Snake Oil

This $250 '5G protection device' is just an LED light with a switch

The seller claims the device will protect you from mobile radiation. Inside, all you'll find is a 9V battery powering an LED light.

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The advent of 5G has predictably brought with it a wave of skeptics who claim, without evidence, that 5G radiowaves are going to bake us alive and that we need to halt its implementation. Some may actually believe this to be true (it's not), and it seems like others are exploiting that fear as an opportunity to make some quick cash from people who believe in alternative healing.

Case in point, a man in Glastonbury, England by the name of Gary Johnson is peddling an "EMF Protector" for $250 that is supposed to "neutralize radiation" through a unique "Bio-Feedback analysis system." Someone bought one of them to check it out and upon first look it does seem legit:


There's a cell tower right there on the box so you know what it's for! On the side, a switch will turn the device on with an LED light to indicate that it's "working":


Except, things got interesting when the buyer cracked it open to check out how the device actually works to deflect radiation:


Inside we see a battery, some wiring, and a copper tube. As Quackometer explains in a post, the wires connected to that copper tube have a gap, so no electrical voltage is being applied to it. In fact, the copper device is nothing more than a 2-inch piece of plumping pipe — it's decorative. This device is literally just a battery powering an LED light. For $250.

Anti-5G conspiracies are harmful — That's pretty egregious in and of itself. Making it worse is that conspiracy theorists have been peddling an unfounded and ludicrous claim that COVID-19 is caused by 5G. Gullible people may buy this device, then, thinking they can simply turn it on and they'll be protected from coronavirus without needing to take any appropriate measures like social distancing.

There's nothing inherently wrong with alternative forms of healing. Acupuncture may not have proven scientific effectiveness, but the placebo affect alone could at least temporarily make you feel happier, and there are no real risks. Peddling a fake solution to COVID-19 on the other hand is not okay, and could cause real harm.

5G is fine — Some of those promoting anti-5G ideas surely have good intentions in sharing this information, but they're wrong that it's harmful – based on an overwhelming body of academic research. There's no evidence that 5G causes cancer, or disease, or headaches. The radio frequencies emitted by 5G are far below any exposure limit known to cause harm. They can't vibrate or heat up the cells in your body enough to do any damage.

5G is no more harmful than the wireless frequencies for TV and radio that already pass through our bodies everyday. And importantly, advancing new technologies like 5G will keep our society strong from an economic standpoint thanks to all the new financial investment it will generate in the form of new business opportunities. 5G also has the potential to expand access to high-speed internet to disadvantaged communities if Joe Biden is elected president and follows through with his plan to recategorize internet providers as common carriers.

All that spreading 5G conspiracy theories does is empower people trying to hawk snake oil, like this "protector" box.