summit commencing on June 1st for anyone to watch.
Elizabeth G.
I usually love creation ministries but this does not sit well with me at all nor does it address any of the more serious issues relating to this Corona virus which many of the medical Drs are discussing. The man who put the video out about the dangers of 5G mentions “the internet of things” which will eventually merge with humans and bring the beast system into the open. artificial intelligence has been around for a long time but we are just starting to see what they are planning to do with it. Much has been said about Bill Gates and his involvement in all of this and the creation of a vaccine which can track people (ID2020) and the like. I believe that the 5G implementation has something to do with it because they are rolling it out whilst we are in lockdown. When people have questioned technicians and staff at schools what they are doing they won’t answer. Also, much has been said about oxygen and related respiratory illness being connected with 5G . I think people need to look at what the effects are of having 5G on every street post in your neighbourhood.
Robert Carter
There is too much here to answer in one brief response. But 1) see our position on eschatology here: Does CMI deal with End Times?. Not every one of our supporters agrees on these issues and it is generally outside the creation mandate. 2) The internet of things, Bill Gates, ID2020, etc. have little to do with creation or applied science, so they were not discussed in the article. 3) The timing of 5G implementation has nothing to do with the timing of Covid-19. The point in my article is that there is no causal link between the two, but neither is there a temporal link. 5G was being rolled out before the virus struck and will still be rolling out as the virus wanes. 4) Just because somebody said that somebody said that somebody tried to address a recalcitrant electrical worker does not mean said workers are in cahoots with some shadowy future world government. That is not submissible evidence. 5) I know much has been said about 5G and oxygen, but I am still searching for a scientific reason for believing any of it. They have been looking at the effects of 5G, and have found no reason for alarm. The greatest risk seems to be heating, but the effect is small and our body temperatures are not 100% constant anyway.
Ian B.
Dear Creation Ministries.
I read with astonishment your article on 5G and so called "Conspiracy Theories" a term invented by the CIA to discourage people from finding the Truth. There is a huge weight of evidence and scientific papers and experiments available from scientists eminently more qualified than you guys on the subject all over the world showing that the onslaught of more and more high frequency radio in our lives is doing us harm. High frequency radio is used as a weapons system in many countries around the world to do crowd control, and the reasons for 5G rollout around the world is the monitoring and control of the population as we head into the End Times and a One World Government and order. This should be blatantly obvious to any Christian, or Non Christian who has studied the Bible and its end time prophesies. Along with your stance on Vaccination, an invasive process that does not work, and since the 1990's has accelerated the rate of diseases in children to levels unheard of. Responsible for the rate of Autistic disorders which were negligible before 1980 and now approaching 1 in 25 in the western world, another blatantly obvious fact that hundreds of thousands of parents around the world with vaccine injured children know, leads me to the conclusion that you guys are so one eyed on the Creation thing that you can't see the wood for the trees. The weight of evidence now that the SARS - 2 virus has come from the BSL4 Lab in Wuhan is overwhelming. As Christians we should be tackling the real and current issues of the day. Will you all be lining up for Dr Gates's COV-19 vaccine when it comes with its implanted chip to identify us all and prevent abstainers from traveling, buying or selling? Good luck! you will then need plenty of prayer.
Ian Birchall
Robert Carter
Sorry that we disagree. We are, however, trying our best to used basic, applied, operational science to untangle these issues. If you have followed us for long, you will understand how we operate. [Other readers take note of our positions on end times theology and vaccines.]
David G.
The mention of visible light in the same contexts as electro-magnetic radiation makes me think: when God created light, this must have been a 'naive observer' usage for creation of the entire energy spectrum...who knows, even perhaps gravity waves and sub-atomic energy...this throws into a whole different light (!) the creation of light first...it looks to me as though light had to be created first in an orderly cosmos. So much for detractors of Genesis 1 who think this order of creation is nonsensical.
Stephen G.
Excellent and helpful article and very timely.
Mariana C.
People don’t know that visible light is also electromagnetic (EM) radiation and that which part of the spectrum is visible, is not the same for all species. No-one wants to get rid of visible light! People don’t know that ALL objects radiate energy in the form of EM waves, e.g. live humans and animals radiate infrared. People don’t know that EM radiation was invented by God and not by man and that it is the only way for energy from the sun to reach us. Some people don’t even know the difference between electric current and EM waves. Audiences get told about the electrolysis of water as “proof” that EM radiation “destroys water”, also the water in your cells, and therefore “poisons” your cells and out of ignorance they believe…

Obviously it makes a difference whether radiation is ionising (x-rays and gamma rays) or not (the rest of the spectrum) and also high-intensity radiation (even non-ionising) can cause damage. Again: anyone want to wage war against visible light because it can be damaging when the intensity is really high?
Sherry G.
Thank you so much for this explanation. I could actually follow this.
Paul S.
It wasn't 60GHz then, and yes the neuros specialising in brain tumours noticed a significant rise in tumours near the ears.
The transmission power recommendations have not changed unfortunately. I recently attended a meeting about a proposed 5G tower. Its signal strength levels were well under Australian standards, but there is plenty of experiential evidence that those levels are way too high.
Rob R.
5g causes cancers in rats when tested. male humans have a thinner blood brain barrier, so 5g will effect males worse than females. when the immune system is lowered all viruses will stand a better chance. covid 19 might have been engineered to be very potent, as scientists in india and iceland have scanned it with electron microscopes and found insertions, but a healthy immune system means most people won't get very sick.
Robert Carter

Some of what you say is demonstrably incorrect, some is difficult to prove, the rest is only possibly true. First, an electron microscope is used for taking pictures. Very early in the epidemic we had images of this virus, which was amazing. We also had DNA sequences, from sequencing machines, not electron microscopes. The speed of this was unprecedented and the entire weight of the modern science establishment was brought to bear on this new threat. And it is a threat. "Healthy" immune systems do not mean a person will not get sick, get very sick, or even die. Plenty of otherwise healthy people have succumbed, even though there are additional risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Third, the 'insertions' have nothing to do with the health of ones immune system, so putting those two things in the same sentence makes little sense. As far as "engineering" goes, there is, at present, zero evidence for this. Did you know that different people have insertions relative to others? Or that the human mitochondrial genome has many 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12- base pair insertions and deletions from one person to another? This is because an insertion or deletion that happens in sets of 3 letters does not interfere with the reading frame of the protein. We are not "engineered" and a 9-bp insertion in this one virus compared to others is evidence of nothing. Finally, "5G" is not anything. It is a standard, not a tangible something. If you said "60 GHz" then maybe we would have something to discuss. Yet, even then there would be debate. It is not enough to say it "causes cancer in rates" for we must then ask questions like "At what strength?", "For what duration?", "Is a rat equivalent to a human?", "Has the experiment been duplicated in another lab?", and things like that. The purpose of my article was to get people to think more deeply on the scientific aspects of Covid-19. I would encourage you to do the same.
Jim M.
One of those conspiracy theories floating around in social media land was from someone who claimed to have been a key player in a major phone company (name not mentioned and face not shown in video). Although he sounded confident and full of knowledge, about five minutes in, he made the claim that 5G radiation damaged human cells and that those cells were the SOURCE of the covid-19 virus. I'm no scientist, but at least I understand that's not how viruses work. I didn't continue listening, but it's easy to see how people can get sucked in to various conspiracy theories! Thanks CMI for your sensible response.
Robert Carter
Yes, that conspiracy was the reason for writing this article. I opted to not give many details, because I would have then had to spend time discrediting the source claims. And, since the theory has spun off into so many different variants it would have been difficult to address it in full. But that is the nature of conspiracy theory. They cite vague claims, then move on, in a never-ending cycle of misinformation.
Paul S.
However 5mm is small enough to start affecting structures (like neurons) that are impervious to lower frequencies. Skin heating is not the only issue.
Dr Charles Teo (neurosurgeon) has authored a paper in the early 2000s with two other neuros about the rise in the prevalence of brain tumours around the ears as mobile phone use increased. He won't use one. (I was a patient of his due to a cavernous haemangioma)
Robert Carter
And I use my cell phone as little as possible, take it out of my pocket whenever I am not walking, and am happy that I now have a Bluetooth link to my car's speakers. But was Dr. Teo working with 60 GHz twenty years ago? Have there been any improvements in the signal stream over the past two decades? Could there be any other reasons, like the warmth from the battery or plasticizer fumes emanating from the case? Has there been a tremendous rise in near-ear brain cancers, across the world, or are the statistics weak?
Chris P.
Excellent article, and has calmed my fears somewhat regarding 5G. I do generally try to avoid using WIFI whenever possible. I once had a WIFI dongle on my computer that I used to connect to a WIFI router, but I found that after using it for around an hour at a time, I would start to feel nauseous and have a slight headache. I found this feeling disappeared when I changed to a wired connection to my router. So I don't think prolonged close exposure to electromagnetic signals is healthy. I also have friends who worked beside WIFI routers for long periods of time and it caused them to have health problems, including hyper sensitivity to parts of their skin. I don't think WIFI is entirely safe, and I think that just like smoking, the more time passes the more we will find out what damage it is causing.
Robert Carter
And the more time that passes the better statistical analyses we can perform to see if the anecdotal stories that many people have are just flukes or if there is really something there. At present, we really have no actionable information.
Mariana C.
I have just read this much needed article again (thank you so much for it!) and this time spotted a typo...
Robert Carter
Thank you for pointing these out. I'm having them fixed.
Tricia T.
Thank you very much for this clear and scientific reply to the 5G-virus debate. It has astounded me that many of my friends are confidently informing me that 5G masts "started this virus" and now I have a means to reply to them with confidence. Thanks!
Govi H.
Great article Dr. Carter (as usual)!
Orlando B.
Thanks for the great article!
Eileen T.
Thank you so much for this timely post - i have re-posted it to my Blog.
Lassi P.
WOW! I simply loved this article. Timely, and brings clarity on much confusion out there. CMI:s work in defence of Biblical authority would be much compromised if you bought into all those conspiracy theories out there. But CMI's articles are always well balanced. I can't thank you enough.
Tim C.
Dr Carter, could you reveal what subject your doctorate is in? I don't know if I've just been hearing different conspiracy theories or what, but my understanding is that the fear results from 5G transmitters having to be powerful and sophisticated enough to handle millions of channels at a time , and that as the frequencies involved have less 'penetrating power' than lower frequencies, there will be many more transmitters which will be in much closer proximity to people. As I understand it, there has been virtually no research into the effects of these close proximity radiations on the human body. Such research would set a lot of minds at rest, so why hasn't this been done? We are to believe that the roll out of 5G and the timing of the current coronavirus epidemic are just an unfortunate coincidence. To Those who believe that there are powers behind the scenes who regard themselves as above the governments of our countries, there's no such thing as coincidence! This is all exacerbated by stories e. g. of birds dying in the vicinity of 5G transmitters. It is easy to think that the silence is deafening! Your response would be welcome.
Robert Carter
My bio is easy to find. Some try to claim that, because I am a scientist trained in one specific field, I cannot speak about science in general. There are multiple logical fallacies involved with such claims. I am either right or I am wrong. I am either applying sound reasoning and a biblical scientific worldview to the problem, or I am not.

1. "Powerful" is being ambiguously by many people. It does not take more power to use more channels. Instead, it takes a sophisticated and fast switching algorithm. This can be done in a low-power system if you throw enough intelligence and elegant engineering at the problems.

2. Yes, there will be more transmitters impacting more people, but at a low power, and not using ionizing radiation, which is a known carcinogen.

3. We have been experimenting with the physiological effects of radiation at different wavelengths for a very long time. Are X-rays dangerous? Yes. That was relatively easy to figure out. But we still use them in very low doses. Is UV dangerous? Yes, but less so than X-rays, and yet we still go out in the sun. Are radio waves dangerous? If so, they pose so little danger that no clear statistical signal can be discerned.

4. One reason little research has been done on this is that everything we already know is pointing toward these wavelengths being safe. Did you notice in my article that I said 600 GHz radiation is part of the natural environment? In fact, this is what is radiated from warm water molecules. Would such research put minds at ease? I doubt it. People don't believe we went to the moon, don't believe the earth is an oblate spheroid, believe we are being visited by extraterrestrials, and/or believe that a 60 GHz signal can manifest itself as a virus-like entity in the human population. Yet, I can hope, and so I keep writing article like this.
Josh N.
Hello Dr. Carter,
I'm curious if you could expound a bit on some points in relation to some of this. I have nothing against 5G, and I enjoy using my microwave, but it appears that some of your don't line up with all of experience, so hopefully you can help me see the bridge between the two. 1) I think the Microwave argument is undermined by a couple different factors. We all know that microwaves react strongly to metals, not just water. When we put a fork or aluminum foil in a microwave, things are obviously drastic, but what's happening at the microscopic level at the small amounts of metals in many foods? Similarly, one can try to microwave straight water in a ceramic cup, but we all know the ceramic will heat up much fast than the water. And finally, we also know that microwaves leak a lot. See, for example, this article: [link deleted per feedback rules] 2) While unproven, there has also been some cause for concern about close contact with non-ionizing RF signals: [link deleted per feedback rules]. I'm not about to abandon my cell phone, but I try not to keep it directly against my skin for hours on end either... And we've seen that not all cancers are created equal since different foods help fight different types of cancer. So it would seem "theoretically" possible that excess signals in a given wavelength *might* influence the body in specific ways. While it would seem unreasonable that it would only encourage COVID-19, perhaps... maybe a spectrum of viruses???
3) So... is there a study that shows equivalently dense populations with and without 5G towers and their respective COVID-19 rates? PS - I really do enjoy your ministry and materials! Just asking for better understanding.
Robert Carter
1. Microwaves do not "react strongly to metals." In fact, you can put all the metal you want in a microwave and you will notice nothing at all...unless there is a corner. Just like the way a lightning rod works during a storm, an edge or a point on something metal will build up a charge when the microwave is turned on. If that charge gets large enough, a small spark will appear. But, ionized gasses absorb microwaves even better than water, so a chain reaction begins. They suck up even more microwaves and create even more ionized gasses. If that metal is submerged in water (like the staple on a teabag), nothing will happen. And nothing happens on the molecular level to the metals (iron, magnesium, calcium...) in all of our foods. If you cut a grape in half and put the pieces next to each other in a microwave, this will also produce sparks -- because of the size of the grape vs. the wavelength of the microwaves just happens to line up nicely. BTW, there are other frequencies that water absorbs even better. But if we used them, only the surface water molecules would heat up and we would get really bad cooking results. We need at least a little bit of penetration.

2. Yes, ceramics can heat up in a microwave. This is usually due to the coatings, that often contain high amounts of metal! It can also be due to water in the pore spaces (which can create particularly explosive results). If your dish gets hot before your food, this is due to the fact that the dish is absorbing more microwaves. A tall bowl, for example, might also be shielding the food.

3. Leaky microwaves: a) If there is stray RF, it is probably coming from the electronics on the outside of the chamber. b) We have gotten a lot better with our electronics. c) A microwave that is leaking radiation from inside the chamber will probably be visibly defective, like a door that does not close properly. d) If radiation does leak out, what is it going to do? It will warm up water molecules. But we have a natural aversion to high levels of heat and to burning sensations already.

4. Yes, it is theoretically possible that non-ionizing radiation can cause cancer. But, there is no hard evidence for it. And, we are talking about power levels that are very low anyway, so the theoretical risk is reduced even more.

5. No, there is no link between viruses of any type and any RF frequency field currently being deployed in the world. Could a specific frequency trigger a virus to excise itself from the human genome or energize it to make it more effective? There is no evidence that this is or has ever happened, so why would I worry about it?

6. All you have to do is compare where 60 GHz 5G towers have been set out and where the virus has appeared. But be careful about making false associations. For economic reasons, those towers have been added to the highest-density population centers. But high-density populations are also where viruses spread fastest. Thus, you really have to carefully examine where the towers are not but also have a high enough population per square mile, and you can't compare one country to another (because of different reporting standards).
Ken B.
Dr Carter would you please comment (or post another article) in relation to so-called herd immunity and the corona virus? Thank you.
Robert Carter
Herd immunity is a simple concept. Some people have problems with it because it seems insulting to refer to humans as a 'herd'. Other struggle with the math. But, if enough people have been exposed to, and survived, any particular pathogen, they will generally be immune to further infection. God designed our immune systems with a memory, thankfully! Also, mothers pass antibodies in breast milk, so the effect is trans-generational (in a reduced form) even if a baby was never exposed to that particular bug. If enough people catch the flu in one season, for example, the virus will suddenly run out of targets. Herd immunity depends upon population density and transmissiblity of a pathogen, but once a high enough percentage of the population is immunized (either naturally or artificially), pathogen transmission ceases. The problem with herd immunity and the coronavirus is that an unacceptable number of people would have to die to get us to that level, and even then the process would not necessarily be complete because of new births and continuing mutation of the virus, which could create new serotypes to which we are immunologically naive. It also depends on how lethal this virus is. We don't care about the common cold, and we try hard with the flu, but we aggressively targeted small pox, the measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, etc., because of the amount of suffering. We obtained herd immunity with many diseases (e.g. smallpox and polio) through vaccination, which is why these diseases are no longer circulating in the US and several other countries. We cannot do this with tetanus because the causative agent Clostridium tetani is a common soil bacterium.
Edward N.
This is the clearest and most concise explanation I've seen!
Joanne G.
Please be patient and consider also the greater body of scientific research that you have overlooked in relation to DNA damage and depolarisation of cells when exposed to ELF. Your article caters to the emotional response while ignoring the greater extent of research about this science, therefore appeasing your readers' itching ears. Christians are called to expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), not pander to them. Therefore, I ask you to consider withdrawing this article. The following are non-emotional driven scientific aspects that ought not be overlooked. Look at the archives of those who prepared the Bioinitiative Report as well as the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association Inc with thousands of papers on the health effects of ELF to RF-EMR stretching back for many decades. There are adequate numbers of scientists and medical doctors who would object to your paper in their 5G appeals given to the United Nations and the World Health Organisation in 2015 and 2019. In particular, take a peek at DNA strand break of 100Hz research by Cosmin et al in 2014. Also consider reading about Panagopoulos, Johansson & Carlo, who in 2015 demonstrated depolarization of cellular tissue at any depth of the body from manmade EMFs. If you take this comment down, I can only assume that you are not willing to consider an honest scientific presentation of this topic. Prayerfully consider. Thank you.
Robert Carter
I am a scientist and thus I will support scientific understanding wherever it may lead. If these things are dangerous, I will trumpet that fact from the rooftops. If not, I will say so. Where the facts are equivocal we have room for polite discussion. But note that these are simple matters of operational science. This really has nothing to do with evolution and so the facts should be easy to lay out for all to see.

If you Google the Bioinitiative Report you will find that it was written by a small group of scientists and their results were not peer reviewed. The conclusions they drew also run contrary to a vast body of literature. They have not had a good reception in the scientific community because they selectively cherry picked and misquoted from prior scientific publications. I know less about the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association, but I did find an editorial-like paper laying out some of their claims in The Lancet, which is no mean journal.

Yet, your Cosmin (2014) reference states, "The exposure of different cell lines or organisms to electromagnetic fields have produced a bulk of data that were sometimes contradictory and didn’t allow a concise and clear conclusion about the effects of electromagnetic fields on biological systems." They were also studying the effect on DNA in cells sitting directly underneath a strong electromagnet (5.6 mT) oscillating at 100 Hz. This is unlike anything coming from either a 5G transmitter or receiver. Thus, not only is there no scientific consensus on the issue, their experiment does little help clarify the question. There are other, much more recent studies you could have referenced.

Tony R.
Are the towers that transmit these signals safe?
Robert Carter
The wattage is very low and the wavelengths are not known to be physiologically dangerous.
Andrew W.
Great article. However, I would like to point out that when it comes to cell phones and electromagnetic waves and the safety issues thereof: It is the transmit signal (not the receive signal) that is the issue. The power radiated by the transmitter in some cell phones can be close to a Watt; which is much, much greater than the power in the received signal. There have been studies which say that, in some cases, the temperature in a person's brain can be raised by as much as (roughly) 0.5 degrees C when someone is using their cell phone and holding it up to their head while it is transmitting. The jury seems to still be out as to how serious this actually is...
David C.
Great article, thanks for sharing. One small clarification: while the RF power received by a cellphone may be on the order of a billionth of a watt because of the inverse square law, the phone transmits at a power on the order of 1W right next to your ear. It is still nothing to worry about, as the power is still 3 orders of magnitude below that of a microwave oven and the frequency much lower also.
Robert Carter
Thanks for the info. Note, though, that the argument is not about a 5G phone, especially since so few people have them. It is about bathing the world in the 5G signal from the towers. People are afraid of the towers. This is why I worded things the way I did.
Graham V.
Generally a good article but totally incorrect in stating that microwave ovens operate at 300 GHz- the top of the microwave band. Microwave ovens operate at 2.4 GHz and this is similar to 4G, which unfortunately undermines your argument about destroying molecules and damaging dna, which the conspiracy theorists will have a field day with (your microwave oven, if it is leaky can interfere with your phone signal! It is about the power level and exposure more than the frequency.
Robert Carter
Yes, you are the third person to point out the mistake I made. I'll get it fixed soon. But the conspiracy theorists will still have to deal with the low power levels and the fact that this band has been used for a long time without 'triggering' any coronavirus epidemics, so I think I am still on safe ground when the text gets adjusted. BTW, a lot of those stray, interfering frequencies might be coming from outside the microwave chamber. If you have faulty electronics, they could be putting out a lot of RF noise that is not "microwaves". In fact, many kitchen appliances can be electronically noisy.
Mariana C.
My microwave oven has an output frequency of 2450 MHz (2,45 GHz) -- which is orders of magnitude away from the 300 GHz mentioned in your article. Could you clarify that please?
Robert Carter
I can't clarify it. It was a mistake. I pulled that number off the internet. I already knew that microwaves and WiFi operated at the same frequency, yet I failed to make the connection in my article. It will be fixed soon.
Jesse C.
It does seem that people will try to strap anything bad they can think of to poor old 5G does it not? I work with EM in the Mhz and Ghz ranges of differing wattages, signal strengths and proximity to Rx/Tx stations. I used to be quite disturbed by the potential biological effects but now my thinking is generally: "Is all this EM going to cause me serious maladies or to die of some terrible disease? Probably not. But is it good to be continually bathing in all of this unnatural radiation? Probably not." I am at peace but remain conflicted. Regarding our current global state: Is the potential danger from this virus real? Yes. As is anything that jumps from animals to humans...but the panic and reactions are most certainly manufactured. Jesus is coming back soon and these recent events speak very loudly of this. So, why are we concerned with what the ruler of this world may or may not be planning to do to our bodies? Speaking as one who has been known to go down the rabbit hole for years at a time, CMI's advice and wise council to avoid conspiracy theories is sound. Truth be known, I initially intended to fan a conspiratorial fire somewhat with this comment but this is not helpful, especially to those with legitimate anxiety and so, I relented. What is the end of the matter? Cling to the gospel. Preach the word. Encourage the saints. Thanks to CMI, we can also be more ready, in season and out of season, with answers to such questions as this article deals with. May the Lord bless you and keep you dear brothers and sisters. Maranatha!
William H.
Super interesting! The graphs are really helpful. Thank you, Dr Carter. (PS. A microwave with 300 GHz frequency will have a wavelength of 1mm (1000um not 100um) :) )
Robert Carter
Argh, math! You know, I knew that. But I trusted my math more than my memory, and my math was wrong. I'll get it fixed.
Nichola W.
Thank you so much for this article. It has certainly given me a better understanding of how it all works and a much needed resource for sharing with others who are also questioning stuff on the internet.
Wanda G.
Legit just had a conversation about this with my uncle, lol. Thank you for addressing this popular conspiracy theory.

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