5G conspiracy theorists obsessed with the idea that the next-generation wireless technology will bombard them with deadly radiation have settled on a brilliant plan: wearing necklaces that... also bombard them with radiation.
The Netherlands’s Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS) recently issued a warning that tests had detected ionizing radiation emitting from 10 separate “negative ion” products, which the Guardian reported are used by some people with anti-5G beliefs in the hope it will shield them from the supposed negative health effects of being exposed to 5G towers. The products are sometimes also referred to as “quantum pendants.” The bulletin opened by immediately warning owners of the listed products to store them safely and await instructions for return or disposal, as well as any other “negative ion” products that may be in their possession.
The levels of ionizing radiation detected are low, according to ANVS, and the risk “very small,” but they are potentially harmful to anyone wearing the products for an extended period of time (as one might if they believed it was necessary to protect them from the 5G rollout). ANVS specifically mentioned “red skin” as a potential symptom of prolonged exposure. Sellers have been instructed that the products are banned under Dutch law and they must immediately stop wearing them, or “criminal or administrative action” may follow, the ANVS announcement stated.
“Exposure to ionising radiation can cause adverse health effects,” ANVS said, according to the Guardian. “Due to the potential health risk they pose, these consumer products containing radioactive materials are therefore prohibited by law. Ionising radiation can damage tissue and DNA and can cause, for example, a red skin. Only low levels of radiation have been measured on these specific products.”
“However, someone who wears a product of this kind for a prolonged period (a year, 24 hours a day) could expose themselves to a level of radiation that exceeds the stringent limit for skin exposure that applies in the Netherlands,” the agency added. “To avoid any risk, the ANVS calls on owners of such items not to wear them from now on.”
The warning applies to Energy Armor sleeping masks, black and white necklaces, and black super bracelets; Magnetix armbands, necklaces, and bracelets; the aforementioned “Quantum Pendant”; and the Basic Nero armband. According to the Guardian, one of the manufacturers advertises that they “utilise pure minerals and volcanic ash that are extracted from the Earth,” begging the question of... what minerals.
As Scientific American pointed out in 2019, it’s not solely conspiracy theorists who believe 5G could potentially pose some kind of hazard to humans; some scientists have concerns that federal regulations pertaining to nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure are based on outdated research and need to be made more stringent. However, two large-scale research reviews released by Australian scientists earlier this year concluded that there was no substantial scientific evidence 5G has an impact on human health. The World Health Organization states on its website that, “To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies,” though it is conducting a health risk assessment on the entire radiofrequency range including 5G for release sometime soon.
Unfounded speculation that 5G cell towers are responsible for health conditions ranging from autism to cancer and covid-19, or are otherwise transmitting devious mind control signals, is among the countless conspiracy theories that circulated virtually unchecked on social media sites in the past few years (until companies like Facebook and Twitter grew weary of the bad press and took action against some of the biggest culprits). One schematic that went viral on both of those sites in January 2021, purportedly depicting a 5G-enabled nanochip secretly added to vaccines against the coronavirus, actually depicted a diagram of the electronics inside a guitar pedal. While whoever originally posted it obviously intended it as a joke, many users on those sites appear to have taken it seriously.
UK police blamed a string of arsons at cell towers and death threats against telecom engineers throughout 2020 on 5G conspiracists. A man who detonated a massive car bomb in Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas last year, killing himself, wounding eight others, and causing massive property damage, was initially speculated to be linked to 5G theories, given the blast’s proximity to an AT&T building. While perpetrator Anthony Quinn Warner was known to believe in numerous conspiracy theories, the FBI later concluded they could find no evidence 5G or any other particular ideological grudge motivated the attack.
Like virtually any conspiracy theory, the 5G one has attracted an array of grifters seeking to transfigure the gullibility of believers into hard cash. It’s incredibly common for alternative health products on the fringier side of the spectrum, which are often loosely regulated at best, to be manufactured with little concern for the safety of consumers.
“5G conspiracy theories fit into a long tradition of paranoia over what horrors will be inflicted on us by new technology,” Mike Rothschild, a researcher on conspiracy theories and author of The Storm Is Upon Us, told Gizmodo via Twitter DM. “Before 5G, it was conspiracy theories about ‘wifi poisoning’ and ‘electromagnetic sensitivity’ from smart meters causing a rash of nebulous and ever-changing symptoms, or microwaves making you sterile, or cell-phones giving you brain cancer.”
“Scammers take advantage of the public’s lack of basic science knowledge and fear of new technology to sell worthless products to ‘counteract’ their effects, often employing woo buzzwords like ‘quantum’ or ‘ionized’ to sound scientific and complex,” Rothschild added.