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When will they come clean over the radiation risks of 5G?


DOES citing peer-reviewed studies on the health impact of 5G and wifi make you a ‘conspiracy theorist’? The ‘Broadband and the road to 5G’ inquiry run by the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee seems to suggest so.

Before I explain further, I’d like to ask about your relationship with your smartphone. Do you love it so much that you would keep it on your person even if you knew it could damage your health?

A friend of mine used to go running with her smartphone in her bra and before she knew it had stage 4 breast cancer. In his later years my father had his wirelessly connected iPad on his lap much of the time. He lost the power in his thighs and got dementia. Does my suggestion of some connection seem outlandish to you? If so, please keep reading!

Of course there may not have been a causal link to those particular illnesses, but how many people know the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of their phone or know how to use it safely?

The Government does know about the risks, but has done little to educate the public. Its advice on radio-frequency radiation or RFR (also referred to as electromagnetic fields or EMFs in this article) emitted by mobile phones is here. It recommends that ‘excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged’ and that ‘adults should be able to make their own choices about reducing their exposure should they so wish, but be able to do this from an informed position’. This recommendation is followed by measures you can take to reduce your exposure including ‘moving the phone away from the body’ and ‘choosing a phone with a low specific energy absorption rate (SAR) value quoted by the manufacturer’. This was based on the recommendations of the Stewart Report produced in 2000 by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, which the Government accepted.

So why has there not been a campaign to publicise the risks of mobile phone use and other RFR-emitting devices, especially for children? Instead, the opposite happened: the Government, through the now defunct British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, promoted the use of wireless technologies in schools, so that now there is hardly a school without them. During the lockdown the Government wanted every child to use a laptop, hardly any of which would have been hard-wired via ethernet cables. Research on specific harms to children from wireless technology had been presented to MPs in December 2017 by Dr Sarah Starkey, neuroscientist, when she gave evidence to the Early Years Inquiry. This has clearly been ignored. Further information on the vulnerability of children is here.

If the Government really supports the Stewart Report, as it claims, I would like to know what steps it has taken to enable adults to have ‘an informed position’ and whether it actually thinks it is possible for adults to ‘reduce their exposure if they so wish’. I am certain it is barely possible, unless I can find a detached house in a valley, well away from a phone mast, far from neighbours who might have wifi or smart equipment, and confine myself to my house permanently. If I want to go to a restaurant, pub, concert, theatre or shop, the premises are likely to offer free wifi and I will be surrounded by people on their smartphones. If I want to travel it will be the same. This is a dire situation and even more so, if you suffer from electro-hypersensitivity as I discussed in this TCW piece.

Even more ludicrous is the fact that the Government still refers to advice given 22 years ago in the Stewart Report, when in the intervening period thousands of studies have shown damage to health occurring well below the safety exposure guidelines of the (discredited) International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

On a separate Government webpage on radio waves and health, the advice differs and the Government says it relies on the 2012 report of the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR), whose overall findings were that ‘there is no convincing evidence that radiofrequency field exposures below guideline levels cause health effects in either adults or children’. Yet at the same time it accepts the Stewart Report. Incidentally, AGNIR was disbanded in 2016 shortly after Dr Sarah Starkey pointed out that its 2012 report omits and distorts scientific evidence leading to wrong and misleading conclusions. She also noted how many personnel have dual roles/conflicts of interests by being in more than one of these regulatory bodies at the same time.  Her analysis is here. 

Thus the Government seems to be contradicting itself on the safety of radio waves. Not only that, but it seems to be relying on outdated information from 2000 and 2012, though it does mention the update to the ICNIRP guidelines in 2020. This update did not result in a significant change to the safety exposure guidelines and ignored significant developments such as the 2011 classification of radio-frequency radiation (RFR) as a ‘2B carcinogen‘, i.e. a possible cancer risk, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

There have been several appeals by scientists for a moratorium on 5G and other measures. In 2020 the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) issued a statement reflecting the consensus from the most recent, independent, expert global forums on the acute and chronic health effects, such as neurological disorders or fertility issues,  resulting from RFR in which they asked for ‘urgent action to protect the health of humans and wildlife’ highlighting that children are more vulnerable than adults to RFR. Last month a major paper by the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF) presented its case for the revision of human exposure limits and called for an immediate moratorium on 5G.

However, not content with doing nothing to protect us from radio-frequency radiation there seems to be a strong hint that the political class seek to smear those of us who point out the well-proven adverse health effects of EMFs as ‘conspiracy theorists’. Why do I think that? I was surprised to see a disclaimer above my published evidence to the Broadband and the Road to 5G Inquiry in 2020, which included these words, ‘Full Fact have published information about 5G conspiracies’ with a link to an article headed ‘Here’s where those 5G  and coronavirus theories came from’. The other 146 contributions, the majority about the health impacts of EMFs, all carried the same warning. (NB: Full Fact is substantially funded by Facebook and Google.)

Despite receiving 78 pieces of written evidence citing scientific studies on the health harms of EMFs and 5G, the 62-page Report on this inquiry gives only a few lines about health concerns in section 73, where this statement is made: ‘Instead of a compelling consumer case for 5G, misinformation has taken root, as our sub-committee on online harms and disinformation has explored. The spread of false information linking 5G to the COVID-19 outbreak led to attacks on workers and infrastructure . . .’

Thus, instead of engaging with the well-researched written evidence on health harms, the Committee has ignored it completely and writes of some parallel investigation, which seemingly found that some people thought that 5G had caused Covid. The inference seems to be that anyone concerned about health harms belongs to this group of people.

What will it take for the Government to listen to our concerns about this major public health issue? I am beyond rage that most of our elected representatives seem to have no interest in engaging with us. I know of people who lived within metres of phone masts and died prematurely.  I know of several people who suffer restricted and miserable lives due to electro-sensitivity. I believe that with the present and planned proliferation of wireless technology, we will soon all be affected. How many people know of the huge increase in radiation that will occur with the birth of Smart Cities and so on? Both the health effects and the huge increase in EMFs resulting from a full 5G rollout, need to be publicised.

For that reason, I fully support the vitally important court action against the Government, led by Michael Mansfield QC, starting tomorrow, challenging its failure to investigate the health risks of EMFs and to educate the public about them.

Aside from the Government’s failure to inform the public about the health risks of wireless technologies, it has never asked the relevant committee (COMARE) to investigate or report on the health effects, but instead, fingers in ears, is desperate to blanket us all in inescapable radio-frequency radiation. It has absolutely no idea about its safety and seems to have no qualms about exposing us all to ever-increasing levels of radiation. Do we really want this?

In the meantime, I suggest we all ditch our smartphones along with the meaningless terms ‘conspiracy theorist’ and ‘misinformation’.

Update Unfortunately the case against the Government regarding 5G, due to take place today, has been postponed. Michael Mansfield QC who is representing Action Against 5G with two other barristers, slipped on ice and though reported to be OK, is shaken.

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Gillian Jamieson
Gillian Jamieson
Gillian Jamieson has worked in education, the performing arts and in psychotherapy. Over the last few years, she has begun writing on issues of concern.

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