Opinion: “Why Isn’t Our Government Protecting Us?” Environmental Health Trust Resources Alert On Health Risks of 5G Rollout
August 25, 2018 | Theodora Scarato
From the Daily Clout
Is a “smart world” necessarily good for us?
Connecting your smartphone to your TV, dishwasher, and even to your child’s Barbie doll, is now all the rage. Boosting wi-fi in places where it never used to exist — from appliances to toys — is being hailed as the new ideal. “5G” is the name of the new technology that will enable us to connect all of our ‘smart’ devices anytime and anyplace with super-fast speeds to “the internet of things.” Telecommunications companies are promising us that 5G and the new “digital ecosystem” will make our lives more convenient, safer and happier.
However, this magical rollout is not without serious costs to our health. Telecommunications companies tell us that only way to create this 5G network is to install hundreds of thousands of new cellular antennas and cell towers nationwide — indeed, right in our own front yards.
Wireless might be invisible, but it is not magic. These antennas will broadcast an extra layer of wireless radio frequency radiation (RFR) — also known as microwave radiation — directly into our homes. The new 5G will also add in higher frequencies — called millimeter waves — which, believe it or not, are the same frequencies that are now used in military crowd control weapons.
Although 5G was not pre-market tested for safety in terms of health effects on human beings, Verizon and Sprint have announced thirty “test cities” for a 5G rollout. These include Sacramento, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and New York.
And indeed, Federal and state legislation is moving forward at a lightning pace to streamline the installation of these cellular towers into neighborhoods by pre-empting local authority, and fast- tracking the process to install antennas on street lights, utility poles and even mailboxes.
At the state levels, despite fierce local opposition, over 20 states have passed laws that not only remove public notice and public hearings from the process, but also place a cap on the rates that local governments can charge telecommunications companies for installing these towers on schools, post offices and firehouses.
At the Federal level, it gets even worse. Federal regulations are stripping away environmental reviews and pre-empting even state authority, making it very difficult for any US community to reject the proposed antennas.
The telecommunications companies are calling each of these mini cell towers “small cells.” This name is misleading. The new “small cell” cell towers have equipment cabinets the size of refrigerators. These cabinets are referred to by industry as “street furniture”, as if each tower was a sofa in your living room. Rather, each installation can have over a thousand antennas that are transmitting simultaneously — in a process which is called “phased arrays.”
Recently, more than two hundred and forty scientists and doctors from 41 nations, all of whom who have published peer-reviewed research on electromagnetic radiation or on 5G health hazards, have appealed to the United Nations, calling for urgent action to reduce these ever-growing wireless exposures. Their letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asks for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G, citing serious impacts to human health and to the environment. Subsequently, scientists also launched an international appeal to halt 5G as, they argued, current wireless technologies are “proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.”
What are the health effects? It would not be surprising if you were unaware of some of them, since telecommunications companies are major advertisers in mainstream news outlets and are powerful lobbyists with both parties on the Hill.
Peer-reviewed research has demonstrated a multitude of adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation. These effects include: increased rates of brain cancer, DNA breaks, headaches, heightened immune system dysfunction, altered brain development, disrupted sleep, higher rates of hyperactivity, and finally, greater numbers of problems with memory and cognition. Replicated research has found wireless radiation can even promote cancer growth.
Perhaps most concerning is a 2016 review in “Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine” which found that 93% of research studies which investigated oxidative stress, found that wireless exposure induced oxidative stress levels. Induction of oxidative stress is a key characteristic of many human carcinogens. Oxidative stress can lead to a cascade of harmful effects in the body, initiating a myriad of illnesses ranging from cancer to autoimmune problems.
Believe it or not, no US Federal health agency – not the EPA, FDA, nor the CDC – has done a proper systematic review of the current scientific research on wireless nor on the newest technology, 5G, to assess its public health impacts. Our so-called “safety limits” are based on 30- year-old science. The EPA was defunded on the issue, and the agency now states that US radiation limits “do not apply” to long term daily exposures to 5G. In other words, there is no effective oversight over the health effects from telecom radiation in the US.
No one is watching the store.
Many international medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Vienna Medical Association, and more than 20 nations, including France, Israel, Russia and Belgium, recommend reducing cell phone radiation exposure, especially for children. Several countries such Chile and Greece have regulations that consider schools, hospitals and parks to be “sensitive areas” and do not allow cell towers to be built on these areas.
In contrast, although the Los Angeles School district has banned cell towers from its school properties, most US schools, hospitals, police stations, post offices and parks remained unprotected.
Leave a reply →