Is 5G Safe?
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You’re being exposed to
radiation right now. It’s coming at you from both space
and the soil; from water and food. Your body itself is radioactive. And you’re being exposed to microwaves
and radio waves, both natural and human made. Wi-Fi, TV, radio stations, cellphones,
3G, 4G and now 5G. And 5G is just getting started. Qualcomm, Samsung, Verizon, LG, Sprint, all
these companies and more are right now working to build
out the 5G ecosystem. So the question is, what are
all these things doing to you? The connection between your cellphone
and your cancer risk. It’s being absorbed by your head. More than 99% confident that
there is no such effect. Brain cancer warning
labels on cellphones. You should be least
concerned about 5G. People like Joel Moskowitz are concerned
and see cellphones as a massive risk factor to public health. We have no assurance that 5G is safe. For that matter, if 4G is safe. I’ve only found three studies on 4G. They came out of China and they
all indicated changes in brain function. And Moskowitz isn’t alone. Camilla Rees has spent the last 12 years
of her life trying to educate the public on what she sees as
a risk greater than climate change. I’ve been really amazed at the
resistance to learning the truth. The spin that the industry puts
out, learning that the exposure guidelines that the FCC uses
are totally not protective. Really, I would call them fraudulent. Right now, the FCC requires that every
phone on the market be tested and given a value corresponding to the
amount of radiation it emits. It says that value is well below
the point at which adverse health effects could occur. But still, these kinds of concerns
about health risks, usually cancer, associated with cellphones, and especially
5G are everywhere on the internet. Most of us are not
radiation scientists, oncologists or medical physicists. So how do we
know what’s going on? The International Agency for Research on Cancer
or I ARC, is the World Health Organization’s cancer agency. Since 1971, it’s had a program that
convenes groups of experts to look at whether specific things cause cancer. It then defines those things’ cancer
risks as either definite, probable, possible, uncertain or not probable. In 2011, as a result of one
of those groups, it classified radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, the kind that
comes from cellphones, as possibly carcinogenic. The chair of that particular group
was Jonathan Samet, a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist who is now
Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. There were several human studies,
epidemiological studies, pointing to a possible link but the rest of the
evidence, of the laboratory evidence and very limited animal evidence didn’t provide
much of a link between the electromagnetic radiation exposure
and cancer. So put into the IARC scheme it
ends up in this possible bin. This is something that wireless safety
advocates like Moskowitz and Rees often bring up. We know there’s tremendous evidence in
connection with brain tumors, which is why the World Health
Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified this radiation in
2011 as a possible carcinogen. But Samet is clear that the classification
does not mean we know cellphones cause cancer. These studies are reason enough to
keep investigating, but not convincing by themselves. To me, it provides a warning and
says, you know, we should take this serious enough to do more research. His position boils down to the old
aphorism, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Just because we don’t currently have
evidence that cellphones are causing cancer doesn’t mean they’re not. Scientists don’t know of a way they could
be, but if they are though, it would have to be through a
mechanism we don’t currently understand. Scientists often describe things in ways
that make sense to other scientists, but are confusing
to everyone else. The WHO’s classification from 2011 is a
good example of how that can lead to misunderstandings. When RF energy was classified as a
2B carcinogen, that’s number 2 and then the letter B, you know, most people
just heard RF and carcinogen and you know, didn’t care if it was 2B
or 1A or whatever, you know, whatever. It’s a carcinogen. So that’s bad and let’s stop it. But, you know, when you look at
the actual definitions of what a 2B carcinogen is and look at other
things that are classified as 2B carcinogens like pickled
vegetables and coffee. And the next level up is probable and
so it’s not probable because then it would be 2A, so it’s possible. The problem is that if laypeople
hear that, possibly carcinogenic, they tend to forget the possibly and
they just focus on carcinogenic. So possibly becomes likely and then
it’s completely forgotten at all then they say, well, WHO
says it’s carcinogenic. And that’s just a wrong conclusion. In support of that interpretation is
the fact that the WHO’s official stance is that to date, no adverse
health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use. And if you look to other
agencies and scientific institutions that have studied this, like the Centers
for Disease Control, the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and
Drug Administration and the National Cancer Institute,
they all agree. We don’t have good evidence that cellphones
are doing anything bad to us. Critics say these conclusions are not
based on science, but rather a result of ignorance and lobbying
from the telecommunications industry. So let’s try to take a clear
look at the science behind cellphone radiation and what we know about it. Radiation is just a form of energy,
but it comes in different strengths. You’ve got low energy radio waves on
one end of the spectrum and super high energy gamma rays on the other. Even visible light is radiation. And understanding the effects of radiation
at different energy levels is key when thinking about risk. The wavelengths of radiation, like the
distance between crests of ocean waves, can differ. It’s these differing wavelengths that define
how high energy the radiation is. The shorter the length between
crests, the higher the energy. Another way to describe radiation is by
using hertz, a unit of frequency which tells you how many crests in
that wave are happening per second. So for example, 3G and 4G radiation is around
1 to 2 billion hertz or 1 to 2 GHz. 5G moves up in the spectrum using frequencies
from 1 GHz all the way up to 70 GHz. And if you were exposed to enough
of any of these frequencies, it would affect your body by heating it. That’s how a microwave oven works and
why there are limits on how powerful cellphone radiation can be. At the levels that are used,
for example, on wireless communications or that are used for transmitting AM and
FM radio or 5G technology, the amount of RF energy that’s being transmitted
is very, very low and would need to be thousands of times greater to even
be felt by the body as as a heat source, much less cause any
particular harm to the body. But there’s a certain point at which
radiation has enough energy to do more than that and actually makes changes
to the atoms in your body. If it reaches that point, it becomes
ionizing, which means it has enough energy to knock electrons out of atoms
and do things like give you cancer and damage your DNA. This process is also the reason radiation
therapy can be used to treat cancer by beaming ionizing radiation at
cancer cells and damaging their DNA. This is the kind of radiation you
probably think of when you hear the word. If I, for example, took in enough energy
to raise the temperature of a cup of coffee by 1 degree, but I took
that in the form of ionizing radiation, I would be dead within probably half
an hour from a very horrible acute radiation syndrome. But if I took that same amount
of energy in in terms of radiofrequency energy, my body would be easily
dispel or easily normalize that additional heat because it wouldn’t
produce any permanent damage. It would just be in the form of
thermal energy which my body can easily adapt to. So there is a point at which
radiation switches from being non-ionizing to ionizing. And the question is, how close
are we getting to that when we move up to these
higher 5G frequencies? The answer, it turns out, is
not very close at all. While 70 GHz is certainly higher
than 2, radiation isn’t ionizing until about 2.4 million GHz. There’s clear epidemiological evidence
that ionizing radiation causes cancer, but it’s this lower energy
radiation used by things like cellphones that’s
provoked controversy. Wireless safety advocates say that not only
do we already know this kind of radiation can cause effects beyond
heating but that research is being influenced and suppressed by
the telecommunications industry. I wouldn’t risk my board certification for
which I went to school a long time for and took a lot of exams
to get to say something for the telecom industry. It just would
not be worth it. ICNIRP has always been and will always
be a completely independent group of experts. We are also very transparent
in affiliations of our experts. We don’t want any influence of the
industry on what we do at all. If it’s true, then where
are all the brain cancers? Where are all the gliomas? You know, you look at study after study
of cancer rates and you look at the incidence of brain cancers since the
induction of wireless technology and cellphones and you don’t see any
significant change in the incidents. If you look at the energy that’s
coming from current cell towers like from 3G and 4G, it’s mostly not very much
more than a couple of voltz per meter that you measure
in residential areas. So that’s comparable to the the amount
of energy that comes out of an incandescent light bulb. From all of the Wi-Fi exposure and the
5G and the other types of exposure that we talked about, visible light
and radiofrequency, there should not be any adverse effects. One thing often brought up is
that cellphones are a relatively new technology and 5G is brand new. How can we possibly already
understand how they’re affecting us? Really wireless telecommunications is actually
the combination of three old technologies that we have a
lot of experience with. It’s the combination of the computer,
the radio and the telephone. We have been exposed to artificial
radiofrequency energies for over 100 years now and we’ve been studying biological
effects of RF energy for over 70 years. And have over 3,000 publications in
the literature specifically devoted to biological effects of RF energy at
various levels of various frequencies. It’s absolutely useless to do a lot
of research, for instance, with the particular frequencies that 5G is going
to use to see whether those frequencies will result in any health
effects because they’re not that much different from the frequencies that
have been studied a lot already in the past. Again, Moskowitz disagrees. Thousands of peer reviewed studies have
found biologic and health effects from chronic exposure to non-thermal levels
of microwave radiation and low frequency fields. There are several thousands of papers
altogether that have studied the effects of non-ionizing radiation. There may be a couple of dozen
papers that give some indications for a possible carcinogenic effect but there are
not very many studies that give some indications of a possible
carcinogenic effect, certainly not thousands. So that’s
absolutely not true. Most of the studies that have been
published do not show any indication at all for a carcinogenic
or whatever health effects. So we’ve got two people claiming to be
experts who have access to the same collection of scientific research. Most of us aren’t scientists studying this,
so how do we know who to believe? I go back to the literally dozens
and dozens and dozens of these national and international panels that have been set
up over the last decade or two that have brought together the experts
with a necessary complement of expertise; with epidemiologists, with
engineers, with microbiologists, with all of the necessary cadre
of expertise necessary to really completely analyze the literature. Their view holds more weight than
individual opinions, more than my opinion, more than any one scientist’s
opinion or a collection of scientists that you can find
and select on a tally. And this is the crux of
how you should approach things here. When faced with big,
complicated scientific questions, scientific consensus is your best option. If you rely on just one
person, you could hear this. We have some indications from from some
studies that there might be an association with mobile phone use and
an increased risk of brain cancers. But then also this. If you look at a possible
carcinogenic effect of radiofrequency radiation, I’m more than 99 percent confident
that there is no such effect. And this is not a
case of van Rongen flip-flopping. It’s an example of a scientist
talking about science the way scientists talk about science. Deliberate, but not necessarily
understood by non-scientists. To get the whole picture, you
need more than a soundbite. So radiation can be scary and deadly. But according to so many reputable
organizations, we just don’t have good evidence cellphone radiation is
causing us harm. It can heat up your body if it’s
powerful enough, which is why the FCC sets limits on it. But beyond that, right now, there’s no
good reason to think that it’s doing anything else. And according to Bushberg, we have even
less reason to be worried about 5G. The nature of 5G and the
so-called millimeter waves, they don’t penetrate the body. In fact, they don’t even
penetrate beyond the skin surface. And so they can’t get
to our internal organs. There’s no RF energy that is going to
hit the liver or the spleen or the lungs or or any
of our internal organs. So I’m not really sure why
people should be more concerned.

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