There is a Safer Alternative to 5G Technology

Posted 9/27/18

Editor,I am writing to express my deep concern about the plan to install small cell wireless antennas and towers to facilitate 5G (5th generation wireless technology) across Washington state.At lower …

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There is a Safer Alternative to 5G Technology



I am writing to express my deep concern about the plan to install small cell wireless antennas and towers to facilitate 5G (5th generation wireless technology) across Washington state.

At lower frequencies than those 5G will use, the adverse health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure have already been proven.  Now the wireless telecom industry wants to increase the frequency drastically.  The results will be disastrous for all Washingtonians, especially the most vulnerable, pregnant women, infants and toddlers, the disabled and the elderly.

5G wireless networks will utilize millimeter waves. Compared with current cellular and WiFi networks, which rely on microwaves that employ frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz), 5G will use millimeter waves in higher frequency ranges (between 24-90 GHz).  These higher frequency waves with their higher pulsation rates are much more dangerous.  

I have a master’s degree in biology and am aware of the extensive peer-reviewed, scientific research showing the adverse effects of electromagnetic fields on humans and the environment.  

A pilot study was conducted on California firefighters after exposure to radiofrequency radiation from a cellular tower next to their fire station. All firefighters tested showed brain abnormalities, cognitive impairment, delayed reaction time and lack of impulse control. This study led to an exemption from the installation of cell towers on fire stations, to the firefighters who requested it for health reasons.

In 2016, the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) released its first findings showing malignant glial tumors of the brain and heart Schwannoma in rats exposed to long-term radiofrequency radiation.  The Ramazzini Institute in Italy examined the impact of exposure to typical levels of radiofrequency radiation emitted by wireless antennas mounted on cell towers. Their findings are consistent with and reinforce the results of the NTP study as both reported an increase in the incidence of tumors of the brain and heart in radiofrequency exposed Sprague-Dawley rats.

According to Beatrice Alexandra Golomb, MD, PhD, of the University of California San Diego, the mechanisms that can explain the adverse health effects resulting from electromagnetic radiation include: damage to cell membranes, damage to mitochondria and oxidative stress, and via these mechanisms an impaired blood-brain barrier (which defends against foreign substances and toxins), constriction of blood vessels and impaired blood flow to the brain, and triggering of autoimmune reactions.

Recently, studies have found that the frequencies which will be used in 5G and the other future technologies can have harmful effects. A recently published study by distinguished Israeli physicists found that the higher millimeter frequencies to be used in 5G applications uniquely interact with sweat ducts of the human skin which can then act as antennas and magnify the signal of the millimeter waves. The surface layers of the eye’s cornea also absorb the waves. 

5G systems would require millions of new closely spaced, high-powered antennas, massively increasing mandatory RF/microwave radiation exposure. The wireless telecom industry is aggressively seeking to outfit nearly every lamppost and utility pole around the country with wireless small cell antennas and towers beaming hazardous radiation next to or into our homes, 24/7.

No premarket safety testing of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) has ever been required even though research studies have documented adverse biological effects to both humans and wildlife resulting from exposure to the higher millimeter wave frequencies that 5G and IoT will utilize in conjunction with the frequencies already in use.  Why are they disregarding public safety and rushing ahead so fast – why not test its safety first?  What about the informed consent of the public?

Current cell phone safety regulations are based on a premise that is now arguably false: that cellphone radiation can cause harm only by heating tissue. The existing FCC/IEEE and ICNIRP public safety limits and reference levels are not adequate to protect public health.

The 2017 5G Scientific Appeal (signed by more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries) said “We recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunications until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry…RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.”

There is a safer alternative. Worldwide, many regions are investing in safer and smarter fiber optic cables buried in the ground to every business, home, school and hospital.  

It is important for all of us to urge our representatives, both state and local, to defend the public and our future — do not deploy small cell antennas that facilitate 5G across Washington state.

Trisha Keenan-Wilkie



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