The 5G Conspiracy Theory
Claim: 5G causes cancer
The claim that 5G causes cancer and has proven to do so
There was a study done by the National Toxicology Program on the effects of cellphone signals. Its worth noting that I've had this study referenced by people claiming it proves cellphones cause cancer. It usually comes in the form of "The National Toxicology Program has proven that 5G causes cancer." Let's unpack this.
What were the specifics of the study?
They exposed male and female rats and mice over 9 years to RF radiation. The frequency used was 900MHz. This is much lower than the frequencies used by 5G which are in the GHz. That's important because higher frequency Radiofrequencies and Microwaves can't penetrant beyond the skin. It's also worth reiterating it was a full-body exposure, not, for example, exposure to where your phone would be placed on your head.
The study used 2G and 3G Radiofrequency technology, not 5G. They found clear evidence of tumours in the hearts of male rats and some evidence for brain tumours and tumours in adrenal glands of male rats.
"It was unclear if tumours observed in the studies were associated with exposure to RFR in female rats (900 MHz) and male and female mice (1900MHz)."
This study exposed rats and mice to 2G and 3G technologies at very high levels.
Here is the peer-review report for this study. It's 51 pages but luckily comes with a summary. The basic rundown of this is that they found clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in the hearts of male rats, some evidence of brain and adrenal cancer in male rats, and equivocal evidence of other carcinogenic activity in male rats. Female rats only had equivocal evidence of heart cancer.
I'm clunkily paraphrasing so don't take that as gospel, it's better to read their summary. In short, you can't wave away the effects of low-frequency Radiowaves on rats because it's only one study. It was quite comprehensive and peer-reviewed.
The short answer is, there isn't any. From the National Toxicology Program's own page on the study:
"As the 5G network is implemented, some of the signals used by the 5G network will use the same lower frequencies used by the older technology previously studied by NTP, but the 5G network will also use higher frequencies—up to 60,000 MHz—thereby exposing wireless users to a much broader spectrum of frequencies. The higher frequencies, known as millimetre waves, can rapidly transmit enormous amounts of data with increased network capacity compared with current technologies. Millimetre waves do not travel as far and do not penetrate the body as deeply as do the wavelengths from the lower frequencies. Millimetre waves are likely to penetrate no deeper than the skin, whereas the lower frequencies have been shown to penetrate at least three to four inches into the human body."
Putting this together
Male rats faired the worst while female rats were barely affected. They were exposed to high levels of full-body radiation using 2G and 3G frequencies that penetrate into the body and can move atoms around to damage DNA. This is likely the increase in tumours in rats the study found. I can't speculate as I'm not a scientist and I don't have nearly enough knowledge as the scientists who study these things. From what I can gather, it's a possibility.
Put that against 5G which uses a much higher frequency and as such doesn't penetrate past the skin. Put simply, the 5G Radiofrequency waves can't reach the brain or the heart. It can't penetrate past the skin.
For added clarification on the subject, there is a snippet from the National Institute of Healths website from the author of the study:
"These studies did not investigate the types of RFR used for Wi-Fi or 5G networks.
“5G is an emerging technology that hasn’t really been defined yet. From what we currently understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied,” said Wyde."
“The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone,” said John Bucher, Ph.D., NTP senior scientist. “In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies. By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone. In addition, the exposure levels and durations in our studies were greater than what people experience.”
"The lowest exposure level used in the studies was equal to the maximum local tissue exposure currently allowed for cell phone users. This power level rarely occurs with typical cell phone use. The highest exposure level in the studies was four times higher than the maximum power level permitted. “We believe that the link between radiofrequency radiation and tumours in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed,” said Bucher."
To summarise this even further, the rats were exposed full-body to levels of Radiofrequency radiation much greater than the maximum power level permitted for human exposure.
I gave this a close to false rating without it being false. All the available evidence suggests that 5G can't cause cancer because the study linking radiofrequency exposure to cancer in mice and rats was conducted at beyond maximum power levels and full-body with lower frequency technologies that penetrate the body.
5G can't penetrate past the skin, and the author says this doesn't apply to humans or 5G.
Of course, there is always the chance for new information to present itself, but until then this claim is as good as false.