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5G: an outraged grandfather’s letter to his grandson
Canada Created: 25 Nov 2020
Documentary filmmaker and one of the directors of Radio-Canada’s Science-Réalité and Découverte television shows for 25 years, Pascal Gélinas wrote this letter to his grandson so that he could one day “understand his torment”.

My dear grandson,

When your dad took this picture, I was a happy grandfather. I had my little worries, like everyone else. But really, with a sweetheart who lights up my life, with your parents whom I adore, and with you, the apple of my eye, I was a fulfilled grandfather.

But now, for a year, my life has changed. The virus of indignation has seeped under my skin and lodged where it ends up most often, in the pit of my stomach. My dear little one, I have become an indignant grandfather! I am writing to you so that later, when you read this letter, you will understand my torment.

At first it manifested in astonishment. I did not understand that we could allow the deployment of the 5G telephone network, with its millimeter (mm) waves, its forest of antennas and its umbrella of satellites, without any study assessing the risks to my health, yours and that of all the children who will have to remake this already too damaged world.

In 1976, I was 30 years old. Your father was not yet born. That year, the US military produced a secret, now declassified report documenting research by Russian scientists that revealed in detail the damage that radio waves have on human and animal health. Of course, like most everyone else, I didn’t know.

About 20 years later, around the turn of the millenium, I received my first cell phone, courtesy of my employer. Since then, wireless telephony has experienced a phenomenal expansion: there are currently more than 5 billion cell phones in circulation on the planet. And to assess their health impact, our governments rely on outdated radio frequency/microwave (RF/MW) exposure standards that allow wireless carriers to play Russian roulette with our health.

Eventually, the red light came on. Since thousands of studies, which the industry seeks to discredit, warned us of the danger, we had to get to the bottom of it. For 10 years, with a budget of $ 30 million, the United States undertook the most comprehensive research ever to assess the health effects of exposure to cell phone radiation. A crucial task entrusted to the highly regarded US National Toxicology Program (NTP). Published in 2018, this research demonstrated beyond any doubt that cell phone radiation caused cancerous tumors in the nerves surrounding the heart of rats and significantly increased their risk of brain cancer. The radiation also damaged their heart and DNA. My dear grandson, do you think this has made the wireless industry more careful?

On the contrary, with the complicity of the government, it is installing a cell-phone network that will use mm waves for the first time, which may triple the RF/MW radiation to which you and I are exposed, whether or not we use wireless devices. Even if your parents give you all their love and healthy food, you may soon have to live, eat, play and sleep about 15 meters from an antenna placed on a pole in front of your house. Why? Because eventually, almost all the things we buy, furniture, toothbrushes, toasters, mattresses, appliances, even the toys that I will give you at Christmas, will contain a chip that will exchange data with millions of antennae placed everywhere, along the streets, on bus shelters, traffic lights, church steeples, the roofs of schools and train stations, and even on buildings where people like you and I live. In Montreal alone, up to 60,000 antennas will be able to communicate with one million objects per square kilometer. So that a liter of milk in the fridge can tell us it’s empty. So that the baby’s diaper in the cradle can warn us that it is full. So that our daily life, transformed into digital data, can be sold to the highest bidder. This is the new golden egg chip. It has been given a scholarly name: the Internet of Things.

Too bad for the bees and the birds, which will no longer be able to orient themselves and will die. Too bad for trees that will be felled because their leaves block mm waves. Too bad for foresight, because to allow these billions of objects to communicate, we’ll have to mine the last deposits of rare metals on the planet. Too bad for our security, because the exponential proliferation of access points of this new technology will facilitate identity theft, theft of personal data and cyber attacks. Too bad for the climate, too, because 5G base stations are expected to emit three times more greenhouse gases than 4G base stations to feed the digital ogre. In China, whole cities are already cutting off the power to 5G at night, because it is so energy intensive.

Unless there are no antennas within 500 meters of your school and unless its management has replaced Wi-Fi with hard-wired connections, you will find the same electromagnetic fog crackling all over town. It could affect your memory and concentration. Your growing body, like that of your classmates, will absorb twice as much radiation as that of your teachers. In the short term, my poor love, you are likely to have headaches, nausea, dizziness and tinnitus. Over the years, day after day, this RF/MW soup may cause you cancer, heart problems or diabetes. Worse still, you risk not being able to conceive any more, never to become a parent.

Your grandfather is no exception. This proliferation of RF/MW radiation could damage my eyes. I’m afraid that a veil may hide the glow of your face from me. My memory might erode faster too. I, who helped build this country, am afraid of losing track of your name, of being exiled to the land of oblivion.

This is my story, my dear grandson. A sad story of pirates who want to kill the beauty of the world.

But now let me tell you about my dream, my deepest hope. When you grow up, I think this mess will have become history. Governments will have put an end to the collective blindness, as with tobacco, DDT, lead or asbestos. They will have abolished the right to pollute and our health will have become their GDP. By the time you are 30, the millions of small-cell antennas that disfigure the landscape will have long been unhooked. Cellular telephony will be much better designed. Optical fiber will deliver Internet signals 10 times stronger to the heart of our homes, schools and workplaces, a balm for nature and humans.

In the meantime, every day lost, every excuse invoked, every tactic invented only increases the damage to human life, to the environment and to the generations who will have to fix the broken pieces. When you understand the cause of my indignation, my dear love, let’s hope that it is not too late for the bees, the trees and the birds. And so that they can reinvent the world, let’s hope that children can be born and grow up where there will be only sun, rain, clouds and wind.
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Source: MaisonSaine, Pascal Gélinas, 24 Nov 2020

Andrew Goldsworthy (Biologist) responds to Eric van Rongen's (ICNIRP) statements about 5G
South Africa Created: 24 Nov 2020
Eric van Rongen “I’m the scientist who sets the global guidelines on 5G safety. Take it from me: 5G doesn’t cause cancer or spread COVID-19.”

Eric van Rongen:

“Contrary to many 5G conspiracy theories, phone radiation heats the human body the equivalent of having a cup of hot tea every two hours.”

“The science is really straightforward — there’s simply no solid evidence that anything other than a small amount of body heating may result from exposure to 5G radiofrequency fields.”

Andrew Goldsworthy (Biologist) responds to ICNIRP’s Eric van Rongen’s post featured above:

There are two main mechanisms by which non-ionising radiation such as that from cell-phones can damage living organisms. One is the heating effect and the other is the effect of low-frequency modulation.

1 The heating effect.

We cannot assume that the heating effect is uniformly distributed through living cells. The cells themselves are highly conductive, whereas the cell membranes have a very high resistance. Therefore, for any given current flowing through a tissue, nearly all of the heat will be generated in the cell membranes. Since these membranes constitute only about one thousandth of the total diameter of a typical cell and virtually all of the heat is being generated in them, the ICNIRP Guidelines, which are based on the assumption that cells and tissues are uniformly conductive, are approximately one thousand times too high.

2 The effect of modulation.

Living cell membranes are electrically non-linear and have a voltage across them of approximately 70mV. They are pierced by countless ion channels that behave like electrically biased Schottky diodes capable of rectifying and so demodulating any alternating signal (including microwave frequencies) with the demodulated low frequency components appearing between the inside and outside of the cell. This is what does most of the damage and here is why:

The cell membrane is mainly made of a lipid bilayer only about 10nM thick, with proteins such as ion channels “floating” in it. The membrane itself is negatively charged because it has outwardly directed negatively charged phosphate groups and is normally stabilised by divalent positive calcium and magnesium ions that cross-link them. But the demodulated cell-phone signal makes the negative membrane and its protective divalent ions move in opposite directions. This destabilizes the membrane and makes it more likely to perforate and collapse the voltage gradient across it. This, in turn, opens voltage-gated calcium ion channels in the membrane that let huge numbers of calcium ions into the cell down a massive 10,000:1 electrochemical gradient.

In nature, this increase in the internal calcium concentration is taken as an indicator to the cell that its membrane (and by implication, the whole cell) has been damaged and sets in train a series of repair mechanisms, which uses a great deal of metabolic energy. If it succeeds, the cell is repaired, if not, the cell dies, but either way a great deal of energy is used. This may in large part explain the chronic fatigue syndrome that was found in early mobile phone users (Yuppie flu) and is now much more widespread in the community due to our constant exposure to cordless phones, their base stations, WiFi and all the other wireless devices that current ICNIRP guidelines regard as safe.

Lastly, the relationship between 5G and COVID-19.

We cannot assume that because the 5G radiation is mainly absorbed by the skin that it cannot damage the rest of our bodies. If the energy of the radiation is disproportionately absorbed by the skin, then the damage to the skin and the blood and lymph circulating through it will also be disproportionately large. The effects of 5G on lymphocytes could be particularly damaging. They too will have their energy drained by the calcium influx caused by the radiation, have less to spare to generate their protective antibodies and so make the immune system less efficient. So, I guess you could say that 5G can promote the spread of COVID-19. That said, most other forms of information carrying (i.e.modulated) frequencies may be even more dangerous, particularly WiFi with its extremely low frequency (10Hz) beacon signal being possibly the most dangerous.

Dr Andrew Goldsworthy, Lecturer and Biological Safety Officer (retired) Imperial College London.
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Source: EMFSA, 25 Jun 2020

Poor Sleep Linked with Future Amyloid Build Up (Parkinsons, Alzheimers)
USA Created: 22 Nov 2020
Accumulation of the protein was more likely to be found in the brains of people who slept less well years earlier, according to a new study.

There’s evidence in people and animals that short-term sleep deprivation can change the levels of amyloid-β, a peptide that can accumulate in the aging brain and cause Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists now show long-term consequences may also result from sustained poor sleep. In a study published September 3 in Current Biology, researchers found that healthy individuals with lower-quality sleep were more likely to have amyloid-β accumulation in the brain years later. The study could not say whether poor sleep caused amyloid-β accumulation or vice versa, but the authors say that sleep could be an indicator of present and future amyloid-β levels.

“Traditionally, sleep disruptions have been accepted as a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Ksenia Kastanenka, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital who was not involved in the work. Her group showed in 2017 that improving sleep in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, in which the animals’ slow wave sleep is disrupted as it usually is in people with the disease, halted disease progression.

Collectively, the results from these studies and others raise the possibility that “sleep rhythm disruptions are not an artifact of disease progression, but actually are active contributors, if not a cause,” she says, hinting at the prospect of using these sleep measures as a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.

As a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, Joseph Winer, who is now a postdoc at Stanford University, and his colleagues were interested in whether or not sleep could predict how the brain changes over time. They collaborated with the team behind the Berkeley Aging Cohort Study, which includes a group of 32 cognitively healthy adults averaging about 75 years of age. They participated in a sleep study, then had periodic cognitive assessments and between two and five positron emission tomography (PET) scans to check for the presence of amyloid-β in their brains for an average of about four years after the sleep study.

The researchers found at their baseline PET scan, which happened within six months of their sleep study, that 20 of the 32 participants already had some amyloid-β accumulation, which was not unexpected based on their average age. They also showed that both slow wave sleep, an indicator of depth of sleep, and sleep efficiency, the amount of time sleeping compared to time in bed, were both predictive of the rate of amyloid change several years later. In other words, people with lower levels of slow wave sleep and sleep efficiency were more likely to have faster amyloid build up.

The subjects all remained cognitively healthy over the duration of the study, says Winer. “We do expect that they’re at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s in their lifetime because of the amyloid plaque.”

The strengths of the study include the well-characterized participants with detailed sleep assessments, as well as cognitive testing and longitudinal amyloid PET imaging, says Brendan Lucey, a sleep neurologist at Washington University in St. Louis who did not participate in the work.

There are still open questions about the link between sleep and amyloid deposition over time. “Amyloid accumulation on PET increases at different rates in amyloid-negative and amyloid-positive individuals, and even within amyloid-positive individuals,” Lucey explains. “Without adjusting for participants’ starting amyloid [levels], we don’t know if some participants would have been more likely to have increased amyloid compared to others, independent of sleep.”

“It is very hard to untangle this question of baselines,” acknowledges Winer. Because the sleep measures the team identified in the study are related to amyloid levels, to actually tease apart the effect of sleep quality on amyloid deposition and vice versa, it’d be necessary to study people starting as early as their fifties, when they’re much less likely to have amyloid accumulation, he says.

This study is “a great start,” David Holtzman, a neurologist and collaborator of Lucey at Washington University in St. Louis who did not participate in the work, tells The Scientist. In addition to controlling for the amount of amyloid deposition that is present in a subject’s brain at the beginning of the study, it would be important to see if the findings bear out in larger numbers of people and what role genetic factors play.

“The most important question down the road is to test the idea in some sort of a treatment paradigm,” Holtzman adds. “You can do something to improve the quality of sleep or increase slow wave sleep, and then determine if it actually slows down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease clinically.”

J.R. Winer et al., “Sleep disturbance forecasts β-amyloid accumulation across subsequent years,” Current Biology, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.017, 2020.
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Source: The Scientist, Abby Olena, 11 Sep 2020

Bad vibrations - persuading the courts to recognise new illnesses
United Kingdom Created: 12 Nov 2020
Please meet James - He first started feeling unwell in 1988 when a transmitting mast five metres from his home - which previously had only an aerial at the top as a relay station - had additional capacity added to it that year.

He started to have headaches and migraines which abated within 30 minutes of leaving the house and vicinity of the mast. When several mobile systems were added to the mast, headaches and brain fog were accompanied by burning across his shoulders and back, and a pricking tingling sensation in his body - like being electrocuted.

His symptoms became worse, and his wife also suffered, when Tetra transmitters were added to the mast: stabbing pains in the shoulders, vertigo, blurred vision, pressure band around the head, headaches, cramping of hands, confusion and lack of concentration, disorientation, dizziness, dry cough, hot spots on the spine, to name just a few from a long list.

James had to take action to protect himself and his family - but he soon hit a block when he began challenging the mobile phone companies. Despite being diagnosed by his GP with a form of radiation sickness known as electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), this crippling condition is not recognised in law as a disability, which the mobile phone operators took as carte blanche to ignore his complaint.

This is a classic legal conundrum when new medical conditions emerge as our world changes. How do you go about getting a new (especially controversial) illness recognised in law and therefore protectable under discrimination laws?

This hypersensitivity to the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) given off by masts, antennae and other mobile communication systems affects humans to varying extents, much like an allergy - some people suffer badly and others less so. These kinds of symptoms are experienced severely by at least 800,000 people in the UK and less severely by at least two million people who are exposed to EMR.

Over many years, James wrote to every public authority representative he could think of in the UK and the EU, including the Prime Minister. No one listened and no one helped. Many had no understanding of his condition, not even considering it as "new" - scientists involved said there was no science to support his condition.

So, what can be done?

One route is to issue judicial review proceedings against relevant public authorities for breach of their public sector equality duty (PSED) under the Equality Act 2010. This is what Phillip Watts, a sufferer of EHS, did when he brought a judicial review against the secretaries of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

He argues that the contravened the PSED when they announced changes to planning permission requirements for the roll-out of 5G masts, antennae and equipment in July 2020. Under them, existing masts can be strengthened without prior approval.

Public authorities have a duty to eliminate differences between disabled persons (within the meaning of the Act) and non-disabled persons. In addition, when making strategic decisions such as deciding priorities and setting objectives, they must consider how their decisions might help to reduce the inequalities associated with socio-economic disadvantage which includes health inequalities.

Is James disabled under the Equality Act? Section 6(1) defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Schedule 1 extends that to impairments which are likely to last for at least 12 months or for the rest of the life of the relevant person. In the case of James, his condition is lifelong.

Government guidance helpfully provides that "the fact that an impairment may have a less substantial effect in certain environments does not necessarily prevent it having an overall substantial adverse effect on day-to-day activities".

It lists factors which are reasonable to regard as having a substantial adverse effect on normal day-to-day activities as including "difficulty entering or staying in environments that the person perceives as strange or frightening" this would seem to apply to James's home and his neighbourhood.

The PSED was summarised by Lord Boyd in the recent Scottish case of McHattie v South Ayrshire Council [2020] CSOH 4, identifying three important aspects:

- The duty must be fulfilled before the policy in question is enacted;

- The duty must be exercised in substance with "rigour and an open mind"; it is not a matter of "ticking boxes"; and

- The duty is continuing: it does not end with the completion of the EIA and due regard must be had as policy evolves and is implemented.

Lord Boyd noted that the duties under section 149 do not simply concern the prevention of discrimination but also the promotion of policies which help "eliminate differences between the protected group and those who do not share that protection".

He stated that, in particular, any scoping exercise should not be just a "tick-box exercise completed after the decision has been taken".

In Phillip Watts' case, it is ultimately up to the High Court to decide whether his symptoms amount to a disability under the Act and the PSED has been contravened. In relation to new kinds of symptoms, once medical evidence can be produced to confirm the impact of the symptoms, if the substance of the Act can be made out, individuals can be protected by it.

In James's case, it would seem that public authority representatives failed to consider how to eliminate differences between those suffering from EHS and those not. They have ignored him and marginalised the pain and suffering which he and many others experience every day.

The Watts case will shine a light on these practices and hopefully create a pathway to reverse the rejection of the pain and suffering of those who experience EHS.

James is a real case whose identity has been changed.
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Source: Litigation Futures, Jessica Learmond-Criqui, 12 Nov 2020

Hutchison flogging its masts to Spanish Cellnex
Spain Created: 12 Nov 2020
Spanish mobile phone mast operator Cellnex unveiled its biggest purchase to date on Thursday with a deal to buy 24,600 telecom towers across Europe from Hong Kong's CK Hutchison for 10 billion euros ($11.81 billion).

Cellnex expects to boost its annual revenues by around 1.2 billion euros through the deal, under which it also plans a further investment of up to 1.4 billion euros on as many as 5,250 new sites.

Since listing in 2015, the Barcelona-based firm has grown rapidly, buying up assets which have retained their appeal for investors despite the coronavirus crisis, thanks to their steady cash flows.

It will pay 8.6 billion euros in cash and issue 1.4 billion euros in new shares which will give the ports-to-telecoms group a 5% stake in Cellnex.

The deal covers assets in Italy, Britain and Ireland, where Cellnex already operates, and marks its entry into Austria, Sweden and Denmark. It will leave Cellnex with 103,000 towers and telecommunications sites.

Rolling out next-generation 5G Internet in the coming years will require more masts to connect billions of devices in an "Internet of Things" which is likely to ensure continued investment in the sector.

($1 = 0.8468 euros)
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Source: Reuters, Nathan Allen & Isla Binnie & Bernadette Baum, 12 Nov 2020

Apple Dodges IPhone Radiation Class Action Suit
USA Created: 7 Nov 2020
A federal judge Thursday nixed a class action claiming Apple failed to warn consumers about dangerous radiation from iPhones, finding it has twice demonstrated that its smartphones comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s radiation exposure limits.

Impelled by a Chicago Tribune article indicting iPhone and Galaxy smartphones for surpassing federal safety limits, lead plaintiff Andrew Cohen sued cellphone makers Apple and Samsung in August 2019. Samsung was voluntarily dismissed as a defendant in the case in January.

The plaintiffs commissioned their own independent tests in 2019 and cited tests conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company in 2017 and French National Frequencies Agency in 2018, all of which found radiofrequency radiation exposure from iPhones exceeded federal safety limits.

In response to the Tribune’s investigation, the FCC’s lab tested commercially-available iPhones as well as a model iPhone at separation distances of five millimeters, pursuant to federal guidelines, finding they fell well within the safety limits. It published the results of those tests in December 2019.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup sided with Apple in a ruling issued late Thursday, since the FCC has broad authority under the Federal Communications Act of 1934 to enact uniform regulations for wireless radio communications devices and any related emissions.

“If successful, plaintiffs’ claims could set the stage for a patchwork of state-required testing procedures, increasing the burden on manufacturers and thereby upsetting the efficiency that the uniform standards and testing procedures provide,” Alsup wrote.

Alsup also found a jury trial unnecessary, as the FCC’s lab tests indicated that Apple’s smartphones meet its RF exposure standards.

“The Lab found no evidence of violations of the technical standards. Apple’s iPhones have thus demonstrated compliance with its exposure limits not once but twice,” Alsup wrote. “Allowing a federal jury to now second-guess the agency determinations would interfere with the balance struck in the equipment-authorization program. The federal regulations must displace plaintiffs’ claims.”

Attorneys for Apple and the class did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Thursday evening.

The ruling follows a judgment in favor of a wireless industry trade group rendered by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen earlier this year on similar grounds.

The Cellular Telephone Industries Association had challenged the city of Berkeley’s ordinance requiring cellphone retailers to provide guidance on avoiding radio-frequency exposure. Chen agreed that the FCC’s regulatory actions on radio frequency emissions preempt the local law.
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Source: Court House News, MARIA DINZEO, 29 Oct 2020

Trust Us, Men: Move the Phone from Your Front Pocket
USA Created: 3 Nov 2020
When they aren’t using it, most guys drop their cellphone into a front pocket of their pants. It’s convenient and, really, where else can you put it?

But some research suggests that stashing your phone so close to particularly vital and valued organs may not be the safest place.

Cellphones emit radio frequency (RF) waves that are known to have negative effects on living tissue. RF waves have been linked to sleep disturbance, headaches, increased blood pressure, DNA damage and difficulty in concentrating.

Until recently, most research has focused on the effect RF waves have on the brain, because we hold cellphones close to our heads. The good news, so far, is that data from the National Cancer Institute and other health agencies have not scientifically established that the use of cellphones causes cancer.

Over the past decade, however, scientific research has migrated farther south, assessing the effects of RF waves on sperm. And, guys, a significant amount of the literature cautions that cellphones probably shouldn’t be anywhere below your belt line.

Let’s be clear: Some studies are older and there is no consensus or smoking-gun study that says cellphone RF waves damage sperm. For every study that says “maybe” or “could be,” there has been another that says, “nah” or “probably not.” Nevertheless, several studies conducted by reputable researchers in the past 10 years seem to connect RF waves with lower sperm counts.

For instance, a 2018 study found evidence that “RF-Electromagnetic exposure negatively affects sperm quality,” while another concluded that “long exposure” to electromagnetic waves from mobile phones was associated with a decrease in the number of mature sperm.

And in 2014 researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK reviewed the findings of 10 studies, which included 1,492 sperm samples. While acknowledging their review had limitations, the authors found that the overall result “strongly suggests” that tucking your cellphone into your front pocket “negatively affects sperm quality.” The researchers noted that men with “borderline infertility” issues were probably more likely to be affected.

That same year, the Central European Journal of Urology concluded that a “correlation” exists between cellphone radiation and decreased sperm motility.

Lest we forget: The first mobile phone was introduced in 1973. Sperm counts have been dropping over the past few decades.

Just saying.

Before you panic, note that the two important words to take from those scientific papers are “suggests” and “correlation.” Still, several other studies “suggest” that pocketing your cellphone is associated with a decrease in semen quality (the fluid that carries the sperm), low sperm motility and viability, a decreased sperm count, lower acrosin (an enzyme needed for egg binding and penetration) activity, increased sperm DNA fragmentation (related to sperm viability), and increased expression of the gene that helps with seminal clustering, important in clearing cellular debris.

If you don’t have a PhD in chemistry or biology, let’s put that in plain English: The sperm taken from the men in those studies were more like belly floppers than Olympic breast stroke swimmers. They were much less likely to get the job done.

If you want to play it safe, several companies now make lines of protective underwear that they say block wireless, electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.

In at least one such product, the cotton fabric is interwoven with threads of silver. Silver is one metal commonly used to shield against electromagnetic radiation.

If silver-lined underwear isn’t your style, you can protect your brain and your genitals with an RF wave, anti-radiation phone case. Several companies manufacture such cases; at least one company states that its cases block 99% of RF wave radiation.

RF waves may not be the only threat your cellphone poses to sperm. You know how people say, it’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. The same is true of cellphones. We know that the slightest increase in scrotal temperature can reduce sperm production. Anything that raises the temperature -- working with a laptop on your lap, wearing tight underwear or clothing, sitting at a desk all day, and even the heat the cellphone generates in your front pocket -- can reduce sperm viability and motility.

Cellphones are a part of modern life. If you or your significant other is worried about the threat it poses to your progeny, there are a few simple things you can do: Buy shirts with a breast pocket to carry your cellphone; buy some silver-lined, loose-fitting underwear; and invest in an anti-radiation phone case. Then relax. That afterglow you’re feeling is radiation-free.

Robert Calandra is an award-winning journalist, book author and playwright. His work has appeared in national and regional magazines and newspapers.
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Source: Medical Daily, Robert Calandra, 02 Nov 2020

SpaceX installation continues to rankle residents
USA Created: 31 Oct 2020
The Colburn SpaceX Services gateway antenna array continues to jangle the nerves of residents.

Bonner County commissioners were peppered with questions Tuesday from Selle Valley residents who contend the installation poses a public health risk which hasn't been properly evaluated.

"There’s no U.S. agency that takes into consideration the cumulative effects from microwave radiation exposure and that our total exposure amount is unknown, especially when you consider the multiple sources of microwave radiation we are being bathed in daily," Robin Hunding told commissioners.

Federal Communications Commission records indicate a radiation hazard analysis was done. The analysis concluded the gateway is not a radiation hazard because it does not exceed the maximum permissible exposure limit of 5 megawatts per square centimeters when averaged over a six-minute period in generally-accessible areas.

"This radiation hazard analysis demonstrates that SpaceX Services gateways will not result in unacceptable radiation exposure levels," the report to FCC concludes.

The report also holds the near-field region creates no concern for the general public as they lie in an area where only authorized personnel may enter. The far-field region create no concern for the general public because it develops 130 meters from the antenna at a minimum elevation angle of 25 degrees, an area which also cannot be accessed by the public.

But residents are not swayed by the conclusions in the FAA report

The near field region creates no concern for the general public as they lie behind signage where only authorized personnel may enter. Likewise, the far field region creates no concern for the general public because it develops 130 meters from the antenna at a minimum elevation angle of twenty-five degrees where the general public cannot access.

This analysis demonstrates that the SpaceX Services gateway is not a radiation hazard because it does not exceed the MPE limit of 5 mW/cm2 averaged over a six-minute period in generally-accessible areas.
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Source: Bonner County Daily Bee, KEITH KINNAIRD, 25 Oct 2020

The 4Gotten generation: An open letter to India’s youth: Get off that smartphone. It can destroy you
India Created: 24 Oct 2020
Dear friends, I don’t know if this letter will even reach you, despite being published in a big newspaper. Many of you are so busy with your phones, watching videos, playing video games, chatting with your friends, commenting on social media, or just scrolling through the feeds of beautiful celebrities, reading an article falls way down on the priority list.

However, if you do happen to chance on this, please read this fully. This is important and this is about your life. You are wasting your life on your phone. Yes, you are the first young generation in India’s history that has access to smartphones and cheap data, and you are spending hours on it, every day.

Check your screen time, which often averages 5-7 hours a day for young people. Retired or established people can spend so many hours on their devices. A young person, who has to build his/ her life, just can’t.

Five hours is one-third of your productive waking hours, or one-third of your life. Like cigarettes or other drugs, this phone addiction is eating away a part of your life. It’s damaging your career prospects and messing up your brain. If it stays this way, your entire generation will become a 4Gotten generation, an entire generation addicted to 4G, aimless in their life and clueless about the nation.

These are the top three negative effects of this phone addiction.

Number one, of course, is the absolute waste of time, which could be utilised on more productive things in life. Imagine saving three hours a day from your phone, and spending it on anything – fitness, learning a skill, studying more, a more intense job search, opening a business. Imagine if you did this consistently, where it would take you.

Two, watching mindless stuff dulls your cognitive brain. Our brain has two areas – cognitive and emotional. A good mind is where both work well. When you watch junk, the cognitive brain disengages and is used less. You soon lack the ability to think, reason or argue something logically. You can no longer see different points of view, process multiple scenarios, evaluate pros and cons or make the right decisions.

You function with your emotional brain alone as your cognitive brain is numb. The constant anger on social media, the polarisation, the intense fandom and intense hate for celebrities or politicians, the popularity of certain screaming TV anchors all point to a generation where the emotional brain is in control, and the reasoning mind is not engaged.

People who work only with an emotional brain don’t do well in life. The only way out – stop numbing your brain and engage your mind in more productive things.

Three, constant hours on the screen kill your motivation and energy. Success in life comes from setting goals, staying motivated and working hard towards your goals. However, watching a screen makes us lazy. Deep down, a fear of failure sets in as you’re not sure if you can put in the work anymore.

To cope, you try to find a reason why you can’t find success in life. You try to find an enemy – bad current politicians, bad past politicians, Muslims, Bollywood nepotism, rich people, famous people, any villain to be made responsible for your life not being what it could be. Yes, the system is unfair and rigged. However, wasting time venting on social media won’t help you. Working on yourself will.

Stop complaining. Start creating. Create a better life for yourself, and create a better person. Are you doing your maximum? Are you working as hard as you possibly can? Keep that wretched phone away until you make something of your life. Winners find a way out of the unfairness. You can too.

Unlike hard drugs, 4G phones are legal. Kids can keep one in their pocket. The phone is also immensely useful – for information, shopping or online classes. It can be used to grow and learn. But it can also literally destroy a young person’s life, and even an entire generation.

For it’s up to the youth to take India where they want to take it. Imagine the generation that got us Independence. How cool were they? They were out there, fighting to make India free. I still remember the Mandal Commission protests, or the 2011 Anna protests. The youth cared about national issues. Today, does the youth actually care about what truly impacts us? Or do they emotionally react to news based on how sensational, entertaining or crazy it is?

The super important, urgent priority is to make our economy grow again. China is five times richer than us. Google pictures of Chinese cities on the Internet. We have to do so much to get there. Should we focus on that? Or should we outrage over harmless ads that show an inter-religious couple? Should you focus on your career, or should you waste your time on never ending historical Hindu-Muslim issues? You want to build a good life or solve Bollywood conspiracies?

You, the youth of today, will decide the answers to these questions. No leader, no actor, no celebrity will do it for you. Take yourself and this country where you want it to go. Don’t aim to make India poor and proud. Aim to make India and yourself rich and humble. Get off that stupid phone, engage your mind in productive and creative things and make something of your life and country.

Be the generation that 4Ges India ahead. Don’t end up as the 4Gotten generation.


Chetan Bhagat
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Source: The Times of India, Chetan Bhagat, 24 Oct 2020

A geek researches 5G: Letter to Greta Thunberg: how 5G contributes to climate change
USA Created: 24 Oct 2020
Last Spring, after I spoke about the Internet’s footprint on a teleconference, I met Miguel Coma, a Belgian engineer. Thanks to the Internet, we have corresponded regularly and taught each other a lot about 5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks. The way he takes responsibility for his part of climate change really inspires me. Let me introduce you.

Dear Greta,

I’ve been a geek from the age of ten, when I started using and programming some of the first personal computers. I am 47 now. I am an engineer because I love technology, but living beings and nature also mean very much to me. I’m married, and I have three children, including two teenagers.

I was very lucky to be raised in a caring family with good values, however my parents did not teach me to think about the environment. At school, our planet’s future was never discussed, either. Meanwhile, I inherited my uncle’s passion for science and technology. I have always loved electronics, space exploration, astronomy, robots and supercomputers. Technology and science never bore me. (Chemistry does—nobody’s perfect.) Technology drives my will to understand and improve the world. Seeing the miracles that people can achieve when technology is used well gives me comfort.

In college, I learned how to build machines, systems and processes. I specialized in electronics and telecommunications. Whenever I talked with other engineers, we never discussed the ecological impacts of building, using or disposing of electronic devices. We focused on making attractive, reliable and affordable products and services. Innovation was all about technology, and only technology. As a student and then an engineer, working for the telecom industry (until twelve years ago), I never met experts in environmental or biological sciences.

At 33, I met my wife. She works for an environmental organisation. Through her, I started to realize the extent of environmental problems like global warming, pollution, e-waste and their impacts on living beings. I also started to connect with nature and got energized by observing tiny insects, flowers and the stars. (I have a telescope.) I increased my efforts to reduce our household’s waste, use renewable energy and buy energy efficient devices.

But I was still in the dark about problems caused by my own industry.

Then came the Covid-19 global pandemic. For the first time in my life, I had no job for several months. I used the time to do research. I remembered my wife telling me, in 2018, that she worried for our family’s health because of radiation emitted by 5G. At first, I considered the idea that 5G could harm us a conspiracy theory. My training taught me that only ionizing radiation is dangerous, and that exposure to the non-ionizing radiation levels used in telecommunications is perfectly safe. (Nonetheless, the industry recommends that mobile phone users keep a safe distance from their devices. Katie Singer and I will write about this in other letters. For now, you can read the fine print in your owner’s manual.)

I believe that technology should benefit our society. It should co-exist harmoniously with all living beings and ecosystems. But I have learned recently that technology can harm everything I care for, on a very large scale. Only a few years back, the odds that I would write to someone like you about re-thinking how to build the Internet would have been slim. Now, I want everyone to know 5G’s footprint. I want you to learn the key facts and have the widest possible picture about 5G so that you can make your own opinions. I encourage you to check and research the facts for yourself.

I researched 5G’s advantages and impacts—the applications it could make possible, the energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, worker hazards; its impacts to wildlife, public health, the economy and democracy. People call me a perfectionist. I wanted numerous viewpoints, so I cross-checked studies, reports and essays. I contacted scientists, engineers, non-profit associations, and even a philosopher.

As an engineer, I naturally started to read about 5G‘s technology and potential applications. Compared to 4G, 5G is designed to offer faster wireless connections. It aims to connect many more devices than 4G can, and, when necessary, to respond faster and more reliably. For mobile network operators as well, 5G means technical progress. The industry promotes 5G as a digital revolution, where every person and every device will be connected, enabling applications that we have not yet imagined. The industry claims that 5G will provide the backbone of a connectivity-based future economy.

But we already have billions of devices connected to the Internet. We call this the Internet of Things, and it is growing, rapidly, even without 5G. Moreover, alternative technologies already enable autonomous vehicles and tele-surgery, smart cities and more. To my surprise, I found publications from engineers, analysts and even a mobile operator who report that smartphone users are satisfied with 4G and will experience no substantial benefit from 5G. (The people who had the courage to reveal this give me courage.)

5G mainly stands to benefit large industries. For example, 5G can help robots use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to speed construction, modification, painting and the movement of parts along an assembly line. It could make some factory floors more efficient with nearly instantaneous interactions, and enable automated quality control. By replacing network cables and Wi-Fi with 5G, many more robots could connect in the same space. However, we do not need an extensive, public 5G network to connect a factory or other industries. Each manufacturer could have their own, private 5G network.

Unemployment, food insecurity, Covid-19, education, climate change and so many other issues already burden governments and taxpayers. Nevertheless, 5G manufacturers seeking higher profits are pressuring governments to facilitate the deployment of massive numbers of 5G antennas in every city and rural area. If consumers are already satisfied with 4G, and if industries can use a private 5G network, I wonder: given our global economic and environmental crises, is deployment of 5G public networks justified?

When I started looking at 5G’s environmental footprint, I had several shocks. First, I realized that the information-communication-technology (ICT) industry uses enormous and rapidly increasing amounts of electricity--and generates enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. And yet, neither I nor the experts I contacted could find a study about 5G’s energy use or greenhouse gas emissions.

I have to admit that I am part of the ICT industry. I helped create the problems. Remaining silent about my realizations would make me an even larger part of the problem. Because I am now aware that 5G could put a halt to the environmental progress you and others have made, I feel an urge to inform citizens around the world what I have learned, and to help find legal ways to limit the use of 5G to where it is truly required.

Greta, every bit of data that travels the Internet consumes energy. The more data used, the more energy consumed. While 5G will use less energy than 4G to transmit the same data (and so we can call 5G more energy efficient), 5G will consume about three times more electricity than 4G. 5G will use much shorter waves to transmit data faster. These waves do not travel far. So, they require millions of new radiation-emitting small antennas, located much closer to homes, schools and offices. Constructing millions of new antennas and billions of 5G compatible devices will require a long series of energy intensive processes, ranging from ore extraction to manufacturing of devices and infrastructure. Building a new, international network that operates in every city and rural area will create unimaginable amounts of greenhouse gases, toxic emissions, radiation and electronic waste.

In spite of the industry’s claims, 5G will not help to reduce climate change. It will speed it up. I will elaborate on this in future letters.

I’m an engineer, yes. Still, I want technology to respect wildlife, public health and the realities of climate change. I hope that as users of technology, we will learn the impacts of our digital purchases and usage so that we can take responsibility and reduce our digital footprint. I hope that governments and regulatory bodies will create ambitious policies that protect our environment and our health. This would be true progress for our society and next generations.

Miguel Coma is an engineer in telecommunications and an Information Technology architect. After a decade in telecommunications (with two mobile operators and an equipment manufacturer), he now works as an enterprise architect in the bank-insurance sector. He believes in technology’s potential to create sustainable progress.

Katie Singer writes about technology and nature. "An Electronic Silent Spring" is her most recent book. In 2018, she spoke about the Internet’s footprint at the United Nations. She dreams that every smartphone user knows the supply chain of one substance (of 1000+) in every smartphone.
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Source: Wall Street International Magazine, Katie Singer & Miguel Coma, 23 Oct 2020

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