Who is spreading misinformation? – Guest Blog from Victor Leach of ORSAA

Below is the next in a series of Guest Blogs on BRHP. The opinions expressed in this Guest Blog are of Victor Leach himself. Publication of these opinions in BRHP does not imply that BRHP automatically agrees with or endorses these opinions. Publication of this, and other guest blogs, facilitates an open debate and free exchange of opinions on wireless technology and health.

Victor Leach is is a member of ORSAA – Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association Inc.


Who is spreading misinformation?

Victor Leach, ORSAA

We have heard a lot about misinformation or fake-news in recent times with the US presidential elections and the Covid-19 pandemic and 5G wireless rollout. It is not just concerned advocacy or activist groups that are spreading misinformation. It is also government agencies with a vested interested in wireless technology that are spreading untruths in varying degrees, or misrepresenting facts in their consumer advice to citizens. They are thereby failing their duty of care to citizens. I know we have heard this all before with tobacco smoking. However, there is one prime difference for consumers in the case of 5G radiofrequency radiation: they have no choice in the matter because exposure to 5G is happening to them whether they want it or not.

It is not surprising that citizens in this information age are seeking out truly independent advice so as to protect themselves and their families. In Australia, the government agency empowered with health advice on wireless technology is the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).  As you will see below, ARPANSA is also misleading the public.

New Radio (NR) or 5G NR might not be the most original name, but it’s what the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is about.

To the general population terms like “New Radio” give the impression this is just an extension of AM/FM radio.  However, 5G NR with its complex modulations is not like radio. The term ‘radio’ sets up a false comparison, and is a slight of hand that misleads the public about what is really going on around them.


ARPANSA’s latest Information for the Australian Public on the 5G Mobile Network is titled: “Misinformation about Australia’s 5G network”


“It is important to note that higher frequencies does not mean higher or more intense exposure.”

This sentence is factually (and grammatically) incorrect. The millimetre waves have much higher frequencies than microwaves currently used for wireless communication, which will mean higher photon energy. This technology is not being used in isolation from existing technologies; rather it is added to them. In fact, the planned full deployment of the 5G network will include an extensive array of antennae (transmitters) that will be installed much more closely to homes than current 3G and 4G antennae. There will also see a large increase in base station numbers. Together, these two factors will make background environmental radiofrequency power density levels increase.  However, ARPANSA’s “safety” limit is set very high and is based on short-term heating only (in fact, the ARPANSA guideline is one of the least stringent guidelines used in the world today). This means that in spite of the increase in exposure density, the introduction of 5G is unlikely to exceed the ICNIRP or ARPANSA guideline.

As well as increases in the intensity (levels of exposure), man-made RF-EMF is highly polarized, in phase at specific frequencies, and can constructively and destructively interfere. This means that these waves can add-up and subtract, so you will get hotspots. These carrier waves also contain complex low frequency modulations.  This radiation is nothing like natural radiation in the frequency bands utilized.

Just because man-made radiation is non-ionizing does not automatically render it harmless. The well-known carcinogenic effects of ionising radiation are due to the action of single photons dislodging electrons from molecules. This does not happen with RF-EMF non‑ionising radiation; rather, the damage occurs in other ways. Artificial electromagnetic radiation (EMR) does not exist as single photons in space but as a series of waves containing a billion trillion photons in each cubic metre, acting synchronously and creating an overall force field that can move charges on molecules, including electrons. Therefore, the argument that there is insufficient energy from individual photons to break molecular bonds is an inaccurate description of how non‑ionizing electromagnetic waves interact with biological matter. This is analogous to saying that a tsunami wave cannot do material damage because an individual water molecule does not have sufficient energy. The ‘low level non‑ionizing radiation cannot do damage’ argument is simply industry spin on the science.  Research shows that RF-EMF non-ionising radiation can cause metabolic and molecular changes.

In Australia, the telecommunication companies need to generate an environmental report for each base station and small cell. These reports are called “Environmental Electromagnetic Energy (EME)” reports. They estimate the maximum power density that will result during operation. These EME reports show a clear increase in the EMR emitted with the advent of 5G. EME reports .For example, the EME reports for the suburb HERSTON and Royal Brisbane Hospital base station, predict a 4 fold increase in maximum power density. The figure below shows the current and predicted exposures after the next upgrade.


“Higher frequency radio waves are already used in security screening units at airports, police radar guns to check speed, remote sensors and in medicine and these uses have been thoroughly tested and found to have no negative impacts on human health.”

This is a poor comparison to back up ARPANSA claims of safety. Screening at airports is an intermittent exposure.  What is being proposed is not intermittent exposure but widespread exposure 24/7. This is very different.

This claim that there will be no negative effects on human health cannot be substantiated, and requests to ARPANSA to provide such information has not been forthcoming. To back up their claim, ARPANSA needs to produce the studies of health outcomes for workers who have been exposed to millimetre waves from airport scans, radar guns etc. for many years compared with health outcomes for unexposed workers.

ARPANSA also says:

“We work independently from other parts of government and are not funded by industry.”

ARPANSA should explain to the Australian public how it can make this claim of independence from other parts of government and industry. This claim conflicts with reports that ARPANSA receives funding from the wireless industry via ACMA as part of an annual $1M levy that the ACMA receives to investigate the health impact of RF radiation (see below). ARPANSA should also clarify what proportion of these funds originating from the Australian wireless industry have gone to the International EMF Project at the WHO.

See section 3.102 “World Health Organization Electromagnetic Field Project”

The parliamentary Hansard extract below refers to funds that originate from the wireless industry and passed via ACMA:

“3.10   Funding for the whole program has been made available at the rate of $1 million per year starting on 1 January 1997.  Of the $1 million, $700,000 goes to the NHMRC for the research program and the remaining $300,000 covers the involvement in the WHO International EMF Project ($US50,000 per year) and also the public information program ($131,000 spent by June 2000)“.

In effect, the ARPANSA information provided to the Australian public on the safety of wireless radiation is at least partially funded by the wireless industry. Furthermore, ARPANSA, ACMA and the wireless industry are reported to be working in partnership. It is projected that 5G licence sales will amount to approximately $852.8 million.

The downfall in ARPANSA

Several years ago (1972-1982), I worked for ARPANSA (in its former version called the Australian Radiation Laboratory). We worked hard and innovatively to fulfil our mission to protect workers and the general public from the harmful effects of ionising radiation, for example in hospitals and mining.  We insisted that the Precautionary Principle be followed, to reduce levels down to absolute minimum possible exposures. We kept the workers safe by working with industry.  To do this we had to stand up against pressure from big mining in Australia. We were not always popular with the companies, but I could always sleep at night.

My conclusion

I believe what is happening in Australia with governments misrepresenting the science is also happening elsewhere in the world.

As scientists, we are seeking the truth no matter how inconvenient this might be.

In my opinion, non-ionising radiation protection has been compromised globally. The precautionary principle needs to be enforced. There are safer alternatives to having communications taken over by wireless. Consumers need to be given the facts so they can protect themselves and their families. Sadly, this is not occurring. Instead, the telecommunications industry is holding the purse strings, and their ‘IT-will-solve-everything’ agenda is shaping and determining the future direction of the world. Meanwhile government health agencies, radiation protection bureaus, and media outlets have been coerced into believing the hype and misrepresenting the science. Their ignorance on this topic and their willingness to be led by commercial interests means they are abrogating their duty to protect the citizens of all nations and particularly sensitive groups such as children and the unwell.  It is my hope that some will wake up and begin to do their duty, before too many more people are harmed.

8 thoughts on “Who is spreading misinformation? – Guest Blog from Victor Leach of ORSAA

  1. Comment submitted by Victor Leach

    In my blog comment I refer to the paper by Neufeld E, Kuster N. titled: Systematic Derivation of Safety Limits for Time-Varying 5G Radiofrequency Exposure Based on Analytical Models and Thermal Dose. This paper was followed by a number of commentaries and discussions letters. Further details are included below:

    Spatenpauli, thank you for your comment but I am a little confused as you have obviously not read all the follow up discussion below. In the opening discussion below, it is clear that the current ICNIRP guidelines are considered in their assessment.

    Discussion on Spatial and Time Averaging Restrictions Within the Electromagnetic Exposure Safety Framework in the Frequency Range Above 6 GHz for Pulsed and Localized Exposures. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31885092/

    Comment by Enders A on “Discussion on Spatial and Time Averaging Restrictions Within the Electromagnetic Exposure Safety Framework in the Frequency Range Above 6 GHz for Pulsed and Localized Exposures” Bioelectromagnetics, 41:164‐168 by Neufeld, Samaras, and Kuster. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bem.22280

    Response to Enders’ Comment on “Discussion on Spatial and Time Averaging Restrictions Within the Electromagnetic Exposure Safety Framework in the Frequency Range Above 6 GHz for Pulsed and Localized Exposures” Neufeld E, Samaras T, Kuster N. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bem.22279?af=R

    From this comment

    “…… We agree with Prof. Enders that today’s deployed mm‐W devices will not operate in the power range that may lead to potentially hazardous thermal exposures. However, we disagree with Prof. Enders’ argument that safety guidelines should be based solely on today’s technological applications. We strongly believe that guidelines should be defined as inherently safe, without being unnecessarily restrictive. Alternatively, any gaps and shortcomings of the guidelines should be explicitly stated rather than simply assuming that no future technology will ever exploit these gaps.”

    I completely agree with the above statement.

    Response to Professor Foster’s Comments

    I disagree with Spatenpauli that this discussion “should be off the table”. This is about the appropriateness of the current heating standard being the move by 5G to RF polarized beams that imping on an area of the skin. These mathematical models are an approximation as they treat skin as a homogenous substrate which it is certainly not.

    Besides the doubts raised by international experts on the appropriateness of the current heating model, who is to say these will characterize the actual 5G wave form. At high data rates in excess of 10 gigabit per second these assumptions of wave front propagation changes and the Brillouin precursor ( https://www.emfacts.com/2018/01/5g-introducing-brillouin-precursors-microwave-radiation-runs-deep-microwave-news/) needs to be considered as well. Currently, there is no evidence of such consideration by ICNIRP for such potential wave (Brillouin Cursor) action. There is also no consideration for non-thermal effects that may occur or an understanding of what their possible implications are to health. One needs to perform the actual research first before one can claim health and safety is protected.

    There are so many unanswered questions that it cannot be said that the ICNIRP guideline protects everyone and that adequate precaution has been built in as they claim. With all these uncertainties radiation protection best practices call for the application of the precautionary principal. We should be setting a limit that is not dependent and limited to protection from heating only.

  2. Jamie
    IT Network Engineer

    I`m not finding anything simplistic or intentional misleading in Victors statement. Given these higher frequencies are aimed at being bit/byte workhorse`s, they are destined to add to the EMF levels – adoption will indicate by how much.

    What is demonstrated is real life exposure layering from towers/RAN`s moving towards the 5G end goal of Low-Mid-High bands. This is evident in Australia now and also abroad in various countries. Today we can see Telecommunication companies like Telstra utilising the Mid Band NR3500 (3.5Ghz) and also the Low band NR850 (850Mhz) for 5G services. This will soon be accompanied by 26-28Ghz High band (mm wave) all resulting in a very different RF heat map landscape that we are accustomed to currently. During transition periods we also see countries utilising DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) to shove 4G LTE and 5G NR traffic over the same carrier wave spectrum allocation – saving money of course but also increasing 5G coverage maps.

    This all equates to an EMF exposure increase at varying distances from the Radio Heads. This can be evident, as an example, from mid band NR3500 within the first 150m of a macro tower. Its not uncommon to see EMF Electric Field (max) exposure jump 4-7% eg(4.036V/m to 16.24V/m) & Power Density (max) 43.21mW/m2 to 699.79mW/m2 just from the NR3500 addition.

    While Telecommunication companies concentrate on building out Mobile Networks to satisfy and direct UE (user equipment) usage trends, we will see an increase in bit/byte over the air transmission. Given the latter, EMF environmental levels will only increase.

  3. Victor Leach writes in his comment to “na on”:

    […] In fact, there is a number of scientists
    (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30247338) who are doing modeling that believe the ICNIRP limit will be exceeded.

    The authors of the linked paper (Kuster et al.) write in the abstract: […] The results also show that the peak-to-average ratio of 1,000 tolerated by the International Council [sik!] On Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines may lead to permanent tissue damage after even short exposures, highlighting the importance of revisiting existing exposure guidelines.

    But there is a catch. This is because the authors are referring to the old ICNIRP guidelines from 1998, although the draft of the new guidelines was available at the time of publication. The new guidelines no longer speak of the peak-to-average ratio of 1,000.

    This should mean that the talk of exceeding limit values ​​in 5G exposure should be off the table for now.

    [I studied communications engineering felt 100 years ago and earn my living as a technical writer]

  4. Pingback: Statsvasket: Teleindustrien betalte WHO igennem australsk regeringsagentur – Tabt Tråd

  5. “NA ON” How can I take you seriously when you don’t identify yourself and you make a claim without any supporting evidence? 5G is not about one frequency it’s about a suite of frequencies. You may want to consider doing some further research particularly on wave theory. The initial radio frequencies that are currently being used for 5G in Australia are 3.5-3.6GHz. The next step is mmWave band at 26-28GHz. So, it will never be about one frequency. It will be another layer on top of existing 3G and 4G services that will also incorporate beam steering and this has not yet been shown to result in lower exposure. In fact, there is a number of scientists
    (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30247338) who are doing modelling that believe the ICNIRP limit will be exceeded.

  6. It would be helpful if, presenting such comments, person would introduce own expertise & education, in order to be able for readers to judge validity of comment.

  7. ““It is important to note that higher frequencies does not mean higher or more intense exposure.” This statement is correct. Leach’s statement of just adding up millimeter waves to existing exposures is overly simplistic and probably intentionally misleading…

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