Priyanka Bandara, Tracy Chandler, Robin Kelly, Julie McCredden, Murray May, Steve Weller, Don Maisch, Susan Pockett, Victor Leach, Richard Cullen, Damian Wojcik. 5G Wireless Deployment and Health Risks: Time for a Medical Discussion in Australia and New Zealand. ACNEM Journal. 39 (1). July 2020.


“There is an urgent need for clinicians and medical scientists in the Australia-New Zealand region to engage in an objective discussion around the potential health impacts of the fifth generation (5G) wireless technology currently being deployed.  The statements of assurance by the industry and government parties that dominate the media in our region are at odds  with the warnings of hundreds of scientists actively engaged in research on biological/health effects of anthropogenic electromagnetic radiation/fields (EMR/EMF). (1)  There have been worldwide public protests as well as appeals by professionals and the general public (2) that have compelled many cities in Europe to declare moratoria on 5G deployment and to begin investigations.  In contrast, there is no medically-oriented professional discussion on this public health topic in Australia and New Zealand, where 5G deployment is being expedited.  5G is untested for safety on humans and other species and the limited existing evidence raises major concerns that need to be addressed.  The vast body of research literature on biological/health effects of  ‘wireless radiation’ (radiofrequency EMR) (3,4) indicates a range of health-related issues associated with different types of wireless technologies (1G-4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, Radar, radio/TV transmission, scanning and surveillance systems).  These are used in a wide range of personal devices in common use (mobile/cordless phones, computers, baby monitors, games consoles etc) without users being aware of the health risks.  Furthermore, serious safety concerns arise from the extra complexity of 5G as follows:

• 5G carrier waves use a much broader part of the microwave spectrum including waves with wavelengths in the millimetre range (hence called ‘millimetre waves’) which will be used in the second phase of 5G).  Until now, millimetre waves have had limited applications such as radar, point-to-point communications links and non-lethal military weapons. (5)
• Extremely complex modulation patterns involving numerous frequencies form novel exposures.
• Beam formation characteristics can produce hotspots of high unknown intensities.
• A vast number of antenna arrays will add millions of microwave transmitters globally in addition to the existing RF transmitters thereby greatly increasing human exposure. This includes 5G small cell antennas to be erected every 200-250 metres on street fixtures, such as power poles and bus shelters, many of which will be only metres from homes with the homeowners having absolutely no say in where the antennas will be located.

This massive leap in human exposure to RF-EMR from 5G is occurring in a setting where the existing scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates biological interference, (3,4) therefore suggesting the need to urgently reduce exposure….”

“As for the new 5G technology, it is concerning that leading experts in the technical field (6) have reported the possibility of damaging thermal spikes under the current exposure guidelines (from beam forming 5G millimetre waves that transfer data with short bursts of high energy) and some animals and children may be at an increased risk due to smaller body size.  Even working within the entirely thermally-based current regulatory process, they pointed out 5G millimetre waves “may lead to permanent tissue damage after even short exposures, highlighting the importance of revisiting existing exposure guidelines”. (6)  Microwave experts from the US Air Force have reported on  ‘Brillouin Precursors’ created by sharp transients at the leading and trailing edges of pulses of mm waves, when beam forming fast millimetre waves create moving charges in the body which penetrate deeper than explained in the conventional models, and have the potential to cause tissue damage. (7)  In fact, concerns about moving charges affecting deep tissue are associated with other forms of pulsed RF radiation currently used for wireless communications.  This may be one factor explaining why the pulsed radiation used in wireless communication technologies is more biologically active than continuous RF radiation. (8)  Such effects of high energy 5G mm waves could have potentially devastating consequences for species with small body size and also creatures that have innate sensitivity to EMF, which include birds and bees that use nature’s EMFs for navigation. (9)  Unfortunately, non-thermal effects and chronic exposure effects are not addressed in the current guidelines. (10)”

“Our investigation into the scientific literature has found RF-EMR to be a potent inducer of oxidative stress even at so-called “low-intensity” exposures (which are in fact billions of times higher than in nature (26)) such as those from commonly used wireless devices.  An analysis (22) of 242 publications (experimental studies) which had investigated endpoints related to oxidative stress – biomarkers of oxidative damage such as 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (indicating oxidative DNA damage) and/or altered antioxidant levels – revealed that 216 studies (89%) had reported such findings (Fig. 1).  This evidence base on RF-associated oxidative stress from 26 countries (only one study from Australia and none from New Zealand) is relatively new and mostly post 2010, i.e. after the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF-EMR
as a Group 2B possible carcinogen.  Moreover, 180 studies out of the 242 (74.7%) were in vivo studies (including several human studies) which presents strong evidence.

“Proponents of 5G often dismiss concerns about health risks claiming that 5G microwaves will minimally penetrate the skin and therefore any effects are limited to minor skin heating (and they acknowledge that there is some uncertainty around heating effects on the eyes).  The medical community understands that skin is the largest organ of the human body and a key part of the neuro-immune and neuro-endocrine systems.  Natural UVA and UVB (also so-called non-ionizing radiation) that penetrate the skin less than 5G millimetre waves have profound effects on health and wellbeing of humans. Therefore, artificial 5G waves must be subjected to rigorous safety testing.”

“Unfortunately, the questionable conduct of regulatory agencies such as ARPANSA and WHO’s international EMF Project (43) with conflicts of interest due to funding links to the wireless industry (44) remains to be investigated.  More open questioning and protests are appearing in Europe and North America where there is some level of engagement on the part of government bodies in response to warnings of adverse health effects of anthropogenic EMF/EMR by expert medical bodies such as EUROPAEM and AAEM (31,32) (despite industry opposition).”

The ACNEM Journal is a peer-reviewed publication of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.

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