So what’s the big deal about 5G?
Someone asked me last week what I thought of the “crazy” (their word, not mine) theories about 5G technology. The term 5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile technology with its advertised promises of faster browsing, streaming, and download speeds, as well as better connectivity. Sounds like a good thing…right?
Well, not so fast. Literally. Many scientists have offered dire warnings about continued efforts to bring 5G development forward. I also worry about this more every day. So perhaps the only “crazy” thing about the conversation and controversy surrounding this technology and resulting electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) is why the government agencies intended to protect us from potentially harmful health impacts seem to be doing nothing to address this? There is a mountain of scientific evidence that show the damaging effects of EMFs on our bodies, brains, aging and immune systems from 24/7 exposure to electric, electronic and wireless technology. The fact is that an EMF is a field of energy resulting from electromagnetic radiation that occurs as a result of the flow of electricity. We don’t have to all be scientists to understand that any kind of ongoing radiation can’t be a good thing for our health.
Pop culture note… I remember watching an episode on Star Trek, The Deadly Years, and it was all about how quickly many on the USS Enterprise were aging. Even our beloved Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock developed a rapid loss of memory. When warned that the entire crew would lapse into 'mental vegetables' within a few days. Captain Kirk says, "Total senility ... what a way to die.” It turns all of this was brought on by high levels of radiation when the ship passed through a non-neutral zone. And actual historical evidence well before Star Trek or today’s 5G technology showed radar workers during WWII suffered from advanced signs of aging.
Humans (and all living things, for that matter) were not designed to live under unnatural light 24/7. Our power lines, microwave, radio waves, visible light and devices are all producing endless amounts of ionizing radiation. And just as the USS Enterprise crew experienced this ionizing radiation, this is wreaking havoc on our health – and as a neurologist, I know just how especially vulnerable the brain is to EMFs.
What else we know:
1. There is ample evidence that links RF-EMF exposure to an increased risk of developing certain cancers and other adverse health outcomes (WHO’S International Agency for Research on Cancer 2011). Malignant heart tumors and brain tumors are of highest concern and the risk of cancer in children also may be higher given their smaller size and thinner skull bone.
2. Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload. The effects of this damage are both cumulative and irreversible.
3. With 5G there will be more levels of ionizing radiation that we will all be exposed to. This adds more fear to the unknown and already-hotly debated issues surrounding the technology’s future development.
4. Scientists have to date linked 5G to at least 20 ailments, including heart diseases, type-2 diabetes and mental disturbances such as depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment and suicidal tendencies not to mention advanced aging. Higher frequencies of 5G will also penetrate much deeper into the human body and brain because of a phenomenon called beam-forming, unique to the technology that brings together electromagnetic signals from multiple antennas to create signals with greater intensity and better reach.
5. Redmayne and Johansson (2015) reviewed the literature showing that there are age-related effects and that young people are more sensitive to EMF exposure. It follows from these various findings that the placement of Wi-Fi in classrooms around the country may well be a high level threat to the health of our school aged-children as well being a threat to teachers as well. Schools have the highest amount of then any other buildings. France eliminated all cell phone use in schools a few years ago. Smart idea.
So what can you do? Consider these recommendations:
Make the switch to hard-wired versions when available for:
Cordless “DECT” (digital enhanced cordless telecommunication) phones
Wi-Fi router (at the very least, use a light timer to turn off at night and consider using a Router Guard)
Laptop computers – use an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi
Bluetooth headsets – go back to using a wired version.
If you are using wireless baby monitors you can learn more here about options for safer alternatives.
Wireless “Smart” Meters have also incited health concerns as reported by numerous sources.
Make your smartphone even smarter:
Keep it on “Airplane” mode most of the time.
Never put a cell phone to your head; use the speaker phone or a (preferably) wired headset.
Don’t carry your phone in your pocket, your bra, or waistband of your gym leggings – basically avoid close contact with the device.
Ideally children under the age of 16 are best off not using a cell phone (we know, very difficult to impose that rule) or at least NEVER put the phone next to the head (children have greater EMF penetration to their brain). Teach your kids early the safest way to use mobile devices.
Do not use the phone while in a car – radiation levels are increased.
If you must use a cell phone, do so primarily for text messages and emergencies. Save high data activities and voice calls for a wired internet connection at home.
Lap top computers:
Use a wired Ethernet connection for internet (rather than Wi-Fi).
It is best to use a laptop that is on battery power (not charging/plugged-in).
Use a wired external keyboard and mouse to reduce the EMF exposure to your body.
Keep the computer a few feet from your body – never put a laptop on your lap or body. You can place this radiation shield between the laptop and your body.
Take frequent breaks and ground yourself in your garden / lawn as often as possible.
Utilize wireless tablets sparingly – never stream video or music using Wi-Fi.
Create a sleep sanctuary – one of the most beneficial steps you can take is to reduce EMF exposure while you sleep is to unplug everything in your bedroom at night.
Keep cell phones, iPads and other electronics out of your bedroom. Use a simple battery-powered alarm clock.
Turn off the electrical circuit breaker to your bedroom at night. Just keep a flashlight by your nightstand.
Make sure any remaining wireless devices in your home are turned off at night.
Sleep under a special bed canopy that blocks out the microwave radiation from the local cell phone towers and wireless “smart” meters.
Consider having a certified EMF professional help you create a sleep sanctuary.
Measure the EMF pollution in your home; there are a number of meters available like the CORNET ED88T (https://amzn.to/2tom3t2) that make it easy to check the levels.
Determine if there is a cell phone tower or other wireless transmitter near your home and use your meter to determine EMF levels.
Begin educating your neighbors, friends and family. Much of the EMF pollution in your home may actually come from your neighbor’s Wi-Fi, cordless “DECT” phones and wireless “smart” meters. (Hint: your new meter will come in handy to explain the dangers of this type of pollution.)
The Power of Plants: The plants we recommend include peace lily, chrysanthemum (pot mum), cactus (absorbs EMFs and reduces computer radiation and indoor pollution), and aloe (used medicinally in support of detoxification and digestive health, but also against radiation and EMF exposure).
Salt lamps act as natural negative ion generators, ionizing the atmosphere, and help in neutralizing EMF radiation.
Get outside and spend time in nature without your phone or keep your phone on airplane mode. Walk barefoot on the earth for grounding – good for the body and soul!
YES, I am, like many health professionals, very worried about EMF and especially now as we move to 5G networks. And somehow I’m fairly certain Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk would feel the same way. I encourage you to read this article in Science Direct for more details about the dangers of Wi-Fi and the corresponding evidence and please see our Medical Resources section for additional materials.
Dr. Suzy Gazda
Hedendahl, Lena K., et al. “Measurements of Radiofrequency Radiation with a body-borne exposimeter in Swedish schools with Wi-Fi.” Frontiers in Public Health 5 (2017): 279.
Gupta SK, Patel SK, Tomar MS, Singh SK, Mesharam MK, Krishnamurthy S. Long-term exposure of 2450 MHz electromagnetic radiation induces stress and anxiety like behavior in rats. Neurochemistry International. Publ. online Apr 4, 2019.
Shahin, Saba, et al. “2.45 GHz Microwave radiation impairs hippocampal learning and spatial memory: Involvement of local stress mechanism induced suppression of iGluR/ERK/CREB signaling.” Toxicological Sciences (2017).
Wei-Jia Z, et al. Recent advances in the effects of microwave radiation on brains. BMC Military Medical Research; volume 4, Article number: 29 (2017)
Pall, Martin, Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health
Environmental Research Volume 164, July 2018, Pages 405-416
Perez, F, et al. The Effect of Repeated Electromagnetic Fields Stimulation in Biological Systems. Published October 2019
Wireless Wake-up Call, Jeromy Johnson, TEDx 2016
17 Ways to Minimize Exposure to Dirty Electricity & EMFs
Retrieved from https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/dirty-electricity-emf/#
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Dr. Suzanne Gazda, Integrative Neurology