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Editorial: Let’s look at the facts

Lack of evidence doesn’t stop fear mongers

Penticton city council has a duty to listen to everyone, even those with offbeat ideas, like a group that presented their concerns about the installation of a 5G cellular network throughout the community and requested a public forum.

That’s the next stage in the evolution of cellular networks. It promises higher speeds, greater control and the ability to tailor it to specific platforms.

A group of citizens says it offers increased risk of damaged DNA, cancer, birth defects and other health ills, the same as similar groups have been alleging, to no provable degree, for a couple of decades.

Granted, there may be a very few that are hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields, but the vast majority of people are unaffected, as evidenced by the lack of an epidemic of people falling ill after decades of being bathed in radio frequency fields for cellular and wireless.

Health Canada, and others, make it clear that while they want to see continuing research, “current scientific evidence supports the assertion that RF energy emissions from Wi-Fi devices are not harmful.” (Health Canada, Safety of Wi-Fi equipment).

It’s not that these topics should never be questioned. But questions need to be based on real science, like the many studies that show no link between cellular/wireless tech and cancer. Fear mongering websites, often repeating worn-out cliches and bad science, should not be considered as valid information sources.

Again, city council has a responsibility to listen and consider, but they don’t have any responsibility to go to extreme lengths to address unreasonable concerns, or let those concerns stand in the way of the city progressing, as in the development of a technology that brings manifold benefits, not only to individuals, but to the city as a whole.

A public forum on this would do little but spread misinformation. Let’s not give fear mongers a platform or credibility. As in all things, our council needs to educate themselves on this topic, but from truly knowledgeable and responsible sources.