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Scientists Express Concerns Over 5G and Cell Phone Radiation

Cell tower Credit: Wikipedia

While cell phone companies are promoting the wonders and speed of 5G network connections, some scientists are very disturbed by numerous study results of health harms regarding 5G and radio frequency radiation (used by cell phones). They strongly urge for caution, safeguards for consumers, more studies, and a moratorium on the 5G roll-out.

5G is the latest generation of cell phone technology. One concern is that 5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi already used for telecommunications. We are all exposed to increasing EMF each year from electric and wireless devices - e.g., "smart homes", smart appliances", cell phones, laptops.

The concerned researchers stress that both animal and human studies find that cell phone radiation (RF-EMF) has harmful health effects, including cancer and male fertility. There is also a petition (5G Appeal) signed by more than 430 scientists, pointing out that:

these frequencies clearly affect male fertility and possibly female fertility too. They may have adverse effects on the development of embryos, fetuses and newborns”. This indicates that EMF/RF functions like a classic endocrine disruptor impairing both male and female reproductive functions

"...numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines”. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plants and animals."

What can you do? We can't eliminate all radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure, but we can lower exposure. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations include: use cell phones in speaker mode, keep the phone at a distance from your head, and avoid carrying the phone close to your body, like in a pocket or bra. Short video:

By the way, investigative journalism by ProPublica found strong evidence that the FCC is ignoring scientific studies showing harm from cell phones and is instead shielding the telecommunications industry

Excerpts from Microwave News: Time To Invoke the Precautionary Principle for RF, Say Senior Scientists

The precautionary principle should be applied to public exposures to RF radiation. So say four senior academic scientists —including the former director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP)— in a strongly worded appeal, published today. 

Writing in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research, Paul Ben Ishai, Linda Birnbaum, Devra Davis and Hugh Taylor point to a “plethora of both experimental and epidemiological evidence establishing a causal relationship between EMF and cancer and other adverse health effects.”

However, they go on, the picture that has emerged in public discourse has been distorted by some “fundamentally flawed, yet widely publicized reports purporting to show no health risk.” They point out that much of this disinformation comes from “industry-affiliated scientists.”

“It is imperative to insist on a complete picture of the evidence and not the whitewashed or distorted version currently promoted,” they say.

In an extended email exchange with Microwave News, Ben Ishai, the lead author of the new paper, decried that the fundamental tenets of toxicology —“to predict and prevent harm”— are being dismissed when it comes to RF radiation. This is a “strange” double standard, he told me. Ben Ishai, a physicist at Ariel University in Israel, described the rejection of both the Precautionary Principle and the Bradford Hill criteria for RF as “a major problem.” We should not be waiting for absolute proof before regulating, he said. (The Hill criteria are used to help establish causation.)

Ben Ishai’s coauthors are: Linda Birnbaum, who led the NTP from 2009 to 2019 and is currently a scholar in residence at Duke University; Devra Davis, the founder and president of the Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a non-profit research and advocacy group based in Teton Village, Wyoming; and Hugh Taylor, the chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Both Birnbaum and Taylor are members of the National Academy of Medicine.

Concern over 5G

In their conclusion, Ben Ishai, Birnbaum, Davis and Taylor write that they “add their voices to those of 400 experts in the field calling for discussion of a moratorium on 5G.” (This is known as the 5G Appeal; 5G is the latest generation of cell phone technology.)

Without this, they warn, “We are effectively conducting an uncontrolled experiment on ourselves, our families, and our children.”

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