Scientific American Warns: 5G is Unsafe
Tuesday, November 19th 2019 at 11:00 am
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Originally published on www.mercola.com
According to the telecom industry, 5G, the “5th Generation” wireless network, is required to give people the wireless freedom they crave and need. Described by HP as “blazingly fast,” 5G, which is 70 times faster than its predecessor, 4G, “will replace cable internet for good,” allowing you to download a two-hour high-definition movie in three seconds flat.1
5G is also being touted as necessary to enable the development and proliferation of self-driving cars and other future technologies. However, as noted in a May 2019 Forbes article,2 robocar designers are not, in fact, relying on 5G for their development, and the cars themselves do not actually need that kind of bandwidth to perform the required functions.
While “blazingly fast” 5G might sound attractive to many who have grown up in the internet era, there are significant health and environmental concerns relating to 5G radiation that are not being properly addressed, which may have profound implications both in the short and long term.
If increased internet speed and reliability are the end goal, then fiber optic connections would be a far better (and safer) way forward. Indeed, we need more wired connections and fewer wireless ones as it is. With 5G, microwave radiation exposures will so massively increase, there’s no doubt in my mind that mankind will eventually end up regretting its shortsightedness.
Remember that no one has problems with the faster speeds of 5G, no one. What any serious student of health has concerns with is that the data are being distributed wirelessly, when in most cases the data could be distributed easier and less expensively over fiber optic cables.
No Safety Studies Have Been Done
Unlike the 4G technology currently in use, which relies on 90-foot cell towers with about a dozen antenna ports on each, the 5G system uses “small cell” facilities or bases, each with about 100 antenna ports.3
These cell bases will be mounted to already existing infrastructure such as utility poles. Ultimately, many if not most homeowners can expect to end up with a 5G cell base mounted right outside or very near their home.
As noted by a Federal Communications Commission representative during a February 6, 2019, senate commerce hearing (above), no 5G safety studies have been conducted or funded by the agency or the telecom industry, and none is planned.4,5
In short, there’s no telling exactly what might happen to our ecology and the people being exposed to this novel wireless technology 24/7, once it’s deployed. As noted by Dr. Cindy Russell,6 executive director of Physicians for Safe Technology, in her August 2018 paper in the journal Environmental Research:7
“Like other common toxic exposures, the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) will be problematic if not impossible to sort out epidemiologically as there no longer remains an unexposed control group.
This is especially important considering these effects are likely magnified by synergistic toxic exposures and other common health risk behaviors. Effects can also be non-linear.
Because this is the first generation to have cradle-to-grave life span exposure to this level of man-made microwave (RF EMR) radiofrequencies, it will be years or decades before the true health consequences are known. Precaution in the roll out of this new technology is strongly indicated.”
There’s No Safe Way to Implement 5G
Similarly, in an article8 on the Environmental Health Trust’s website, Ronald Powell, Ph.D., a retired Harvard scientist of applied physics, notes “there is NO SAFE WAY to implement 5G in our communities; rather, there are only ‘bad ways’ and ‘worse ways,'” and rather than argue about who should have control over its deployment, we should focus on preventing its employment altogether.
Indeed, mounting research9,10 suggest the proliferation of 5G for the sake of faster wireless internet could be a public health disaster, so if 5G does end up “replacing cable internet for good,” humanity may be in for a devastating shock in coming decades, if not sooner.
While it may take years to fully ascertain the full effects of 5G, there are early warning signs. People have reported mass die-offs of bees around 5G towers in California,11 for example, and residents in Gateshead in the U.K. started reported insomnia, chronic nosebleeds and stillbirths after the installation of streetlamps that emit 5G radiation in 2016.12
‘No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe,’ Scientific American Says
In an October 17, 2019, article,13 Scientific American warns “We have no reason to believe 5G is safe,” and that “contrary to what some people say, there could be health risks.” The article, written by Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., director for the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, notes:14
“The telecommunications industry and their experts have accused many scientists who have researched the effects of cell phone radiation of ‘fear mongering’ over the advent of wireless technology’s 5G.
Since much of our research is publicly-funded, we believe it is our ethical responsibility to inform the public about what the peer-reviewed scientific literature tells us about the health risks from wireless radiation.”
Moskowitz points out that the FCC has recently announced15 its intention to reaffirm and maintain current radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limits, which were originally adopted in the late 1990s. However, there are significant problems with this.
Current RFR limits are based on studies from the 1980s looking at the behavioral effects of microwave radiation on rats, “and were designed to protect us from short-term heating risks due to RFR exposure,” Moskowitz writes.16
These limits are already outdated for our current levels of exposure, so they’re surely bound to be completely inadequate for 5G. Since the 1980s, more than 500 studies17 have identified harmful health or biological effects at RFR intensities far below those needed to produce heating, yet the FCC is ignoring these clearly established facts. As noted by Moskowitz:18
“The FCC’s RFR exposure limits regulate the intensity of exposure, taking into account the frequency of the carrier waves, but ignore the signaling properties of the RFR. Along with the patterning and duration of exposures, certain characteristics of the signal (e.g., pulsing, polarization) increase the biologic and health impacts of the exposure.
New exposure limits are needed which account for these differential effects. Moreover, these limits should be based on a biological effect, not a change in a laboratory rat’s behavior.”
What Science Says About 5G
A 2-page fact sheet19 on 5G can be downloaded from the Environmental Health Trust’s website. There, you can also access a long list of published scientific studies showing cause for concern.20 Remember, 5G will result in an exponential increase in RFR exposure, and there are already thousands of studies demonstrating biological effects from low-intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
More than 1,800 studies summarized in the BioInitiative Report21 (2007 and 2012) show immune system effects, neurological effects, cognitive effects and much more. For example, cumulative daily EMF exposure from cellphones and Wi-Fi is associated with cancer,22,23 altered brain development in children and reproductive damage in both sexes.
Prenatal exposure to magnetic fields can nearly triple a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarriage.24 Several other studies have come to similar conclusions.25,26,27,28,29 In men, studies show EMF radiation from cellphones and laptops reduces sperm motility and viability,30,31 and increases sperm DNA fragmentation.32
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cellphones as a Group 2B “possible carcinogen” based on the available evidence,33 and two recent studies (one by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP)34 and one by the Ramazzini Institute in Italy35) have reconfirmed its carcinogenic potential.
The NTP study found heart tumors (malignant schwannomas) in male rats, “similar to acoustic neuromas, a benign tumor in people involving the nerve that connects the ear to the brain, which some studies have linked to cellphone use.”
Many studies have been published since 2011, and RFR is currently listed36 as one of the “high priority” items to be reassessed by the IARC within the next five years. Based on the expanded evidence base, the IARC could potentially end up upgrading the carcinogenic classification of RFR.
What Makes 5G Different?
Considering how many are already struggling with electromagnetic hypersensitivity, saturating cities and suburban areas with 5G will undoubtedly add many more to this once-rare affliction, and could easily make life unbearable for those who are already struggling at current exposure levels.
A significant problem with 5G technology is that it relies primarily on the bandwidth of the millimeter wave or MMW, which operates between 30 gigahertz (GHz) and 300GHz.37 The MMW is known to penetrate 1 to 2 millimeters of human tissue38,39 and has been linked to a number of potential health problems, including:40,41,42,43
|Pain44 (MMW is actually what’s used in crowd control weapons by the U.S. Department of Defense, as it has the ability to cause a severe burning sensation45)|
|Suppressed immune function46|
|Impacted heart rate variability — an indicator of stress — in rats47,48 and heart rate changes (arrhythmias) in frogs49|
|Cellular stress and increase in harmful free radicals51|
|Eye problems such as lens opacity in rats (which is linked to the production of cataracts57) and eye damage in rabbits58,59|
|Depressed growth and increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria60|
We’re Flying Blind, But Warning Signs Abound
Again, 5G is so new that we simply do not have the same volume of research demonstrating its specific health effects as we do for earlier generations of RF radiation. The fact that the issues above have already been identified should be a giant red flag.
Certainly, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that 5G is going to produce LESS harm than current technologies in use, and there are thousands of studies showing harmful effects from that. What’s more, 5G will be used in addition to our current technologies; it’s not replacing them all. As noted by Moskowitz:61
“Since 5G is a new technology, there is no research on health effects, so we are ‘flying blind’ to quote a U.S. senator. However, we have considerable evidence about the harmful effects of 2G and 3G. Little is known the effects of exposure to 4G, a 10-year-old technology, because governments have been remiss in funding this research …
5G will … accompany 4G for the near future and possibly over the long term. If there are synergistic effects from simultaneous exposures to multiple types of RFR, our overall risk of harm from RFR may increase substantially.
Cancer is not the only risk as there is considerable evidence that RFR causes neurological disorders and reproductive harm, likely due to oxidative stress.”
Indeed, research62 by Martin Pall, Ph.D., details how excessive oxidative stress triggered by microwave exposure from wireless technologies can lead to reproductive harm and neurological disorders such as anxiety, depression, autism and Alzheimer’s.
You can learn more about the exact mechanisms in my 2017 interview with Pall, featured in “The Harmful Effects of EMFs Explained.” Pall is also interviewed by Sharyl Attkisson in the Full Measure special, “5G Whiz,”63 above, in which he points out that the health effects of 5G are going to be far more significant than what we’re already seeing with 2G through 4G.
If you think we’re not seeing health effects from these previous generations of tech, think again. Do you feel anxious? Have trouble sleeping? Do you feel tired “all the time”? Do you have frequent headaches? Have trouble concentrating?
All of these are effects of EMF exposure and telltale signs indicating that you’re being affected. Matters will only get worse from there, unless you take steps to lower your exposure.
Many Experts Have Expressed Concern
Over the years, many hundreds of experts have expressed concern about where we are going, technologically. Since 2004, the International Association of Firefighters have officially opposed cell towers on fire stations, as research showed firefighters suffered neurological damage from them, including memory problems, intermittent confusion and feelings of weakness.64
In 2015, more than 230 scientists in 41 countries engaged in the study of biological and health effects of nonionizing EMFs signed an international appeal65 to the United Nations, calling for protection from nonionizing EMF exposure due to evidence of health effects even at low levels.
In a 2016 letter to the FCC, Dr. Yael Stein of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, who has studied 5G MMW technology and its interaction with the human body, pointed out that:66
“The use of sub-terahertz (millimeter wave) communications technology (cellphones, Wi-Fi, antennas) could cause humans to percept physical pain via nociceptors.
Potentially, if G5 Wi-Fi is spread in the public domain we may expect more of the health effects currently seen with RF/ microwave frequencies including many more cases of hypersensitivity (EHS), as well as many new complaints of physical pain and a yet unknown variety of neurologic disturbances.”
Stein also warned that “It will be possible to show a causal relationship between 5G technology and these specific health effects,” and that “affected individuals may be eligible for compensation.” For these reasons, Stein urged the FCC and U.S. Senate committees to vote against 5G.
A year later, in 2017, more than 180 doctors and scientists from 35 countries signed a petition67 to enact a moratorium on the rollout of 5G due to the potential risks to wildlife and human health. Despite all of that, U.S. leaders are forging ahead with 5G without a second thought to what it might do to the population and the environment.
Our Children Are at Significant Risk
The American Academy of Pediatrics68,69,70 has also been calling for federal action to protect children from EMF exposures, citing research showing that living near mobile phone base stations is associated with an increased risk for headaches, memory problems, dizziness, depression and sleep disturbances.
Indeed, preliminary results from the largest long-term study71,72,73 of brain development and youth health in the U.S. — the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study74 — reveals the brains of the most prolific users of smartphones, tablets and video games look different compared to those who use electronic devices less frequently.
Children who use electronic devices for seven hours or more each day have premature thinning of the brain cortex, the outer brain layer that processes information from the five physical senses (taste, touch, sight, smell and sound).
As little as two hours of screen time per day may impact cognition, resulting in lower scores on thinking and language tests. 5G installations will only magnify these and other health risks.
For a list of potential health effects associated with EMF exposure, see “Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist Reveals the Hidden Dangers of Electric Fields,” which features my interview with Oram Miller.
5G Threatens Weather Prediction
Interestingly, aside from potential health ramifications, a global 5G network will also threaten our ability to predict weather which, in addition to putting civilians at risk will also jeopardize the Navy.75
According to a recent paper76 in the journal Nature, widespread 5G coverage will prevent satellites from detecting changes in water vapor, which is how meteorologists predict weather changes and storms.
In a recent letter to the FCC, democratic Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden, Ore., and Maria Cantwell, Wash., urge the agency to rein in the expansion of wireless communications in the 24 GHz band for this reason.77
Protect Yourself and Your Family From Excessive EMF
There’s no doubt in my mind that microwave radiation from wireless technologies is a significant health hazard that needs to be addressed if you’re concerned about your health. Unfortunately, the rollout of 5G will make remedial action all the more difficult, which is why we all need to get involved and do what we can to prevent it in the first place.
If you’re a Georgia resident, you can sign Change.org’s “Stop 5G” petition. Bath and North East Somerset also have a “Stop 5G” petition going on. Other petitions can be found now and then by searching online.
Apart from making your sentiments known to lawmakers, here are several suggestions that will help reduce your EMF exposure and help mitigate damage from unavoidable exposures. For even more do’s and don’ts, see the infographics by the Environmental Health Trust below.
|Identify major sources of EMF, such as your cellphone, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth headsets and other Bluetooth-equipped items, wireless mice, keyboards, smart thermostats, baby monitors, smart meters and the microwave in your kitchen. Ideally, address each source and determine how you can best limit their use.
Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cellphone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cellphone radiation than adults due to having thinner skull bones, and developing immune systems and brains.
Research78 also demonstrates that infants under the age of 1 do not effectively learn language from videos, and do not transfer what they learn from the iPad to the real world, so it’s a mistake to think electronic devices provide valuable educational experiences.
|Connect your desktop computer to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection and be sure to put your desktop in airplane mode. Also avoid wireless keyboards, trackballs, mice, game systems, printers and portable house phones. Opt for the wired versions.|
|If you must use Wi-Fi, shut it off when not in use, especially at night when you are sleeping. Ideally, work toward hardwiring your house so you can eliminate Wi-Fi altogether. If you have a notebook without any Ethernet ports, a USB Ethernet adapter will allow you to connect to the internet with a wired connection.|
|Avoid using wireless chargers for your cellphone, as they too will increase EMFs throughout your home. Wireless charging is also far less energy efficient than using a dongle attached to a power plug, as it draws continuous power (and emits EMF) whether you’re using it or not.
According to Venkat Srinivasan, director of Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science, keeping your cellphone or tablet fully charged at all times will also reduce the life of the battery, which will necessitate the purchase of a brand-new phone.79
As a lithium ion battery charges and discharges, ions pass between a positive electrode and a negative electrode. The higher the battery is charged the faster the ions degrade, so it’s better to cycle between 45 percent and 55 percent.
|Shut off the electricity to your bedroom at night. This typically works to reduce electrical fields from the wires in your wall unless there is an adjoining room next to your bedroom. If that is the case you will need to use a meter to determine if you also need to turn off power in the adjacent room.|
|Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light. I use a talking clock for the visually impaired.80|
|If you still use a microwave oven, consider replacing it with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food as quickly and far more safely.|
|Avoid using “smart” appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling. This would include all new “smart” TVs. They are called smart because they emit a Wi-Fi signal and, unlike your computer, you cannot shut the Wi-Fi signal off. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as they don’t emit Wi-Fi.|
|Refuse a smart meter on your home as long as you can, or add a shield to an existing smart meter, some of which have been shown to reduce radiation by 98 to 99 percent.81|
|Consider moving your baby’s bed into your room instead of using a wireless baby monitor. Alternatively, use a hard-wired monitor.|
|Replace CFL bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Ideally remove all fluorescent lights from your house. Not only do they emit unhealthy light, but more importantly, they will actually transfer current to your body just being close to the bulbs.|
|Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body unless in airplane mode and never sleep with it in your bedroom unless it is in airplane mode. Even in airplane mode it can emit signals, which is why I put my phone in a Faraday bag.82|
|When using your cellphone, use the speaker phone and hold the phone at least 3 feet away from you. Seek to radically decrease your time on the cellphone. Instead, use VoIP software phones that you can use while connected to the internet via a wired connection.|
|Avoid using your cellphone and other electronic devices at least an hour (preferably several) before bed, as the blue light from the screen and EMFs both inhibit melatonin production.83,84 If you must use your phone make sure you have the blue light filters activated and have it in dark mode.
Research clearly shows that heavy computer and cellphone users are more prone to insomnia.85 For example, one 2008 study86 revealed that people exposed to radiation from their mobile phones for three hours before bedtime had more trouble falling asleep and staying in a deep sleep.
|The effects of EMFs are reduced by calcium-channel blockers, so make sure you’re getting enough magnesium. Most people are deficient in magnesium, which will worsen the impact of EMFs. As noted by Pall in a previous interview:
|Pall has also published a paper87 suggesting that raising your level of Nrf2 may help ameliorate EMF damage. One simple way to activate Nrf2 is to consume Nrf2-boosting food compounds. One of the best ways to activate the Nrf2 pathway is with molecular hydrogen tablets that can be taken at a dose of two to three tablets dissolved in 12 to 16 ounces of water, once a day.88
Exercise, calorie restriction (such as intermittent fasting) and activating the nitric oxide signaling pathway (one way of doing that is the Nitric Oxide Dump exercise) will also raise Nrf2.