by Joel M. Moskowitz
October 17, 2019
from ScientificAmerican Website
The technology is coming,
but contrary to what some people say,
there could be health risks...
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
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced through a press release that the commission will soon reaffirm the radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limits that the FCC adopted in the late 1990s.
Yet, since the FCC adopted these limits based largely on research from the 1980s, the preponderance of peer-reviewed research, more than 500 studies, have found harmful biologic or health effects from exposure to RFR at intensities too low to cause significant heating.
Citing this large body of research, more than 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for stronger exposure limits.
The appeal makes the following assertions:
The scientists who signed this appeal arguably constitute the majority of experts on the effects of non-ionizing radiation.
They have published more than 2,000 papers and letters on EMF in professional journals.
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.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RFR as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" in 2011.
Last year, a $30 million study conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) found,
The Ramazzini Institute in Italy replicated the key finding of the NTP using a different carrier frequency and much weaker exposure to cell phone radiation over the life of the rats.
Based upon the research published since 2011, including human and animal studies and mechanistic data, the IARC has recently prioritized RFR to be reviewed again in the next five years.
Since many EMF scientists believe we now have sufficient evidence to consider RFR as either a probable or known human carcinogen, the IARC will likely upgrade the carcinogenic potential of RFR in the near future.
Nonetheless, without conducting a formal risk assessment or a systematic review of the research on RFR health effects, the FDA recently reaffirmed the FCC's 1996 exposure limits in a letter to the FCC, stating that the agency had,
The letter stated that,
The latest cellular technology 5G, will employ millimeter waves for the first time in addition to microwaves that have been in use for older cellular technologies, 2G through 4G.
Given limited reach, 5G will require cell antennas every 100 to 200 meters, exposing many people to millimeter wave radiation.
5G also employs new technologies (e.g., active antennas capable of beam-forming; phased arrays; massive multiple inputs and outputs, known as massive MIMO) which pose unique challenges for measuring exposures.
Millimeter waves are mostly absorbed within a few millimeters of human skin and in the surface layers of the cornea.
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.
Meanwhile, we are seeing increases in certain types of head and neck tumors in tumor registries, which may be at least partially attributable to the proliferation of cell phone radiation.
These increases are consistent with results from case-control studies of tumor risk in heavy cell phone users.
5G will not replace 4G:
If there are synergistic effects from simultaneous exposures to multiple types of RFR, our overall risk of harm from RFR may increase substantially.
As a society,
Instead, we should support the recommendations of the 250 scientists and medical doctors who signed the 5G Appeal that calls for an immediate moratorium on the deployment of 5G and demand that our government fund the research needed to adopt biologically based exposure limits that protect our health and safety.