The Montgomery County Council is poised to vote on new zoning (ZTA 19-07) that would allow telecom companies to install their highly profitable wireless 5G network equipment in the front yards of homes in residential neighborhoods. 

“Two significant findings made by U.S. and international health organizations also demonstrate that RF radiation may pose a cancer risk. In several studies conducted over a 10-year period at a cost of $25 million, the National Toxicology Program (“NTP”), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found increased rates of cancer in male rats exposed to RF from cell phones. ” 


Current Research On RF Health Effects – Raising Concerns About Non-Thermal Health Risks

“When promulgating the 1996 standards, the FCC realized that they would not be the final word on safe exposure levels. The FCC noted “that research and analysis relating to RF safety and health is ongoing, and we expect changes in recommended exposure limits will occur in the future as knowledge increases in this field.”21 Later, when opening a 2013 docket to reconsider the RF standards, the FCC likewise recognized “additional progress in research subsequent to adoption of our existing exposure limits.”22 The FCC further stated: [A] great deal of scientific research has been completed in recent years and new research is currently underway, warranting a comprehensive examination of this and any other relevant information. Moreover, ubiquity of device adoption as well as advancements in technology and developments in the international standards arena since establishing our present policies in 1996 warrant an inquiry to gather information to determine whether our general regulations and policies limiting human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation are still appropriately drawn.”

“In fact, comments submitted in the Order’s administrative record point to numerous studies conducted since 1996, with many completed in the last decade, identifying various non-thermal impacts of RF radiation. For example, the BioInitiative 2012 report (including updates through 2017) was prepared by 29 medical, scientific, and academic experts from 10 countries and reviewed over 1,800 studies focusing on adverse health impacts, including those from cell towers.”

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“These and other studies examine a number of RF-related risks, such as carcinogenicity, DNA damage and genotoxicity, reproductive impacts (e.g., low sperm counts), and neurologic effects (e.g., behavioral issues in children). MC235-MC239; MC327-MC328; MC231-MC233; MC244-MC252; MC265-MC274; MC217-MC225. They also identify adverse physiological mechanisms that could be triggered by RF exposures and cause non-thermal effects, such as stimulating cell proliferation, altering cell membrane function, and modulating synthesis of proteins involved in inflammatory and immunologic processes.”

“Recent studies in the administrative record also raise particular concerns regarding 5G small cells. They examine MMWs and biological effects at non-thermal levels, including eye and skin damage, cell and membrane impacts, and altered gene expression. MC218-MC219; MC235; MC226-MC227. Further, they highlight the cumulative effects of increased daily exposures from numerous wireless sources that will be made possible by the provision of 5G services. MC232 (“Cumulative effects of RF exposures from multiple wireless devices and environmental exposures [i.e., cell towers] are not addressed at all; nor measured or tested under current or proposed FCC rules.”); MC226. Studies also discuss the susceptibility of infants and children who, in some cases, will be living only yards away from 5G arrays. MC318 (“Children absorb more [microwaves] than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller.”); MC215 (“Research also shows children absorb more microwave radiation per body weight than an adult, however, standards were developed for adult bodies.”).”

“In response to this collective body of research, the scientific and academic communities recently issued statements warning of RF health risks. In 2015, over 200 scientists from 42 countries, including the United States, sent a letter to the United Nations and World Health Organization (“WHO”) stating that “[b]ased upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices,” including cell towers. Listed RF effects include “cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, [and] neurological disorders.”

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“Moreover, in 2017, several hundred experts from the United States and around the world sent a letter to the European Union requesting a moratorium on 5G technology until the “potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.”28 They note that 5G will contribute to cumulative RF exposures – i.e., an “increase[d] exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place.”

“Two significant findings made by U.S. and international health organizations also demonstrate that RF radiation may pose a cancer risk. In several studies conducted over a 10-year period at a cost of $25 million, the National Toxicology Program (“NTP”), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found increased rates of cancer in male rats exposed to RF from cell phones. MC316-MC317; MC230-MC231; MC327; MC215 (all citing NTP study).”

“NTP’s work followed a 2011 determination by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) that RF radiation falls in “Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans” based on an analysis of then-current research.29 IARC found “limited evidence in humans and experimental animals” showing increased rates of several cancers following exposure to RF from wireless phones.30 See MC318; MC242-MC243; MC215; MC235 (all citing IARC study). For perspective, the Group 2B category includes toxic materials like DDT, lead, welding fumes, and carbon tetrachloride.”

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“Based on the foregoing, scientists and academics warn that the FCC’s current RF standards, which are limited to addressing thermal effects, may not be protective of human health. MC230 (“The FCC ignores studies establishing human health harm at currently permissible exposure levels.”); MC232 (citing BioInitiative 2012, which in turn states FCC standards “do not sufficiently protect the public health against chronic exposure from very low-intensity exposures.”)31; MC316 (FCC guidelines “are outdated and not based on current science.”); MC221 (“Public health regulations need to be updated to match appropriate independent science with the adoption of biologically based exposure standards prior to further deployment of 4G or 5G technology.”); MC325 (“[T]here is sufficient research showing adverse environmental and human health effects of radiation from wireless technology at levels far below the current FCC RF limits to justify the FCC placing a moratorium on the rollout of new wireless infrastructure.”); MC215 (“Many of these studies demonstrate effects well below the heat threshold of current safety standards.”). As a result, they recommend further research be conducted on non-thermal effects before 5G is widely available.” Source: Environmental Health Trust