Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Regulators Steamroll Health Concerns as the Global Economy Embraces 5G (Washington Spectator)


Reprinted from The WASHINGTON SPECTATOR.

Joel Moskowitz. Regulators Steamroll Health Concerns as the Global Economy Embraces 5G. The Washington Spectator. 46(9):6, September 2020. ISSN 0887-428X.

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Online version of the article:

Regulators Steamroll Health Concerns as the Global Economy Embraces 5G

by Joel Moskowitz, The Washington Spectator, Sep 18, 2020

In a Washington Post op-ed (June 4), “5G conspiracy theories threaten the U.S. recovery,” Thomas Johnson Jr., the Federal Communications Commission’s general counsel, declared: “Conjectures about 5G’s effect on human health are long on panic and short on science.”

The FCC, however, has been “short on science” for more than two decades. Along with the World Health Organization, the FCC abdicated its responsibility to protect the public’s health from hazards associated with exposure to radio frequency, or RF, radiation. As a result, almost 400 international scientists and doctors have called for a moratorium on deployment of 5G, and 150 community groups have tried to block its rollout in the United States. Recently, the Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense, along with multiple plaintiffs, sued the FCC over its inadequate RF exposure limits and cell phone testing procedures.

The FCC relies on other agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, for health expertise. However, without a comprehensive review of all peer-reviewed science and a formal risk assessment, the FDA in a letter advised the FCC that “the available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits.” The letter “concluded that no changes to the current standards are warranted at this time.”

In a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Senator Blumenthal “blasted” the FCC and FDA for “failing to conduct any research into the safety of 5G technology . . . and deferring to industry. . . . We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.”

Last December, the FCC reaffirmed its obsolete RF exposure limits, ignoring critical input from more than 50 scientists, hundreds of scientific studies, and hundreds of people who have suffered illness from RF radiation.

Originally adopted in 1996, these limits were based upon a behavioral change in rats and monkeys exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect humans only from short-term heating risks due to RF radiation exposure.

Since 1996, the preponderance of peer-reviewed research—more than 500 studies—has found harmful biologic or health effects from RF radiation exposure at intensities too low to cause significant heating. Thus stringent exposure limits based on biological effects are needed to protect human health.

Citing this body of research, over 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields, or EMF, signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for stronger RF exposure limits. The signatories have published over 2,000 papers and letters on nonionizing EMF in professional journals and arguably constitute the majority of experts in this field.

The appeal proclaims:

Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.

In 2018, a $30 million study conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program reported “clear evidence” that two years of exposure to cell phone radiation increased cancer in male rats and damaged DNA in rats and mice of both sexes. The Ramazzini Institute replicated the NTP’s key finding using much weaker cell phone radiation exposure over the rats’ lifespan.

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011. We are seeing increases in head and neck tumors in cancer registries from multiple countries, which may be attributable to the proliferation of wireless device use. These increases are consistent with case-control studies that found increased tumor risk in long-term cell phone users.

Moreover, cancer is not even the most common hazard, because there is substantial scientific evidence that RF radiation causes neurological disorders and reproductive harm.

The volume of peer-reviewed scientific evidence on earlier technologies suggests that exposure to microwaves and millimeter waves used in 5G is likely harmful.

According to Johnson, “if we delay 5G deployment based on irrational fears and unproven theories, it will only hurt the American people.” But can we trust the FDA or FCC’s evaluation of the science? Should we gamble on our health and invest hundreds of billions of dollars deploying 5G, a technology that requires 800,000 new cell antenna sites installed next to our homes and workplaces? Or should we develop RF exposure standards that fully protect humans and the environment and institute a risk management system based upon a formal risk assessment?

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. His Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website, saferemr.com, has served as a resource for scientists, journalists, policy makers, and the public since 2013.

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Original version with links:

Regulators Steamroll Health Concerns as the Global Economy Embraces 5G

by Joel Moskowitz, The Washington Spectator, Sep 18, 2020

In a Washington Post op-ed (June 4), “5G conspiracy theories threaten the U.S. recovery,” Thomas Johnson, Jr., the FCC’s general counsel declared: “Conjectures about 5G’s effect on human health are long on panic and short on science.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), however, has been “short on science” for more than two decades. Along with the WHO, the FCC abdicated its responsibility to protect the public’s health from hazards associated with exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. As a result, almost 400 international scientists and doctors have called for a moratorium on deployment of 5G, and 150 community groups have tried to block its rollout in the U.S. Recently, the Environmental Health Trust and Children's Health Defense along with multiple plaintiffs sued the FCC over its inadequate RF exposure limits and cell phone testing procedures.

The FCC relies on other agencies such as the FDA for health expertise. However, without a comprehensive review of all peer-reviewed science and a formal risk assessment, the FDA in a letter advised the FCC that “the available scientific evidence to date does not support adverse health effects in humans due to exposures at or under the current limits.” The letter “concluded that no changes to the current standards are warranted at this time.”

In a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Senator Blumenthal “blasted” the FCC and FDA for “failing to conduct any research into the safety of 5G technology … and deferring to industry…. We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.”

Last December, the FCC reaffirmed their obsolete RF exposure limits ignoring critical input from more than 50 scientists, hundreds of scientific studies, and hundreds of people who have suffered illness from RF radiation. Originally adopted in 1996, these limits were based upon a behavioral change in rats and monkeys exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect humans only from short-term heating risks due to RF radiation exposure.

Since 1996 the preponderance of peer-reviewed research, more than 500 studies, have found harmful biologic or health effects from RF radiation exposure at intensities too low to cause significant heating. Thus, stringent exposure limits based on biological effects are needed to protect human health.

Citing this body of research, over 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal which calls for stronger RF exposure limits. The signatories have published over 2,000 papers and letters on non-ionizing EMF in professional journals and arguably constitute the majority of experts in this field.

The appeal proclaims:

 “Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

 In 2018, a $30 million study conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program reported “clear evidence” that two years of exposure to cell phone radiation increased cancer in male rats and damaged DNA in rats and mice of both sexes. The Ramazzini Institute replicated the NTP’s key finding using much weaker cellphone radiation exposure over the rats’ lifespan.

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RF radiation as "possibly carcinogenic to humans in 2011. We are seeing increases in head and neck tumors in cancer registries from multiple countries which may be attributable to the proliferation of wireless device use. These increases are consistent with case-control studies that found increased tumor risk in long-term cellphone users.

Moreover, cancer is not even the most common hazard because there is substantial scientific evidence that RF radiation causes neurological disorders and reproductive harm. 

The volume of peer-reviewed scientific evidence on earlier technologies suggests that exposure to microwaves and millimeter waves used in 5G is likely harmful.

According to Mr. Johnson, “if we delay 5G deployment based on irrational fears and unproven theories, it will only hurt the American people.” But can we trust the FDA or FCC’s evaluation of the science?  Should we gamble on our health and invest hundreds of billions of dollars deploying 5G, a technology that requires 800,000 new cell antenna sites installed next to our homes and workplaces? Or should we develop RF exposure standards that fully protect humans and the environment and institute a risk management system based upon a formal risk assessment?


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. His Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website, saferemr.com, has served as a resource for scientists, journalists, policy makers, and the public since 2013.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Berkeley Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance: Media Coverage

Updates on the 
Berkeley cell phone "right to know" ordinance:  


Since July, 2014, more than 250 news stories have been published regarding the cell phone “right to know” ordinance that the Berkeley City Council unanimously adopted on May 12, 2015.

An Associated Press (AP) story published on June 11, 2015 appeared on more than 100 web sites throughout the U.S. including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and ABC News. An AP story published on September 22, 2015 appeared on more than 155 new sites in the U.S. and Canada.

News stories about the ordinance have appeared in thirteen other nations: Australia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Lithuania, New Zealand, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

For updates about the status of the ordinance and the lawsuit filed by the CTIA--The Wireless Association in the industry's effort to kill this landmark consumer disclosure law see http://bit.ly/berkeleycellordinance.

Following are links to the English language news media coverage (Last update 9/20/2020):

ABA Journal (Sep 22, 2015)
ABC 7 News (San Francisco) (Jul 15, 2014)
ABC 7 News (San Francisco) (Aug 20, 2015)
ABC 7 News (San Francisco) (Sep 13, 2016)
Apple Daily (Taiwan) (Mar 23, 2016
Apple Daily (Taiwan) (Mar 23, 2016)
Ars Technica (Jun 9, 2015)
Ars Technica (Aug 20, 2015)
Ars Technica (Sep 21, 2015)
Ars Technica (Jan 28, 2016)
Ars Technica (Sep 13, 2016)
Ars Technica (Apr 21, 2017)
Associated Press (Jun 11, 2015) - published on more than 100 news sites
Associated Press (Sep 22, 2015) - published on more than 155 news sites in US & Canada
Associated Press (Jan 28, 2016)
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (Nov 13, 2014)
BannedBook.org (in Mandarin) (July 15, 2014)
Bay City News (Sep 22, 2015)
Bayvoice.net (in Mandarin) (July 14, 2014)
Berkeley Daily Planet (Sep 21, 2015)
Berkeley Daily Planet (Sep 13, 2016)
Berkeley Daily Planet (Oct 11, 2017)
Berkeley High Jacket (Dec 20, 2014)
Berkeley High Jacket (Jan 16, 2020)
Berkeley Patch (Bay City News) (Sep 13, 2016)
Berkeleyside  Op-Ed  (Oct 17, 2014)
Berkeleyside (Nov 18, 2014)
Berkeleyside (Nov 26, 2014)
Berkeleyside Op-Ed (May 5, 2015)
Berkeleyside (May 13, 2015)
Berkeleyside (Jun 8, 2015)
Berkeleyside (Aug 21, 2015)
Berkeleyside (Sep 22, 2015)
Berkeleyside (Jan 29, 2016)
Berkeleyside (Dec 13, 2019)
Bloomberg News Radio (mp3: 0:06:55 - 0:08:35) (Jul 15, 2014)
Bloomberg Law (Jul 2, 2019)
Bloomberg Politics (Nov 26, 2014)
Bloomberg BNA (Sep 22, 2015)
Bloomberg BNA (Oct 20, 2016)
Breitbart News (Jul 15, 2014)
Breitbart News (Jun 10, 2015)
Business Insider (Jul 15, 2014)
Business Insider India (Jul 15, 2014)
California City News (Dec 1, 2014)
California Healthline (Jul 16, 2014)
California Healthline (Sep 23, 2015)
California Magazine (Aug 19, 2014)
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)--The National (Mar 23, 2017)
CBC Marketplace (Mar 24, 2017) (22 minute video)
CBS News (May 12, 2015)
CBS News (May 13, 2015)
CBS News (Jun 8, 2015)
CBS Sacramento (Jan 28, 2016)
CBS SF Bay Area (Aug 22, 2014)
CBS SF Bay Area (Jul 16, 2014)
CBS SF Bay Area (May 13, 2015)
CBS SF Bay Area (May 20, 2015)
CBS SF Bay Area (Jun 8, 2015)
CBS SF Bay Area (Jul 27, 2015)
CBS SF Bay Area (Sep 13, 2016)
CBS SF Bay Area (Oct 11, 2017)
CBS SF Bay Area (Sep 20, 2018)
CBS This Morning (Jul 27, 2015)
Channel One News (May 17, 2017)
Chico Enterprise-Record (Nov 21, 2014)
City of Berkeley (press release) (Dec 13, 2019)
c|net (Jun 28, 2018)
c|net (Jul 2, 2019)
CNN (Jul 28, 2015)
CIO India (Jun 9, 2015)
Computerworld (Jun 8, 2015)
Computerworld Australia (Jun 8, 2015)
Computerworld New Zealand (Jun 8, 2015)
Consumer Reports (Sep 24, 2015)
Contra Costa Times (Nov 21, 2014) (Oakland Tribune, Nov 24, 2014)
Contra Costa Times (Oct 7, 2015)
Contra Costa Times (Jan 28, 2016)
Contra Costa Times (Mar 8, 2016)
Courthouse News Service (Jun 9, 2015)
Courthouse News Service (Aug 20, 2015)
Courthouse News Service (Sep 22, 2015)
Courthouse News Service (Jan 22, 2016)
Courthouse News Service (Jan 28, 2016)
Courthouse News Service (Sep 13, 2016)
Courthouse News Service (Apr 21, 2017)
Courthouse News Service (Oct 11, 2017)
Courthouse News Service (Jul 2, 2019)
Courthouse News Service (Jul 23, 2020)
Courthouse News Service (Sep 17, 2020)
Court Listener (copy of ruling) (Jul 2, 2019)
CTV News video (Canada) (May 17, 2015)
CTV News story (Canada) May 17, 2015)
Daily Beast (May 13, 2015)
Daily Californian  (Jul 16, 2014)
Daily Californian (Nov 19, 2014)
Daily Californian (Jun 9, 2015)
Daily Californian (Sep 22, 2015)
Daily Californian (Feb 1, 2016)
Daily Californian (Sep 14, 2016)
Daily Californian (Apr 25, 2017)
Daily Californian (Sep 22, 2018)
Daily Californian (Dec 12, 2019)
Daily Online Examiner (May 12, 2017)
Data Driven Investor (Medium.com) (Jul 2, 2019)
Davis Enterprise  (Jul 22, 2014)
Delfi Sveikata (Lithuania) (May 21, 2015)
Digital News Daily (Oct 11, 2017)
Digital Trends (Aug 1, 2015)
Discovery News (May 20, 2015)
East Bay Express (Jul 15, 2014)
East Bay Times (Apr 22, 2017)
East Bay Times (Oct 12, 2017)
East Bay Times (Jan 17, 2018)
ECN Magazine (Jun 10, 2015)
Ecosalon (Jul 18, 2014)
Epoch Times (May 12, 2015)
FairWarning (Jul 11, 2018)
FairWarning (Sep 4, 2018)
Fierce Wireless (Jun 9, 2015)
Fierce Wireless (Sep 22, 2015)
FindLaw (Apr 26, 2017)
First World News Channel (Sep 13, 2016)
Forbes (Oct 13, 2015)
Fox Business (Sep 22, 2015)
Fusion (May 3, 2016)
Governing (Dec 11, 2019)
Government Technology (Jul 3, 2019)
GSMA (wireless industry assn.) (Nov 24, 2014)
GSMA (May 25, 2015)
GSMA (Jul 13, 2015)
GSMA (Oct 29, 2015)
The Guardian (London, UK) May 15, 2015)
Headlines and Global News (Jul 17, 2014)
Healthcare Global (Dec 1, 2014)
The Hill (Jun 5, 2015)
The Hill (Sep 22, 2015)
Huffington Post (Paul Brodeur), (Jul 27, 2015)
Inside Towers (Sep 30, 2016)
Inside Towers (Dec 11, 2019)
Kachwanya (Kenya) (Aug 6, 2015)
KALW  Crosscurrents   (audio - Sep 24, 2014)
KALW (audio) (Oct 8, 2015)
KFMB (CBS8, San Diego), Sep 27, 2016
KGO 810  Radio News (San Francisco) (Jul 15, 2014)
Kim Komando podcast (Apr 6, 2017)
KIMT (Iowa, Minnesota) (May 18, 2015)
KKSF AM Talk 919 (San Francisco) (audio) (Jul 15, 2014)
KPAX (Missoula, MT, CBS News8) (May 12, 2015)
KPFA Radio (May 13, 2015)
KPFA Pacifica Evening News (42:13 - 44:30)(Sep 30, 2016)
KQED Forum (Lawrence Lessig interview: 48:00 - 50:00) (Jan 8, 2015)
KQED Forum (Joel Moskowitz & Allan Balmain, 9:30 - 10 AM) (May 18, 2015)
KRON4 (Sep 22, 2015)
KRON4 (Sep 13, 2016)
KTVU (Fox News) (May 13, 2015)
KTVU (Fox News) Sep 13, 2016)
Law 360 (Jun 9, 2015)
Law 360 (Sep 22, 2016)
Law 360 (Jan 28, 2016)
Law 360 (Mar 2, 2016)
Law 360 (Apr 5, 2016)
Law 360 (May 13, 2016)
Law 360 (Aug 12, 2016)
Law 360 (Aug 29, 2016)
Law 360 (Sep 13, 2016)
Law 360 (Apr 21, 2017)
Law 360 (Jul 2, 2019)
Law 360 (Nov 1, 2019)
Law 360 (Dec 9, 2019)
Law 360 (Jun 23, 2020)
Law 360 (Jul 23, 2020)
Law 360 (Sep 18, 2020)
Legal Newsline (Jun 23, 2020)
Legal Reader (Sep 24, 2015)
Lexology (Apr 28, 2017)
Litigation Update - State Bar of California (Nov, 2017)
Mobile Commerce News (Aug 7, 2015)
Mobile Today (Iran) (Sep 13, 2016)
Mother Jones (May 11, 2015)
Mother Jones (May 13, 2015)
Multichannel (Jun 23, 2020)
NBC Bay Area (Mar 28, 2015)
NBC Bay Area (May 12, 2015)
NBC Bay Area (Jun 8, 2015)
NBC Bay Area (Aug 20, 2015)
NBC Bay Area (Mar 21, 2016)
NBC Bay Area (Sep 13, 2016)
NBC Sacramento/SF Gate (Apr 8, 2017)
Newser (Jun 10, 2015)
News Inferno (Jul 16, 2014)
Newsweek (Nov 3, 2016)
Newsweek en Espanol (Nov 4, 2016)
New York Magazine (Jul 24, 2015)
New York Times (Jun 11, 2015) - AP article
New York Times (Jul 21, 2015) (my comments on NYT article)
PC Advisor (UK) (Jun 8, 2015)
PC World (Jun 8, 2015)
PC World (Jul 10, 2015)
Public Health Watchdog (Jul 17, 2014)
Public Knowledge (May 25, 2016)
Public News Service (Aug 20, 2015)
Public News Service (Sep 29, 2016)
Public News Service (Jul 22, 2020)
RCR Wireless News (Jun 9, 2015)
RCR Wireless News (Jun 11, 2015)
The Recorder (Jun 8, 2015)
The Recorder (Aug 20, 2015)
The Recorder (Aug 21, 2015)
The Recorder (Sep 21, 2015)
The Recorder (Sep 13, 2016)
The Recorder (Apr 21, 2017)
The Recorder (Oct 11, 2017)
The Recorder (Jul 2, 2019)
Reuters (Apr 24, 2017)
Reuters (Dec 9, 2019)
RT (May 12, 2015)
RT (Jul 31, 2015)
RYOT News (May 14, 2015)
Sacramento Bee (Apr 6, 2017)
San Francisco Appeal (Sep 21, 2015)
San Francisco Chronicle  (Jul 15, 2014)
San Francisco Chronicle (Sep 25, 2015)
San Francisco Chronicle (Mar 2, 2017)
San Francisco Chronicle (Jun 28, 2018)
San Francisco Chronicle (Jul 2, 2019)
San Francisco Chronicle (Dec 9, 2019)
San Francisco Chronicle (Op-ed) (Jul 21, 2020)
San Francisco Chronicle (Sep 20, 2020)
San Jose Mercury News (May 13, 2015)
San Jose Mercury News (Jun 9, 2015)
San Jose Mercury News (Sep 22, 2015)
San Jose Mercury News (Oct 7, 2015)
San Jose Mercury News (Jan 17, 2018)
Science Times (May 13, 2015)
Seattle Times (Jul 14, 2014)
SF Gate / SF Chronicle (Jun 8, 2015)
SF Gate (Aug 20, 2015)
SF Gate (Sep 21, 2015)
SF Gate (Jan 28, 2016)
SF Gate (Mar 23, 2016)
SF Gate (Sep 13, 2016)
SF Gate (Apr 21, 2017)
SF Gate (Jul 2, 2019)
SoundofHope.org (Beijing; in Mandarin)  (Jul 15, 2014)
Sputnik International (Jul 31, 2015)
Sputnik News (May 17, 2015)
Telecommunications Reports (Jul 13, 2018)
ThinkProgress (Jul 22, 2015)
TIME Magazine (May 12, 2015)
TreeAngle (Indonesia) (Sep 23, 2015)
Truthout (Jul 31, 2019)
Tuoi Tre (Vietnam) (Mar 23, 2016)
UK Progressive Magazine (May 19, 2015)
Voice of America (Jun 5, 2015)
Wall Street Journal (Sep 22, 2015)
WCTV News (CBS2, Tallahassee, FL) (May 12, 2015)
WCVB News (ABC5, Boston)  (Jul 15, 2014)
WDTV News (CBS5, West Virginia) (May 12, 2015)
WFMY News (CBS2, Greensboro, NC) (May 12, 2015)
WIVB News (CBS4, Buffalo, NY) (May 13, 2015)
WKBN News (Youngstown, OH) (May 12, 2015)
WREQ News (CBS3 Memphis,TN) (May 12, 2015)
WTSP News (CBS10, Tampa Bay, FL) (May 12, 2015)
Yahoo! Finance (Sep 27, 2016)
Yahoo! News (CBS) (Jul 16, 2014)
Yahoo! News (CBS) (May 12, 2015)
YourLawyer.com  (Jul 17, 2014)