OVERVIEW OF THE ISSUES
“If you are one of the millions who seek faster downloads of movies, games and virtual pornography, a solution is at hand, that is, if you do not mind volunteering your living body in a giant uncontrolled experiment on the human population.” Dr. Devra Davis, President of Environmental Health Trust
Our children deserve better than this.
Before us looms perhaps the biggest health and environmental crisis of our times, that of the proliferation of wireless technology. The current soup of wireless radiation is effectively playing with the genetic makeup of all life.
And yet we stand now at the threshold of unleashing 5th generation cellular technology throughout our country, which according to FCC Chair Wheeler “will make available more licensed spectrum for mobile than in the cumulative history of mobile spectrum allocation.” It will take nothing short of a massive public awareness campaign to put the breaks on the aggressive and fast-moving wireless industry and our complicit government. But there is no choice – Many scientists are calling for caution now, and we must heed the call.
1. We have a problem: We are now facing a serious threat to human health and wildlife due to the proliferation of wireless technology – and most people remain completely uninformed.
2. The problem is getting worse: Government and industry are fast tracking 5G and the IoT. 5G will include higher millimeter wave (mmW) frequencies never before used for wireless infrastructure, and will require millions of new cell towers. MmW frequencies are less studied than are the lower frequencies. The experiment is on us.
3. Government agencies are not protecting us: Current FCC guidelines protect only from harm caused by heating – yet these antiquated “safety” guidelines remain in effect giving virtually free rein to the wireless industry, while completely ignoring public health.
4. Prior legislation interfered with our right to oppose cell towers: The Telecommunications Act (TCA) of 1996 prevents state or local governments from opposing cell tower installations on the basis of environmental impacts, which has been interpreted by some courts to include human health. Further legislation to streamline the build-out of 5G is currently in the Senate. (More on these bills and Instructions for contacting your senators can be found here.)
5. What can we do? What measures can we take to protect ourselves from the mandatory irradiation of our homes and communities?
We have a problem
It is well known, and even the FCC agrees, that wireless radiation that heats us, can be harmful – If it burns us, it can harm us. But a debate has been on-going for over 60 years as to whether radiation that has negligible thermal effects – that is, it heats us only minimally – can impact health. Independent science overwhelmingly finds that non-thermal radiation can cause a multitude of health problems, while industry-funded science more often than not, contends it’s safe.
So sixteen years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH), to conduct a study to settle this debate once and for all. The NTP designed an elaborate, $25 million dollar study on “cell phone radiation”, which was the largest and most extensive study ever conducted by the NTP.
In May 2016, the NTP released partial findings which showed a significantly higher rate of Glioma and Shwannomas of the heart in rats exposed to 2G cellular radiation. The findings were dose related, and corroborate similar findings in humans with heavy cellphone use.
Although the NTP study will not be completed for another two years as the scientists are looking at many health effects – not just cancer – they chose to release these preliminary findings early because of their importance for public health. The NTP Report explained that even a small finding could have broad implications for human health since cell phones and other wireless devices are used so widely.
The NTP study underscores the 2011 World Health Organization’s classification of radiofrequency microwave radiation as a 2B possible carcinogen. (This classification will likely move to 2A probable carcinogen as a result of the NTP findings.) The NTP study adds further weight to the International Scientists Appeal, in which 223 scientists from 41 countries urged the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) to call for more protective EMF guidelines and increased public education. The NTP study follows in the wake of recommendations from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and many other resolutions, and government actions surrounding public exposure to radiation. And finally, the NTP findings corroborate thousands of peer-reveiwed studies linking cell phone use with cancer or other adverse health effects, a sampling of which can be found here.
For more on health effects from wireless, please see:
IRRADIATED; A comprehensive compilation and analysis of the literature on radiofrequency fields and the negative biological impacts of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (particularly radiofrequency fields) on biological organisms
THE BIOINITIATIVE REPORT 2012
Cell Phone Radiation Study Confirms Cancer Risk
EMF Scientist Appeal
National Toxicology Program Finds Cellphone Radiation Causes Cancer
Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer in US National Toxicology Program Study Watch NIEHS Report 2016
The problem’s getting worse
Six short weeks after the release of the NTP partial findings, the FCC approved 5G to usher in the Internet of Things. In addition to the lower frequencies that have been used up until now (and that independent science warns us about), 5G will open up large swaths of bandwidths in the higher millimeter wave (mmW) frequencies, “up to the triple digits” as Wheeler boasts. 5G infrastructure promises to take radiation densification to a whole new level. According to FCC Chair Wheeler, “5G build-out is going to be very infrastructure intensive, requiring a massive deployment of small cells.” Virtually every lamppost and/or utility pole will be outfitted with a small cell. The vast body of research on health effects of radiofrequency microwave radiation has been conducted primarily on the lower frequencies, such as those currently being used for cell phones and WiFi. The majority of independent peer reviewed studies confirm that these lower frequencies cause adverse health effects. The higher mmW frequencies, though less studied, are proving harmful as well. Although the research science cannot keep pace with the FCC’s race to 5G, enough studies have been conducted to warrant putting a hold on 5G. Whereas the lower frequencies travel through our bodies, the higher, mmW frequencies, do not. With 5G frequencies, the outer layer of our bodies will be affected – skin and eyes. (Please note that even though 5G frequencies don’t penetrate deeply, it is likely that other systems will also be affected as no organ operates in isolation.) We might presume that in light of the recent NTP study and the wealth of peer-reviewed independent science that overwhelmingly shows adverse health effects from radiation, our government would give great consideration before barreling headfirst into a massive deployment of 5G small cells. But sadly, this was not the case. Unlike other countries, such as New Zealand and India, which are currently studying these new frequencies, our FCC prefers to bypass this “long and arduous task” in order to be “first out the gate.” FCC Chair Wheeler states:
“If the Commission approves my proposal next month, the United States will be the first country in the world to open up high-band spectrum for 5G networks and applications. And that’s damn important because it means U.S. companies will be first out of the gate.”
For more about 5G and health, please see:
Is 5G Cellular Technology Harmful to Our Health?
The FCC Approves 5G Millimeter Wave Spectrum Frontiers
Wireless Polution “Out of Control” as Corporate Race for 5G “Microwave Spectra” Gears Up
The 5G Wireless Technology: Potential Health Impacts of Electromagnetic Radiation
Comments submitted to the FCC opposing 5G on the grounds of health
Comment Filed by: GUARDS (Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space)
Government agencies are not protecting us
The FCC “safety” standards for radiofrequency microwave radiation were set in 1996 when very few people owned a cell phone and well before the advent of WiFi. Since that time, wireless technology has become ubiquitous with most people using one or more wireless device throughout the day (and night!). In addition, far more research has been conducted and many experts now agree that the current FCC guidelines are inadequate and not protective of health. A resolution by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine states:
“Existing safety limits for pulsed RF were termed ‘not protective of public health’ by the Radiofrequency Interagency Working Group (a federal interagency working group including the FDA, FCC, OSHA, the EPA and others).”
In a 2002 letter to the EMR Policy Network, Norbert Hankin from the EPA wrote,
“The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified.”
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection just released a letter they sent to the World Health Organization(WHO) calling for more “balanced” representation in the WHO RF working group. In the letter they discuss the ICNIRP’s antiquated exposure standards which are slightly more protective of health than the FCC standards, but nearly comparable. Oleg A. Grigoriev, Chairman DrSc., PhD, Assoc. Prof. Head of the Scientific Department of Non-Ionizing Radiation, Federal Medical Biophysical Center of Federal Medical Biological Agency of Russia states:
In particular, the private self-elected organization ICNIRP, similar as majority of the current WHO RF WG members, does not recognize the non-thermal RF effects, which represent the main concern of widespread exposure to mobile communication and upholding guidelines from 1996, which are based on RF thermal effects only. Thus, the quidelines of ICNIRP are irrelevant to present situation when majority of population over the world is chronically exposed to non-thermal RF from mobile communication.
For a fuller discussion of the FCC “safety” guidelines, please see
Outdated FCC “Safety” Standards
The Health Argument Against Cell phones and Cell Towers (Pages 5-9)
FCC Maximum Permissible Exposure Limits for Electromagnetic Radiation, as Applicable to Smart Meters
Prior legislation interfered with our right to oppose cell towers
In 1996, after three years of intense lobbying and much pressure from the wireless industry, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Hidden deep within this vast and complex Act, lies Section 704 which states: “No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s [the Federal Communications Commission’s] regulations concerning such emissions.” This unprecedented legislation set the stage for the onslaught of the wireless industry and its deluge of technological infrastructure. Though “health effects” is not stated explicitly in Section 704, a number of judges since then have ruled that this legislation does in fact include health effects. As a result of this legislation, many communities have given into the wireless industry. Now, over 20 years later, with the advent of 5G and the IoT, cities and municipalities are proving slow to accept 5G infrastructure, so the wireless industry is again pulling out all stops and pushing for legislation at both the state and federal level to streamline the deploymnet of 5G. For more on this please see, Immediate Action: Contact All US Senators concerning the Stop MOBILE NOW Act as well as this Community Action Alert. The Federal Communications Bureau is also anxious to streamline the deployment of 5G. Former FCC Chair Wheeler states:
“For our part, the Commission is united in its commitment to cutting red tape and facilitating siting. We’ve streamlined our environmental and historic preservation rules, and tightened our ‘shot clock’ for siting application reviews. And there’s a bipartisan commitment to do more as warranted. Both my Republican colleagues, for instance, have recently agreed that where states or localities are imposing fees or not being “fair and reasonable” for access to local rights of way, the FCC should preempt them. We shouldn’t be afraid to use all of our authority under the Communications Act to address unreasonable local barriers.”
More on the FCC’s “hard ball tactics”:
Captured Agency How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates An Exposé of the FCC:
An Agency Captured by the Industries it Regulates Cell-Phone Towers and Communities:
The Struggle for Local Control The Rules and Regulations That Frame Us The Telecommunications Act of 1996 Removes Our Rights to Stop Cell Towers Because of Health Concerns
What we can do
Call for ONE BIG DIG – Fiber to the Home: Government and industry must build a safe and reliable fiber optic and coaxial cable ICT infrastructure to all homes, businesses and farms. Government should STOP the MOBILE NOW Act and the DIGIT Act from moving forward, and put a halt on the continued proliferation of unsafe wireless infrastructure and the IoT. Measures you can take on a personal level:
- Use wired Internet connections whenever possible and be sure to deactivate the wireless settings on all routers and laptops.
- Use a corded landline phone whenever possible.
- Limit your time on cell phones or cordless phones, and if you must use them, use either speaker or an Air Tube headset.
- Do not carry wireless devices on your person and when possible, switch all devices to Airplane Mode.
- Choose conventional ovens over microwave ovens.
- Avoid buying IoT, Internet-connected machines, appliances, or “things”. Your health is worth far more than any wireless gizmo!
- For more complete guidelines, please see:
Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation How to Reduce the Electromagnetic Radiation in Your Home Stay abreast of all new applications for wireless infrastructure being considered in your community and/or any new legislation being considered that would further streamline the requirements for wireless infrastructure sitings. Educate your City Council, and attend public hearings and offer comment whenever possible. Communities have been successful in stopping the wireless industry. For more information about actions you can take, please see and share the Community Action Alert. Share information and encourage others to take action as well. Word of mouth and grass roots efforts can be very effective. Finally, to keep up to date on developments concerning 5G and the IoT, and to connect with other like-minded folk, please check out the Facebook Page, What is 5G and the Internet of Everything, and consider joining the Facebook Group, Responding to 5G and the Internet of Everything.