The 5G debate continues: a detriment to health or not?

The 5G debate continues a detriment to health or not

An international advocacy has been conducted against 5G technology deployment on social media under #Stop5G hashtag. Lawyers, scientists, doctors, and engineers have been engaging on a practical level.  By May 17, 2020, the 5G EMF Appeal was signed by 377 EU scientists and doctors. As of June 4, 2020, there are 291,307 signatories from 218 nations and territories on the international appeal to stop 5G on earth and in space. A current debate about the relation between 5G and Coronavirus might delay the technology’s deployment in many countries.

According to the  Physician’s Health Initiative for radiation and environment PHIRE, 5G uses higher RF frequencies and different modulation, with a higher amplitude, rapid data bursts which are expected to cause even greater cellular damage. RF can increase risk of cancer, nervous system disruption, reproductive impairment. Children are more vulnerable as are the elderly and pregnant.

More than 500 studies have found harmful health effects from exposure to RFR at intensities. Tom Butler, a Professor in Business Information Systems at University College Cork, Ireland said in a paper submitted on May 27, 2020, that “5G technologies also expose children and adults with low frequency, high frequency and extremely high-frequency RFR simultaneously”. According to Butler report, in medical and scientific terms, the skin does not form a barrier to extremely high-frequency RFR, it is permeable, it is a biological organ that protects the body, but is itself prone to infections and environmental influence. Also, the report referred to evidence for an association to cell phone RFR and neurological development for children in utero as well as the risk of spontaneous abortion.

In addition, the results obtained by a new study conducted by Bartomeu Payeras I Cifre, a biologist specializing in microbiology and working at the University of Barcelona, demonstrates a clear and close relationship between the rate of coronavirus infections and 5G antenna location. “The study does not analyze the beneficial or harmful effects on humans of 5G electromagnetic radiation. However, it does indicate a possible cause-effect in the current pandemic” Bartomeu said.

5G deployment undermines over 15 international agreements, treaties, and recommendations, including article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Action against 5G- a group of individuals, scientists, doctors, and engineers- are now leading a case against the UK government to force authorities take notice of the serious health, environmental and biological life implications of 5G technology. The group is supported by a team of lawyers headed by Michael Mansfield QC who has received the title “The King of Human Rights” by the Legal 500.

“Nothing other than a legal challenge will force a government to take notice; this is the only way to ensure the government engages with the issue” according to the group website. Experts warned of the serious implications of the combined exposure with existing radiation from GSM, 3G, Wi-Fi, 4G will cause serious damage to health.

The legal team sheds light on the fact of deploying 5G without the public’s consent. “This constitutes a breach of the 1947 Nuremberg Code of Ethics regarding human subject’s experimentation”. In March 2020, the European Commission published a report entitled “Effects of 5G wireless communication on human health”. “5G is an untested technology, a cautious approach would be prudent” according to the report.

Brussels has some of the most stringent radiation guidelines for telecom equipment in the world. The upgrade to 5G in Geneva and Brussels was postponed because it’s too difficult to measure the radiation exposure from it. 5G technology is not compatible with Belgian radiation safety standards. In fact, in April 2019, Environment and Energy Minister in Brussels Celine Fremault stated “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizens, are not respected, 5G or not”. Back to 2018, Belgium Environmental and Health minister Celine Fremault and Belgium Telecom Minister Alexander De Croo asked for a technical study on whether 5G deployment could co-exist with Brussel’s current radiation rules of 6 volts per meter. Brussel’s rules are 50 times more strict than international standards.

In 2020, the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has upgraded the 1998 guidelines. The ICNIRP 2020 includes a number of changes to ensure that new technologies such as 5G will not be able to cause harm. These changes include the addition of whole-body average restrictions for frequencies >6 GHz, restrictions for brief (<6 minutes) exposures for frequencies >6 GHz- and the reduction of the averaging area for frequencies >6 GHz. “A key feature of the 5G wireless standard is that it will use beam-forming technology, which allows for the RF EMFs to be focused on the region where it is needed, rather than being spread out over a large area”. Thus, fifth generation exposures will not cause any harm providing that they adhere to the ICNIRP 2020 guidelines.

On the other hand, in April 2020 the ICNIRP posted a statement entitled “COVID-19 and RF- EMF”. This statement discussed rumors that claim that exposure to the electromagnetic fields (IMF) generated by 5G devices can cause COVID-19 and increase its severity. According to the statement “There is no (not even extremely weak evidence) that EMF exposure from 5G devices causes COVID-19 or have any effect on the disease process or health outcomes of those who are infected by the new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19.”

However, The Court of Appeal of Turin recognized in a full judgment published on January 13, 2020 (904/2019 of Romeo v. INAIL) that telephone industry-funded scientists, or members of the ICNIRP, are less reliable than independent scientists. “Conflict of interest situations may arise in relation to the assessment of the effect of radio frequencies on health”. According to the Court, ICNIRP members have received direct or indirect funding from the industry.

On February 25, 2020, another lawsuit against 5G deployment was filed in the Netherlands. The Dutch Stop 5G group- Stop5GNetherlands- says that 5G deployment is a serious violation of human rights. The group claims that the Dutch government is hiding behind ICNIRP. On May 14, 2020, 24 Canadian groups drafted an appeal to the Government of Canada saying NO to 5G in their neighborhood.

China, recognized as the 5G leader in the world was the first country to be affected by Covid-19. Is it a sufficient argument to say that Covid-19 is caused by 5G? However, many countries affected by Covid-19 do not have 5G technology.

The World Health Organization said that Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G. The pandemic cannot travel on radio waves/ mobile networks.

Technology implications related to health has always been under public scrutiny even at the time of 2G, 3G, and 4G. While the many theories out there do raise questions and concerns, more extensive (unbiased) research must be conducted to determine whether 5G poses greater health risks.