Press Release by Bermuda For Safe Technology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2021

The position of Bermuda Advocates for Safe Technology (BAST) on the recent decision of the Regulatory Authority (RA) to lift the moratorium on 5G is that it should have been left in place until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by experts independent from the wireless industry. We want to assure those concerned with this issue that we are seeking advice on further actions to take at this time.

 

Our safety concerns are shared by highly qualified experts and many members of the public who submitted objections during the public consultation on 5G, as well as over 4000 people that signed the petition against 5G in Bermuda.

Consumer protection is part of the RA’s responsibilities, and we feel inadequate due diligence has put profit over our people’s health with this approval. It would appear from the rushed nature of the public consultation held during a global pandemic that it was just checking a box, and the decision was made prior to all feedback presented. The decision was perhaps also influenced by the fact that funding for the 5G interest company is provided by the Government-backed Infrastructure Fund, which has invested millions in the company, and the Government’s general partner of the Infrastructure Fund, Fortress Investment Group, who has controlling ownership in the company. We find it egregious that our taxpayer funds are in any way supporting this venture.

 

SUMMARY OF CONCERNS OF THE ADVISORY PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS and LIFTING OF THE MORATORIUM:  

  1. The RA’s Advisory Panel were not qualified and did not have representation from the necessary areas of expertise in Health, Environmental Health or Planning in order to provide recommendations that would address these very critical policy components. The Panel was comprised entirely of industry representatives following the resignation of Dr. Carika Weldon last year to focus on the COVID response. Moreover, Dr. Rodney Croft had blatant conflicts of interest being the ICNIRP Chair and receiving funding directly from Telecom.

 

  1. The Panel relied solely on the controversial safety guidelines of ICNIRP, a self-appointed independent commission that has lobbied its corporate interests in the WHO and Governments. Many other countries have standards more protective than ICNIRP. Why has the RA determined these standards are good enough for Bermuda? ICNIRP guidelines only consider heating and ignore all the proven biological effects of non-ionizing radiation that occur below levels required to heat.
  1. The Panel’s recommendations allow an unfettered rollout of 5G with no minimum setbacks from homes or schools. In fact, the final report which provided local RF measurements taken in March by the RA shows that some of the highest reporting levels aside from Scaur Hill and Alton Hill were at the Purvis Primary School, with peak levels almost three times the maximum permissible exposure levels in many European countries. Setbacks should be created, particularly around more sensitive zones like schools, and this should be enforceable during the permitting process. The Final Report of the New Hampshire Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of 5G recommended the setback for all new cell towers should be 500 meters (1640ft), and whilst this may not be practical for all of Bermuda, we could at least have a minimum distance considering research shows the greatest health impact to those living within 350ft.
  1. There is currently no transparency to the public of proposed antennae installations, and no opportunity to object. It is neither the standard nor acceptable that antennae which pose “no material visual impact” do not require Planning permission in Bermuda. It’s also unclear what is considered visual impact at this time. A Planning application should be required for any small cell installataions as well as larger towers or masts, and these should be labeled as RF sources so that workers and the public are aware.
  1. There is currently no limitation on frequencies that can be used. These higher millimeter wave frequencies have not been used for public telecommunication systems before, and have not been tested for safety before rollout. In 2020, the Health Council of the Netherlands released a report on health and 5G which recommended against using 26GHz frequency bands for 5G, and doing more research into the relationship between exposure and the incidence of cancer, reduced male fertility, poor pregnancy outcomes and birth defects. Although they state adverse health effects for lower frequencies are not proven, they do recommend monitoring of exposure before and after.
  1. There was no recommendation to establish a long overdue up-to-date registry of towers, masts and antennae in Bermuda, and a real-time RF emissions monitoring program. The Department of Planning’s Development Applications Board highlighted the need for this in 2014, yet nothing has been actioned to date. This registry should be available online to the public, as is standard around the world, and link to the coordinating RF emissions.
  1. There were no environmental protective limits recommended despite 5G and wireless communications technology having a considerable impact on climate change and pollution. A 5G base station is generally expected to consume roughly three times as much power as a 4G base station, and wireless technologies will continue to consume at least 10 times more power than wired technologies, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to exceed 14% of the 2016 levels worldwide by 2040. E-waste will also substantially increase with 5G, resulting in significant environmental harm.

By approving 5G, it would appear the RA is in favour of moving towards a more wireless infrastructure for Bermuda, which is not a progressive outlook considering the reevaluation of RF for carcinogenicity as soon as 2022 by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Some experts even believe this technology will be obsolete in two decades with LiFi being the answer to our looming energy crisis. Once again, we call for support in developing safer, more reliable and greener technologies such as fiber optic connections to homes and businesses.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] if you are interested in getting involved, and visit our Facebook page for more information on how you can keep yourself and your family safe from wireless radiation exposure.

https://ehtrust.org/bermuda-group-vows-to-fight-5g-technology-after-industry-tied-panel-greenlights-5g/ Source: Environmental Health Trust