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Dear MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith- Time to Protect Students Not Promote Pollution

Dear Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith, I am writing to you on an important issue regarding our children’s hea...

Monday, November 25, 2019

Dear MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith- Time to Protect Students Not Promote Pollution

Dear Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith,

I am writing to you on an important issue regarding our children’s health. I am so thankful for you taking the time to consider this rather complex but critically important information. This text is hyperlinked so you can see the sources directly.

NOTE: A special to Environmental Health Trust for providing this science and information. We used information from this webpage and YOU can to.

We are deeply concerned about the recent email to parents promoting "Alexa Skills" as part of this year’s contest, United We Learn: Innovative Communication Challenge. The email we received states, "Middle and high school students are challenged to conceptualize an Amazon Alexa Skill (or series of Skills), which use voice to access and share information." 


Wireless virtual assistants/speakers emit radio frequency radiation, just like Wi-Fi laptops and wireless networks in schools. Most students are unaware that these speakers expose them to wireless radiation.

Wireless is a new form of environmental pollution- radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. This radiation has been shown to be harmful in many many studies. It is NOT safe.

Worse all of these speakers have a fine print warning that states:

“Information Regarding Exposure to Radio Frequency Energy…This device should be installed and operated with a minimum distance of 20cm between the radiator and your body. The remote control meets the RF exposure requirement of low power devices under portable operation. Nevertheless, it is advised to use the Products in such a manner that mime>nimizes the potential for human contact during normal operation.” – Amazon Echo

 Were you going to inform the students?

Please remove wireless devices from schools and please do not promote contests created by the wireless industry. 

Are students aware? 

While I understand that many schools are putting new wireless systems in classrooms as an improvement, I have become aware there is an unintended result: Wi-Fi systems utilize microwave radio frequency radiation (RFR) electromagnetic (EMF) fields increasing. Many scientists are deeply concerned about the long-term effects of exposure to RFR.

Thankfully, schools—in the United States and other countries are developing solutions for schools so that classrooms can have full Internet access but without the RFR exposures. I have put together this email with not only information on the scientific evidence on health effects but, more importantly, information on what schools can do to minimize any risks and still move forward into the 21st century with state of the art technology. I respect that monies have been spent on installing wireless systems and I am thankful that you are open to this discussion.

Wi-Fi devices were never and are not currently pre-market tested for long-term safety. US regulations on wireless radiation exposure limits have not been updated during the past two decades and they were developed well before Wi-Fi was even invented. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been long working on this as a children’s health issue and has repeatedly advised the US government to reassess regulations regarding human exposure to wireless radiation. The AAP states that children and pregnant women need more protections, and AAP points to research that indicates that children’s brains and bodies absorb proportionately more of this radiation due to their unique physiology. Children are at higher risk as their brain and immune system are still developing.

The Oregon state law SB 283 “A bill relating to exposure to radiation in schools in this state; and declaring an emergency” has tasked the Oregon Health Authority to review peer-reviewed, independently funded scientific studies of the health effects of exposure to microwave radiation with a focus on wireless networks in schools.

The healthy solution is ethernet internet connections. Not only is it cheaper to go wired versus wireless, but ethernet is much more reliable and secure and will outperform Wi-Fi capabilities in:
  • Data speed
  • Signal quality
  • Network expandability
  • Device adaptability

The health implications are significant. Please protect our children.

Peer reviewed research has demonstrated a myriad of adverse effects of EMF radiation including increased brain cancer, DNA breaks, oxidative stress and immune dysfunction, altered brain development, sleep changes, hyperactivity, and memory and cognitive problems.

Due to these research findings, the California Department of Health, the Connecticut Department of Health, many international medical organizations and more than 20 nations are recommending RFR exposure reduction, especially for children. In 2015, an Appeal, now with over 237 signatories, was launched by scientists from 41 countries who have peer reviewed publications on electromagnetic fields. The Appeal calls on the United Nations to reduce exposure and educate the public.

Some examples of published scientific research include:
  • A review on Wi-Fi published in Environmental Research concluded that, “Repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload. Each of these effects are also caused by exposures to other microwave frequency EMFs, with each such effect being documented in from 10 to 16 reviews.” 
  • A research review published in a building industry journal concluded that “scientific evidence identifies adverse effects from RFR below regulatory limits” and recommended reducing wireless in buildings by installing corded internet networks instead of wireless. 
  • The US National Toxicology Program $25 million animal study on long-term exposure to radiofrequency EMF radiation found DNA Damage,heart damage, increased brain tumors and increased heart tumors deemed “clear evidence of cancer.” Importantly, this study was launched almost two decades ago by the FDA because the US government had not performed research on the long-term effects of RFR exposure and the FDA wanted data on long-term safety. The EPA was defunded from developing federal safety standards in 1996, and since then there has been no systematic review of the science by any US agency. 
  • A 2017 study “Measurements of Radiofrequency Radiation with a body-borne exposimeter in Swedish schools with Wi-Fi” concluded that, “The risk for cancer may be accentuated for children partly because of their likely longer life-time use of wireless devices, but also since their smaller size and thinner skull bone give higher RF radiation to the brain. Children are also growing and have more immature cells which can be more sensible to RF radiation.” This study also found higher RF levels when students streamed videos and the lowest RF levels in classrooms where teachers used corded technology. 
  • Researchers with the renowned Ramazzini Institute in Italy published findings that lab animals exposed to environmental levels of RFR developed the same types of cancers as the US National Toxicology Program found in their large-scale lifetime animal study. The Ramazzini study used wireless levels lower than FCC limits. 
  • In 2011 radiofrequency radiation was classified as a Class 2 B possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer WHO/IARC. Researchers state that the evidence has increased so significantly that if WHO/IARC were to now review the research, RF would have an upgraded classification as a Group 1A human carcinogen (Hardell and Carlberg 2017, Peleg et al., 2018, Miller et al 2018). In fact, the WHO/IARC has stated they are going to gather scientists to review the research by 2024. 
  •  A medical research team at Yale, led by Dr. Hugh Taylor, Chief of Obstetrics at Yale Medicine, found radiofrequency radiation exposure led to higher hyperactivity, poorer memory, and altered brain function—corroborating prior published research findings of altered brain development after exposure. These studies prompted the doctors and other experts to initiate an EPA recognized educational campaign called The BabySafe Project urging pregnant women to reduce wireless exposure to minimize risks to their babies’ brain development. 
  • A published literature review found that the majority of research studies on the topic found exposure increased oxidative stress and free radicals—an effect known to lead to a myriad of chronic diseases.
  • Kaiser Permanente researchers have published several studies where pregnant women’s exposure to non ionizing electromagnetic fields was associated with increased miscarriage as well as increased obesity and asthma in the the prenatally exposed children. 
  • Wireless radiation alters sleep patterns in replicated research in both animals and humans. For example, an animal study found an hour of exposure to RFR caused a one-hour delay for rats to drift into REM or deep sleep. Human studies have found exposure reduces REM sleep, alters the EEG signal and results in altered performance. 
  • In response to this research, a growing number of public and private schools are removing the wireless networks from schools, restricting cell phones in classrooms and implementing practical solutions. Examples of best practices schools are following include: 
  • The United Educators of San Francisco(UESF), at a joint health committee with the San Francisco Unified School District, has approved going forward with a resolution for safer technology. The resolution became official as of May 23rd, 2018 and the “Resolution on Enhancing Technology Safety in San Francisco Unified School District”and press release be found on UESF website.
  • The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (the United States’ first green building rating program especially designed for K-12 schools) has developed Best Practices for LOW EMF classrooms which includes using corded, not cordless phones, using ethernet connected, not wireless computers in the classroom. 
  • The Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Councilissued a report and recommendations to the Department of Education to recommend local school districts reduce classroom wireless radiation exposures by providing wired—rather than wireless—Internet connections. The MD report states that “WiFi can be turned off” and instead “a wired local area network (LAN) can provide a reliable and secure form of networking…without any microwave electromagnetic field exposure.” The report points out that construction and renovations can be a time to install wired connections. “If a new classroom is to be built, or electrical work is to be carried out in an existing classroom, network cables can be added at the same time, providing wired (not wireless) network access with minimal extra cost and time.” 
  • The Chief Technology Officer of Montgomery County Maryland Schools (one of the top School Districts in the country) shared Maryland’s recommendations to all staff. Some children in Montgomery County Schools are given wired rather than wireless computers upon parent request. 
  • Ashland, Massachusetts became the first US School District to institute “Best Practices” posted in every classroom to “turn the Wi-Fi off when not in use and keep devices away from the body” (Magazine article on Ashland’s Decision Here, Newspaper Coverage.) Other public school districts are taking action, and two examples are the Onteora School District in New York State adopted “Best Practices with Wi-Fi” and the Worcester, Massachusetts School Committee voted to approve “Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure”to be posted on the Worcester District Website. 
  • Guidelines for Safer Use of Wireless Technology in Classrooms” were developed for the New York State Teachers’ Union who later hosted a webinar on the risks of wireless technologies
  • The New Jersey Education Association recently published an article entitled, “Minimize Health Risks from Wireless Devices”and detailed several recommendations on reducing the health risks of technology: “Keep devices away from the body” and “hard wire all devices, including printers, projectors and boards.” (PDF of recommendations) 
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics is informing parents and the public about this issue in several ways. In addition to their letters to the US government, they have issued ten recommendations on how to reduce RFR radiation exposure. They also have addressed health concerns related to cell towers and reference a study that they say “confirmed concerns that living nearby mobile phone base stations increased the risk for developing headaches, memory problems, dizziness, depression, and sleep problems,” and concludes that “short-term exposure to these fields in experimental studies have not always shown negative effects, but this does not rule out cumulative damage from these fields, so larger studies over longer periods are needed to help understand who is at risk. In large studies, an association has been observed between symptoms and exposure to these fields in the everyday environment.” 
  • Many countries and local governments have policies addressing wireless in the classroom:
  • France has banned Wi-Fi in kindergarten and restricts Wi-Fi in school by having the wireless off as the default setting and teachers have wired (not wireless) computers for Internet access. Schools are being hardwired, and in situations where wireless is needed it is only turned on for a short duration in the classroom as needed and turned off after use. France also has banned cell phones in elementary/middle schools and started educating the public years ago with public health initiatives about how to reduce exposure. 
  • Cyprus has removed Wi-Fi from elementary classrooms and removed Wi-Fi from the pediatric units of the Archbishop Makarios hospital. The country also has a strong public awareness campaign educating parents, teenagers and pregnant women
  • Belgium has banned cell phones manufactured for young children and also banned Wi-Fi in some classrooms. 
  • Haifa, Israel has installed corded connections in all schools, and the countries Israel and Germany officially recommend wired connections in schools and reducing children’s exposure to RFR. 
  • In 2015 the Queensland Department of Education issued “Guide to Safe Technology” in 2015 that states, “follow the manufacturer’s usage guideline, operate from a table or bench — not on your lap” and “use ‘hands-free’ devices to keep smart/mobile phones away from your head and body.” 
  • The Child and Youth Service of the Department of Public Instruction of Geneva, Switzerland issued a letter to be transmitted to all teachers about the health risks of digital technology, detailing how screens can affect sleep, eyesight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, and recommends “Only switch your WLAN on when you need it. With laptops, in particular, it is a good idea to switch the WLAN off as otherwise the device will repeatedly try to connect to a network, leading to unnecessary radiation and a shorter battery life” and “Don’t hold your laptop close to your body while it is connected to a WLAN.”

Multiple industry white papers have deemed electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure as high-risk. EMFs are defined as a “pollutant” by insurance companies alongside smoke, chemicals and asbestos. Due to these evaluations, it is industry standard to have an “electromagnetic field exclusions” clause in insurance policies, such as exemplified by the Portland Oregon Public School and California State University insurance policies. If a school wants to obtain insurance coverage for EMFs, they may need to purchase additional “Pollution Liability” policy enhancement coverage. In addition, some newer policies—such as this City of Ann Arbor Michigan Policy—are not only excluding damages but also excluding paying for the defense of “any supervision, instruction, recommendation, warning or advice given or which should have been given” in connection to injury from electromagnetic field exposures. When parents query their schools on the insurance coverage for injury from the Wi-Fi systems and/or the cell towers on school property, they are usually told that there is not coverage.

In fact, all wireless companies warn their shareholders—in mandated annual 10k filings—that they may incur financial losses from lawsuits related to the electromagnetic radiation emissions of their products. For example,

AT&T states, “We may incur significant expenses defending such suits or government charges and may be required to pay amounts or otherwise change our operations in ways that could materially adversely affect our operations or financial results.” Wireless companies have not been able to obtain insurance to cover this risk from their products, because no insurance company will cover the liability for them. As Crown Castle (a company building wireless infrastructure) states in their 10K filings, “If a connection between radio frequency emissions and possible negative health effects were established, our operations, costs, or revenues may be materially and adversely affected. We currently do not maintain any significant insurance with respect to these matters.”

Internationally renowned doctors have written on this issue with recommendations to reduce exposure to Wi-Fi in schools. Please read their letters here. The Santa Clara Medical Association published an article online, highlighting the health risks: “Wi-Fi in Schools”.

The reality is that in the United States, brain cancer rates are rising among children and teenagers. The US CDC presented 2018 research that found brain, renal, hepatic, and thyroid cancers are increasing among individuals under 20 years old in the USA after analyzing 2001–2014 cancer statistics from 48 states covering 98% of the US population.

We ask you to do two things:
Hardwire all technology with cables and ethernet.
Ban the use of cell phones and wireless in schools.
Do not promote wireless anything.

Please review the Checklist on How to Reduce EMF and Wireless Radiation for Schools.
Thank you so much for your consideration of this issue.

Questions and Answers on Wi-Fi and Cell Phones in Schools:This two pager is filled with links and resources on why and how to reduce wireless radiation exposure at schools.
Checklist on How to Reduce EMF and Wireless Radiation for Schools: A list of actionable steps every school can take to eliminate and reduce EMF exposure.
CHPS Low EMF Criteria:The Collaborative for High Performance Schools has developed Best Practices for LOW EMF classrooms that details how schools can replace wireless networks with wired networks.
Letters by Scientists on Wireless and Cell towers for School Administrators: This webpage has a compendium of letters (downloadable PDF’s) written to school officials regarding wireless in schools and cell towers at schools.
Peer Reviewed Published Science on Wireless Radiation,
Published Science on Wi-Fi Specifically
Youtube Playlist on Wi-Fi in Schools:News Reports on schools removing the Wi-Fi and scientific lectures.
New Jersey Education Association “Minimize health risks from electronic devices”Article,PDF of Recommendations
Upper Sturt Primary School WiFi and Cell Phone Policy: The private Upper Sturt School has an excellent safe technology policy on WiFi and Wireless that can be used as a template for other schools looking for an example of how to approach this issue.
Santa Clara Medical Bulletin article by Dr. Cindy Russell on Schools and Wireless

Additional Organizations

A special to Environmental Health Trust for providing this science and information. We used information from this webpage and YOU can to. 

Wi-Fi In School is Unsafe and Harmful Resources for Action

WIFI in School is an emergency.
Watch these videos from a PBS investigation.

Episode 9  “The Dangers of Radiofrequency Radiation” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf-Efnk7g4k

From Environmental Health Trust Website found here. 
What videos can I watch to learn more? 
Youtube Playlist on Wi-Fi and Health Effects in Schools: News Reports on schools removing the Wi-Fi and scientific lectures on the issue. We invite you to peruse the videos which are great to show at an awareness party.
Printable Resources to Educate Parents

MCPS Promoting Wireless Radiation Speakers Without Warning Students About the Radiation

Montgomery County Schools is promoting Alexa - the Wireless Speaker. Was anyone going to mention to parents an children these speakers emit radiofrequency radiation? 

Schools are the playground of industry. Our children are the guinea pigs. 

See below an email sent out to parents.

Dear MCPS Families,
Montgomery County Public Schools is launching the fourth year of its student contest, United We Learn. This year’s contest, United We Learn: Innovative Communication Challenge, encourages students to think about how communication affects their daily lives, and how technology can be used to enhance communication. 
Open to all students, at all grade levels, the contest encourages students to think about innovative ways to share information of importance about the school district, address communication barriers, strengthen the home-school connection and positively impact the MCPS community. 
Middle and high school students are challenged to conceptualize an Amazon Alexa Skill (or series of Skills), which use voice to access and share information. Selected proposals will move to development, where students will have the opportunity for hands-on learning. MCPS will publish the winning skill(s) and make it available for use.
Elementary school students are challenged to design a web page that shares important information about their school. The winning proposals will be developed into web pages by MCPS Web Services on the students’ elementary schools’ websites. Winners will have the opportunity to participate in the development process.
Contest rules and details are available on the MCPS website at mcpsunitedwelearn.org.

Was anyone going to mention to parents an children these speakers emit radiofrequency radiation? 

If you click on the links provided in the email they go directly to a company website.
"Middle and high school students are challenged to conceptualize an Amazon Alexa Skill (or series of Skills)" goes to 


which links to 

So we did a little snooping and found out that
See the following "news reports"
"In collaboration with SXSW EDU, Amazon is launching a contest to find new ideas on how to use Amazon Alexa in the education space. The creators can choose from one of four different themes: the home-school connection, accessibility, teacher or administrator productivity and student learning.
The submissions for the Amazon Alexa EdTech Skills Challenge will be accepted until Oct. 18. On Dec. 4, six finalists will be announced and invited to present their Alexa skill during a live event at the SXSW EDU 2020 conference. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000 in Amazon Web Services promotional credits and the four runners-up will each receive $10,000 in AWS credits."

Schools are the playground of industry. Our children are the guinea pigs. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Educational Webinars on 5G, Wireless and Health

Environmental Health Trust (EHT) has released several educational webinars on 5G. 

Wireless and human Health: An interview with Cancer Researcher Dr. Anthony Miller

5G and Health: University of California San Francisco Dr. Devra Davis presents on the health issues of 5G. 

5G and Health: University of California San Francisco Theodora Scarato presents policy updates on 5G and wireless

Children and Wireless in Schools Webinar
Theodora Scarato presents to School Administration on health issues of wi-Fi in School 

5G, The Environment and Health: Part 1: Educational Webinar presented by Theodora Scarato Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust 

 s o

5G, Environment and Health: Part 2: Educational Webinar presented by Theodora Scarato Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDg7bCkD8_I&t=1034s

Thank you Environmental Health Trust!
We support EHT on Patreon. Please support this credible organization at https://www.patreon.com/ehtrust

Subject: We MUST stop 5G now.

November 12, 2019

To:  State Senators and Representatives in the Maryland General Assembly

From:  Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

Subject:  We MUST stop 5G now.

Your actions on 5G in the next session of the Maryland General Assembly will impact your constituents for decades to come.  5G is the "Fifth Generation" of cellular technology, already being installed in parts of Maryland.  5G was conceived by the telecom industry as its next source of profit.  5G requires placing cell towers up and down residential and business streets, right in front of homes and businesses, and spaced just several hundred feet apart.  Owners of homes and businesses have no say about tower locations.  These towers rise above the street lights and compete with the trees on our streets.  Communities fortunate enough to have underground utilities will no longer be able to make that claim.  Property values in all communities with such cell towers will be depreciated by them.  And most important of all:  The radiofrequency radiation from these 5G cell towers, delivered up close and personal to every resident 24 hours per day, will have a broad range of adverse health effects.

If you want to understand the full impact of 5G, please read the first attached document entitled "International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space".  In several pages, this document will brief you about the impact of 5G on all forms of life on Earth.

To date, this appeal has been signed by 172,395 individuals and organizations from 204 countries.  Included are thousands of scientists, engineers, medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, architects and builders, and so many others from multiple professions.  To see all the signatories, organized by profession, and then by nation, please click on the Internet links in the second attached document entitled "Signatories of the Appeal".

These informed citizens of the world are trying to warn you about 5G.  Will you listen?

Do not let your constituents down.  Do not let your own families down.  We MUST stop 5G now.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University).   I have been a resident of Maryland for 40 years.

Share this message with anyone you wish.

Thank you for your attention,

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

Published Research Documents Adverse Effects of 5G & RF Exposure

Published Research Documents Adverse Effects of 5G & RF Exposure

Publications on 5G
5G Wireless Expansion: Public Health and Environmental Implications” is a research review that documents the range of reported adverse effects of RF and millimeter waves—effects range from cancer to bacteria growth changes to DNA damage. The study concludes that “a moratorium on the deployment of 5G is warranted” and “the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome … from both physical and mental health perspectives” (Russell 2018).

Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications?” is a research review detailing research findings that millimeter waves can alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes.” The researchers conclude, “available findings seem sufficient to demonstrate the existence of biomedical effects, to invoke the precautionary principle” (Di Ciaula 2018).

Systematic Derivation of Safety Limits for Time-Varying 5G Radiofrequency Exposure Based on Analytical Models and Thermal Dose” documents how significant tissue heating can be generated by 5G technology’s rapid short bursts of energy.  “The results also show that the peak-to-average ratio of 1,000 tolerated by the International Council on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines may lead to permanent tissue damage after even short exposures, highlighting the importance of revisiting existing exposure guidelines.” (Neufeld and Kuster 2018)

The Human Skin as a Sub-THz Receiver – Does 5G Pose a Danger to It or Not?” and “The Modeling of the Absorbance of Sub-THz Radiation by Human Skin” are two papers by physicists presenting research that found higher 5G frequencies are intensely absorbed into human sweat ducts (in skin), at much higher absorption levels than other parts of our skin’s tissues (Betzalel 2017, Betzalel 2018). The researchers conclude, “we are raising a warning flag against the unrestricted use of sub-THz technologies for communication, before the possible consequences for public health are explored.”

Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz” published in Scientific Reports is the first study to investigate how insects (including the Western honeybee) absorb the higher frequencies (2 GHz to 120 GHz) to be used in the 4G/5G rollout. The scientific simulations showed increases in absorbed power between 3% to 370% when the insects were exposed to the frequencies. Researchers concluded, “This could lead to changes in insect behaviour, physiology, and morphology over time….” (Thielens 2018)

Review Publications on Electromagnetic Radiation and RF 

A 2016 literature review “Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation” found that 93 of the 100 peer-reviewed studies dealing with oxidative effects of low-intensity RFR, confirmed that RFR induces oxidative effects in biological systems. 

Planetary Electromagnetic Pollution: It Is Time to Assess Its Impact” published in The Lancet documents the significant increase in environmental levels of radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic wireless radiation over the last two decades. The study cites an evaluation that found 68.2% of 2266 studies in humans, animals, and plants demonstrated significant biological or health effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields. 89%  of experimental studies that investigated oxidative stress endpoints showed significant effects and “radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation causes DNA damage apparently through oxidative stress. The paper also highlights research that has associated RF exposure with altered neurodevelopment and behavioural disorders, structural and functional changes in the brain and the sensitivity of pollinators. “These findings deserve urgent attention.This weight of scientific evidence refutes the prominent claim that the deployment of wireless technologies poses no health risks at the currently permitted non-thermal radiofrequency exposure levels.” (Bandara and Carpenter 2018)

The review “Thermal and non-thermal health effects of low intensity non-ionizing radiation: An international perspective” published by researchers of the  European Cancer Environment Research Institute in Brussels, Belgium and the Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, NY, USA reviews current research findings and states that, “the mechanism(s) responsible include induction of reactive oxygen species, gene expression alteration and DNA damage through both epigenetic and genetic processes.” The paper states that “exposure to low frequency and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields at low intensities poses a significant health hazard that has not been adequately addressed by national and international organizations such as the World Health Organization.” 

The  literature review “Effect of radiofrequency radiation on reproductive health” published by the Division of Reproductive Biology & Maternal Health, Child Health, Indian Council of Medical Research documents research that has found a link between radiofrequency radiation and oxidative stress and changes to the reproductive system including sperm count, motility, normal morphology and viability. The review concludes that the “available data indicate that exposure to EMF can cause adverse health effects. It is also reported that biological effects may occur at very low levels of exposure.”

A 2010 landmark review study on 56 studies that reported biological effects found at very low intensities, including impacts on reproduction, permeability of the blood-brain barrier, behavior, cellular and metabolic changes, and increases in cancer risk (Lai and Levitt 2010).

Cancer epidemiology update, following the 2011 IARC evaluation of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is a comprehensive research review of RF effects in human and animal research. The review concludes that scientific evidence is now adequate to conclude radiofrequency radiation is carcinogenic to humans (Miller 2018). Several previously published studies also concluded that RF can “cause” cancer, for example, Hardell 2017, Atzman 2016 and Peleg 2018.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) Study on Cell Phone Radiation found “clear evidence” of cancer, heart damage and DNA damage in a $30-million study designed to test the basis for federal safety limits (NIEHS 2018). The heart and brain cancers found in the NTP rats are the same cell type as tumors that researchers have found to be increased in humans who have used cell phones for over 10 years. Thus, researchers say this animal evidence confirms the human evidence associating the exposure to cancer(Hardell 2019.)

The Ramazzini Institute (RI) Study on Base Station RF  was another large scale rat study that also found increases in the same heart cancers that the NTP study found—yet the Ramazzini rats were exposed to much lower levels of RF than the NTP rats. In fact, all the RI Ramazzini radiation exposures were below FCC limits, as the study was specifically designed to test the safety of RF limits for cell tower/base stations (Falconi 2018.) Thus the Ramazzini study corroborates the NTP findings

Tumor promotion by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below exposure limits for humans” is a replication study that used very, very low RF exposures (lower than the Ramazzini and NTP study) and combined the RF with a known carcinogen. Researchers found elevated lymphoma and significantly higher numbers of tumors in the lungs and livers in the animals exposed to both RF and the carcinogen, leading researchers to state that previous research (Tillman 2010) was confirmed and that “our results show that electromagnetic fields obviously enhance the growth of tumors” (Lerchl 2015).

“A review of the ecological effects of RF-EMF” reviewed 113 studies finding RF-EMF had a significant effect on birds, insects, other vertebrates, other organisms and plants in 70% of the studies (Cucurachi 2013). Development and reproduction in birds and insects were the most strongly affected. As an example of the several studies on wildlife impacts, a study focusing on RF from antennas found increased sperm abnormalities in mice exposed to RF from GSM antennas (Otitoloju 2010).

Studies on bees have found behavioral effects (Kumar 2011, Favre 2011), disrupted navigation Goldsworthy 2009, Sainudeen 2011, Kimmel et al. 2007) decreasing egg laying rate (Sharma and Kumar, 2010) and reduced colony strength (Sharma and Kumar, 2010, Harst et al. 2006).
Research has also found a high level of damage to trees from antenna radiation.  For example, a field monitoring study ----spanning 9 years involving over 100 trees (Waldmann-Selsam 2016) found trees sustained more damage on the side of the tree facing the antenna. 
5G and the Internet of Things will increase overall use of all types of wireless frequencies. 

A published review of effects of Wi-Fi radiation entitled, “Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health” found that “repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload.  

The Impact of radiofrequency radiation on DNA damage and antioxidants in peripheral blood lymphocytes of humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base station” is a research study that compared people living close (within 80 meters) and far (more than 300 meters away) from cellular antennas and found that the people living closer had several significant changes in their blood predictive of cancer development (Zothansiama 2017).  An earlier 2016 study looking at 116 persons exposed to radiation from mobile towers and 106 control subjects found DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes (Gulati 2016).

Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations” is a 10 year study by the Belo Horizonte Brazil Health Department and several universities in Brazil that found an elevated relative risk of cancer mortality at residential distances of 500 meters or less from cell installations (Dode 2011). Shortly after this study was published, the city prosecutor sued several cell phone companies and requested that almost half of the city’s antennas be removed. Many antennas were dismantled.

A 2019 study of students in schools near cell towers found their higher RF exposure was associated with impacts on motor skills, memory and attention (Meo 2019). Examples of other effects linked to cell towers in research studies include neuropsychiatric problems, elevated diabetes, headaches, sleep problems and genetic damage.

A published study entitled, “Effect of Mobile Tower Radiation on Microbial Diversity in Soil and Antibiotic Resistance” took soil samples  from four different base stations located in Dausa city, and control samples from soil far from stations and then isolated and evaluated the microorganisms in the soil. The researchers found greater antibiotic resistance in microbes present in soil near base stations compared to the control. The study concludes, “our findings suggest that mobile tower radiation can significantly alter the vital systems in microbes and turn them multidrug resistant (MDR) which is most important current threat to public health.”

Research on 3G and 4G

3G and 4G technology is still very much in use around the world. In addition, 5G devices will also have 4G emissions and 5G will use the frequencies currently used in 2G, 3G and 4G. 

A 2019 study on human blood found microwave 3G MT EMF/radiation - within the current exposure limits - had significant genotoxic action on human cells (Panagopoulos 2019). A series of landmark papers found that effects from microwaves on human lymphocytes can be dependant on carrier frequency (Belyaev 2005), that UMTS (3G)  microwaves can affect chromatin and inhibit formation of DNA double-strand breaks  (Belyaev 2009) and that  stem cells are most sensitive to microwave exposure (Belyaev 2010). Children have more active stem cells. 

4G or the fourth generation of cellular technology called Long Term Evolution or LTE was launched without premarket safety testing for long term exposure.  Published research has found behavioral changes in mice (Broom 2019); damage to the testes and reproductive potential in mice (Yu 2019); reduction to EEG alpha power (Vecsei 2018); modulation to resting state EEG on alpha and beta bands (Yang 2017); alteration of spontaneous low frequency fluctuations induced by the acute LTE RF-EMF exposure (Lv 2014). 

“Compared with sham-exposed controls, exposure at 0.5 W/kg significantly decreased drinking frequency (P ≤ 0.000) and significantly decreased distance moved (P ≤ 0.001). In contrast, exposure at 1 W/kg significantly increased drinking frequency (P ≤ 0.001) and significantly increased moving duration (P ≤ 0.005). In the absence of other plausible explanations, it is concluded that repeated exposure to low-level RF fields in early life may have a persistent and long-term effect on adult behavior.” Broom 2019

A  2018 double‐blind, crossover, randomized, and counterbalanced design study Modulation of brain functional connectivity by exposure to LTE (4G) cell phone radiation found that acute LTE‐EMF exposure did modulate  connectivity in some brain regions and the authors conclude that "Our results may indicate that approaches relying on network‐level inferences can provide deeper insights into the acute effects of LTE‐EMF exposure with intensities below the current safety limits on human functional connectivity. In the future, we need to investigate the evolution of the effect over time.” (Wei 2018). 

The Building Industry

The paper “Building science and radiofrequency radiation: What makes smart and healthy buildings” with a long list of authors including former Microsoft Canada President Frank Clegg as well as Anthony Miller MD former Director of the Epidemiology Unit of the National Cancer Institute of Canada reviews research finding adverse health effects below regulatory limits  and recommends reducing radiofrequency radiation in buildings by installing wired rather than wired internet connections and corded rather than cordless phones (Clegg 2019). 

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools has developed Best Practices for LOW EMF classrooms that details how schools can replace wireless networks with wired networks. See CHPS Low EMF Criteria

Cell Towers and Health

A  2014 publication in Environmental Science & Policy by human rights experts argue that cell tower placement is a human rights issue for children because “the protection of children is a high threshold norm in Human Right  law and the binding language of the Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges States Parties to provide a higher standard of protection for children than adults” and “any widespread or systematic form of environmental pollution that poses a long-term threat to a child’s rights to life, development or health may constitute an international human rights violation.”  The article concludes that the “dearth of legislation to regulate the installation of base stations (cell towers) in close proximity to children's facilities and schools clearly constitutes a human rights concern…” (Roda and Perry 2014). 

"Safety Zone Determination for Wireless Cellular Tower - A Case Study from Tanzaniapublished in the International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology evaluated the radiation levels and concluded that "respective authorities should ensure that people reside far from the tower by 120m or more depending on the power transmitted to avoid severe health effect."

Long-term exposure to microwave radiation provokes cancer growth: evidences from radars and mobile communication systems” published in Experimental Oncology reviews research findings on RF-EMF and states that it is “becoming increasingly evident that assessment of biological effects of non-ionizing radiation based on physical (thermal) approach used in recommendations of current regulatory bodies, including the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines, requires urgent reevaluation.” The paper concluded that “everyday exposure of both occupational and general public to MW radiation should be regulated based on a precautionary principles which imply maximum restriction of excessive exposure” (Yakymenko 2011

A  cross-sectional case control study on genetic damage in individuals living near cell towers found genetic damage parameters of DNA  were significantly elevated (Gandhi 2015).  

Neurobehavioral effects among inhabitants around mobile phone base stations” published in Neurotoxicology  concluded that “Inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations are at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems and some changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions either by facilitation or inhibition” and called  for the revision of standard guidelines for public exposure to RER from mobile phone base station antennas” (Abdel-Rassoul, 2006).

“Epidemiological Evidence for a Health Risk from Mobile Phone Base Stations published in the International Journal of  Occupational Environmental Health reviewed 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for health effects of mobile phone base stations and found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances < 500 meters from base stations. The review concludes that” current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations” (Khurana 2010).

 “How does long term exposure to base stations and mobile phones affect human hormone profiles?” published in Clinical Biochemistry followed volunteers for six years and found that high radio frequency radiation had effects on pituitary–adrenal axis represented in the reduction of ACTH, cortisol, thyroid hormones, prolactin in young females, and testosterone levels (Eskander 2012).

A study of 530 people living near mobile phone masts reported more symptoms of headache, sleep disturbance, discomfort, irritability, depression, memory loss and concentration problems the closer they lived to the cellular antennas (Santini 2002).

A study from Spain  “The Microwave Syndrome: A preliminary Study” published in Electromagnetic Biology and  Medicine found statistically significant associations between field intensity and the symptoms of fatigue, irritability, headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeping disorder, depressive tendency, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentration, loss of memory, visual disorder, dizziness and cardiovascular problems (Navarro 2003). “Subjective symptoms, sleeping problems, and cognitive performance in subjects living near mobile phone base stations.” published in Occupational Environmental Medicine found a significant correlation between measured power density and headaches, fatigue, and difficulty in concentration in 365 subject (Hutter 2006). Abdel-Rassoul 2007 found residents living beneath and opposite a long established mobile phone mast reported significantly higher occurrences of headaches, memory changes, dizziness, tremors, depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance than a control group.

“Increased Incidence of Cancer Near a Cell-Phone Transmitter Station” published in the International Journal of Cancer Prevention found a four-fold increase in the incidence of cancer among residents living within 300m radius of a mobile phone mast after three and seven years of exposure (Wolf 2004)

“The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone Transmission Mast on the Incidence of Cancer” found a three-fold increase in the incidence of malignant tumours after five years’ exposure in people living within 400m radius of a mobile phone mast (Eger 2004).

Cell Antennas Increase Exposures in Communities

A 2019 study found increased RF-EMF exposure from small cell LTE networks in two urban cities in France and the Netherlands. Researchers measured the RF-EMF from LTE (Long-Term Evolution) MC (macro cells meaning large cell towers) and SC networks (low-powered small cell base stations)  and found that the small cell networks increased the radio emissions from base stations (called downlink) a factor of 7–46 while decreasing the radio emissions from user equipment exposure (called ) a factor of 5–17. So while the devices themselves could emit less radiation, the cell antennas will increase the levels from cell antennas (Mazloum 2019). This study shows the increased exposures would be involuntary. We can turn our phone off, but we cannot turn off the antennas in the neighborhood. 

An Australian study also found that children in kindergartens with nearby antenna installations had nearly three-and-a-half times higher RF exposures than children with installations further away (more than 300 meters (Bhatt 2016).  

A 2018 multi-country study that measured RF in several countries found that cell phone tower radiation is the dominant contributor to RF exposure in most outdoor areas exposure in urban areas was higher and that exposure has drastically increased. As an example, the measurements the researchers took in Los Angeles, USA were 70 times higher than the US EPA estimate 40 years ago (Sagar 2018). 

As an example of how rapidly RF is increasing from wireless antennas, a 2014 published study looked at RF in three European cities and found in just one year (between  April 2011 and March 2012) that the total RF-EMF exposure levels in all outdoor areas in combination increased by 57.1%  in Basel by 20.1% in Ghent and by 38.2% in Brussels (Urbinello 2014). “Exposure increase was most consistently observed in outdoor areas due to emissions from mobile phone base stations.”  

Another study, Birks 2018, looked at 529 children in Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland and Spain who wore meters around the waist or carried in a backpack during the day and placed close to the bed at night. Researchers  found “the largest contributors to total personal environmental RF-EMF exposure were downlink (meaning from cell tower base stations) and broadcast.” 

Cell tower radiation is a significant contribution to our daily dose of RF. A study on Australian adults where participants carried a measuring device in a small hip bag for approximately 24 consecutive hours also found “downlink and broadcast are the main contributors to total RF-EMF personal exposure.” Downlink (RF from mobile phone base station) contributed 40.4% of the total RF-EMF exposure (Zeleke 2018).  Another published study (Choi 2018) that gave 50 Korean adult child pairs a special radiation measuring device for 48 hours evaluated the types of radiation the participants were exposed to and found that “the contribution of base-station exposure to total RF-EMF exposure was the highest both in parents and children.”  

The Bioeffects of Millimeter Waves Documented Years Ago
A Russian Review on Millimeter Waves declassified by the CIA in 2015  “Biological Effect of Millimeter Waves” reported multiple research findings and concluded that  “Morphological, functional and biochemical studies conducted in humans and animals revealed that millimeter wave caused changes in the body manifested in structural alterations in the skin and internal organs, qualitative and quantitative changes of the blood and bone marrow composition and changes of the conditioned reflex activity, tissue respiration, activity of enzymes participating in the process of tissue respiration and nucleic metabolism.” (Zalyubovskaya) 

Current state and implications of research on biological effects of millimeter waves: a review of the literature” published in Bioelectromagnetics reviewed dozens of research findings on  low-intensity millimeter waves and concluded that the reported “MMW effects could not be readily explained by temperature changes during irradiation.” The review concludes by questioning the adequacy of regulatory limits stating that, “Safety limits for these types of exposure are based solely on predictions of energy deposition and MMW heating, but in view of recent studies this approach is not necessarily adequate.” (Pakhomov )

Additional Research
Panagopoulos, D. J., Johansson, O., & Carlo, G. L. (2015). Polarization: A Key Difference between Man-made and Natural Electromagnetic Fields, in regard to Biological Activity. Scientific reports, 5, 14914. doi:10.1038/srep14914

Panagopoulos, D. J., Johansson, O., & Carlo, G. L. (2015). Real versus Simulated Mobile Phone Exposures in Experimental Studies. BioMed research international, 2015, 607053. doi:10.1155/2015/607053

Michael Carlberg and Lennart Hardell, “Evaluation of Mobile Phone and Cordless Phone Use and Glioma Risk Using the Bradford Hill Viewpoints from 1965 on Association or Causation,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2017, Article ID 9218486, 17 pages, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9218486.

Coureau, Gaëlle, et al. "Mobile phone use and brain tumours in the CERENAT case-control study." Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 71, no. 7, 2014, pp. 514-22.

Volkow, Nora D., et al. "Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism."JAMA, vol. 305, no. 8, 2011, pp. 808-13.

Kostoff, Ronald N., and Clifford GY Lau."Combined biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields and other agents in the published literature."Technological Forecasting and Social Changevol. 80, no. 7, 2013, no. 1331-49.

Pall, M. Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, vol. 17, no. 8, 2013 pp. 958-965

Markovà, Eva, Lars OG Malmgren, and Igor Y. Belyaev. "Microwaves from mobile phones inhibit 53BP1 focus formation in human stem cells more strongly than in differentiated cells: possible mechanistic link to cancer risk."Environ Health Perspect, vol. 118, no. 3, 2010, pp. 394-9.

Asl JF, Larijani B, Zakerkish M, Rahim F, Shirbandi K, Akbari R. The possible global hazard of cell phone radiation on thyroid cells and hormones: a systematic review of evidence. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 May 6. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-05096-z. 

Adams, Jessica A., et al.“Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis.”Environmental International, vol. 70, 2014, pp. 106-12.

Houston, B.J., et al. “The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function.”Reproduction, vol. 152, no. 2, 2016, pp. R263-76.

This is just a short sampling of research studies finding adverse effects.  This is from Environmental Health Trust at this link.