Adverse Health Effects of Electromagnetic Field Exposure: To Bee, or Not to Bee, that Is the Five “G” Question

The collective evidence we can draw from the current scientific status regarding adverse health and biological effects of artificial electromagnetic field exposures, such as from cell phones, antennas/base stations, TV and radio towers, babyalarms, smart meters, powerlines, and WiFi routers, points to that we may be jeopardizing more than our own health and behaviour. Bacteria, plants, birds, frogs, and pollinating insects, may all be targeted, and it is obvious we must proceed with the highest caution before immersing the citizens and our wildlife in more and more artificial electromagnetic fields. We may, as a matter of fact, already be gravely endangering our current as well as coming generations. To not act today, may prove a disaster tomorrow, and such lack of action may again result in the classical “late lessons from early warnings”, or – even worse – “too late lessons from early warnings”.


As a scientist and as a citizen, I do not know if the new version of wireless telecommunication, the so-called 5G, is safe or not. Neither does the The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which is an independent agency of the United States government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable, nor The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments.

When they – at the recent Feb. 7th, 2019, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology and their impact on the American people and economy – were asked by the U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal why there is a lack of any scientific research and data on the 5G technology’s potential health risks, and where he also criticized the FCC & FDA for inadequate answers on outstanding public health questions, he had to point firmly to that the wireless carriers concede they are not aware of any independent scientific studies on safety of 5G! 

On April 15, 2019, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, wrote a letter to the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and acting FDA Commissioner Norman Sharpless inquiring about the status of the government’s research into the potential health effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and its relation to the FCC’s guidelines for safe human RF exposure levels, in light of the Commission push to roll out 5G technology and over 800,000 new antenna installations in the United States, aiming at providing a fast Internet service to 99% of the Americans within six years. (Ref: FCC chairman backs T-Mobile-Sprint deal in key endorsement)

Rep. DeFazio pointed out that although the Commission sought comment on whether its RF safety guidelines should be reassessed in 2013, no further action has been taken and the guidelines have not been updated since their implementation in 1996. DeFazio’s letter asks for details on the health-related studies conducted and what efforts have been taken by the agencies to educate and inform the public about its RF/5G technology research.

Again, it is obvious from the consumer’s point of view that nothing is to be found in the filing cabinets of the FDA or the FCC. 

But, all over the world, the consumers/citizens as well as our parliament politicians are still told, e.g. by the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish governmental radiation and health authorities that there is no reason for any concern. Excuse me! If no one – including the American FCC & FDA – is aware of any independent scientific studies on safety of 5G, then I must be very concerned taking into account the fact that from the current vast scientific literature, counting more than 26,000 relevant entries into various literature databases, on the other G:s, like 2G, 3G and 4G, as well as similar exposures from TV and radio towers, babyalarms, smart meters, and powerlines, it is obvious we must proceed with the highest caution before immersing the citizens and our wildlife in more and more artificial electromagnetic fields.

We may, as a matter of fact, already be gravely endangering our current as well as coming generations. To not act today, may prove a disaster tomorrow, and such lack of action may again result in the classical “late lessons from early warnings”, or – even worse – “too late lessons…”.

And for all the civil servants – employed by various governmental authorities – to actively lure their own government and parliament must be regarded as very serious. I believe it is called “high treason” to engage in such an act, or…? I, as a scientist, am not here to promote convenience or economic growth, but only “to serve and protect” human health, as well as to directly protect other animals, plants, and bacteria. These aims must be my only target, not to ensure consumers nor parliaments “there is no cause for alarm” which would be a blatant lie.


Based on earlier conclusions, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva already in 2001/2002 classified powerfrequency magnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic for childhood leukemia (Class 2B), and, by May 31, 2011, radiofrequency electromagnetic fields were also classified as possibly carcinogenic for certain brain tumours (Class 2B).

In the same year, the Council of Europe said “Ban mobile phones and wireless networks in schools”, since these technologies have ”potentially harmful” effects on humans.

The Council of Europe concluded that immediate (!) action was required to protect children. In Sweden nothing happened along these lines, the children were – and are – obviously not worth protecting from the effects summarized below, as compared to protecting profit, money, and unlimited greed. All of this in spite of that the 2B classification means that we do put our children in an exposure equally bad as many very dangerous substances and exposures, such as lead, petrol exhausts, marine diesel fuel, HIV type 2, Human Papilloma Virus, dry cleaning chemicals, methylmercury, hexachlorobenzene, chloroform, carbazole (as in tobacco smoke), etc., all found in the same category 2B. …. … Quite a paradox, is it not, and definitely no exposures parents would happily subject their loved children to, or what do you think…?

The paradox is even more obvious since all these gadgets – from an evolutionary point-of-view – are toys. Children who do not get tablets and smart phones still will mature to responsible and loving citizens – that you do not need to worry about! But without the real life necessities such as clean water, clean air, food that can be eaten without risk, care, concern, love and respect, they will perish, as if wildlife, such as pollinating insects, is/are damaged beyond repair.

Sometimes the toy aspect of 5G seems quite a bit over the top! A few days ago I read about how the commercial company, Ordnance Survey Limited in England, promise that

Together, we’ve developed a demonstrator tool that lets network providers and local authorities visualise the best locations for placing radio antennae – to help deliver faster network speeds and better coverage that will cater for the increase of mobile and connected devices”. –  5G. We’ll keep you connected,

Among their images is one of St. Peter’s Church in Bournemouth with oblique imagery from Leica Geosystems.

But how stupid of me, I believed a church was for prayer, respect, sadness, happiness, contemplation and preaching, not to be colour-coded by Leica Geosystems…and definitely not providing a chuch spire platform assisting in relaying hard-core pornography, violent movies, amoral and unethical messages, etc. Is that really what our churches should be used for? But I suppose the driving force, as so often, is greed, not need.

So no wonder that the citizens of Bournemouth now are upset!

With the very recent American National Toxicology Program’s study [2016-2018], which found a clear link between near-field radiofrequency radiation from mobile phones and malignant gliomas of the brain and schwannomas in the heart of rats, and the Italian Ramazzini rodent far-field exposure/cancer results [2018/2019] supporting the first, the above is of even stronger importance.

And in 2012, the Italian Supreme Court ruled for the first time that mobiles can cause a brain tumour! And do not forget that the very same WHO (cf. above) cancer-classified powerfrequency magnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic (Class 2B) already in 2001/2002!

Besides the brain and heart cancer risks, cell phone and WiFi signals may also affect the blood-brain barrier to open and let toxic molecules into the brain, hurt and kill neurons in the hippocampus (one of the brain centres for memory), down- or up-regulate essential proteins in the brain engaged in the it’s metabolism, stress response and neuroprotection. Exposed sperms have been seen with more head defects, decreased sperm count, lowered motility, decreased viability, and other malfunctions as well as DNA damage, and severe effects on fertility have been found. Wireless signals can increase oxidative stress in cells and lead to increase of proinflammatory cytokines and lower capacity to repair genotoxic DNA single- and double-strand breaks. Cognitive impairments in learning and memory have also been shown.

Results from the OECD’s PISA performance surveys in reading and mathematics show decreasing results in countries that have invested most in introducing computers, tablets and cell phones in school. Multitasking, too many hours in front of a screen, less time for social contacts and physical activities with risk for neck and back aches, overweight, sleep problems, and information technology (IT) addiction are some of the known risks and side-effects of IT. They stand in marked contrast to the often claimed, but largely unproven possible benefits (the OECD actually says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results!).

And the implications of the most recent findings – by Taheri et al from 2017 – of bacteria exposed to mobile phone and WiFi radiation turning resistant to antibiotics are chilling, to say the least, and may easily explain the on-going huge and highly frightening development into more and more antibiotics-resistant microorganisms around the world. The latter has very recently summoned the G20 countries – in 2017 – to discuss the fact that each year more than 25,000 Europeans die prematurely due to antibiotic resistance. By the year 2050 it has been calculated to be about 10,000,000 humans world-wide, and neither of these two estimations have taken into account the Taheri et al findings, thus, the 10,000,000 can easily instead become 7,600,000,000…not then counting all livestock dying for the same reason.

Finally to be noted while you still can see this text, the blue light beaming from smartphones and tablets is changing cells in our eyes that could accelerate blindness, according to a recent study by Ratnayake et al, in Nature Scientific Reports, 2018. Researchers from The University of Toledo studied the impact of blue light – which comes from the sun as well as digital devices – on our eyes. The study found blue light triggers ”toxic” reactions in retinal molecules that sense light and signal the brain. The retinal used by photoreceptors in our eyes is what allows people to see.

Results showed blue light helps generate poisonous chemical reactions killing photoreceptors, which cannot be restored once they die off. This leads to macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease that causes blindness starting in your 50s or 60s, researchers said.

Blue light can also affect your sleep, suppressing your body’s ability to create the hormone melatonin, according to the American National Sleep Foundation. They suggest staying away from devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

Ref: USA Today: Blue light from phones, tablets could accelerate blindness and hurt vision, study finds

Maybe the latter can explain the dramatically increased insomnia problems encountered in our modern society?


To Read Olle Johansson’s Complete Writings on the subject, click here 


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Olle Johansson, former head of The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and former adjunct professor of The Royal Institute of Technology, also Stockholm, Sweden, now retired and leading The Institute of Common Sense for Common Sense, Utö/Stockholm, Sweden

Articles by: Olle Johansson

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