Blumenthal criticizes the FCC & FDA for inadequate answers on outstanding public health questions. Wireless carriers concede they are not aware of any independent scientific studies on safety of 5G technologies
[WASHINGTON, DC]— During today’s Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology and their impact on the American people and economy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) raised concerns with the lack of any scientific research and data on the technology’s potential health risks. The full video of Blumenthal’s statement and exchange with industry representatives can be found here.
Blumenthal blasted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—government agencies jointly-responsible for ensuring that cellphone technologies are safe to use—for failing to conduct any research into the safety of 5G technology, and instead, engaging in bureaucratic finger-pointing and deferring to industry.
In December 2018, Blumenthal and U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) sent a letter to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr seeking answers regarding potential health risks posed by new 5G wireless technology. At today’s hearing, Blumenthal criticized Carr for failing to provide answers, and instead, just echoing, “the general statements of the FDA, which shares regulatory responsibility for cell phones with the FCC.” Blumenthal also decried the FDA’s statements as “pretty unsatisfactory.” A PDF of Carr’s complete response is available here.
During an exchange with wireless industry representatives, Blumenthal asked them whether they have supported research on the safety of 5G technology and potential links between radiofrequency and cancer, and the industry representatives conceded they have not.
” I believe that Americans deserve to know what the health effects are, not to pre-judge what scientific studies may show, and they also deserve a commitment to do the research on outstanding questions,” said Blumenthal. “We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.”
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors, according to final reports released today. There was also some evidence of tumors in the brain and adrenal gland of exposed male rats. For female rats, and male and female mice, the evidence was equivocal as to whether cancers observed were associated with exposure to RFR. The final reports represent the consensus of NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who reviewed the studies in March after draft reports were issued in February.
“We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed,” said Bucher.
The $30 million NTP studies took more than 10 years to complete and are the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of health effects in animals exposed to RFR with modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones. 2G and 3G networks were standard when the studies were designed and are still used for phone calls and texting.
For future studies, NTP is building smaller RFR exposure chambers that will make it easier to evaluate newer telecommunications technologies in weeks or months, rather than years. These studies will focus on developing measurable physical indicators, or biomarkers, of potential effects from RFR. These may include changes in metrics like DNA damage in exposed tissues, which can be detected much sooner than cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration nominated cell phone RFR for study by NTP because of widespread public use of cell phones and limited knowledge about potential health effects from long-term exposure. NTP will provide the results of these studies to FDA and the Federal Communications Commission, who will review the information as they continue to monitor new research on the potential effects of RFR.
NTP uses four categories to summarize the evidence that a substance may cause cancer:
- Clear evidence (highest)
- Some evidence
- Equivocal evidence
- No evidence (lowest)
The Washington Post recently reported “‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss” stating, “Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.”
The report blames climate warming for the declines. But what about the toxic Electro soup (cell phones, cell towers, smart meters, IoT, radar cars, etc.) as a potential cause? In this video below, the link between the alarming insect decline and electromagnetic radiation is investigated.
Commentary by Cindy Sage: Not long ago, a Physician Assistant in a hospital emergency room told us she was asked to wear a wireless headset (that connects wirelessly to the internet) while seeing her patients. She declined.
In that same week, a young mother went to a new internist in the bay area. The nurse asked if she would give consent for the doctor to wear a wireless headset while examining her child. She also declined.
What is it that these two young women know? Is it something you should be aware of? Here are some important things people should know about the problems posed by wearable wireless computers in the doctor’s office.
Driving drunk, and talking or texting on a cell phone may have in more in common than you think with extended use of a wireless headset. The exposure levels from a wireless headset are about equivalent to (or in some cases higher) than holding a smart phone to the head. Use of a cell phone while driving disrupts cognition and increases the risk of vehicular collision by 4-fold. Now imagine your doctor under the influence of constant workplace RF exposure while they treat patients, prescribe treatments, write prescriptions and juggle intense workday tasks.
Effects on brain function seem to depend in some cases on the mental load of the subject during exposure (the brain is less able to do two jobs well simultaneously when the same part of the brain is involved in both tasks). Some studies show that cell phone exposure speeds up the brain’s activity level; but also that the efficiency and judgment of the brain are diminished at the same time. Faster work but worse mental capacity is not a good thing for a practicing medical doctor.
Multitasking, memory, learning, attention, and concentration are all impaired by the use of wireless devices. Why would anyone want a distracted doctor with impaired thinking skills treating them? Or any healthcare person for that matter? And, doctors should know that wearing the equivalent of a smart phone mounted against their head is a potential risk for brain cancer (glioma and acoustic neuroma).
Next time you need to see your doctor, you may be asked if you object to them wearing wireless headsets. This could easily happen to you. Be prepared with some information.
Is your doctor using wireless medical glasses? A new paper by Cindy Sage and Lennart Hardell warns about the risks to doctors and their patients.
Wireless-enabled headsets that connect to the internet can provide remote transcribing of patient examination notes. Audio and video can be captured and transmitted by wireless signals sent from the computer screen in the frame of the glasses. But using wireless glass-type devices can expose the user to a specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.11–1.46 W/kg of radiofrequency radiation. That RF intensity is as high as or higher than RF emissions of some cell phones. Prolonged use of cell phones used ipsilaterally at the head has been associated with statistically significant increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma. Using wireless glasses for extended periods to teach, to perform surgery, or conduct patient exams will expose the medical professional to similar RF exposures which may impair brain performance, cognition and judgment, concentration and attention and increase the risk for brain tumors. The quality of medical care may be compromised by extended use of wireless-embedded devices in health care settings. Both medical professionals and their patients should know the risks of such devices and have a choice about allowing their use during patient exams. Transmission of sensitive patient data over wireless networks may increase the risk of hacking and security breaches leading to losses of private patient medical and financial data that are strictly protected under HIPPA health information privacy laws. Link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/15368378.2017.1422261
Environmental Working Group: WASHINGTON – Data from the largest-ever animal study of cellphone radiation effects, released today by the federal National Toxicology Program, confirms earlier evidence from human studies that cellphone radiation increases the risk of cancer.
The research found that male rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation had a greater chance of developing malignant brain cancer, tumors in the heart and tumors in other organs. Various tumors were also observed in mice exposed to radio-frequency radiation. The amount of radiation to which the laboratory animals were exposed included the levels emitted by cellphones millions of people use everyday.
“This is the most authoritative study published that connects cancer with cellphone radiation it should raise alarms for policymakers and awareness for all Americans”, said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor at EWG. “These studies should have been done before more than 90 percent of Americans, including children, started using this technology day in and day out.”
The threat that radiation from wireless devices could be a public health risk only mounts with todays report from the NTP. In 2011, the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer declared the kind of radiation emitted by cellphones as a possible carcinogen based on human epidemiological studies that found increased gliomas and acoustic neuromas in long-term cellphone users.
“As new telecom networks are built around the country, in-depth assessment of childrens health risks is essential”, Naidenko added.
EWG has been at the forefront of public interest organizations raising concerns about cellphone use and cancer. The decade-long, $25 million federal study confirms reports by EWG from 2009 and 2013 that highlighted potential health risks from cellphones and wireless devices, especially for children.
EWGs 2009 Science Review on Cancer Risks and Childrens Health summarized comprehensive studies showing a variety of health harms linked to long-term cellphone use. This included increased risk of two types of brain tumors, including glioma; decreased sperm counts, motility and vitality among men; neurological effects; and changes in brain metabolism.
In December 2017, the state of California officially issued guidelines advising cellphone users to keep phones away from their bodies. When the groundbreaking guidelines were made public, California Department of Public Health Director Karen Smith said: “Simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use. Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”
To help concerned consumers take steps to protect themselves and their families, EWG has created tools and tips that can help reduce exposure to cellphone radiation. This includes EWGs Guide to Safer Cellphone Use and Six Questions about Cellphone Radiation and Your Health.
Results of the federal studies released for peer review by the National Toxicology Program today are available here.
By Diane Testa, PhD: Apple season here in New England yielded an abundant harvest this year. But this year, consumers have a new apple option in supermarket bins: GMO apples. Genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs for short, look the same, taste the same, and smell the same as conventionally grown produce. A GMO apple’s main difference is that the cells of the apple have been altered in a laboratory whereby in most cases it contains genetic information from another organism. The developers of this technology claim these alterations lead to better crop yields or larger produce by killing off pests and weeds. However, in order for these effects to take place, large amounts of pesticides and herbicides must be sprayed on the plants and trees for the GMO technology to have its full effect.
One popular GMO herbicide is Roundup, but despite its popularity, many researchers have serious concerns with its potency as a chemical trigger for disease. When someone eats a GMO food, researchers have found that the main chemical in Roundup, called glyphosate, triggers the body to make a dangerous compound named peroxynitrite. At the same time, glyphosate causes the destruction of some essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for many critical life processes. In a landmark study performed by Dr. Pal Patcher and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, peroxynitrite generation was implicated as a crucial mechanism underlying more than 40 chronic diseases, such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, cancer, asthma, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Doctors don’t often consider one unifying factor as causing such diverse disease states as allergies and hypertension, but Dr. Patcher considers peroxynitrite as the “smoking gun” in chronic disease.
With the prevalence of so many chronic diseases on the rise, is there another external factor besides glyphosate in GMO foods that triggers the production of peroxynitrite?
Unless you live in a fire station, a coastal commission or a historical city, SB 649 would put cell towers in every neighborhood and countryside in California. SB 649 would only allow design of how refrigerator sized equipment on and near poles can look.
Over the counter permits would eliminate local review of radiation impacts and essentially deregulate the telecom industry. 300 California cities and 47 counties oppose SB 649.
SB 649 will increase harmful radiation pollution. Independent scientists are calling for immediate action to reduce radiation:
“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.” https://www.emfscientist.org/
Peer reviewed published studies found radiation causes a wide range of health impacts including sleep problems, headaches, tinnitus, DNA damage and cancer. Children are more vulnerable.
“The harmful effects of electromagnetic fields, regardless of their frequencies, are now scientifically settled. Pregnant women (the fetus) and children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable.”- Dominique Belpomme, MD, MPH, Paris V Descartes University, European Cancer & Environment Research institute.
Peer reviewed published studies found radiation harms nature, trees, birds, and bees. Studies of radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death. https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/us_doi_comments.pdf
Read our opposition letter here: SB 649 UPDATE 7:6:2017
SB 649 abandons the public to trust the telecom industry to certify radiation safety.
EMFSN, EON and CABTA in the news on KPFA and here.
Health, environment, consumer, and justice organizations representing millions of Californians have opposed SB 649 including: Environmental Working Group, Sierra Club California, California League of Conservation Voters, AARP American Association of Retired Persons, Association of Environmental Professionals, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, California Communities Against Toxics, Center for Environmental Health, Citizens for Health, SF Public Utilities Commission, The Greenlining Institute, The Utility Reform Network, Teens Turning Green, As You Sow, Baby Safe Project, Bay Area Educators for Safe Tech, California Brain Tumor Association, Chico Chapter of Weston A. Price Foundation, Citizens For A Radiation Free Community, Consumers for Safe Cell Phones, Daily Acts, East Bay Move to Amend, Ecological Options Network, EMF Safety Network, Environmental Health Trust, Environmental Voices, EMR Protection Forum, Grassroots Environmental Education, Green Sangha, Health & Habitat Inc, Healthy 880 Communities, Law Offices of Harry V. Lehmann PC, Marin Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Mom’s Across America, Moms Advocating Sustainability, National Association For Children and Safe Technology, Parents for a Safer Environment, The Peoples Initiative Foundation, Physicians for Safe Technology, Radiation Research Trust, Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness, Sage Associates, Scientists for Wired Technology, Seniors for Environmental Awareness, Stop Smart Meters, Veterans for Radiation Safety, Windheim EMF Solutions, Wireless Radiation Alert Network, Wireless Radiation Education and Defense, and Your Own Health and Fitness.
The majority of these groups listed above oppose SB 649 based on the science of wireless harm.
The Communication and Conveyance committee passed the bill on July 12. The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed the bill on September 1.
The State Assembly and Senate barely passed SB 649 and the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature or veto. Find how your representatives voted here: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/sb-649-barely-passes-the-assembly-moves-to-the-senate/
Update on Oct.15, 2017 Governor Brown Vetoed SB 649!