CONSPIRACY THEORIES are a remarkable and fascinating idea, they are the perpetuation of myths but claimed as fact through either outright lies, twisted science or connections to other research that doesn’t actually exist. Recently, I have come across a Conspiracy Theory that have engulfed Gateshead council and they have been rushing to dispel the rumours but the individual responsible for perpetuating the myth is relentless in the face of facts.

Gateshead council have been rushing to dismiss the myth that new street lamps installed within the city give off radiation that causes, stillbirths, cancer and Nose Bleeds. The source of the radiation is apparently the transmitters on top.

Alleged 5G trials

The story becomes more remarkable is that eventually the story has been picked up by the nationals and in particular, the Daily Mail, who love to push conspiracy theories into public discourse. Supposed ‘health reporter’, Alexandra Thompson, wrote on the Mail Online “According to local scientist Mark Steele, 58, people living in the area are experiencing symptoms of insomnia, nose bleeds and several women have even endured the horror of stillbirths since the introduction of LED lamps that emit 5G radiation.”

The individual Mark Steele (not the Independent’s satirist), who is claimed to be a ‘local scientist’, is in fact the Product Development Director at Reevu International, a bit of research shows that this is a company that specialises in motorbike helmets and he studied psychology and social sciences at Newcastle College.

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The problem is that he uses anecdotal evidence and confirmation bias to back up his claims. He has claimed that he knows three women who have had miscarriages since the lamp posts were installed, creating a link that is most likely disprovable but because of the confidentiality agreement medical professionals adhere to, cannot be proved, but also a direct link to what Mr Steele is claiming is also not possible to prove. The strangest aspect is that Mr Steele and his supporters claim that the council are conducting secret trials of 5G through these lamp posts. Of course, the council have categorically denied this and cited the WHO and Public Health England, who back up the council’s claim that they are harmless.

It would be a bit of stretch to call him a ‘scientist’, particularly when it comes to electronics and transmitters. I am not disputing that he may be knowledgeable in specific areas but from what I have gathered, the claims he makes are based on research on the LED lights in street lamps and even that is a remarkable act of mental contortionism.

The facts are easily findable online but the basics are that the research cited is that the European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) notes such radiation has been linked to cancer, insomnia and mental-health disorders. The headlines are disingenuous at best, as the Daily Mail claim that past research shows that the risk of miscarriages from such radiation increases by 50 per cent.

The publication in question is ‘Exposure to Magnetic Field Non-Ionizing Radiation and the Risk of Miscarriage: A Prospective Cohort Study’ and does not suggest any possible physical mechanism to explain the correlation and thus does not establish causation. Furthermore, the paper does not claim the correlation is specifically due to magnetic fields from Wi-Fi or mobile phones. the frequencies tested are far smaller (40–1000 Hz) than wifi/mobile phone EM frequencies (800–2600 MHz), which underlines the question, what precisely were the authors testing for? Furthermore, it is only within Mr Steele’s circle that people have suffered and as previously mentioned, this is called confirmation bias through anecdotal evidence.

However, conspiracy theorists tend double down in the face of evidence against their claims and will never believe anything else because it doesn’t fit the picture they want to see. If it is a government organisation, then they are corrupt, if it is a private organisation, then they are financially benefitting and if it is someone who is previously a cited source by the conspiracy theorists, then they have been corrupted and have ‘sold out’. So, let’s just enjoy the glorious acts of mental contortionism from the comments in the form of a badly written found poem (all comments are real and not edited, spelling or grammar wise, only formatting has been applied).

Found poem: YOUR BEING CONNED

Definitely true

Their not going to

Admit the antennas on

Street lights radiate people.

What difference does

My opinion make

Chem trails all sorts

We’re getting depopulate-d.

Gateshead Council your WRONG

DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH

YOUR BEING CONNED.

This is a smoke screen

Read the evidence

Before you assume this isn’t true.