Telecoms rush in 5G as Canadian & EU scientists warn of increased carcinogenic effects on humans

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Agatha Farmer

As we watch our telecom companies roll out 5G in Canada recent research by scientists from all over the globe into radiofrequency radiation (RFR) provides evidence that humans are now part of a massive health trial.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) first classified RFR as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B) in 2011. Authors of the literature review say IARC should now upgrade RFR’s designation to carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).

This group of authors includes Frank Clegg, former president of Microsoft Canada and now CEO of the non-profit Canadians for Safe Technology, which seeks to inform about potential risk of wireless devices and how to use them more safely.

 “With the epidemiological studies of humans over many years and the recent findings of the US National Toxicological Program and Ramazzini Institute animal studies, we now have enough evidence to classify radiofrequency radiation as carcinogenic to humans,” says Dr. Anthony Miller, lead author of the review and professor emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.  Miller is also a former Senior Epidemiologist for IARC and former Director of Epidemiology for the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

IARC based their initial 2011 designation on increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use. At the time, then-IARC Director Christopher Wild cited the need for more research, but also called for immediate “pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands‐free devices or texting."

Eight years later, the evidence summarized in this review, 13 new studies in all, links RFR to cancers of the brain and vestibular nerve. To be specific nine studies reported increased risk of brain cancer from cell phone use. Meantime, four case-controlled studies reported increased risk of tumors to the vestibular nerve from cell phone use.

Fun fact daily human exposure to microwave radiation is already more than a trillion times higher than it was prior to cell phones.

In 2017 an appeal signed by 171 scientists from 36 nations; 99 from the EU and 72 from other nations asks for a moratorium on 5G networks.

"We the undersigned, more than 180 scientists and doctors from 36 countries, recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry. 5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment."

Dr. Miller and many of his colleagues say the increase in cell towers to accommodate the network will greatly increase the amount of RF radiation we are experiencing. At a Toronto council meeting earlier this year he informed the municipal government tasked with providing permits for new towers that "people in public health believe in prudent avoidance."

"We are particularly concerned when we are dealing with something like cancer becasue we know that most cancers have a very long natural history. They are influenced not only by our genetics, there are among us people who are much more susceptible than others to the influence of external influences that increase the risk of cancer but we do not know at this moment who they are. We also know that when you deliver a potential carcinogen over a wide area in the environment you expose numerous people and you may increase risk to a small proportion but you can't identify who they are but that does not mean there is no harm and as you increase the dosage, as you increase the amount of radio frequency fields in our environment you will in fact increase the hazard. It seems to me unless I can be re-assured that this proposal before you is actually going to reduce the exposure but it seems to me it's going to increase it. That what you are in fact setting if you approve this you're setting the scene for increasing cancer risks, probably brain tumours which you will not be able to identify for 10 to 15 years."

He added that it's an important responsibility to protect the public in the future.

Miller also says the Canadian government agency Health Canada, has outdated guidelines and limits in its Safety Code 6, which he says needs to be re-evaluated in light of evidence of scientific concern.

Meanwhile telecom companies are saying there is no scientific proof that the RF technologies cause any harm when used within national and international guidelines. In Canada they continue to note that they adhere to the levels of Safety Code 6.

The scientific evidence telecom companies say does not exist is still under review by the World Health Organization which states that "currently, exposure from 5G infrastructures at around 3.5 GHz is similar to that from existing mobile phone base stations. With the use of multiple beams from 5G antennas, exposure could be more variable as a function of location of the users and their usage. Given that the 5G technology is currently at an early stage of deployment, the extent of any change in exposure to radiofrequency fields is still under investigation."

The WHO adds that "tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body. As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated."

Welcome to your free human trial of the new 5G network its anticipated that you will survive.

So what are 5G frequencies?

There are three frequency ranges: low band, mid band and high band. Low band operates between 600-700 Mhz and has greater range, so it’s useful for large coverage areas. It can be used to provide wireless internet to rural customers across Canada. Low band is also useful when trying to get cell phone signal inside buildings. Mid band frequencies include frequencies of 2.5-3.7 Ghz and are currently used by 4G LTE broadcasts. Mid band is currently used for 5G mobile service throughout Canada. High band frequencies, also called millimetre wave or “mmWave”, use frequencies of 25-39 GHz and enable faster data transfers and low latency connections, but probably won’t be available in Canada until at least 2022.

 Who Owns 5G Technology?

There are several companies that own 5G NR patents. Most of them supply hardware to the Canadian wireless market including Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei. Rogers 5G was the first consumer 5G network to launch in Canada and is built with Ericsson equipment. Bell uses Nokia and Ericsson, Videotron has partnered with Samsung for 5G network hardware and Telus uses all three suppliers. An upcoming decision by the government of Canada will determine if Huawei can supply hardware to Canadian telecommunications companies for non-critical systems.

Who Has 5G in Canada?

Rogers, Bell and Telus operate consumer 5G networks in Canada. Service is available in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal with dozens more markets expected to launch before the end of the year. Rogers 5G has also been deployed for research purposes with UBC in Vancouver, B.C.; University of Calgary in Alberta; University of Waterloo in Ontario; Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario and as part of a smart city pilot in Kelowna, B.C. Bell 5G has partnered with Western University in London, Ontario to conduct research into 5G technologies.

Where Are 5G Towers?

Rogers 5G towers are found in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Bell and Telus have installed 5G towers in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal. Existing 5G coverage maps show spotty coverage in those cities, but service should become more common as new towers switch over to 5G. New communications towers are being tested in other parts of the country including Waterloo, Ontario and Kelowna, B.C. Other mobile service providers, including Freedom Mobile and Videotron, are also testing 5G towers for consumer deployment. It seems that the 5G race will now be expedited due to the Covid-19 pandemic as our need for online and data usage grows, however, co-author of the literature review and president of Environmental Health Trust, Dr. Devra Davis warned that "before we blanket our nation with 5G, yet another layer of microwave radiation, we must critically examine its impact on our health and environment."

Scientific research however seems to have no impact on the potential of revenue which will be generated by the 5G network with many business owners dismissing the health concerns as they focus and developing virtual technologies. One such entrepreneur told CBC news that "Ten years out," he imagines, "everybody's wearing a pair of glasses instead of a smartphone."

"In a 5G world, those internet-connected glasses will automatically recognize everyone you meet, and possibly be able to overlay their name in your field of vision, along with a link to their online profile. They may also show you a billboard some advertiser has paid to make you see, while offering a different ad to the person standing next to you. All backed by  5G technology."

The future looks virtually exciting? or a public health nightmare?

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