Friday, June 23, 2017

Is 5G Cellular Technology Harmful to Our Health?

Note: Recent millimeter wave bioeffect studies are listed below.


EMF Scientist Appeal Advisors Call for Moratorium 
on Policies for 5G “Small Cell” Antennas

The advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in opposition to a proposed change in FCC rules that would allow rapid deployment of 5th generation (5G) wireless infrastructure throughout the nation. A copy of the Appeal was appended to the letter.

5G involves transmission of millimeter waves which operate at much higher frequencies than currently used for cellular transmission (30 to 300 gigahertz). Because the range of these signals is limited (i.e., less than a football field), hundreds of thousands of new “small cell” antennas will be required in the U.S. The wireless industry wants to install these not-so-small cellular antennas on existing public utility poles.

The FCC intends to streamline the approval of these antennas which would further undermine the regulatory authority of cities and states over cell towers.

Meanwhile the wireless industry is lobbying for legislation in many states across the country that would limit local authority over cell antenna deployment.

Due to the concern that the FCC’s new rules will result in increased exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), the Appeal’s advisors oppose the new rules and call for a “public health review of the growing body of scientific evidence that includes reports of increasing rates of cancer and neurological diseases that may be caused by exposure to EMF from wireless sources.”

The Appeal reflects the concerns of 225 EMF experts from 41 nations about the impact of EMF exposure on public health. All of the experts who signed this appeal have published research in peer-reviewed scientific journals about the biologic or health effects of EMF.

According to the Appeal’s signatories, current national and international EMF exposure guidelines are obsolete and inadequate to protect human health and the environment. The FCC’s radio frequency guidelines were adopted in 1996.

The letter (dated June 9, 2017) is signed by the five advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal: Drs. Martin Blank, Magda Havas, Henry Lai, and Joel Moskowitz, and Elizabeth Kelley.

For more information:

FCC filing detail   (June 9, 2017)



May 8, 2017

A 5G Wireless Future: 
Will it give us a smart nation or contribute to an unhealthy one?

Dr. Cindy Russell, The (SCCMA) Bulletin, Jan/Feb 2017
Safety testing for 5G is the same as other wireless devices. It is based on heat. This is an obsolete standard and not considering current science showing cellular and organism harm from non-thermal effects. There is a large gap in safety data for 5G biological effects that has been demonstrated in older studies including military.
Recommendations
1. Do not proceed to roll out 5G technologies pending pre-market studies on health effects.
2. Reevaluate safety standards based on long term as well as short term studies on biological effects.
3. Rescind a portion of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which preempts state and local government regulation for the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects so that health and environmental issues can be addressed.
4. Rescind portions of The Spectrum Act which was passed in 2012 as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which strips the ability city officials and local governments to regulate cellular communications equipment, provides no public notification or opportunity for public input and may potentially result in environmental impacts.
5. Create an independent multidisciplinary scientific agency tasked with developing appropriate safety regulations, pre-market testing and research needs in a transparent environment with public input.
6. Label pertinent EMF information on devices along with appropriate precautionary warnings.
Dr. Russell provides a brief review of the research on millimeter wave bioeffects in this article: http://bit.ly/5GRussell.


Aug 17, 2016 (Updated Aug 19)

5G cellular technology will employ much higher frequency microwaves than current cell phone technologies: 2G, 3G, and 4G.  These microwaves, known as millimeter waves, won't penetrate building materials like the current technology which is why industry may need one cell antenna base station for every 12 homes. 
But millimeter waves can affect your eyes and penetrate your skin.

When the Los Angeles Times reporter contacted me for the story below, I did a quick search and found several recently published articles examining biological effects of millimeter waves (see references below). This form of microwave radiation is most likely to affect our skin and neuronal cells in the upper dermis.

Moreover, widespread adoption of 5G cellular technology in the U.S. may have profound effects on our ecosystem by altering bacteria, possibly creating harmful bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

History has proved that we cannot trust the FCC and the FDA to protect our health from microwave radiation exposure.


I submitted an open letter to the FCC in July calling for "an independent review of the biologic and health research to determine whether the RF standards should be modified before allowing additional spectrum to be used for new commercial applications."

Moreover, the FCC has ignored the 800-plus submissions that call upon the agency to adopt rigorous radio frequency standards to protect the public’s health. Instead the agency maintains its 20-year old exposure guidelines that control only for heating or thermal risks. The FDA has ignored the thousands of studies that find nonthermal biologic effects, and the human studies that find a wide range of health effects including increased cancer risk and reproductive harm from exposure to low intensity microwaves.
In my opinion, precaution is warranted before unleashing 5G technology on the world. I suspect most of the 221 scientists who signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal (referenced in the article below), would support this assertion.

However, more research is also needed as specific characteristics of the millimeter waves (e.g., pulsing, modulation) to be employed in 5G cellular technology may be more important than the frequency or intensity of the waves in terms of biologic and health effects. The research funding must be independent of industry as conflicts of interest have been found to undermine the science in this field.
For an unbiased summary of the partial findings of the National Toxicology Program study of cancer risk from 2G cell phone radiation, see http://www.saferemr.com/2016/05/national-toxicology-progam-finds-cell.html.

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Is 5G technology dangerous? Early data shows a slight increase of tumors in male rats exposed to cellphone radiation

Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times, Aug 8, 2016

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 Low-intensity millimeter waves used for pain therapy have side effects

The Russians have pioneered millimeter wave therapy (MWT) using low intensity millimeter waves to reduce pain including headaches, joint pain, and postoperative pain.

Although the following review paper documents some positive effects from short-term exposure to MWT, the authors note that there are side effects including fatigue, sleepiness, and paresthesia (an abnormal sensation, tingling or pricking [“pins and needles”] caused by pressure on or damage to peripheral nerves). 

"We conclude that there is promising data from pilot case series and small-scale randomized controlled trials for analgesic/hypoalgesic effects of electromagnetic millimeter waves in frequency range 30–70 GHz. Large-scale randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of this non-invasive therapeutic technique are necessary." 
"In the studies reviewed the authors did not report any health-related side effects of MWT. Slight paresthesias, previously mentioned in several case reports and non-controlled case series (10,11), appeared in almost 50% of patients in studies where the effects of MWT were carefully described (21,27,28,31). The paresthesias were of short duration and reported as pleasant (‘warmth’) or neutral. General fatigue and sleepiness during the treatment sessions in almost 80% of the patients was a rather desirable side effect of MWT, as also described in previous reviews on biomedical effects of MWT (10,11,21,27,28)."
From: Usichenko TI, Edinger H, Gizhko VV, Lehmann C, Wendt M, Feyerherd F. Low-intensity electromagnetic millimeter waves for pain therapy. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 Jun;3(2):201-7. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1475937/
Little research is available on long-term exposure to millimeter waves (see below). Most of the studies referred to in this review paper did not modulate or pulse the carrier waves which will be required for information-carrying millimeter waves employed in 5G technologies. Prior research suggests that such waves will be more biologically active than pure sine waves.

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Effects of Millimeter Waves Radiation on Cell Membrane - A Brief Review

Ramundo-Orlando A.  Effects of millimeter waves radiation on cell membrane - A brief review.  J Infrared Milli Terahz Waves. 2010; 30 (12): 1400-1411.

Abstract

The millimeter waves (MMW) region of the electromagnetic spectrum, extending from 30 to 300 GHz in terms of frequency (corresponding to wavelengths from 10 mm to 1 mm), is officially used in non-invasive complementary medicine in many Eastern European countries against a variety of diseases such gastro duodenal ulcers, cardiovascular disorders, traumatism and tumor. On the other hand, besides technological applications in traffic and military systems, in the near future MMW will also find applications in high resolution and high-speed wireless communication technology. This has led to restoring interest in research on MMW induced biological effects. In this review emphasis has been given to the MMW-induced effects on cell membranes that are considered the major target for the interaction between MMW and biological systems.


Excerpts

 “Several studies on the effects induced by millimeter radiation on biological systems have been reported in the literature. Diverse effects have been observed on cell free systems, cultured cells, isolated organs of animals and humans. The subject has been extensively reviewed by Motzkin [17] and more recently by Pakhomov [3]. At the cellular level these effects are mainly on the membrane process and ion channels, molecular complexes, excitable and other structures. Many of these effects are quite unexpected from a radiation penetrating less than 1 mm into biological tissues [3, 18, 19]. However none of the findings described in the above reviews has been replicated in an independent laboratory, thus they cannot be considered as established biological effects.”

“…a large number of cellular studies have indicated that MMW may alter structural and functional properties of membranes (Table 2).”

Conclusion

“In this review emphasis has been given to the low-level MMW effects on cell membranes. Above all, it should be mentioned that the reported effects are of a non-thermal character, that is, the action of radiation does not produce essential heating of the biological system or destroy its structure. In this context it appears that no permanent structural change of lipid bilayer could arise under low level (less than 10 mW/cm2) millimeter waves irradiation.

On the other hand, MMW radiation may affect intracellular calcium activities, and, as a consequence, several cellular and molecular processes controlled by Ca2+ dynamics themselves. The effects of MMW radiation on ion transport may be the consequence of a direct effect on membrane proteins as well as on phospholipid domain organization. Water molecules seem to play an important role in these biological effects of MMW radiation. Unfortunately, detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating physiological responses to MMW exposure remain largely unknown.

Usually the search at a molecular level is simpler if we can reduce the complexity of our biological samples. This is the case for cell membranes by using model systems. They can be formed by a simple lipid bilayer without interfering components and they give independence from biological activity that can create complication in searching for electromagnetic fields bioeffects. The emphasis is on the search for molecular mechanisms of the membrane effect induced by MMW with different frequencies and power density. Furthermore, replication studies are needed including good temperature control and appropriate internal control samples. It is also advantageous if the future studies are multidisciplinary, invoking an integration of high quality exposure and effects methodologies.

Clearly a significant amount of accurate experimental work is still required in order to fully understand the interactions between MMW radiation and cell membrane.”


Recent Millimeter Wave Bioeffect Studies
(Updated: June 23, 2017)

Foster KR, Ziskin MC, Balzano Q. Thermal Response of Human Skin to Microwave Energy: A Critical Review. Health Phys. 2016; 111(6):528-541. (Note: This work was sponsored by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum. The authors state that MMF had no control over the contents.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27798477

Gandhi OP, Riazi A. Absorption of millimeter waves by human beings and its biological implications. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques. MTT-34(2):228-235. 1986. http://bit.ly/2oS3rKD

Haas AJ, Le Page Y, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R, Le Dréan Y. Effects of 60-GHz millimeter waves on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells using high-content screening. Neurosci Lett. 2016 Apr 8;618:58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2016.02.038. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Haas AJ, Le Page Y, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R, Dréan YL, Saligaut C. Effect of acute millimeter wave exposure on dopamine metabolism of NGF-treated PC12 cells. J Radiat Res. 2017 Feb 24:1-7. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrx004. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28339776

Hovnanyan K, Kalantaryan V, Trchounian A. The distinguishing effects of low intensity electromagnetic radiation of different extremely high frequences on Enterococcus hirae: growth rate inhibition and scanning electron microscopy analysis. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2017 . doi: 10.1111/lam.12764. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28609553

Le Dréan Y, Mahamoud YS, Le Page Y, Habauzit D, Le Quément C, Zhadobov M, Sauleau R. State of knowledge on biological effects at 40–60 GHz. Comptes Rendus Physique, 14(5):402-411. 2013.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631070513000480

Sivachenko IB, Medvedev DS, Molodtsova ID, Panteleev SS, Sokolov AY, Lyubashina OA. Effects of Millimeter-Wave Electromagnetic Radiation on the Experimental Model of Migraine. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2016 Feb;160(4):425-8. doi: 10.1007/s10517-016-3187-7. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Soghomonyan D, Trchounian K, Trchounian A. Millimeter waves or extremely high frequency electromagnetic fields in the environment: what are their effects on bacteria? Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Jun;100(11):4761-71. doi: 10.1007/s00253-016-7538-0. Epub 2016 Apr 18.