We are celebrating the undoubted positive aspects linked to the use of this amazing new technology, to be applied in many different and heterogeneous fields of application, nevertheless we know that the introduction of fifth generation mobile telephony will give rise to new scenarios of exposure of the population to radio frequency electromagnetic fields that will be emitted in frequency bands (694-790 MHz, 3.6-3.8 GHz and 26.5-27.5 GHz) very different from those currently used for mobile telephony (from 800 MHz to 2.6 GHz).

Without prejudice to the impact of great innovation, utility and profit on a large scale (the auction, for example, will bring the State 6.4 billion euros in 4 years), some considerations on the possible harmful effects of 5G on primary health and environmental goods must be made.

In fact, studies published on the subject certainly do not tell us anything in relation to the impact and risks in the medium to long term, limiting themselves to a disclaimer " available data does not suggest particular problems for the health of the population connected to the introduction of 5G - therefore not in terms of certainty or robust probability of its harmlessness - only in the short term (see 5G electromagnetic emissions and health risks by Alessandro Polichetti - Centro Nazionale per la Protezione dalle Radiazioni e Fisica Computazionale, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome).

This certainly stems from the fact that the frequencies that will be used for 5G have been the subject of fewer studies than those used by current telecommunications and broadcasting technologies.

Therefore, it is first and foremost essential that the introduction of this technology is accompanied by careful monitoring of exposure levels (as is already the case with current mobile phone technologies) and that research on possible long-term effects continues, possibly increasing.

Compared to current technologies, the 5G network is based on an extraordinarily high number of planned antennas (small cells), the very high output energy used to ensure their diffusion, the extraordinarily high frequencies, the apparent high-level interaction of the 5G frequency on ions, including the groups responsible for the cellular ion pumps. Therefore, its possible danger to health and the environment is supported from many quarters - rightly or wrongly.

The conclusions of the European Council on the importance of 5G for the European economy and the need to mitigate related security risks (14517/19 of 3.12.2019) state inter alia that the 5G network security approach must be comprehensive and risk-based. 5G security is considered to be a continuous process that starts with the selection of suppliers and lasts throughout the production phase of the network elements and the lifetime of the networks.

It seems that today we are still far from a judgement of harmlessness or probable harmlessness in the medium-long term, moving rather within the thorny perimeter of the judgement based on risk which, at the moment, would seem to be the most remote but which, in the absence of certain data, could well - over the years - "rise" to a possible if not probable risk.

Now, the World Health Organisation, the European Commission and the National Institute of Health, for example, do not seem to have yet taken the "possible risk" into adequate consideration, respecting the precautionary principle, when the available results on the existence of biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic fields - including 5G - and the scientific evaluation that does not allow to determine with certainty the risk, are most probably already sufficient to apply this principle, define the exposed subjects as potentially vulnerable and re-evaluate, at least partially, the current institutional conclusions.

On this basis, a moratorium for the implementation of 5G on the whole national territory would probably be desirable until at least an active involvement of the public bodies in charge of environmental and health control (Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, ISPRA, ARPA, Prevention Departments) is properly planned, preliminary risk assessments according to codified methodologies and a monitoring plan of the possible health effects on exposed subjects, who should in any case be adequately and adequately informed of the potential risks or the current rate of lack of knowledge in the medium-long term.

In other words, players and institutions should avoid that 5G could turn out to be a kind of experiment in the long run because it would bring a heavy consequence in dowry: the liabilities borne by the State and by the players themselves which, in a few years time, could be called to compensate jointly and severally a large number of subjects for the injuries and damages etiologically derived (or caused), according to a probabilistic judgement, from the harmful emissions and high frequency electromagnetic fields of 5G, if and to the extent that their harmfulness to health and the environment is actually ascertained.

In a scenario that can in some ways be assimilated mutatis mutandis - forty years ago it was blood and plasma, today it is electromagnetic fields - the State and hospital bodies have had to, and continue to, compensate the injured parties and their relatives for hundreds of millions of euros, basically for not having adequately supervised and for having culpably failed to apply the rules that in any case imposed (in their position of guarantee and by virtue of the precautionary principle) the control of blood and blood products and the screening of donors.

This economic data, in addition to the social cost of the violation of absolute, unavailable and primary ranking assets, should be taken into proper and timely consideration alongside that of the billion-dollar profits from the auctions and the speed of interaction of the new network.

Originally published October 30, 2020

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