A leading activist on the issue of electromagnetic radiation and its negative impacts on public health has described the rollout of 5G as a “massive health experiment” which could “become a global catastrophe.”
Arthur Robert Firstenberg is a well-known advocate for curtailing the development of 5G networks both in the US and internationally, claiming that super fast broadband could cause cancer in humans and wildlife, as well as exacerbating the symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
In a bid to stall the rollout of the networks Firstenberg is petitioning the World Health Organization, the UN and the EU to “urgently halt the development of 5G.” The petition had garnered over 40,000 signatures at time of writing.
“The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law,” the petition states. The US rollout of the new network has already begun in cities like Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.
“This could become a global catastrophe. When the first satellites were launched in the late 1990s for mobile phones, on the day they were launched people sensitive to these things got very sick. The mortality rate rose in the US by 5-10% too and there were reports that birds were not flying,” Firstenberg told the Daily Star.
Firstenberg also claims that, in areas of the world where rollout of 5G antennas has already begun, the local population, including insects and other wildlife, are already getting sick. He claims to have a condition known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which induces symptoms like dizziness, nausea, amnesia, insomnia, tremors, heart arrhythmia, acute and chronic pain, among others though it is not scientifically or medically recognized.
In addition, Firstenberg filed a lawsuit seeking $1.43 million in damages from his neighbor for damaging his health by using her iPhone and WiFi connection.
Much like cell phones before it in the 1980s and 90s, 5G has encountered strong pushback from the general public since it was first announced. In September 2018, Mill Valley city council, in California, voted to block development of 5G towers and small cells in residential areas citing “serious adverse health and environmental impacts caused by the microwave radiation emitted from these 4G and 5G Small Cell Towers,” Motherboard reports.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question… More research is needed before we know if using cell phones causes health effects.”
Despite a number of broad-ranging studies into the potential effects of cell phone radiation showing no solid evidence of any significant health risks to humans (let alone insects), many within the scientific community remain skeptical that the benefits of 5G technology outweigh the potential harm to humans.
Two recent studies also showed elevated risk of cancerous tumors developing in male rats (though not female) who were exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) for nine hours a day over two years. However, the claims didn’t stand up in follow-up double-blind tests.
215 scientists from 40 different countries have allegedly signed an appeal calling for international protection from non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposure, the effects of which include, but are not limited to, “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 a letter, Dr Martin Pall, a biochemistry professor at the Washington State University, claimed there were severe biological and health effects, including increased risk of cancer via DNA mutations, due to exposure to 5G networks, while also claiming that the FCC is a “captured agency” that is subject to the will of the very industry it is supposed to regulate.
5G would provide broadband speeds over 100 times faster than current data speeds. But to facilitate its rollout 300,000 new antennas would be required in the US alone. That’s roughly equal to three decades-worth of cell phone tower development.
The networks require a more dense array of “small cell” sites because their high frequency waves provide faster speeds but don’t travel as far.