Click here to download: Letter to President Biden from scientists on the need for federal action US limits for wireless radiation 

Dear President Biden, 

We write to you as scientists and public health experts deeply committed to protecting public health and the environment and as authors of more than two thousand publications to urge you to take immediate actions to reduce and restrict the rapid and continuing increase in our schools, workplaces, and communities of wireless microwave radiofrequency radiation (RFR).  Instead of racing headfirst towards 5G, the U.S. should invest in a safe technology infrastructure, develop protective wireless radiation safety limits, and enact meaningful policy changes to limit our children’s radiation exposures. 

When it comes to wireless radiation, U.S. policies have not kept up with the science. On August 13, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2019 to retain its 1996 wireless radiation safety limits for human exposure to wireless radiation was “arbitrary and capricious.”  Specifically, the court pointed out that the agency had ignored research showing damage to memory and reproduction and indications that children are more vulnerable to wireless radiation. In an extraordinary rebuke, the court ordered the FCC to “address the impacts of RF radiation on children, the health implications of long-term exposure to RF radiation, the ubiquity of wireless devices, and other technological developments that have occurred since the Commission last updated its guidelines.” 

The bottom line from this landmark ruling is that the decision to re-affirm FCC’s 1996 wireless exposure limits does not rest on sound science. Federal agencies have not reviewed the mounting scientific evidence. The court noted that the “silence” of federal health and safety agencies in the FCC record such as the National Cancer Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health does not mean these agencies agree with the FCC’s 1996 limits. The court ruling highlights the fact that relevant US agencies have not reviewed research on:  impacts to flora and fauna; long-term exposures from cell towers; children’s unique vulnerability; and health effects such as damage to the brain and reproduction. 

A strong federal action plan is required to ensure accountability. 

Accordingly, to assist the government in devising such policies, we ask 

  1. That the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) be tasked with creating an independent interdisciplinary expert committee to include members from the private and public sectors that will provide a detailed report, within a year of its appointment, that will:  identify and review relevant recommendations from other advanced nations regarding exposures in schools, homes and workplaces;  identify local, state and federal policies that will reduce public and environmental exposures; evaluate current FCC procedures and approaches to compliance testing in light of the most recent science and in light of the new ways people use devices; evaluate the current body of research and  identify major scientific data gaps and research priorities; and develop an inter-agency National Action Plan for monitoring, surveillance, and priority-setting to ensure safety for current and future wireless technologies; 
  2. A full environmental impact review is needed to evaluate 5G and the rapid proliferation of wireless antennas in the country for enhanced networks. New research establishes that numerous environmental impacts of RFR merit concerted regulatory action, yet the US does not have regulations that protect wildlife and the natural environment. In addition, experts are documenting the exponentially increasing energy demands of 5G networks,  “smart” wireless devices, and new communication technologies which will contribute to climate change and impact public health and our planet. 

The scientific evidence has substantially increased. A recent analysis published by the Environmental Working Group concluded that FCC limits should be 200 to 400 times lower than the whole-body exposure limit set by the FCC in 1996, if they employed current risk assessment guidelines. Unfortunately, school districts nationwide are deploying high-capacity Wi-Fi networks in school buildings, testing out 5G networks with students, and signing leases with companies to install cell towers on school property, relying on these outdated FCC limits. As the American Academy of Pediatrics and numerous other specialists have noted, children are uniquely vulnerable to wireless radiation. 

We agree that “broadband internet is the new electricity” that enables Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning and health care, and to create a fairer playing field by

eliminating the digital divide. The United States must bridge the digital divide with a “future-proof” broadband infrastructure that is affordable, reliable, high-speed, and sustainable. 

We urge that, wherever possible, the broadband system rely on safer, more secure and efficient, wired connections, especially for schools and other institutions where wired connections will save money and eliminate exposures to wireless radiation, found by the National Toxicology Program to result in clear evidence of cancer, DNA damage to multiple organs, and lower birth weight.

In economic terms, the American Jobs Plan notes that the United States “has some of the highest broadband prices among OECD countries.” Current proposals for wireless 5G are far more costly and wasteful than wired communications. Wired cables create a safer, more secure, faster, and longer-lasting connection. In sum, they are more cost-effective.

Our experts stand ready to provide more detailed information to you on this important issue, including elaborating on materials in the attached appendix and assistance with evaluating the science and impacts on humans, climate, animals, and wilderness.

APPENDIX (Available in downloaded letter )

  • APPENDIX 1: Biological and Ecological Impacts of Wireless and Non-ionizing radiation  
  • APPENDIX 2: Policy Recommendations 
  • APPENDIX 3: Reports and White Papers: 5G, Energy Consumption, and Climate
  • APPENDIX 4: Scientific Citations on Wireless, Non-ionizing Radiation, Health and Environment
  • APPENDIX 5:  Letters from the EPA and other federal agencies confirming lack of adequate human health and environmental review 
  • APPENDIX 6: A Short US Timeline on Wireless Radiation Regulations
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Yours sincerely,

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH

Fellow, American College of Epidemiology

Visiting Professor. Hebrew University Hadassah Medical Center, Israel, and Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School, Turkey

Associate Editor, Frontiers in Radiation and Health

President and Co-Founder, Environmental Health Trust 

Linda S, Birnbaum, Ph.D.

Scientist Emeritus and Former Director 

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program

Scholar in Residence, Duke University

Former President, Society of Toxicology

Adjunct Professor, Yale University and UNC, Chapel Hill

Visiting Professor, Queensland University (Australia)

Jerome Paulson, MD 

Professor Emeritus, George Washington University

Milliken School of Public Health

Former Chair of American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health

Anthony Miller MD 

Professor Emeritus of University of Toronto 

Senior Advisor to Environmental Health Trust

Former Assistant Executive Director (Epidemiology), National Cancer Institute of Canada

Former Director, Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute of Canada, Toronto

Former Director, M.Sc./Ph.D. Programme in Epidemiology, Graduate Dept. of Community Health, University of Toronto

Former Chairman, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto 

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD

Fellow Collegium Ramazzini

Professor, Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden (retired)  

The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation, Studievägen 35, SE-702 17, Örebro, Sweden (present address)

David O. Carpenter, MD

Director, Institute for Health and the Environment

A Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization

University at Albany, New York

Livio Giuliani PhD

Director of Research, Italian National Health Service, Rome-Florenze-Bozen, Italy

International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety

Morando Soffritti MD

Honorary President and Past Scientific Director

Ramazzini Institute, Italy

Colin L. Soskolne, Ph.D.

Professor emeritus, University of Alberta, Canada

Emeritus Fellow, American College of Epidemiology

Emeritus Fellow, Collegium Ramazzini

Recipient of the 2021 RESEARCH INTEGRITY AWARD of the
International Society for Environmental Epidemiology


Ronald M. Powell, PhD

Physicist and scientist retired from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA

Paul Ben-Ishai, PhD

Department of Physics, Ariel University, Israel 

Advisor to Environmental Health Trust

Alvaro Augusto de Salles, PhD 

Professor and Chair, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, P. Alegre, Brazil

Claudio Fernández Rodríguez

Associate Professor, Federal Institute of Technology of Rio Grande do Sul, IFRS, Brazil

Theodora Scarato

Executive Director, Environmental Health Trust 

Stella Canna Michaelidou Ph.D.

Expert on the Impact of Toxic Factors on Children’s Health 

President of the National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health, Cyprus

Click here to download and see Appendix: Letter to President Biden from scientists on the need for federal action US limits for wireless radiation 

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