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Is the 5G network really harmful to health? The struggle of Mala Uholka villagers against a mobile phone tower

In the village of Mala Uholka, local residents are opposed to the installation of a 5G network due to concerns about their health and the possible impact on tourism. We look into the situation and find out whether these fears have any scientific basis.

In a village meeting concerning the installation of a mobile phone tower, both the chief engineer and the head of the operator’s regional branch found themselves amid a strange dialogue:

“Halka’s cow has stopped giving milk!” 

“My neighbour Paraska and I suffer from headaches daily!” 

“And my husband’s hard-on has suddenly disappeared!” 

“You see, Vasyl Petrovych,” the chief engineer says to the authorities, “and we haven’t even switched on the tower yet!”

(c) reader’s humour


It has never happened before — and yet here it is again. In the village of Mala Uholka in Tyachiv District, residents have collected nearly fifty signatures against the installation of a mobile tower on village territory. The villagers’ collective appeal has been forwarded to the district council.


According to the Tyachiv District Council’s website:

“People are convinced that the tower poses a threat to their health and lives, particularly with rumours circulating about an impending 5G network which certain global medical experts claim provokes dangerous fatal diseases like cancer.”

In addition to health concerns, locals worry that the tower will deter potential tourists, impacting the village’s economy. 

Despite opposition, the decision to proceed with the tower’s installation was taken at a session last year, with the developer securing land and necessary construction permits.

Technological advancements often frighten people due to uncertainties, potential risks, and societal biases, and 5G is no exception.

But can 5G truly harm your health? 

While most studies haven’t shown significant adverse effects from such technologies, scientists continue to conduct ongoing monitoring. International safety standards and monitoring programs are in place to regulate electromagnetic radiation levels.

The American Cancer Society notes on its website: “There is no convincing evidence that exposure to radio frequency waves from mobile phone towers causes any noticeable health effects. However, this does not mean that RF-waves from cell towers are completely safe. Most expert organizations agree that further research is warranted, particularly regarding any potential long-term impacts.” 

Despite the higher energy level of 5G radio frequencies, they are still forms of non-ionizing radiation, incapable of directly damaging DNA. 

Telecommunications expert Roman Khimich reassures Ukrainian Radio listeners that concerns about health risks posed by the technology are unwarranted.

“Today, there’s no evidence of a potential health hazards from cellular technology, particularly fifth-generation technology. Radiophobia has accompanied cellular communication for more than 20 years. This was true for the second, third, and fourth generations. There are always people who get a headache as soon as a mobile phone tower is put up, even if it’s not switched on.” 

Residents of Mala Uholka village also express concern over the planned installation of a new tower just 100-200 metres from residential buildings, despite existing mobile coverage in the area. This proximity is likely due to the impediment of high-frequency signals by walls, buildings, trees, and other objects. Consequently, 5G technologies necessitate numerous antenna towers placed closely together. Interestingly, human skin also blocks 5G signals.

We, Ukrainians, will either keep up with the times alongside the world’s leading countries or fall behind. The adoption of 5G technology signifies more than just streaming 4K videos to friends; it holds potential significance in the country’s defense sector.

As a reminder, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a plan to develop fifth-generation technology in Ukraine as early as 2019. Last September, Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister for Innovation, Education, Science and Technology — Minister for Digital Transformation announced that 5G cellular communications might become available as soon as 2024 small logo

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Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
01 / 01