Wireless Radiation: Five Important Things to Know

Here are five important things you should know about wireless radiation from cellphones, cell towers, small cell antennas, Wi-Fi and other sources:

  1. No person is immune to harm from wireless radiation.

  2. Children are at higher risk for harm due to their smaller size and thinner skulls—which result in more radiation exposure than adults—and the fact they are still developing.

  3. Harm is related to both the intensity and length of exposure.

  4. Harm is cumulative over time just like radiation from nuclear sources.

  5. Independent studies and even the wireless industry’s own research show that wireless radiation is harmful to human health. (See below.)

5G and Health: Five Important Things to Know

Here are five important things you need to know about 5G and health:

  1. 5G-related antennas will vastly increase our exposure to wireless radiation because they will be so much closer to homes and businesses. In many cases they will only be as far away as the utility pole closest to your residence or business. (For more information about this issue, referred to as antenna densification, read 5G: Under the Hood. Hint: It’s mostly 4G antennas which are on all the time and now much closer to you.)

  2. Radiation from 5G-related antennas will be beamed directly into your home and business 24/7/365 and to devices you carry. You will never be able to turn that radiation off.

  3. Large-scale 5G deployment has not been tested for safety. Where certain higher frequencies related to 5G have been studied, they have been linked with cancer, neuropathic pain and other conditions. When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was asked by three different federal legislators to support its claims of 5G safety, the commission failed to come up with even one study showing safety. The research on the health effects of 5G to date suggests that the dangers stem from the vast number of antennas which must be deployed, the use of millimeter wave frequencies, new signaling characteristics like beam-forming that will concentrate radiation exposure, and the proximity to homes.

  4. The wireless industry has persuaded the FCC to make it all but impossible for your city or town to control the placement of 5G antennas or to regulate your exposure. But, people are already fighting back in the courts and in legislative forums including city councils, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. In fact, the backlash is gaining momentum across Europe, North America and Australia.

  5. In the United States the wireless industry is pushing federal legislation which would exempt the industry from liability for damage to human health caused by its wireless antennas mounted on cell towers, buildings,utility poles and elsewhere. (See below.)

Some Curious Industry Research and Warnings

Perhaps the most revealing statements and actions regarding the safety of wireless radiation come from the wireless industry itself.

Industry Research From 1990s Never Released

A research program called simply Wireless Technology Research (WTR) was undertaken in the 1990s by the wireless industry to prove that cellphones are safe. The industry never released the results.

What we know of the research comes in the wake of a public dispute between the lead scientist and the wireless industry which hired him. That scientist claimed in a letter to wireless CEOs that the research program demonstrated links between wireless radiation and brain cancer on the side of the head on which a cellphone user held his or her phone, benign tumors in auditory nerves, and genetic damage in cells exposed to wireless radiation. The industry ended up disputing the findings of its own research.

The industry has known for a long time that wireless radiation is dangerous and has tried to keep that information from the public. This is eerily similar to what happened in the asbestos and tobacco industries. It’s also similar to what is emerging right now with toxic chemicals that go by the acronyms PFOA and PFOS which are being discovered in water supplies around the world. In all three cases, the dangers were known for years, but covered up and later disputed (as a delaying tactic) by the industry.

Is everybody now a “heavy” user with increased risk of brain cancer?

Scientists who undertook another research project called the Interphone Study (partially funded by the industry) insisted on guarantees of independence in their work. Those scientists found that only so-called “heavy” users of cellphones had an 40 percent increased risk of brain cancers.

The study began in 2000 and ended in 2004. It classified “heavy” users as anyone who uses a cellphone for 30 minutes a day or more over 10 years.  The median use for all participants was only 2 to 2.5 hours PER MONTH.

Given the way people use cellphones today, it’s hard to imagine many cellphone users who wouldn’t be classified as “heavy” users. The time spent per person on cellphones has been increasing right up through today. Many environmental health experts believe that the level of cellphone use we engage in today combined with much greater exposure from cellular antennas and Wi-Fi will lead to a widespread public health crisis.

Cellphone manufacturers say: Reduce exposure by keeping phone away from your head!

Every cellphone now comes with recommendations for reducing exposure to cellphone radiation provided by the company that manufactures it. This is often found under such headings as “About Device,” “Legal Information,” and “RF Exposure.” (RF stands for radio frequency radiation which is the technical name for wireless radiation from cellphones and cell tower antennas.) Users may have to navigate through several levels in their cellphone menus to find these recommendations.

Strangely, the cellphone manufacturers tell you that health studies do not find any link between disease and wireless radiation emitted by cellphones (which is false), and then provide recommendations for keeping the phone away from your head.

The manufacturers counsel you to reduce your exposure to wireless radiation by using a hands-free headset and/or the speaker mode. In some warning notices they even suggest that you reduce the amount of time you spend on the cellphone!

If cellphones are as safe as the manufacturers contend, then there would be no need to employ these safety measures. It seems the cellphone manufacturers want to make sure that when they get sued for selling products that cause health damage and death, they will be able to say that they gave explicit instructions to cellphone users to protect themselves.

What Does The U.S. Government Say?

Officially, at least one part of U.S. government says that cellphones and antennas that adhere to its outdated and lax standards are safe. Standards were last updated in 1996. The FCC opened a review in 2013, but delayed acting until 2019 when it concluded that no change in the standards was needed.

The findings of the U.S. National Toxicology Program released in 2018, however, concluded that there is “clear evidence” linking cell phone radiation to certain types of cancers. The study is important because previously such a link was thought to be impossible.

While the government has done little other genuine research in the last two decades, as the wireless industry managed to get the U.S. Congress to slash funding for such research, military research dating back to 1971 demonstrated serious health effects associated with wireless radiation.

Industry Wants Federal Shield Against Health Lawsuits

We’ve established that the wireless industry knows radiation from cellphones is dangerous to human health. Is there evidence that the industry also knows that wireless radiation from its antennas mounted on towers, buildings and utility poles and spewing signals in all directions 24 hours a day are also dangerous to humans?

The answer to that question is yes. The industry is pushing a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate that would exempt wireless carriers from liability for harm to human health caused by radiation from the industry’s wireless antennas. You can look at the text of the bill by clicking here. It is telling that the industry is seeking this exemption just as it is rolling out millions of 5G-related antennas which will greatly increase the wireless radiation we are all exposed to.

If, as the industry claims, wireless radiation from 5G-related antennas is not harmful to human health, why would it now seek federal legislation to exempt itself from all liability for damage to human health? What does the industry know that it is not telling the public?

Manipulating the Science, An Uninsurable Risk

In an investigative piece on the wireless industry published in The Nation magazine, the writers noted that cell phones were introduced without any safety testing in the 1980s. When research began to emerge about the health effects of wireless radiation, the industry hired its own scientists essentially to publish results it liked and used those results to confuse the public. For every independent study showing harm, the industry could point to one of the studies it funded and say there was no harm (except for the ones mentioned above that it never released).

The writers discovered that one industry, in particular, was not fooled by the wireless industry’s ploy. Not a single insurance company contacted by the investigative team said it would sell product liability insurance to a wireless company covering cellphone radiation. One insurance company executive laughed at the idea:

“Why would we want to do that?” one executive chuckled before pointing to more than two dozen lawsuits outstanding against wireless companies, demanding a total of $1.9 billion in damages.

As health-related lawsuits begin to pile up in court, the financial woes of the wireless industry will balloon since it will have no insurance to pay any of the rising claims.

An Upgrade to Probably Carcinogenic or Higher

In 2011 a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared cell phone radiation to be a “possible carcinogen”. Studies since then have only strengthened the link between cancer and microwave radiation leading an advisory committee to the IARC to suggest an upgrade to “probably carcinogenic” or higher.

To find out more about 5G dangers,
read Privacy & Security Issues.

Learn More about Health Impacts

How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation — Investigative reporters Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie of The Nation magazine unmask the disinformation campaign and massive radiation increase behind the 5G rollout. Published April 23, 2018.

Cell Phone Radiation Leads to Cancer, Says U.S. NTP in Final Report — Louis Slesin, editor and publisher of Microwave News, provides an excellent summary of the 10-year study done by the U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program. The study was released in 2018. Published November 1, 2018.

Planetary Electromagnetic Pollution: It Is Time To Assess Its Impact — In a concise summary, two prominent electromagnetic health scientists review the science behind the understanding of health effects of electromagnetic radiation. Published December 2018.

The BioInitiative Report — This comprehensive analysis of the research on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields provides a rationale for biologically-based public exposure standards much lower than official standards today. First published in 2012, the report has been updated to reflect research through early 2019.

Recent US Government Reports, Congressional Hearings on Wireless and Electromagnetic Radiation — The Environmental Health Trust provides a timeline of federal action (and inaction) regarding wireless radiation with discussion and links.

SONAR 2019: New emerging risk insights — Swiss Re is the world’s second largest reinsurance company. It’s a company that insures insurance companies. In its latest report on emerging risks Swiss Re rated 5G as a “high impact” event for insurers who could face increasing liability related to it. Environmental Health Trust provides a key excerpt and a link to the complete report.