By Osele Ulimmachukwu Nwadinaru

Evolution has found good grounds in technology as systems and devices have sought to improve on deficiencies and extend their spectrum. From the use of smoke signals and drums as a means of communication in the 1790s to the use of mobile phones – science is evolving! There were mixed reactions to the advent of the 5G technology with Twitter going frenzy with videos heightening fears, and articles seeking to create awareness about “debilitating effects” of this new invention. The Fifth Generation, 5G, is the latest wireless mobile phone technology – an upgrade to the 4G technology.

In the late 2000s, 4G wireless mobile was deployed and accepted worldwide, everyone was receptive to this change, who wouldn’t be? YouTube videos buffering and delayed browsing were becoming issues with 3G and 4G was a breakthrough for mobile technology. In 2020, there are more than 20 billion connected devices, creating the need for connection with greater capacity than the 4G. 5G with a speed of up to 100gigabits per second is the successor to 4G and at a speed that is 100times faster, it is smarter and more efficient. 5G will extend into higher frequencies, which may be new to mobile phones, but has been used in other applications such as point-to-point radio links and body scanners during security checks.
Already in the 2nd quarter of 2020, it is safe to say that 2020 is full of surprises.

Nigeria, still dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic, woke up to controversies on the deployment of the 5G, and people gave in to speculations – such as covering phones with foil to repel the radioactive effect of the rays” Some attributed the recent increase in mortality rate to the exposure of 5G radio waves. On a press statement to allay the fears of Nigerians, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, on the 4th of April 2020, assured that Nigeria has not issued the license for 5G.

According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association, there is no scientifically validated evidence that chronic exposure to radio waves at frequencies 0 and 300 gigahertz are connected to an adverse health effect, 5G is not expected to go above this cap.
Mobile phones emit radio waves, which are a form of non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation only has enough energy to excite a molecule and gives the by-product as heat, there is, therefore, no anomaly in this kind of radiation. Whereas, ionizing radiation- the type found in nuclear power is higher in frequency and can cause several health hazards like cancer, burns, radiation sickness, and genetic damage.

There have been several studies carried out to ascertain the public health safety of 5G. A recent study in Denmark, published in the journal of the National cancer institute on the use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumour, found no association between cell phone use and the incidence of glioma, meningioma, or acoustic neuroma.

Another study was carried out by the National Toxicology Program to clarify potential health hazards from exposure to radiofrequency. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) summarized that there isn’t sufficient evidence to liken adverse health effects in humans to exposure to radio frequency. However, the World Health Organization advocates further research into the long-term health impacts of all aspects of the mobile.

If you are worried about Radio Frequency exposure, follow the recommendations can below to minimize exposure:

  • Do not sleep with your phones next to you.
  • Avoid making calls when the signal is weak, this causes cell phones to boost radio frequency transmission power.

National Toxicology Program
World Health Organization
Legacy Research Group



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Young Pharmacists Group, Lagos state

Young Pharmacists Group, Lagos state

This is the official Medium account of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria- Young Pharmacists' Group, Lagos Chapter, Nigeria.