For the last 17+ years I have been talking to journalists, a lot. At some times I was frustrated that my opinions were not conveyed in their exactness. Hence, I started to write this BRHP blog, to make sure that all what I want to say is said.
Nevertheless, journalists play a very important role in conveying messages from scientists to a very large audiences. So it was in two of my recent news-media interviews. One for the PerthNow in Australia, the other for the Euronews in Lyon, France.
The news stories were about the concerns over health risks that might be associated with the deployment of the 5G technology. The stories were not very long but contained few very meaningful opinions, even when expressed by the two scientists who not always agree on science: Dariusz Leszczynski and Alexander Lerchl.
The important, take away messages, were:
In the PerthNow story, written by Miriam Fisher, disseminated later in Australia country-wide by the news.com.au, Leszczynski said [emphasis added DL]:
“…Professor Leszczynski said he acknowledged levels were below the standards, but denied exposure was safe and called for a revision of the safety limits and reduction in mobile phone radiation emissions.
“Epidemiological studies have shown use of such cell phones that were compliant with the current safety standards and emitted radiation levels that were below current safety limits for over 10 years led to an increased risk of developing brain cancer,” he said.
“The current safety standards are insufficient to protect the health of users.”…”
In the Euronews story, written by Emma Beswick, Leszczynski said [emphasis added DL]:
“…The issue with the question of what risk 5G poses to human health is that “nobody knows”, Dariusz Leszczynski, an expert in molecular biology and Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland, told Euronews.
“The assurances of safety concerning 5G-emitted radiation are based solely on the assumption that low amounts of radiation are safe, not on biomedical research,” he added.
Specifically, the question mark lies over the effects of millimetre waves, also known as extremely high frequency, that 5G will tap into: “We don’t know what they will mean in practice for our immune systems.”…”
…and Lerchl agreed that [emphasis added DL]:
“…Leszczynski said the best way for people to protect themselves from the unknown risks surrounding the 5G rollout was the same advice as for 3G and 4G — to limit exposure.
“Use your phone as much as you like, but don’t use it when it’s not necessary,” he added.
Concretely, cutting long talks short and if you need to chat for a while, using speakerphone are two steps the professor recommended.
In addition to turning the data on your phone off when carrying it in your pocket or close to your body.
Lerchl agreed with this: “Prevention makes sense until the last doubts have been dispelled,” he said. “It is probably better to be cautious.”
In short, messages are:
- 5G safety is based on assumption and not on science
- phones sold as guaranteed safe might be not safe for long-term use
- for now, no matter what, it is better to be cautious when using hand-held devices
Concluding, we need to remember that the 5G is not something entirely new. It is technology that will incorporate a mix of 3G and 4G technologies with the new technology using millimeter-waves. Therefore, IARC 2011 classification of the wireless radiation as a possible human carcinogen also applies to 5G. What we are missing is research on health and environmental effects of 5G millimeter-waves, because biomedical studies have not been done yet and only some 200 studies were published (as per EMF Portal database). These studies give a very haphazard picture of the effects of millimeter-waves, as I presented it in a lecture at ARPANSA in May 2018.
That is why the safety of the 5G is based solely on assumption that the 5G-emitted radiation’s low power will have no health effects. Deja vu, the same was thought in 80’s for cell phones and… in 2011 this radiation was classified as possible carcinogen.
It is a high time to do biomedical research and base our 5G -afety on science and not on assumptions.