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VERIFY: No, face masks don’t contain metal '5G antennas'

A viral video claims the metal wire in medical masks actually has a sinister purpose.

Viewer Doreen C. sent the VERIFY team a viral video of a woman cutting open a face mask and pulling out the metal strip that fits around the nose. She says that the strip is actually a 5G antenna and is “made to kill everybody” as part of a government plot. But is that true?

THE QUESTION:

Are 5G antennas in the metal strips inside face masks?

THE ANSWER:

No. Decades old patents show that wire strips have been part of face masks since before 1G cellular technology was even in use. The strips are meant to be bendable so that wearers can have them fit more snugly around their nose.

WHAT WE FOUND: 


Masks have deviated little since at least the early 1970s. That’s when this patent for a surgical face mask was filed and approved.

It contained a “flexible nose strip” made of wire which could be “shaped to form compound curves.”

Modern documents about masks explain that the wire strips still serve the same purpose today.

In a post last month sharing guidance on using masks, the Illinois Department of Public Health wrote that the wire is meant to be “sewn or built into the mask” to “help it conform to the bridge of your nose.”

Credit: VERIFY

The concern about 5G is that while faster, its waves don’t travel as far as those of 4G, meaning that more transmitters would have to be in place to keep up signal strength. And predictions are that they may become as common in the everyday scenery as “lampposts and graffiti,” ZDNet says.

Some worry about the possibility of cancer or other health problems from the additional transmitters as well the 5G signal itself. As for the 5G antenna, it and the parts needed for it to function wouldn’t fit on something as small as the metal strip inside a face mask, experts say.

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Although the World Health Organization cautions that only a few studies have been done on 5G, it says that as frequency increases, “there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.”

The WHO sees little danger from 5G. “No adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies,” it says. “Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G."

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