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To fake or not to fake

30 June 2020 News

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, with all the opportunities it brings, is arguably driven forward by the ability it gives us of being connected. Any opportunity comes with its own set of associated challenges and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will not be spared. With connectivity, comes the proliferation of knowledge amongst the masses.

‘The Reformation’, considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, was in some way spawned by the transfer of biblical knowledge from the select few to the mass population, which was made possible by the availability of the printed Bible which came into being as a result of the printing revolution driven forward by the Gutenberg printing presses from around 1455.

In a similar way we can expect that the knowledge distribution as a result of the connectivity offered through the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, would move information from the specialist domain into the mass population domain. Knowledge holds power. Protected technological information is what enables corporations to maintain their edge on new inventions and commercial viability.

There is a saying that says, ‘Ignorance is bliss’. With little information comes a few respected opinions. Choosing one to believe and teach as truth is easy to do, but as information distribution increases, so do respected opinions. A case in point is the differing opinions, even amongst highly ranked specialists, on how the COVID-19 pandemic should be handled: to lock down or not to lock down. The point is that with an increase in knowledge comes an increase in different views, which in their own right, may all be true. We may have to start considering the notion that there is more than one truth.

The controversy around the claims of potential ill effects as the result of long-term exposure to radiation from 5G communication equipment has reached peak levels during the COVID-19 pandemic – to the extent that any claims are under threat of legal prosecution by the government.

Claims from the protagonists are then taken to the extreme with reports of birds falling dead from the sky to linking the COVID-19 virus to the result of exposure to 5G communication equipment.

On the retaliation side, government, through the news agencies, clamp down on anyone spreading information which is considered fake news, such as claiming any correlation between the susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and exposure to 5G radiation.

An expert from Tech Magazine was used by eNCA to refute any link between 5G exposure and COVID-19. My question is: what makes this individual the expert? Additionally, no evidence was cited to substantiate any claims made by the expert. Using unqualified information to refute an argument made based on unqualified information, for or against any possible correlation between long-term exposure to 5G radiation and susceptibility to any viral infections, whether COVID-19 or not, is as much fake news as the fake news intended to be stopped.

Where are the following statements? “Research conducted by ABCD, where ABCD is an independent reputable research authority on the topic, suggests a possible correlation, or have as yet found no significant correlation.”

How can one fake claim be refuted with another unsubstantiated claim? Claiming that long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation from 5G communication technology has no ill effects on human health is as much fake news as claiming that long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation from 5G communication technologies has long-term ill effects on human health, if neither claim is substantiated with reputable independent scientific evidence.

The term ‘5G’ refers to the fifth generation of mobile communication. The first generation brought mobile analog voice communication which was superseded by the second generation of digital voice communication which led to the third generation bringing data connectivity which was followed on by the fourth generation, LTE, which ushered in the era of broadband communication.

The fifth generation, or 5G, promises next-generation user experiences, exceptional data rates, superior reliability and negligible latency, driving the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. These benefits come at the cost of using much higher carrier frequencies to enable the data transfer rate.

The initial allocated frequency bands for 5G are below 6 GHz in many cases and similar to existing frequencies in mobile and Wi-Fi networks. Additional mobile spectrum above 6 GHz which includes the 26-28 GHz bands, often referred to as millimetre-waves due to the wavelength, will provide significantly more capacity. The antenna design will allow for steerable beamforming with directional steering of a highly focused millimetre-wave beam. It is this millimetre-wave radiation that is the source of the contention.

For many years, the industry claimed that non-ionising radiation, such as the microwave frequencies used for wireless communication systems, presents no threat to human health. However, little to no industry research into the health and environmental impacts of long-term wireless radiation has been carried out to date that may verify these claims.

Apart from the advice of top scientists to the British government in the year 2000 warning against cellphone usage by children younger than 16, current conclusions on health impacts are based on thermal effects on a 2 metre man after speaking for 6 minutes on a cellphone – research that is 22 years out of date. The US Senate asked the top executives of telecoms in 2019 whether they had carried out any health impact studies. The reply was that they had not and hadn’t allocated funds to do so.

Proceedings from a 2019 online conference among professionals in the fields of toxicology, environmental toxicology, biochemistry, biophysics, epidemiology, electromagnetism and communications systems presented significant and sobering findings regarding the potential hazards of long-term exposure to wireless radiation in general and the 5G spectrum in particular:

Biological systems and health impacts

Effect of wireless non-ionising radiation on living systems

Studies in 1994 of cell cultures of humans and animals showed DNA damage after exposure to very weak pulsed signals. The finding of a 1994 triple peer-reviewed National Toxicology programme on 2G and 3G that mimicked the exposure humans will get in a lifetime, revealed tumours of the nerve inside the heart, malignant gliomas of the brain and acoustic neuroma tumours.

Thousands of studies showed damage to plant rhizomes, birds, bees, soil microbes and rabbits from 2G and 3G radiation. Millimetre-wave exposure causes cryptochrome damage (migration direction capacity) in birds and bees and creates free radicals.

Studies in Israel show that millimetre-waves are mostly absorbed on the surface of the skin, where the sweat ducts act like an antenna to the rest of the body. In 1977 a Russian study that was declassified and approved for released by the CIA in 2012, entitled ‘Biological Effect of Millimetre Radio Waves,’ showed that there was morphological (physical and biochemical) damage in humans and animals from millimetre-wave exposure as evidenced in the skin, in the organs, in the blood, in the bone marrow, in tissue and in enzymes, affecting nucleic acid metabolism.

The Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic advised men who want to have healthy children, to get their phones out of their pockets and to keep the phone off the body. The studies on radiation of 10 years ago showed clear evidence that cellphone radiation can damage the testes, affect the quality of sperm and the mitochondrial DNA, which is the engine of the sperm.

Since the rollout of Wi-Fi in Sweden, 50% of the Swedish population now have dementia or incipient dementia. In the UK there has been a 50% increase in infertility.

An Italian court has proved correlation: a study showed that 2500 rats exposed to low-dose microwave radiation caused heart cancer.

Reviews of articles on the topic reveal evidence on each of the following effects of electromagnetic radiation on human systems:

i. Attack our nervous systems, including our brains, leading to widespread neurological/neuropsychiatric effects and possibly many other effects.

ii. Attack our endocrine (that is hormonal) systems. In this context, the main things that make us functionally different from single-celled creatures are our nervous system and our endocrine systems – even a simple planaria worm needs both of these. Thus, the consequences of the disruption of these two regulatory systems are immense.

iii. Produce oxidative stress and free radical damage, which have central roles in essentially all chronic diseases.

iv. Attack the DNA of our cells, producing single-strand and double-strand breaks in cellular DNA and oxidised bases in our cellular DNA. These in turn produce cancer and also mutations in germ line cells which produce mutations in future generations.

v. Produce elevated levels of apoptosis (programmed cell death), events especially important in causing both neurodegenerative diseases and infertility.

vi. Lower male and female fertility, lower sex hormones, lower libido and increased levels of spontaneous abortion and attack the DNA in sperm cells.

vii. Produce excessive intracellular calcium [Ca2+] and excessive calcium signalling.

viii. Attack the cells of our bodies to cause cancer. Such attacks are thought to act via 15 different mechanisms during cancer causation.

Radiation from 5G spectrum is predicted to be particularly dangerous for each of three different reasons:

1. The extraordinarily high numbers of antennas that are planned (towers for every five houses). Increased proximity increases damage.

2. The very high energy outputs which will be used to ensure penetration (6 to 60 times what we are using right now).

3. The extraordinarily high pulsation levels.

Tissue and organ damage

Accelerated tissue growth; heat generation; accelerated bacterial growth; blood cell clumping and stickiness and membrane shape changes, leading to reduced circulation; cell membrane impairment, disruption of ion transfer across cell membranes and mitochondrial membranes (leading to impaired energy production, accelerated fatigue and onset of many disorders).

Melanoma is primarily caused by artificial radiation, not solar radiation.

Neurological impacts

Cellphone radiation reduces hearing sensitivity, impairs memory and has other neurological impacts.

Sleep disruption

Exposure to cellphone radiation in the evening disrupts the body’s production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for deep repairing sleep).

Systemic damages

Altered gene expression; impaired sperm function and quality; altered metabolism; cardiovascular diseases; learning and memory deficits; increased LDL, insulin resistance, blood sugar increases (precursor of Type 3 diabetes); decreases in white blood cell counts, hormonal disruptions, sustained high salivary cortisol levels; disruptions to the human biofield (the highly pulsed nature of wireless radiation makes it impossible for the body to adapt): after even 15-25 seconds of a cellphone call, left/right imbalances, reductions in energy emissions, increased sparking with increased stress responses.

Mitochondrial changes which reduce the body’s energy supply and limit its capacity to repair damage.

Adverse effects on the microbiome, which in turn affects digestion, absorption of nutrients, cognitive ability and the immune system.

Chronic disease epidemic correlations with wireless rollouts

These include infertility, dementia, cancer and cardiac and psychiatric disorders and numerous new kinds of diseases.

In the US, since the 90s, 36 diseases more than doubled, of those many tripled and a few quadrupled. Most diseases are neurological (91 million Americans), autoimmune/inflammatory (50 million) obesity (110 million) and sleep dysfunction (101 million). None of these diseases are germ-caused.

Lloyds of London, Swiss RE and Fortune 500 insurance companies don’t insure wireless and they put it in the highest long-term risk category for things to insure.

Asking hard questions

The above information begs the questions:

• Is the rollout of ubiquitous wireless technology in general and 5G in particular, legal?

• Other than recourse to the law, what mitigating and alternative actions are feasible?

In fact, the unrestrained and untested rollout of 5G appears to breach international law. According to the Nuremberg Accords which state that no experimentation may be carried out on people without their consent and the Precautionary Principle which, according to the European Commission “may be invoked when a phenomenon, product or process may have a dangerous effect, identified by a scientific and objective evaluation, if this evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty.” There are the Helsinki Accords of 1975 and the Syracuse Agreement regarding respect for human rights and freedoms.

Aside from law, it is clear that the rollout of 5G may violate human rights where informed consent is bypassed. Citizens may exercise their rights through the courts by notifying the communications companies of withdrawal of consent and intention to hold them liable for adverse effects.

It is clear from the above that there is sufficient evidence suggesting that a thorough investigation into the long-term effects of exposure to communication frequencies, in particular the 5G spectrum, is required to be able to distinguish the fake from the truth with substantiated data.

The responsibility of the engineer to uphold the health and safety of the population stems from as early as around 2000 BC with the commandment captured in Deuteronomy 22:8 “When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.” (NIV translation).

This concept was also captured in the Code of Hammurabi (Babylonia, 1792-1750 BC) “If a builder builds a house…and does not make its construction firm and it collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.” These notions are captured today in South African law by the Engineering Professions Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

The Engineering Professions Act, Act 46 of 2000, calls for the establishment of a statuary body called the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), whose general powers include:

14. (g) take any steps it considers necessary for the protection of the public in their dealings with registered persons for the maintenance of the integrity and the enhancement of the status of the engineering profession;

14. (i) create an awareness amongst registered persons of the importance to protect the environment against unsound engineering practices;

14. (j) take any steps which it considers necessary, where, as a result of engineering related undertakings, public health and safety is prejudiced;

ECSA is tasked to draw up a code of conduct for registered persons:

27. (1) The council must, in consultation with the CBE, voluntary associations and registered persons, draw up a code of conduct for registered persons and may draw up a code of practice.

(3) All registered persons must comply with the code of conduct and the code of practice and failure to do so constitutes improper conduct.

ECSA code of conduct objectives include:

1.6. Do not prejudice public health and safety. The legal meaning of prejudice is “harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgement”.

The code of conduct requires for a registered person to operate with integrity, who:

“(h) must give engineering decisions, recommendations or opinions that are honest, objective and based on facts.”

Operate in the public interest:

“3.3 (a) must at all times have a due regard to give priority to the health, safety and interest of the public.”

And have due regard for the environment:

“3.4 (a) have due regard for and in their work avoid or minimise adverse impact on the environment.”

Should scientific research find a significant correlation between long-term exposure to 5G radiation and ill health effects, it would be quite problematic. In the case of the realisation that long-term use of sugar, tobacco, asbestos or alcohol products pose ill health effects, the individual has the right and ability to choose not to partake. In the case of 5G electromagnetic radiation, how would the individual be given the opportunity to exercise his constitutional right to opt out when his whole living environment is saturated with radiation stemming from 5G equipment deployed in his neighbourhood or even in the office environment where the individual is employed?


Prof. Johan Meyer.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 85 of 1993 stipulates under section 8, general duties of employers to their employees item “(d) establishing, that as far as reasonably practical, what hazards to the health and safety of persons are attached to any work which is performed…”

This would place the onus on the employer to establish as far as reasonably practical, whether the long-term exposure to radiation stemming from communication equipment utilised on the premises of the employer poses a health risk to any employees. If a case can be made, the employer would be deemed liable.

We as engineers have the responsibility to society for the safe deployment of technology. We cannot turn a blind eye because of an inconvenient truth and file it under the category of fake news without drawing conclusions after thorough investigation from independent, reputable researchers. If anyone claims long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation does not pose ill health consequences, I, as an engineer, should ask “Show me the independent research on which you are basing your claim”. This is after all my responsibility as an engineer.

For more information contact Prof. Johan Meyer, johanm@uj.ac.za




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