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An Iowan sounds alarm on new cell technology some say could have serious health effects
USA Created: 20 Sep 2019
Linda Mason Hunter of Des Moines shuns smart phones in favor of an old-style flip phone, and prefers her devices be wired rather than cellular. "I've lived here 42 years," says the blogger who does a radio talk show,"Green Zone" on KFMG and was an editor for Meredith and Rodale Press. She calls the Kingman Boulevard house she shares with her husband "a healthy home." She wrote a book on how to make homes healthy.

But Hunter has grown alarmed about the next generation of wireless cellular technology known as 5G (G stands for generation, not to be confused with the 5G in your router which refers to gigahertz, or GHz). She warns that even people who don't buy those phones could be susceptible to negative health effects from the infrastructure being installed across communities.

"Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies show that this type of radiation has both immediate and long-term health effects, including increased cancer risk, cellular stress, changes to DNA, memory deficits, neurological disorders, and insomnia," Hunter wrote. On top of which "there is growing evidence of serious risk to the planet — birds, plants, animals, every living thing, the entire ecosystem."

The new cellular technology involves emissions from relatively low-energy radio waves, microwave radiation, and pulsed millimeter waves which have the most energy, with frequencies from 30 to 100 GHz. (Existing cell phones have 2.4 GHz.) Scientists worry most about the high frequency microwave radiation and pulsed millimeter waves, which weaken the membrane around cells, transmitting radiation deeper into the body," said Dr. Magda Havas, professor emeritus at Trent University in Canada at a recent 5G Summit. She said sweat ducts and fluid in the eyes, as well as metal implants in the body, act as "antenna." lnside the cell, electromagnetic radiation can be a precursor to cancer, turning off antioxidants and allowing free radicals to build up and cause toxicity, she contended.

Industry heads don't dispute 5G will increase electromagnetic frequencies and microwave radiation manifold through transmission devices — boxed antennae installed on light and utility poles, described as a network of millions of cell sites close to the ground. They say they're meeting Federal Communications Commission guidelines.

But in a Feb. 6 Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on the future of 5G, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said he had written the FCC commissioner asking for safety studies and received only general statements echoing the Food and Drug Administration, which shares regulatory responsibility for cell phones. The FDA claims to urge businesses to undertake health studies, but when Blumenthal asked industry representatives at the hearing if they'd funded any such studies, they hadn't.

Verizon is already providing 5G home internet in 11 cities and plans to bring it to Des Moines before year's end. Its website boasts connectivity 20 times the speed of 4G. But opponents warn even the microwave radiation produced from exposure to cell phones and tablets close to the body hasn't been tested in 22 years. Besides threatening human and animal health, they say, 5G technology could interfere with weather satellites and enable surveillance.

So Hunter, who has never organized a protest before, began a petition drive and voiced her concerns in a letter to Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders, among others. He replied that cities and states are prohibited under the federal 1996 Telecommunications Act from regulating placement, construction or modification of personal wireless service facilities over environmental concerns, as long as the facilities comply with FCC regulations. State law, Sanders wrote, forbids a city from rejecting an application based on perceived effects of radio frequency emissions.

Hunter, however, contends those laws relate to radio wave frequencies but not to pulsated microwave frequencies, which are most harmful. She sent Sanders an opinion from her husband, Bob Hunter, a law professor emeritus at Drake University, faulting corporations for trying to rush 5G through with FCC assistance. He said nearly 80 cities and counties are suing in federal court claiming the FCC is exceeding its power by limiting local authority.

Verizon Spokesman David Weissman said the company follows FCC guidelines. Though declining to address the health concerns, he referred me to a July 16 New York Times piece that contends "mainstream scientists" see no evidence of harm from cellphone radio waves. The article critiques a 2000 study by physicist Bill P. Curry that suggested tissue damage increases with rising radio-wave frequency. It says Curry failed to consider "the shielding effect of human skin" in protecting cells inside the body.

In the recent summit critiquing 5G, Environmental Health Trust scientist Devra Davis referred to 1994 studies showing DNA damage to the brain cells of rats exposed to very weak pulsed signals from cell phone radiation. Studies on humans have detected rare cancers to the brain and nerves from cell phone exposure, she said. A Nov. 1, 2018, New York Times piece acknowledged evidence of links to cancer in male rats, but suggested the higher frequencies of current 4G and 5G cellphones make it harder for those radio waves to penetrate bodies.

As one not swayed by conspiracy theories, who believes children should be vaccinated, I'd paid little attention to 5G until Hunter contacted me. But I look back to when microwave ovens were first introduced in the 1980s, and consumers were warned not to stand in front of them while cooking. "Today, we have phones with the same frequency as a microwave oven, on all the time," said Stephanie McCarter, a Dallas environmental medicine specialist at the summit.

The bottom line is, until we have proper studies, we really don't know what's at stake here, and the government agencies created to protect us don't really seem to care. So it's up to communities to push for better answers.
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Source: Des Moines Register, Rekha Basu, 19 Sep 2019

Health fears prompt Swiss 5G revolt
Switzerland Created: 19 Sep 2019
Switzerland was among the first countries to begin deploying 5G, but health fears over radiation from the antennas that carry the next-generation mobile technology have sparked a nationwide revolt.

Demonstrators against the technology are due to fill the streets of Bern later this month, but already a number of cantons have been pressured to put planned constructions of 5G-compatible antennae on ice.

The technology has been swept up in the deepening trade war between China and the United States, which has tried to rein in Chinese giant Huawei -- the world's leader in superfast 5G equipment -- over fears it will allow Beijing to spy on communications from countries that use its products and services.

But far from the clash of the titans, a growing number of Swiss are voicing alarm at possible health effects from exposure to the electromagnetic rays radiating from the new antennae, and are threatening to put the issue to a referendum in the country famous for its direct democratic system.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

In February, Switzerland took a big step towards deployment when it attributed 5G frequencies to three major operators, Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt, allowing the country to rake in revenues of nearly 380 million Swiss francs ($384 million, 350 million euros).

High on their success, the operators raced to trumpet on television advertisements and billboards that the cutting-edge technology would be available this year in cities, in the countryside and even in mountainous regions.

By early July, 334 antennae stations for 5G were operational across the country, authorities told AFP.

- Referendum? -
But the rollout has run into some serious hurdles.

Several cantons including Geneva have buckled to pressure from online petitioners demanding a halt to construction of the 5G infrastructure.

But while no new antennae are being built in parts of the country, the operators are still converting existing 4G antennae for 5G use -- something they can do without authorisation.

National carrier Swisscom thus says it expects 90 percent of the population to have 5G access by the end of the year.

Opponents meanwhile warn that 5G poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology, and are urging authorities to place a full-fledged moratorium on the rollout.

They will organise a large protest on September 21 in front of the government buildings in Bern, and are also working towards putting the issue to a popular vote.

"I think we have most citizens on our side," Coco Tache-Berther, of the organisation Fequencia, told AFP, saying Switzerland's rapid roll-out of 5G was "ultra-shocking".

Olivier Pahud, who regularly demonstrates against 5G in front of the UN in Geneva, agreed, insisting the technology will have "impacts on health, on the environment, on people's capacity to think."

And for people like him, who suffer from "electromagnetic hypersensitivity", the new technology will be devastating, he said.

The condition is not recognised as a medical disorder in most countries, but sufferers insist that exposure to mobile phones, wifi routers, televisions and other gadgets cause them anything from mild discomfort to life-ruining disability.

The powerful Swiss Federation of Doctors is also urging caution, maintaining that "as long as there is no scientific proof that raising the radiation limits will not impact health, one must refrain from raising them."

- Noxious effect? -
In Geneva, it is Daniel Buchs, a doctor and a regional parliamentarian with the centrist Christian Democratic Party, who is leading the battle.

"We are waiting for a serious, independent study that shows whether, yes or no, 5G has a noxious effect for the population," he told AFP.

Such a study, he insisted, could help avoid a health scandal similar to the one the world has seen with asbestos, which was long touted as safe but which today is known to kill at least 107,000 people around the world each year.

There are already several studies underway, including one by the World Health Organization, which told AFP it had begun "conducting a risk assessment of health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure."

A group of experts was also appointed by the Swiss government last year to probe the risks involved with introducing 5G, and their findings should be published by the end of the year.

That study had originally been scheduled for publication during the first half of the year.

The delay, which the government said was linked to "the size of the task", has sparked outrage among 5G opponents, who suspect pressure from operators might have played a role.

"You really have to ask yourself what is behind this," Tache-Berther said.
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Source: Yahoo! News, 18 Sept 2019

First Telco to pull out of 5G rollout due to health concerns
Australia Created: 18 Sep 2019
TPG chief operating executive Craig Levy has told the Federal Court that the telco pulled its plans to roll out a 5G network in Australia due to community fears regarding the health impact of the technology.

Those fears have spiked despite bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating there should be no risks to public health. In fact, 5G radiation should actually be safer than previous networks, according to research by Cornell University.

Despite the science however, a small segment of the community appears concerned over the technology, as the number of social media groups spreading disinformation grow, galvanising opposition to the network.

Australia has an unfortunate and chequered history of politics scuppering its national technology infrastructure.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) was kneecapped by a change of federal government and policy and has been a veritable trainwreck ever since.

In 2018, fears of Chinese espionage dashed Huawei's bid to help roll out the 5G network here. Now TPG is having to explain why it scrapped its own 5G aspirations and it appears its hand was forced – at least in part – by fears from the community about health impacts of the technology.

"If people have concerns about the impact on their health... they are not just looking at our model in a positive manner," chief operating executive Craig Levy told the Federal Court on Tuesday, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

TPG is in court fighting its blocked attempt by the ACCC to merge with Vodafone, and inadvertently, the case rests on whether or not TPG would build the important infrastructure without a merger going forward. The telco has flatly claimed it wouldn't, so far citing a lack of commercial viability, and now community opposition.

"You don't think there is any scientific rationale for this do you?" ACCC counsel Michael Hodge QC then asked Levy.

Levy responded that while it was "not his area of expertise...the equipment that we were using was well within the standard and it is very much acceptable in terms of the standards".

Hodge then asked if "there was some segment of the community that held an irrational concern about the effects" of the small cells used in a 5G network.

"I wouldn’t call it irrational. I think people have rational concerns," Levy responded.

Rational – but perhaps a little unscientific.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated "there should be no consequences for public health", while research from Cornell University shows the higher radio frequencies used by 5G networks are actually safer because they are less able to penetrate human skin.

That science appears to have done little to allay fears in some sections of the community, however.

Levy claimed that even the then-telecommunications minister Mitch Fifield wrote to TPG warning that community members had come to him with concerns, while A Current Affair segment had also helped galvanise opposition to 5G.

It's not the only one.

Russian state media outlet RT (formerly known as Russia Today) ran a segment titled '5G Wireless: A Dangerous Experiment on Humanity', has been viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube and claims that the technology's wireless radiation "can cause DNA damage, neuropsychiatric effects and other health problems".

America's Fox News ran a similar segment with host Tucker Carlson asking 'are 5G networks medically safe?'

Vision from both segments and other disinformation have helped spawn an online campaign against the 5G network. Worldwide, there are hundreds of these groups, according to online monitor the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) which identified that in the last few months alone, the activity and membership of these groups have swelled.

"As the blast radius of the payload expanded with every additional media mention, a loosely-organised social media network supporting the ‘Stop 5G’ narrative used it as daily algorithmic cannon fodder across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram," a recent GDI report said.

"Pages were created by groups and users in Australia, Denmark, UK, New Zealand, Scotland, Malta, Italy, Canada, Poland, Ireland, and the United States, among others."

Activity exploded on the 124 Facebook pages monitored by GDI in May after strong media coverage. In a single week, the number of new weekly posts climbed from around 200 to over 1000.

Certainly, in Australia there are now dozens of Facebook groups boasting thousands of active members protesting 5G's rollout in Australia. 'Stop5G Australia' has almost 6,000 members for example, while more specific areas like Adelaide and New South Wales' Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers each have their own following.

The growth of such groups has helped spread fears about 5G technology, with much smaller turnouts gathering offline for 'information' nights.

While TPG has listed several reasons for pulling the plug on its new network, it has now testified that those health fears were a major factor.

If that online momentum continues, it may not be the last to be stopped in its tracks by such groups.
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Source: Yahoo Finance AU, Jack Derwin, 18 Sep 2019

Ban on mobile phone masts in Solihull set to end
United Kingdom Created: 17 Sep 2019
A stance that the council took in the 1990s - amid fears about whether the technology posed a health risk - could be dropped, with a national drive to improve 5G coverage.

A long-standing ban on installing mobile phone masts on council-owned land and buildings in Solihull looks set to end.

For more than 20 years the local authority has followed a policy laid out when there was greater concern about the possible health risks of electronic communications equipment.

In 1992, councillors had agreed to refuse future requests to erect microwave dishes on its property and, five years later, two applications to install radio antennae were dismissed - setting a further precedent.

While telecoms giants have been able to use "statutory powers" to override the council stance when it comes to highways, the policy has effectively remained in place elsewhere.

But a new report suggests Solihull will need to "review" its historic position in response to the government's drive to increase 5G coverage, with town halls being urged to remove obstacles facing operators.

Failing to do would go against the nationwide Electronic Communications Code, recently updated, and leave the local authority open to a legal challenge from companies, it has been suggested.

Although any application would still need to go through the standard planning process.

Council officer Martin Clayton said: "The explicit aim of the reforms, which are embodied in the ‘barrier busting’ measures recommended by both government and WMCA [West Midlands Combined Authority], is to make it easier and more cost effective for network providers to deploy and maintain digital infrastructure."

The decisions taken in the 1990s came at a time when there was widespread uncertainty about the possible impact that the technology could have on people's health.

In his report, Mr Clayton has said that scientific research over the last two decades has considered these fears.

Advice quoted on Public Health England's website said: "Independent expert groups in the UK and at international level have examined the accumulated body of research evidence.

"Their conclusions support the view that health effects are unlikely to occur if exposures are below international guideline levels."

Although a recent row over a mast installed in Yardley Wood Road, Solihull Lodge, proves the issue still has power to cause controversy.

Proposals to review the "moratorium" adopted in the 1990s will be discussed at tonight's (Monday's) meeting of the resources and delivering value scrutiny board.

The issue will then be considered by the council's cabinet at its next meeting on October 10.
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Source: Birmingham Live, David Irwin, 16 Sep 2019

Mississauga to Examine Safety Concerns Surrounding 5G and Wi-Fi
Canada Created: 17 Sep 2019
For the vast majority of Canadians (and people all over the world, to be fair), technology is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity that people believe (for good reason) makes life easier and better.

But while few would argue that our current levels of connectivity are a bad thing, some local residents are questioning whether experts are being cautious enough when it comes to grand-scale Wi-Fi and 5G rollouts.

While Health Canada has determined that Wi-Fi poses little risk to those who are exposed to it, some residents and activists doubt the research into the relatively new technology is as fulsome as it should be. Some residents are also concerned about the eventual introduction of 5G cellular network technology, arguing that it could potentially harm Canadians—especially children.

Since 5G is quite new (and not yet available in Canada), the Region of Peel, which is comprised of Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon, is set to receive a report documenting the health and safety impacts of the technology in the fall.

At a recent regional council meeting, Caledon resident Cristina Zampiero called on council to explore 5G technology further, while also encouraging the region to consider removing Wi-Fi (but not the internet, computers or modern technological devices) from schools.

She also suggested that cell phones should be hardwired, turned off or set to airplane mode while in schools to prevent exposure to current 4G technology.

"Today, I’m here to talk about 5G and wireless health dangers and removing wireless from our schools," she began.

"Science and medicine are warning that wireless radiation causes damage to DNA. The scientific debate is over the 4G levels to which we are currently exposed. Next-generation 5G will exponentially increase these [electromagnetic] fields," she said.

Zampiero told that her concerns over Wi-Fi grew when she became a mother, and she's been researching the topic ever since.

"When I gave birth, I became concerned. I had a kid and thought 'uh oh, I have to put this kid in school and it's microwave soup there'. Sending those waves through the air has its drawbacks," she said.

Zampiero said she has her doubts about Health Canada's conclusions on wireless technology in its Safety Code 6 guidelines, and she's not alone.

Over the past few years, organizations such as Canadians For Safe Technology (C4ST) have been sounding the alarm about illnesses that some health experts have linked to wireless technology, such as electrical sensitivity.

Prior to a recent Wireless Technology Symposium at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, doctors and scientists appeared at Queen's Park to encourage the provincial government to "take steps to protect public health" before the roll-out of wireless 5G.

"My clinic is already assessing patients from across Ontario who are sensitive to microwave radiation from their wireless devices including cell phones, Wi-Fi, and an increasing number of smart appliances," said Dr. Riina Bray, medical director of the Environmental Health Clinic at Women's College Hospital, in a statement released in May 2019.

"We expect wireless 5G to add to this burden."

While it's not yet clear if wireless technology can indeed trigger malignant tumours in people, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published some literature on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (the illness that doctors expressed concern over at the Wireless Technology Symposium).

The WHO says that Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (or EHS) is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms, which suffers attribute to exposure to electromagnetic fields.

According to the WHO, common symptoms include skin irritation such as redness, tingling, and burning sensations and general fatigue (tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances.

The WHO says the collection of symptoms is not part of any recognized syndrome, which indicates the illness isn't likely to be caused by a different ailment.

As for how many people suffer from the illness, the WHO says a survey of occupational medical centres estimated the prevalence of EHS to be a few individuals per million in the population. That said, the organization notes that a survey of self-help groups yielded much higher estimates and that approximately 10 per cent of reported cases of EHS were considered severe.

C4ST says that scientists from dozens of countries are now warning their governments about the emerging health problems reportedly associated with wireless radiation, claiming that daily human exposure to microwave radiation is already more than a trillion times higher than it was before cell phones.

C4ST also quoted Dr. Anthony Miller, professor emeritus with the University of Toronto and adviser to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, who said that "many scientists worldwide now believe that radiofrequency radiation should be elevated to a Class One human carcinogen, on the same list as cigarettes, x-rays, and asbestos."

But is wireless technology dangerous?

At this juncture, Health Canada says that Wi-Fi is safe.

It's also important to note that while both Wi-Fi and 4G/5G use wireless technology to power devices, they're not quite the same thing.

Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology in Canada next to cell phones, and it allows devices such as computers, smartphones, and video game consoles to communicate data wirelessly.

Health Canada acknowledges that some people are concerned that radiation from Wi-Fi equipment could cause health problems and that children may be at particular risk in school environments, as Wi-Fi equipment emits radiofrequency fields (RF).

But the agency says that if the technology is emitted at recommended levels, it's safe and doesn't need to be avoided.

According to Health Canada, the RF energy given off by Wi-Fi is a type of non-ionizing radiation. Unlike ionizing radiation (such as the kind emitted by x-ray machines), RF energy from Wi-Fi equipment and other wireless devices cannot break chemical bonds.

"While some of the RF energy emitted by Wi-Fi is absorbed in your body, the amount largely depends on how close your body is to a Wi-Fi enabled device and the strength of the signal," Health Canada says.

"Unlike cellular phones where the transmitter is in close proximity to the head and much of the RF energy that is absorbed is deposited in a highly localized area, RF energy from Wi-Fi devices is typically transmitted at a much greater distance from the human body. This results in very low average RF energy absorption levels in all parts of the body, much like exposure to AM/FM radio signals."

When it comes to cell phones (4G notwithstanding), Health Canada does say that some precautions should be taken.

According to Health Canada, there are a small number of epidemiology studies that have shown brain cancer rates may be elevated in long-term/heavy cell phone users—but not every study has confirmed this finding.

Health Canada says that in 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF energy as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

The health agency says that, since the jury is out, more research into potential health concerns associated with cell phones is required.

"The IARC classification of RF energy reflects the fact that some limited evidence exists that RF energy might be a risk factor for cancer. However, the vast majority of scientific research to date does not support a link between RF energy exposure and human cancers. At present, the evidence of a possible link between RF energy exposure and cancer risk is far from conclusive and more research is needed to clarify this 'possible' link. Health Canada is in agreement with both the World Health Organization and IARC that additional research in this area is warranted," Health Canada's website reads.

Zampiero told that few people know that even cell phone manufacturers provide safety warnings to consumers.

"People are addicted to their phones, but every cell phone's instruction manual says to keep it 15 mm away from your body."

As far as 5G goes, Health Canada says that although the upcoming technology will function as a significant evolution of today's 4G LTE wireless networks, the country's current safety protocol is appropriate for the rollout.

"5G will provide the infrastructure to allow for more data and connectivity, the Internet of things with billions of connected devices, and tomorrow's innovations in various fields such as healthcare, public safety, transportation, agriculture, and smart cities. 5G will operate in both the lower frequency spectrum (below 6 GHz) as well as at higher frequencies called millimetre wave spectrum (above 6 GHz)," Health Canada said on its website.

Health Canada says the current Canadian limits already cover the frequency ranges that will be used by 5G devices and antenna installations.

"Similar to current wireless devices and installations, 5G devices will need to meet RF exposure requirements before they can be sold in Canada. Antenna systems operators using 5G technology will continue to have the same RF exposure compliance obligations. Furthermore, compliance with RF exposure requirements will continue to be an ongoing obligation," Health Canada says.

But while many experts have declared the technology safe, residents such as Zampiero fear that Wi-Fi and 4G/5G technology is today's cigarette—thought to be harmless now, but declared dangerous much later.

When presenting to council, Zampiero mentioned a study conducted by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services that found that cell phone radiofrequency radiation was associated with the development of malignant tumours in rodents.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) study found that that high exposure to RFR (900 MHz) used by cell phones was associated with clear evidence of tumours in the hearts of male rats, some evidence of tumours in the brains of male rats and some evidence of tumours in the adrenal glands of male rats.

While the results are concerning on their face, the study authors said that some 5G waves aren't expected to penetrate the body as deeply.

"As the 5G network is implemented, some of the signals will use the same lower frequencies as the older technology previously studied by NTP. Additionally, concern has been raised because the 5G network will also use higher frequencies, up to 60,000 MHz, thereby exposing wireless consumers to a much broader spectrum of frequencies," the study reads.

"The higher frequencies, known as millimeter waves, can rapidly transmit enormous amounts of data with increased network capacity compared to current technologies. Millimeter waves do not travel as far and do not penetrate the body as deep as the wavelengths from the lower frequencies. Millimeter waves are likely to penetrate no deeper than the skin, as opposed to the lower frequencies that have been shown to penetrate at least three to four inches into the human body."

Zampiero is disputing Health Canada's assurances that wireless technology is safe, as the results from the NTP study contradict its conclusions.

"Health Canada standards are wrong," she told council.

"The study repeatedly found evidence of cancer. What about babies, children and pregnant women? Where is the accommodation for those with electrosensitivity sickness? It’s not enough to routinely meet concerns [by saying] emissions are well within Health Canada guidelines. These guidelines indicate acceptable radiation levels which are orders of magnitude above what has been demonstrated as safe when non-thermal effects are considered."

Zampiero argues that Health Canada’s Code 6 is not protective and that in countries such as India and Italy, some organizations have taken steps to hardwire fibre optic cables in certain facilities.

She's been calling on other facilities—especially educational ones—to consider eliminating Wi-Fi and 4G while keeping technology accessible in the classroom.

"Hardwiring is safer, faster and more secure and would avoid wirelessly radiating millions of unsuspecting citizens. The writing is on the wall, please pause the 5G rollout. Would you truthfully want to live next to a cell tower given the choice? Cell towers placed too close to people violate our human right to protect our health," she told council.

Zampiero told that while she's dedicated to increasing awareness of potential dangers associated with wireless technology, she is not anti-technology.

"Kids need their tech, but they don't need it radiating on them. If you plug it in, it doesn't emit. Kids are amazing at tech and they're more evolved, but I don't want to send my baby to a school with a Wi-Fi router."

School boards have been quick to adapt to new technology, but some educational institutions have decided to hardwire devices to err on the side of caution—including the Caledon East Children's Centre daycare.

"Cristina did a presentation to our board of directors a few weeks ago. After that, the board took a vote to temporarily hardwire the office as opposed to using the Wi-Fi and do so on a trial basis and see what impact it has on us," said Brenda McNairn, executive director of the facility.

McNairn told that the transition was relatively simple.

"We had to buy an ethernet cable and adapter. Each classroom in the daycare used to access their tablets via Wi-Fi. They don’t use it a lot for programming within the classroom for the kids. The impact on the classroom was fairly minimal," she said.

Back in the summer, McNairn said the facility was in the process of getting one computer hardwired.

"We’re a small business, so it was a minimal impact—$120 to buy a cable and adapter. This is a small change for us. We decided to do this on a trial basis to see if it was possible."

McNairn said her facility decided to make the change because it wasn't difficult to mitigate potential risk to children.

"It’s our responsibility to care for other’s people children and we don’t want to put these kids at unnecessary risk. The research is in its early stages, but Cristina presented the board with a lot of data and research from countries around the world who have taken that step back to be hardwired."

McNairn also acknowledged that the decision was an easier one to make in a smaller facility with fewer children.

"A school with 2,000 children might be a different story. Our clients are 15 months to six years of age, so we don’t have computer stations that the kids use on a regular basis. We were able to hardwire the office."

McNairn said the decision garnered praise from a parent who was relieved to see the daycare agree to hardwire.

"We did have one parent say that she made the decision to not put her child in full-day kindergarten because we had made the decision to hardwire, so that’s a big impact on one family," she said.

While Zampiero believes Canada needs to act, her campaign to have Wi-Fi removed from schools and 5G studied more aggressively is taking off at the local level—hence her appeal to regional council to demand more from experts.

"This is the most important function of our government since Wi-Fi causes cancer. It does not belong in our schools because kids absorb 75 per cent more radiation. There are laws banning it in Australia, India, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Israel, Cyprus and Finland. Please regulate tighter restrictions," she said.

"You did it for peanut allergies. To not respect developments in science and warnings of top scientific experts would seem crazy. Would you have your child ingest something that hundreds of peer-reviewed studies say is harmful just last week?"

During the presentation, Zampiero suggested that wireless technology could be "the greatest environmental and safety threat of our time," adding that governments might be slow to act on warnings because telecommunications companies are such economic behemoths (a concept explored in this 2018 UK Guardian article about the link between cell phone use and cancer).

"Please don’t tell me it’s not within your jurisdiction. The two takeaways are our kids need to learn about technology from safely hard-wired devices, not wireless. With respect to 4 and 5G, appropriate testing must happen before it’s allowed to roll out."

During her presentation, Zampiero referred to the Oregon legislature's recent decision to pass a bill to study the effects of Wi-Fi radiation on children—a move that she believes to be a positive one.

After Zampiero's presentation, councillors said that she's not the only one asking questions about the safety of 5G and wireless technology.

"This is a question that has been vexing residents for quite some time and as the communications sector continues to evolve and move towards 5G technologies, the kinds of questions you are posing here today, I can attest are intensifying," said Peel Regional and Brampton City Councillor Paul Vicente.

Vicente asked Dr. Jessica Hopkins, a medical officer of health for the Region of Peel, for an update on the report slated to come to council in the fall.

"Staff are currently conducting a review of the health evidence related to this issue and we will report back in the early fall to regional council on that," Hopkins told council, adding that staff had been in touch with other public health agencies, including Health Canada.

Vicente also questioned some studies linking wireless technology radiation to cancer, saying more information is needed about the amount of radiation and the animals it's exposed to.

"I know one of the things that folks tend to read a lot about is studies [about] radiation that comes from cell towers. One of the things that’s not explained very well is, first of all, the types of radiation used but also the intensity and the proximity of that radiation to the animal that’s being tested, and so that’s an important factor," he said.

"One of the ideas behind 5G as an evolution of telecommunications technology is that the energy levels are meant to be much lower than even the 4G communications technology. So we’re looking forward to seeing what the science really says and how it affects [people] because the fact is is that radiation is everywhere and what really affects whether or not it has an impact on rates of cancer or tissue damage is the level of the energy that is being used. We look forward to that information coming and to having that information presented to council for its consideration."

Caledon and regional council Johanna Downey asked Hopkins how Health Canada's Code 6 compares to health regulations in other countries.

"Health Canada set Safety Code 6 to protect the public. This is science-based and similar to the requirements and other countries including the United States the European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand," Hopkins said.

But while it's not clear what, if any action Canada or Canadian organizations will take to limit Wi-Fi and 4/5G exposure (or whether action should be taken barring more research into the potential health impacts on residents), Zampiero is hoping she can convince more schools to hardwire.

"Tech is a wonderful thing, but we're making some mistakes with it," she told

"With 5G, what are we going to get that we don't already have? We already have the speed with fibreoptics, but this microwave stuff is used in stealth military weapons. I hope that we rely on unbiased, independent research on health effects with 5G. I want people to do their due diligence. I can opt-out of going to a Tim Hortons with Wi-Fi, but I can't opt-out of sending my kids to school."

Should schools begin to hardwire, Zampiero hopes a ripple effect ensues—but she isn't targeting bigger institutions at this time.

"Being free of Wi-Fi all day, every day is better for your body. I hope that together, we can get it taken out of the schools. If schools turn it off, do I hope for a ripple effect? Sure. I'm not going that far yet, but if it's not on at school or in your home, that's less of it. I care about kids and about people. This [5G] hasn't been tested."

A report on the potential health impacts of 5G technology will be made available to council in the coming weeks.
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Source: InSauga, Ashley Newport, 16 Sep 2019

Cellphone Users Sue Apple and Samsung Over Radiation Exposure
USA Created: 14 Sep 2019
San Francisco’s Andrus Anderson represents a class action of phone owners who say they would not have purchased or paid top dollar for their cells if they had known about the risks of contact with radiofrequency radiation.

Andrus Anderson in San Francisco is representing 16 plaintiffs against Apple and Samsung in a controversy some in the medical and scientific community are allegedly calling “Phone Gate.”

The complaint, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, claims that members of the class action would not have purchased their phones had they known their Apple and Samsung devices exposed them to radiofrequency radiation exceeding the regulatory limits.

Lawyers from Fegan Scott in Chicago and Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese in West Des Moines, Iowa, join Andrus in alleging that Apple and Samsung put their clients’ health at risk by designing products that emit heightened levels of RF radiation. Too much of the radiation, created by the transfer of energy waves, can increase cancer risks, cause cellular stress and jeopardize reproductive health, according to the complaint.

The Apple and Samsung products that the phone owners say they keep close to their body could exceed exposure limits in some instances by 500%, according to recent studies cited in the lawsuit.

In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission set the limit for RF radiation absorption to 1.6 watts per kilogram averaged over one gram of tissue. However, the complaint cites a test conducted by the Chicago Tribune and the RF Exposure Lab in San Marcos, California, which found exposure rates up to four times the legal guidelines in some phones. With the iPhone 7, the study found radiation exposure increased significantly the closer it was to a person, such as in their pocket or touching their skin, according to the complaint.

“We intend to show that Apple and Samsung were fully aware that they marketed their phones to be used in ways in which testing showed users would be exposed to dangerous levels of RF radiation—without warning consumers,” said Elizabeth Fegan of Fegan Scott in an email.

Some of these campaigns include Apple describing its phones as “the internet in your pocket,” or “your life in your pocket,” disregarding the increased RF radiation risks when the phones are carried in pockets or against skin, according to the complaint.

“Similarly, Samsung markets its smartphones to be used in a variety of contexts, including in bed and against the skin for sonograms,” the attorneys write. “Defendants cannot hide behind regulatory compliance on testing to protect its marketing and advertising which knowingly misrepresents the true risks of RF radiation exposure when smartphones are used while touching or in close proximity to the human body.”

When asked about the attorneys’ plans to demonstrate concrete harm from the alleged exposure, Fegan said that consumers would not have paid up to $1,000 dollars for Apple and Samsung phones had they known the risks. “These damages are recoverable as out-of-pocket losses and/or as the failure to receive the benefit of the bargain under consumer protection laws,” she said.

The plaintiffs attorneys filed a similar class action complaint in August in the San Jose division of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The district is no stranger to litigation over potential cellphones’ RF radiation emissions. The city of Berkeley and the telecommunications industry has been litigating the enforcement of an ordinance requiring mobile device retailers to warn consumers of potential RF radiation exposure since 2015. Most recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Northern District of California’s denial of a preliminary injunction of the law brought by telecommunications industry group CTIA—The Wireless Association.

Neither Apple or Samsung responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
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Source:, Alaina Lancaster, 11 Sep 2019

Consultation on new permitted development rights for telecomms apparatus
United Kingdom Created: 13 Sep 2019
Recently, the government announced a consultation on proposals to reform permitted development rights (PD rights) for operators under the Electronic Communications Code (Code Operators). The aim of the proposals is to support 5G technology and extend mobile coverage. Four new PD rights are proposed, two of which would require prior approval from the local planning authority (LPA), two of which would not. Bearing in mind the infrastructure that will be needed for greater mobile coverage and to get ready for 5G, and considering the potential impact on them of the proposed rights, landowners and developers should consider taking the opportunity to respond to the consultation.

The PD rights proposed are to enable the deployment of radio housing equipment on land (apart from on Sites of Scientific Interest) and the strengthening of existing masts for 5G upgrades and mast sharing. These rights would not require “prior approval” from the LPA, which means that the LPA would not need to be notified before the rights are implemented by Code Operators and will not therefore have an opportunity to take into account the interests of other parties such as landowners, occupiers or neighbours. PD rights are also proposed for the deployment of “building-based” masts nearer to highways, and higher masts for for better mobile coverage and mast sharing, although both of these rights would require prior approval.

A recent decision reminds landowners that they can face a tough test when trying to resist the imposition of Electronic Communications Code rights in favour of operators. In EE Ltd v Chichester [2019] UKUT 164, where a landowner tried to resist the imposition of the Code by a mobile phone network operator by claiming that they wanted to redevelop the land on which a mast stood, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) confirmed that a landowner had to demonstrate “both that they have a reasonable prospect of being able to carry out their redevelopment project and that they have a firm, settled and unconditional intention to do so”. Landowners will have even less control over their land if the proposed PD rights are progressed. However, some comfort may be gained from another recent decision, Mawbey v Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure [2019] EWCA Civ 1016, where the Court of Appeal discussed whether or not a central support pole was a “radio mast” – in this case, it was decided that such poles were indeed masts and that they therefore did not have the benefit of PD rights.

The government says that they will consider responses to this consultation and that another consultation on more detailed proposals wil be held in due course.
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Source: Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Fiona Sawyer & Mathew White, 11 Sep 2019

Could Bristol councillors end the roll-out of 5G in Bristol?
United Kingdom Created: 12 Sep 2019
Campaigners are calling for Bristol City Council to switch off the network over radiation fears.

A debate urging council chiefs to stop the roll-out of 5G in Bristol is set to take place at City Hall next week.

The service, which allows faster phone data speeds, has been operational in the city since July 3 on the Vodafone network.

But campaigners are calling for Bristol City Council to switch off the network over radiation fears.

Montpelier nutritional therapist Sally Beare launched a petition earlier this year urging the authority to follow Geneva and Florence in adopting “the precautionary principle”, halting 5G until there is more information to show it is safe.

Nearly 4,000 people have added their names to the petition which is enough to trigger a special debate in the council chamber which is set for Tuesday (September 10).

Ms Beare said she first became passionate about the issue when she happened across a statement made by Washington State University’s Dr Martin Pall.

Dr Pall describes the introduction of 5G as “the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world”.

He says it risks cancer because “an extraordinary number of antennae are required, high outputs are needed for penetration, pulsation levels will be very high, and it will have an impact on the human body’s cellular electrical field”.

Public Health England (PHE) says it does not expect 5G to impact on people’s health.

But Ms Breare is not convinced and says it is “not scaremongering to say that 5G will cause illness and death”.

She added: “It is clear from the independent science that parents will lose children and children will lose parents.

“It is an outdated myth that non-ionising radiation is safe; it is not.

“Microwave radiation from existing mobile networks has been found in thousands of peer-reviewed studies to cause harm to health, including neurological effects, nervous system issues and cancer.

“Several recent large-scale studies have shown that mobile radiation causes fatal brain and heart cancer; a proper look at the data also shows that brain gliomas in England - the type associated with mobile radiation - have doubled in the last twenty years.

“Some of the most powerful and progressive cities in the world, such as Brussels and parts of Geneva, have banned 5G for health reasons.

“Bristol should be looking to them and to the experts in human radiation effects, and not to our fractured, insecure government, for guidance.”

A separate petition against 5G, signed by 235 scientists and doctors across the world, warns the network will "massively increase" people's exposure to mobile phone radiation they say could cause cancer.

But Head of radiation dosimetry at Public Health England (PHE), Simon Mann, said: “It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing telecommunications network or in a new area.

“However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequences for public health.”

A PHE spokesman added the body is committed to making sure 5G radio waves comply with International Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines.

He said PHE will update its advice “should new evidence dictate that is necessary”.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “The radio frequencies used for 5G in the UK are similar to the ones currently used for 4G services. Where 4G uses frequencies between 800 MHz and 2.6GHz, 5G uses frequencies between 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Bristol Live, Kate Wilson, 05 Sep 2019

Mast warning issued to British farmers ahead of 5G network rollout
United Kingdom Created: 2 Sep 2019
Rollout of 5G could accelerate telecoms operators looking to use land without paying farmers and landowners the prices they may have received in the past.

Michael Watson, head of property litigation and telecoms expert at Shulmans, said farmers had previously allowed telecommunications operators to install mobile phone masts and other apparatus on their land to generate additional income.

“This free market worked well when upgrading the networks to 3G and 4G,” he said.

“However, major problems lie ahead with the roll out of 5G because the market for mast sites has effectively seized up.”

It follows the introduction of the new Electronic Communications Code in December 2017, which has impacted on the relationship between landlords and telecommunications companies.

“Since the new code came into force, telecoms operators have slashed the prices they are prepared to offer in order to be able to install their apparatus on farmland,” he said.

“Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in landowners withdrawing from the market.

“Network operators want use of landowners’ properties for business without paying much at all and if the owners do not agree, they will ask the tribunal to impose their terms regardless.”

And with the rollout of 5G imminent, this process may accelerate.

He added: “Landowners need to carefully consider whether they are prepared to make their assets available for the use of network operators, regardless of whether they are willing to defend their assets.”

Mr Watson said anyone deriving income from telecoms apparatus needed to be aware they may be targeted for significant payment reductions and could be threatened with action under the code.

He warned farmers not to wait until an approach was received from an operator to renew agreements, as the opportunity for developing an effective strategy ‘may have already been compromised’.

He added the new code and the approach of operators has alienated the people who the sector relied on and destroyed the market for mast sites.

“Until there is a fundamental change of approach by network operators, the farming industry must to face up to the reality of the new code and either accede to the demands of the operators or prepare and respond accordingly.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Farmers Guardian, Alex Black, 02 Sep 2019

The Ombudsman notes that the 5G Implementation Plan has not passed environmental assessments
Spain Created: 1 Sep 2019
The Vallisoletana Association of People Affected by Telecommunications Antennas (AVAATE) who denounced it recalls that in the 5G pilot projects a frequency band is used for which the safe exposure limits have not yet been set.

(Following is a automatic translation from original article in Spanish).

The Ombudsman has ruled on the 5G Implementation Plan following the complaint filed by the Vallisoletana Association of People Affected by Telecommunications Antennas (AVAATE) and the conclusion is clear: The implementation of 5G technology in Spain has not been subject of prior environmental assessment by the authorities. A prior environmental evaluation of the Plan or of the pilot projects that derive from it has not been officially made and the refusal of the Ministry of Economy and Business to do it has not been justified despite the fact that various associations requested it during the public information process of the Plan.

In a resolution signed by Francisco Fernández Marugán and date of departure on August 21, the Ombudsman emphasizes that the Ministry, through its Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, has ignored various articles of Law 21/2013, of Environmental Assessment, avoiding consulting the draft of the 5G Plan and the draft of the 5G pilot projects to the corresponding environmental body . In addition, as the Ombudsman acknowledges, in the pilot projects that are being carried out, a frequency band will be used for which the safe exposure limits have not yet been set , which is something totally contrary to the principle of caution. For all these reasons, it is urgent that once and for all the Commission on Radio Frequency and Health, established for more than five years in the General Telecommunications Law, be established.

The Ombudsman considers that the 5G National Plan has not taken into account its environmental aspects and has not valued them even for the purpose of justifying that a regulated evaluation of the same was not required under Law 21/2013, December 9, Environmental Assessment.

The Ombudsman has addressed the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement of the Ministry of Economy and Business recalling the legal duty of “Submitting plans and projects in the field of telecommunications to strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment respectively, when they meet the requirements established in Law 21/2013, on Environmental Assessment ”.

He has also reiterated his suggestion that the draft regulation by which the Interministerial Commission on Radio Frequency and Health, and that it be approved by the Council of Ministers, be prepared jointly with the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare. Once constituted, it has requested that the aforementioned Commission be submitted for consultation regarding the application of the precautionary principle in the development of projects that involve the use of the 26 GHz band, as long as the safe limits are not determined of exposure to radioelectric emissions required for said frequency.

Finally, it has requested the Secretary of State to report on the measures taken to assess the possible health effects that may arise from the 5G pilot projects in Andalusia and Galicia, if these Communities have been consulted on these projects and if they have been awarded or new ones will be awarded during the temporary scope of the 5G National Plan.
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Source: UltimoCero, 27 Aug 2019

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