Fibre Action for Safer Telecoms Technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@ mark simmons photography

Health

[This is a link to symptoms that you might experience as a result of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation. If you have any health worries, you should always consult your doctor in the first instance.]

5G is largely untested. The industry has admitted as much. In a USA Senate hearing in February 2019, Senator Blumenthal asked industry representatives what safety testing had been done and when hearing “none”, he concluded that “we are flying blind here”.

Because of the lack of safety testing, there is also a lack of up to date research. We have not had phased array installations on our street lights before now. So how can we know what effect they might have on us? The literature mostly concerns 4G and microwaves in general. Knowledge of the harmful effect of microwave goes back decades. This talk by Dr Dimitris Panagapoulos explains the difference in impact on health between manmade and natural electromagnetic fields. While we will continue to be exposed to harm from 4G, there are additional health hazards associated with 5G, in particular effects on the skin and the eyes.

This 2019 article on the Adverse effects of wireless radiation written by Dr Ronald Kostoff gives more detail. (He republished his views in Adverse health effects of 5G mobile networking technology under real-life conditions with other colleagues in February 2020). In particular he presented evidence that 5G  will affect not only the skin and eyes, as commonly believed, but will have adverse systemic effects as well. He warns that ‘most of the laboratory experiments conducted to date are not designed to identify the more severe adverse effects reflective of the real-life operating environment in which wireless radiation systems operate. Many experiments do not include pulsing and modulation of the carrier signal. The vast majority do not account for synergistic adverse effects of other toxic stimuli (such as chemical and biological) acting in concert with the wireless radiation’. 

In 2018, Prof Martin Pall published his views of the risks from 5G and lists 8 distinct types of harm that we can expect. Professor Pall is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences Washington State University and internationally raises awareness of the dangers. As he famously says, “putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world”.

Public Health England (PHE) claims, however, that electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) from wireless/wifi is safe because

  • it is in the non-ionising part of the frequency spectrum therefore, according to PHE, there are no known biological impacts, only thermal effects. The official line, repeated by the telecom companies, is that non-ionising radiation doesn’t change the structure of a cell or cause lasting damage. Ofcom similarly states that radiation in this part of the spectrum ‘does not have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds’
  • guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) are concerned with heating and Specific Absorption Rates (SAR ratings) and reject biological effects
  • World Health Organisation’s  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) gives electromagnetic radiation  only a Group 2B classification: a ‘possible’ carcinogen; ie the same as certain Asian pickles, talcum powder, bracken but also bitumen and car exhausts. This classification has been in place since 2011 when IARC last reported. It has not been updated.

But then PHE fails to recognise that, in the UK, there is zero possibility of actually following ICNIRP’s guidelines on safety. ICNIRP clearly states “To avoid hazards to health and prevent adverse interaction with high frequency (HF) fields …[ie exposure to masts etc], ICNIRP recommends limiting the exposure to HF so that the threshold at which these interactions become detrimental is never reached’ (ICNIRP guidelines). 6 minutes is all the time that we are supposed to be exposed…

Given that masts which generate the high frequency fields are placed directly outside people’s homes and schools, or on top of their tower blocks, it is physically impossible to limit exposure. There is the example in Bristol where the majority of people on the top floor of a block of flats developed cancer after masts were installed on the roof (Bristol ‘Tower of Doom’), in spite of protests. Several of them have since died.

PHE’s reliance on these two sources, IARC and ICNIRP, for safety advice is of grave concern for the following reasons –

PHE has failed to widely publicise the views of the 2011 IARC Working Group (IARC) – only in February 2020 did some advice finally appear and now PHE even suggests ways to reduce exposure to phones [why, if they are so safe?]. The original IARC Monograph working group was worried about the risk of brain tumours as a result of using mobile phones, but they couldn’t be sure. They  could only make their decisions based on a review of the literature then available at the time. 

The IARC group decided that, even though ‘a positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer for which a causal interpretation is considered by the Working Group to be credible,… chance … could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence.’ There was ‘inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity’ because ‘the available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency or statistical power to permit a conclusion … between exposure and cancer, or no data on cancer in humans are available’. 

IARC wanted more research to be done and in the meantime advised taking pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as texting or using hands-free devices. PHE, however, has interpreted the classification as no more dangerous than Asian pickles, talc etc, therefore we shouldn’t worry (or should we worry about talc, given that some brands of talc may contain tiny amounts of asbestos?). It was only 9 years later, in 2020, has PHE begun to pass on the IARC safety advice on phones to the public; now telling us to reduce our exposure – because phones are not safe.

In November 2018 the evidence that IARC was seeking became available. The USA government’s $28m 10 year National Toxicology Program (NTP) study finally reported (NTP 2018 study). This study found a clear link between mobile phones and cancer. And has been further confirmed with research carried out by the independent Italian Ramazzini Institute (Ramazzini 2018 study).

The NTP and Ramazzini studies strongly indicate that cell damage can happen at below thermal levels in the non-ionising part of the spectrum.  

Dr Anthony Miller, a Canadian senior epidemiologist and former member of the original 2011 IARC Working Group, would now like to see the IARC classification changed from Group 2B to Group 1 – ie a definite carcinogen. He is not alone. Dr James Lin, professor of bio-engineering at the University of Illinois in Chicago and former member of ICNIRP, is of the same opinion.  In 2018 he published an article on the clear evidence of cell phone radiation cancer risk in the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers’ ‘Microwave Magazine’.

Reputable international scientists have  petitioned the UN because they believe that WHO is failing in its duty to protect humanity (link). More than 240 of them from 42 nations have signed an appeal. Between them they published over 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects of non-ionizing EMR used for wireless communications. This 2015 paper is one example as it explains the difference between manmade and natural electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) why there is a harmful biological effect of artificial EMFs (2015 Nature article). And this is a link to an annotated bibliography of scientific papers published by Dr Joel Moskowitz in August 2018.

ICNIRP and PHE have ignored all this evidence. Both have dismissed the NTP and Ramazzini studies as being of little importance. Dr Ron Melnick, one of the NTP lead scientists, has responded to the ICNIRP’s criticisms of the NTP research. And Prof Martin Pall gives his view of ICNIRP. 

ICNIRP remains convinced that heating is the only danger from electro-magnetic radiation. PHE unquestioningly follows ICNIRP on safety even though this self-appointed NGO is not a medical authority. Few of its members have medical qualifications. The UK’s current representative on ICNIRP is one example: he has degrees in electronics not medicine. As Head of PHE’s Dosimetry department, he was also part of the IARC 2011 group that advised the NHS.

Of perhaps even greater concern is ICNIRP’s perceived lack of independence from industry (link) As recently as January 2020, in a ruling on the cause of a brain tumour, the Italian Appeal Court in Turin refused to accept evidence from ICNIRP because of conflicts of interest. The Court not only accepted that the tumour in question was the result of using a mobile phone, the Court also did not consider ICNIRP to be a reliable witness.

This lack of credibility in ICNIRP raises questions about papers written by those associated with ICNRIP. It is noticeable that some of the inconclusive research, the studies that have ‘revealed variable results’ or the ones that consider ‘symptoms reported by individuals … attributed to Electromagnetic Fields are not caused by EMF and are more closely associated with a nocebo effect’ (ie “all in the mind”), have been written by experts with links to ICNIRP. This paper is another example –  two of the authors are part of ICNIRP. One of them is the current chairman of ICNIRP and another is the future chairman of ICNIRP.

In this particular paper the authors are keen to point out that ‘There are clear indications, however, that psychological factors such as the conscious expectation of effect may play an important role in this condition’. They state that ‘subjective symptoms over a wide range, including headaches and migraine, fatigue, and skin itch, have been attributed to various radiofrequency sources both at home and at work.’ But conclude that ‘in provocation studies a causal relation between EMF exposure and symptoms has never been demonstrated’. They deny the evidence found elsewhere…

[The “all in the mind” argument, however, fails when taking into account clear evidence of the harmful effects on wildlife]

And so, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, PHE continues to rely on ICNIRP and IARC. PHE bases its advice to the public on an out of date 2012 AGNIR report which found no evidence of danger – AGNIR was only reiterating the IARC decision. AGNIR knew about the NTP study and might have revised its findings but NTP reported in 2018 and AGNIR was disbanded in 2017. COMARE which replaced AGNIR has conducted no research of its own.

PHE believes it acceptable to take advice on safety from scientists who have no medical qualifications, while ignoring well-qualified international scientists. PHE rejects the evidence from the USA’s NTP study obtained under laboratory conditions, preferring live experiments on humans through its support of the COSMOS project (link),  an international study run by Imperial College and others that investigates the long term health of mobile phone users. And Ministers continue to make statements such as “the packets of energy that form the radiation are too small to break chemical bonds”; statements which are clearly contradicted by the evidence. 

While PHE refuses to accept harm, PHE also cannot show any evidence for the specific testing of 5G signals that proves they are safe for people. No testing for 5G has been done, even though live trials of 5G have begun in cities such as Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester, without the informed consent of those citizens. 

And reports of cancers continue. The latest has been published in 2020 by scientists in the USA on the increase in thyroid cancers – which they attribute to the antennas at the base of a phone being in the direction of the thyroid.

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What is so shocking is that the Government has known the risks since at least 2000 (20 years ago) and the Stewart Report, if not decades before that. In fact, they would have known that, during the height of the Cold War, the Russians were using microwaves to irradiate the US embassy in Moscow. Several ambassadors died of cancers. One of them, Ambassador Walter Stoessel, ‘developed a rare blood disease similar to leukemia and was suffering headaches and bleeding from the eyes’. Of particular note is that when ‘the Soviets began beaming microwaves at the US embassy from across Tchaikovsky Street, [they were] always staying well within the Schwan limit’; ie USA guidelines, the Schwan limit being the current standard in use today in the USA. [quotes from Dr Robert O Becker‘s classic book ‘The Body Electric – electromagnetism & the foundation of life’ written in 1985, pp315-316.]

The UK Government was even warned in 2000 by Sir William Stewart’s Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) that biological harm could happen in the non-ionising spectrum. In a discussion about TETRA, the emergency services network in the UK, which operates at around 16-17 Hz, the IEGMP pointed out that ‘radiofrequency fields, amplitude-modulated at about 16 hertz, may influence the leakeage of calcium ions from tissues‘.

Also nearly 20 years ago, a member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) based in the USA, Raymond S Kasevich, wrote about harm in the non-ionising spectrum. In August 2002 he published an article in the IEEE’s Spectrum magazine in which he said,

Exposure standards for electromagnetic radiation do not adequately address current realities. These standards are based on conclusions drawn from many experiments in the decades after World War II. Few of those studies, however, were designed to study low-level, localized biological effects not linked to heat. But electromagnetic theory and decades of experiments clearly indicate that the electromagnetic fields of radio and microwaves can also affect cells mechanically, without producing significant amounts of heat.”

His conclusion, 18 years ago, was that “We have more than enough solid experimental evidence to question the validity of formulating standards that take only thermal effects into account“. And he went on to say, “It would be irresponsible to continue using standards based on average, whole-body radiation exposures to laboratory animals, more especially because a great deal of tissue damage has been done long before a laboratory animal shows behavior changes or dies from thermal effects“.

In the UK Sir William Stewart was particularly concerned around that time, in 2000, that ‘children may be more vulnerable because of their developing nervous system, the greater absorption of energy in the tissues of the head and a longer lifetime of exposure’ (Stewart Report, paragraph 1.53). He recommended  a ‘precautionary approach’, and in particular, that the mobile phone industry should refrain from promoting the use of mobile phones by children. He was ignored.

Families have paid the price. In the UK, cancer is now the most common cause of death in children aged 1-14 years, accounting for around one-fifth of deaths in this age group. Brain tumours claim more lives than any other, accounting for more than a third of all childhood cancer deaths (link).

All schools should be hard-wired. Why is this not happening as standard? Mothers with young children should have the danger of exposure explained to them. And so should pregnant women. Why do we continue to take risks with our children?

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And take risks of DNA damage which could lead to long term sterility? In 2004 the EU’s REFLEX project published its findings, based on the studies of 12 independent groups. The aim of the project was to test the effects of RF-EMR on single cells in test tubes (in vitro). The conclusions were that the DNA damage that was observed was not thermal-related, and so ‘arouses consideration about environmental safety limits for ELF-EMF exposure’.

In 2017 a meta-analysis published by Oxford University showed a 50-60% decline in sperm counts among Western males (link). Others have associated this decline  with men carrying phones in their pockets, as reported by this article written by Dr Anthony Miller and others on the risks to health from radiation by mobile phone (link).

When electromagnetic radiation is known to damage the heart, cause tumours, especially brain tumours, neurological problems, anxiety and depression, even suicide, is it any wonder that life expectancy in the UK has stalled? These health effects are all major causes of death. This is a link to a study of electric utility workers which found that they were more prone to suicide as a result of working closely with EMFs and EMR.

In February 2020 the Marmot Review reported that life expectancy in the last 10 years since the Review first reported has stopped increasing; and that health inequalities are widening. The 10-year on review discounts the theory that the slowdown in life expectancy increase can be solely attributed to severe winters or flu. The report lays out that more than 80% of the slowdown, between 2011 and 2019, results from influences other than winter-associated mortality. And the slow-down in life expectancy improvement in the UK is more marked than in most European and other high-income countries, except the USA. But the report makes no mention of exposure to RF-EMR as a possible factor.

So, is it just a coincidence that lower income groups who have worse health outcomes also tend to live in more densely populated urban areas, and so are more likely to experience more electro-magnetic radiation? Forced to have phone masts on the top of their tower blocks…?

Here is a link to a recent interview with Dr Martin Pall on a visit to Finland in January 2020 in which he outlines many of the problems we now face, particularly with regards to infertility. Dr Pall is convinced that we are already starting to see population crashes which he attributes to telecom radiation.

Researchers are beginning to ask if increased background RF-EMR is a ‘major contribution for the relative sudden upsurge in neurological morbidity in the Western world (1989-2015)’ and if that has ‘become the tipping point-impacting upon any genetic predisposition, increasing multiple-interactive pollutants, such as rises in petro-chemicals, hormone disrupting chemicals, industrial, agricultural and domestic chemicals. The unprecedented neurological death rates, all within just twenty-five years, demand a re-examination of long-term EMF safety related to the increasing background EMF on human health’. These researchers are particularly concerned with the rise in autism, early on-set dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and the number of autoimmune diseases.

With regard to Alzheimer’s disease, it is noteworthy that research published in 2011 established a link between the use of cell phones and raised glucose levels in the brain.  The link between glucose and Alzheimer’s has been established as recently as February 2017 by researchers at Bath University UK. In the 2011 experiment cell phones were strapped to the heads of the participants’ heads and then PET scans were used to look at their brains. They found ‘increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna’.

And Dr Ronald Kostoff, of the Georgia Institute of Technology USA, has now published a monograph in February 2020 explaining why exposing us to wireless radiation is ‘the largest unethical medical experiment in human history‘ – because it violates the key medical ethic of ‘informed consent’. He also identifies the adverse effects documented in the biomedical literature over seven decades. He explains that many laboratory experiments have underestimated the severity of adverse effects because they are not reflective of real-life environments: they do not include the pulsing and modulation of the signal; nor the synergistic effects of other toxic stimuli which act in concert with wireless radiation.

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We, the campaign group FASTT, are not alone in believing that UK Government is taking unacceptable risks with our health and the levels of telecom radiation we are being exposed to. The international re-insurance market, Swiss Re and Lloyds of London, has refused to underwrite any insurance against claims of illness due to telecom radiation.

In their 2013 SONAR document Swiss Re recognised that, ‘if a direct link [to health effects] were established, it would open doors for new claims and could ultimately lead to large losses’. Lloyds’  Exclusion Clause 32 for underwriters states:’… The purpose of the exclusion is to exclude cover for illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionizing radiation exposure i.e. through mobile phone usage.’

Insurance companies are aware that this kind of risk could be the next asbestos scandal. Asbestos is only one example of a product once considered safe and then found to have appalling health consequences. There have been other examples – eg lead in petrol, tobacco, etc etc. Governments can make mistakes.

At the moment there is no legislative framework for objecting to digital infrastructure on the grounds of health concerns. The Digital Minister Matt Warman MP confirmed as much in a letter to Council officials in October 2019. Health concerns are not part of the Digital Economy Act 2017.

The only control you can have over your own health is to take action by keeping your mobile phone on airplane mode, using hands-free and texting whenever possible. Within your own home you can hardwire your internet with ethernet cables. Resist smart meters, cordless phones, wifi baby monitors, Bluetooth speakers etc. We do not recommend the use of shielding paints as these can inadvertently make your situation worse by accidentally trapping radiation inside your home. Fabric shielding is a better alternative.

So, please join us in campaigning for a change in the law and implementation of the safer alternative, fibre for all, so that no-one has to experience the personal tragedy of a cancer diagnosis, a suicide or any of the unpleasant side effects of telecom radiation sickness…

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