That’s the short answer. And it’s the accurate one, too. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that 5G is safe. And that’s because there has been absolutely no testing into the long-term health effects of exposure to 5G. In fact, there is a large and growing body of evidence about the health risks of 5G that suggest it’s detrimental in a variety of ways. But thanks to the strong commercial drive from telecoms companies, health and safety have fallen by the wayside. According to the GSMA trade association, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, 5G is “covered by the same international safety guidelines” as prior generations of wireless technology, like 4G. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agrees, having determined that 5G technology and radiation exposures are “safe”. These are the same standards that were formulated in the late 1990s, based on research from the 1980s, when much less was known about the bioeffects of EMF exposure, and there was vastly less wireless technology emitting EMF into the environment. These standards are based entirely around the thermal effect of EMF. Namely, if the radiation isn’t sufficiently powerful to heat your tissue and cook you, it’s safe. Regardless of the attempts by wireless companies and regulators to assure consumers, concerns are growing. Quickly. As just one example, let’s take the case of the town of Gateshead in England. Since the installation of street lamps that are thought to be 5G enabled, residents have suffered a range of health problems. After the Gateshead council tried to gag one campaigner who was raising awareness of the 5G health issues, the case went to court. The outcome? The people won, with the judge declaring that “the public have a right to know” about the issues with 5G. Another example. In September 2017, 180 scientists and doctorates from around the world started a petition to stop the deployment of 5G. They reasoned that radio frequency EMF is already proven to be harmful to humans. As such, 5G rollouts should stop “until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry”. And these are just a few examples of the need to take 5G safety seriously.And that’s why distance matters so much. But distance is not the only weapon in your arsenal of 5G safety. There’s another.And if you want to live a life with less EMF exposure, you can move to areas with fewer sources of EMF. Rural locations often have much less EMF exposure. And there are even EMF free zones around the world for a more complete escape. And I regularly talk with customers who have developed sensitivities to EMF. They suffer from electrohypersensitivity. And many of these people sacrifice a lot – most of their lives – just to escape to places with less EMF in the environment. Just recently, I spoke with a customer of mine, Kathy, who later in life, developed electrohypersensitivity. Close to retirement, she gave up her career and spent a great deal of her savings to move to a remote area of the Smoky Mountains. Just so she could live a more normal life, without the constant ill-effects of EMF exposure. She, and many like her, are terrified of 5G satellites and the global exposures they will bring. As we proceed through the 2020s, there will be fewer and fewer places on earth where one can escape exposure. And it’s not just that this network of 5G satellites will lead to more EMF exposure, making escape increasingly impossible, it’s also that these:One of my customers, Sue, recently emailed me to let me know about a pretty nifty app. It’s called Satellite AR and it gives you some pretty amazing insight into satellites that are flying overhead. Just install Satellite AR for Android or iOS (yes, it’s free). Launch the app, point it at the sky, and you’ll see what satellites are flying overhead. The app uses your GPS data, and cross-references with other databases, to find the satellites. And you can search for specific satellites, or pick from a suggested list. You can also switch to ‘globe view’ to get a top-down perspective. It’s pretty amazing.
How is 5G Safety Regulated?The short answer is that 5G isn’t regulated. Well, more to the point, 5G is regulated the same way as 4G, 3G and all the prior generations of cell networks. As for the FCC, there’s so far been no move to evaluate the potential long-term harm of 5G radiation. Nor has there been any attempt to update their outdated radio frequency exposure guidelines, which are still based on recommendations from 1996. In the time since the FCC created these safety standards, more than 500 studies have been published demonstrating negative effects and outcomes on human health from exposures to EMF that are lower than those producing a thermal effect. In other words, EMF radiation doesn’t have to be powerful enough to heat your tissue in order to be doing you damage.
“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.” Dr. Joel Moskowitz in Scientific AmericanScience such as this is why more than 240 scientists (including my father, Dr. Martin Blank, who was the face of the campaign in their video appeal) have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal calling for stronger safety standards for EMF exposures and wireless technology. So in the meantime, while local and federal authorities battle it out for 5G regulatory control, it’s up to individual citizens to stay informed and prepare for the expansion of 5G networks across the country. And people are starting to take notice, and take action.
Global Opposition to 5GOpposition to 5G is springing up so fast it’s hard to keep track. I’ve been studying EMF issues for almost a decade at this point; and I was aware of the issues for much longer than that, as my father, Dr. Martin Blank, was very active in the field of EMF health effects and regulation for three decades. So I’ve been following this stuff for most of my life, and I’ve never seen opposition to the rollout of wireless technology like I’m seeing with 5G. It’s happening all over the world. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives a rundown of how the movement against 5G technology has been growing globally so far.
5G Opposition in the United States
- Oakland, California. April 2018: Verizon announces plans to install 16 new wireless antennas in the Oakland neighborhood of Oakmore. A group of concerned citizens, reportedly failing to get straight answers from the company, form the Oakmore Neighborhood Advocacy Group (ONAG) in opposition to the rollout.
- Mill Valley, California. September 2018: Community concerns are heeded by the city council of Mill Valley. After receiving 145 letters from citizens in opposition to 5G (and only five in support of it), the council votes unanimously to block 5G deployment. The action is taken via an urgency ordinance — a type of order that can be invoked when the health and safety of a community is at risk. A few months later, the neighboring district of San Rafael also passes an urgency ordinance restricting the distance of 5G cell towers.
- Gig Harbor, Washington. February 25, 2019: Gig Harbor Mayor and City Council unanimously oppose the FCC’s requirement to allow the deployment of 5G. One month later Gig Harbor residents form an ad hoc committee to inform the public about the dangers of 5G technology.
- Portland, Oregon. March, 2019:Portland city council raises 5G health concerns in a resolution that calls for greater research by the FCC. Portland lawmakers point to evidence suggesting wireless networks can cause cancer and other health issues, and implore the FCC to demonstrate 5G’s safety.
- Nationwide. May 15, 2019. During a nationwide “5G Day of Action”, coordinated events take place across the country. Protests spring up in cities and towns including San Diego, Asheville, Long Island, Woodstock and more. The event calls for wireless companies to suspend the deployment of small cell towers in residential areas. The 2019 event was so successful, another similar event was held on January 25, 2020 with a much larger turnout in many more cities around the world.
- US Congress. Multiple US Congressmen and Senators have expressed concerns about the safety risks of 5G. One, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut held one such hearing in February 2019. In the hearing, Sen. Blumenthal called the responses of regulators “pretty unsatisfactory” and concluded by saying, “So there really is no research ongoing. We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.” But of course, this is Congress, so nothing happens quickly.
5G Opposition Around the World
- Brussels, Belgium. March, 2019: Brussels halts a 5G pilot program citing health concerns. Environment minister Céline Fremault tells interviewers, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”
- Finland. March, 2019: A group of Finnish citizens starts a petition to the government to completely ban 5G on the grounds of the technology being harmful to human health. To date the petition has raised over 5,700 signatures.
- Florence, Italy. March, 2019: Florence City Council refuses permission for 5G by invoking the precautionary principle. The principle holds that policy makers have a responsibility to protect the public from harm when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. Indeed, as of the last update, there are 14 municipalities in Italy that have passed a Stop 5G resolution.
- Isle of Wight, UK. April 2019: Dozens gather to protest the introduction of 5G on the Isle of Wight. According to the protest’s organizer, “To expose people and wildlife to 24/7 pulsed millimetre wave radiation is in clear breach of the precautionary principle and of our human rights, which are enshrined in UN law.”
- Germany. April, 2019. A German petition imploring parliament to block 5G reaches over 54,000 signatures. The petition cites “scientifically justified doubts about the safety of this technology”. And Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) called for a thorough investigation into the health concerns associated with the new 5G technology. The investigation body used auction of 5G licenses to provide consumers with advice on how people can protect themselves from harmful mobile phone radiation.
- Netherlands. April, 2019: The Dutch House of Representatives calls for testing to assess the dangers of 5G. “We still don’t know about the dangers to public health,” says Parliament member Laura Bromet. “Little research has been done into the effects of 5G. We need to take people’s concerns seriously and investigate this.”
- Switzerland. April, 2019: Both Geneva and The Canton of Vaud adopt moratoriums on 5G until further research is carried out on health and safety.
5G Safety: What You Need To KnowOpposing 5G at the municipal, state and national levels is incredibly encouraging. It really feels that, for the first time in decades, the voice of EMF health concerns is being heard, and will have a real, tangible impact. At the same time, while these conflicts play themselves out over a period of years, the rollout of 5G continues. So what do you need to know, right now, about 5G safety in your daily lives?
5G is UrbanAs explained in our post about 5G cell towers, 5G networks use technology that, by design, transmits signals that do not travel far. As a result, 5G networks require many cell receptors to achieve adequate coverage. On the plus side, it also means that 5G coverage will be mostly limited to urban areas. So the more rural an area you live in, the less the likelihood of being exposed to 5G – at least from terrestrial sources.
5G Won’t Just Be on EarthThat said, there is another thing to realize: 5G won’t just be on Earth. What do we mean by that? In a nutshell, companies are launching satellites into the lower part of the atmosphere so that they can provide fuller 5G internet coverage. You can read more about 5G satellites in this post, but the key point here is that radiation from 5G is becoming increasingly inescapable. That makes it even more important to focus on what is in your control (more on that below).
5G is Similar to Other EMF in Important WaysNow, in many ways, 5G technology is vastly different from 4G and other earlier generations of wireless technology. It uses short, milimeter waves, transmitted via a dense network of small cell antennas, among other new and untested technologies. To understand more deeply, take a look at our post about 5G cell towers which explains the technology in more depth. Suffice to say that these differences are why 5G poses a unique and novel threat to human health. But, in many important ways, 5G is also very similar to prior forms of EMF to which we are exposed on a daily basis. That’s because 5G is a form of EMF, so it behaves the same way. And this means the two key rules of EMF protection still apply. Namely,
- Maximize Distance
- Minimize Use
Distance MattersOne of the aspects of EMF radiation that surprises people the most is that the power of EMF diminishes with distance. A lot. In fact, the power of EMF diminishes exponentially with distance. That means as you double the distance between your body and the source of EMF, you cut the power of the radiation to which you’re exposed by 75%. It has to do with the law of inverse squares. But you don’t need to understand that math in order to realize this is an established scientific fact.
Minimize UseThis one is pretty obvious when you think about it. After all, the best way to cut your exposure to EMF radiation is to cut back on your use of the technology that emits it.
Practicing the Two Key Rules of EMF ProtectionIt is true that we as individuals, and society as a whole, are increasingly dependent on EMF-emitting devices. Even so, there are a lot of ways that you can put these two rules into practice without negatively impacting your enjoyment of modern technology. And these same tips apply to 5G tech, just like they do for 4G and other forms of wireless tech. For example, don’t sleep with your phone. We all sleep (or at least we should) for six to eight hours each night. That’s 25-33% of our lives. If you make a point to not sleep with your phone, you’ll be eliminating that exposure from over a quarter of your life! Similarly, you should always use your phone on speakerphone mode or use a radiation-free headset. Holding your phone against your head while you’re on a call leads to really, really high levels of EMF exposure – so much so, that the iPhone manual actually tells you not to do this (if you read the fine print). Just like there are ways to maximize distance without sacrificing your enjoyment of modern tech, so are there ways to minimize use. For instance, you can use WiFi calling instead of cell data. WiFi calling on your cell phone gives you all the same benefits and functionality as using your cell phone connection, but with a fraction of the EMF emissions. Along the same lines, you can selectively enable and disable different wireless connections on your phone when you’re not using them. Not a lot people realize this, but if you’re using WiFi calling, you can turn off your cell connection and bluetooth. Or, if you’re relying on your cell phone connection, turn off the WiFi. With each one of these connections you turn off, the less EMF your phone will emit. There are so many ways you can put the two key rules of EMF protection into action in your life. We have dozens of them posted on our blog.
EMF Exposure from 5G Satellites Will Be InescapableNow, as I’ve just described, I spend a lot of my time encouraging people not to panic; explaining that, even with the increasing rollout of EMF-emitting technology seemingly out of our control, there are things we can do. And that it’s what we do with the technology closest to our bodies that matters the most. This is because, as explained above, the power of EMF diminishes exponentially with distance. So the more distance you create between your body and the source of EMF, the lower your exposure.
“satellites will be located in the Earth’s magnetosphere, which exerts a significant influence over the electrical properties of the atmosphere. The alteration of the Earth’s electromagnetic environment may be an even greater threat to life than the radiation from ground-based antennas.”
What Can You Do About 5G Satellites?I still recommend reducing your personal exposure to EMF from the devices that are immediately under your control. I still believe that the best EMF protection is free. But the exposure from 5G satellites requires a different level of response, above and beyond that. And there are four things you can do. And I’m going to address them in level of effort required, from least to greatest.
1) Find the Satellites
2) Sign the 5G Space AppealArthur Firstenberg is an American activist who has campaigned since 1996 on the negative health effects of EMF radiation, which he calls the ‘largest biological experiment ever.’ More recently, he has organized the 5G Space Appeal, which reads in part:
“the deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law… If 5G is built, radiation levels will increase 10- to 100-fold, virtually overnight, everywhere. There will literally be no place on Earth to hide from it.”The 5G Space Appeal has already received hundreds of signatures. And you can add your name here. And I would strongly encourage you to do so. (If you wish, you can choose to sign your name privately, so that it is not published on the site.) So please read it, sign it, and share it. And if you have the means, consider donating to the cause.