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Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH, is board-certified in both Preventive Medicine and Integrative Medicine. She is currently on sabbatical from practice. To learn more about Functional Medicine healing, visit our YouTube videos by typing: Whole Health Solutions Cary into the YouTube search engine. To sign up for updates on Dr. Pizzino’s practice, visit her website at www.whole-health-solutions.com and scroll to the bottom of the page.

What Is “5G” and
How Will It Affect Your Children?

By Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH
Medical Editor of Health&Healing

Dr. Pizzino

We live in a very complex world with great benefits from technology, but is there a hidden price to pay for all this whiz-bang convenience? While the potential advantages of technology continue to grow, so does knowledge of their capacity for adverse health effects. Let’s take a look at the next “wave” of technology which promises a whole new world borne on electromagnetic fields (EMFs)— which most of us cannot feel, hear, see or smell.

EMFs range from radio waves created in the center of our galaxy to visible light from the sun all the way to gamma rays. Therefore, they are created by nature as well as man-made. Lower energy waves (such as microwaves), which cannot strip an electron away from an atom, are called non-ionizing radiation, whereas higher energy waves (such as X-rays) change atomic structure and are called ionizing radiation. Most people are aware that ionizing radiation is proven hazardous and can cause DNA mutations leading to cancer and other diseases. For now, let’s focus on man-made non-ionizing EMFs, as we are beginning to see more widespread health effects than were previously suspected from these lower energy waves.

First of all, let us clarify that all man-made EMFs are not the same. The carrier wave to a cable-connected television is not the same as WiFi. And Bluetooth, is not the same as a land-line telephone signal. The frequency (how many waves in a time period) and wavelength (how wide the waves are) are all defined by the technology to do their specific jobs. Also, it is not just electronic equipment that creates electromagnetic fields. Any electrical item, wired or battery operated, gives off EMFs. This includes such commonplace objects as lamps, refrigerators, and alarm clocks. It is important to understand that the intensity of the field decreases with longer distance away from the source, therefore the farther away you are, the safer. If you are not ready to get off the grid to protect your family, at least learn about safer versus more concerning forms of EMFs.

The Impact of 5G Technology

For now, let’s focus just on the most controversial form of EMF being rolled out in the U.S.: 5G or 5th generation technology. This type of non-ionizing radiation is being installed in cities and neighborhoods across the country to power the Internet of Things (IOT). Thousands of these “small cell” antennas and towers are being placed on public rights-of-way (often on existing infrastructure such as telephone poles.) There may already be several on each block of our neighborhoods, close to our homes and businesses to connect driverless cars, robots, smart appliances, etc.—especially if you live in a densely urban area. These “small cell” antennas and towers will carry generations 1-4 microwave technology, as well as the more potent millimeter wave (MMW) radiation of 5G. Why should we be concerned about this for ourselves and our children?

Considerable research already exists that calls into question the safety of 5G. In fact, 5G has been used to cause unpleasant burning sensations on the skin through a crowd-dispersal gun used by the U.S. Army called Active Denial Systems. U.S., Russian, and Chinese defense agencies have developed other 5G technology weapons. Health effects described in over 10,000 studies of microwave radiation include impaired fertility, altered brain development, higher risks of ADD and autism spectrum disorders, DNA damage, and sleep disturbances. Symptoms that have been linked to EMFs in general include: insomnia, headache, depression, fatigue, lack of concentration, changes in memory, dizziness, irritability, restlessness and anxiety, nausea, skin burning and tingling. A cell phone study released last year by the U.S. National Toxicology Program found even more serious disease such as cancer in 5.5 percent of animal subjects, compared to 0 percent in the control groups. After reviewing data compiled from more than 3,500 of these studies reviewed by 29 scientists and physicians from 10 countries (see BioInitiative.org), 27 countries and the European Parliament, as well as communities in 12 states now have protective policies to use wireless technology more safely.

EMFs and Children

Why are children more vulnerable than adults? The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states that children are most susceptible to this radiation, due to their thinner skulls, immature immune systems, and a high number of embryonic stem cells. Also, some diseases, such as cancer, require a long latency period before they show up. That is, they take longer to grow before being detected, so a child may grow into adulthood long before knowing they have a problem. This long latency for certain diseases makes them difficult to study in humans as it may require 20 or more years for a cancer to arise. For instance, there was a slight increase in a type of brain tumor, called a glioma, in people who spent the most total time on cell phone calls in one study, other studies have not found the same results. Long-term studies on humans are difficult as we tend to move around a lot, and they are very costly. This does not mean the danger does not exist, only that it can be challenging to pin down. Are you old enough to remember that it took many generations of cigarette smoking to prove that it was linked to cancer and other lung diseases?

What You Can Do

You can learn more about 5G in a 6-minute video at https://spectrum.ieee.org/video/telecom/wireless/everything-you-need-to-know-about-5g or https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=hKowG0XV50k. Please contact your legislators to require more research into the health effects of 5G before allowing the deployment of “small cell” towers exposing our entire population to a potentially dangerous experiment. In the meantime, here are some simple tips about how you can reduce the most dangerous types of EMFs already in use:

  • Move corded radio/alarm clocks and other electronics at least 3-6 feet from near your body when sleeping.
  • Replace all cordless phones with a corded phone. Cordless phone radiation is more potent than cell phone radiation and is always on. This same technology is used for baby monitors and WiFi routers. Avoid the use of baby monitors, and place routers outside the bedroom or as far away from your body as possible.
  • Eliminate fluorescent lights where possible. Use incandescent or LED bulbs which emit a safer type of radiation.
  • Do not sleep within 6 feet of a cell phone. Preferably, turn it off and charge in a different room.
  • Do not wear a cell phone on your body unless in airplane mode to reduce radiation. (Males who wear a cell phone in a pocket have been shown to have reduced sperm quality and higher infertility.)

For a fascinating read, like a mystery thriller, learn about the health effects of electricity from the book The Invisible Rainbow by Arthur Firstenberg.