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5G: The New York Times Gets it Wrong Again

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The 5G Crisis: Awareness and Accountability summit, an online summit exposing the harmful health effects, environmental impacts and global surveillance aspects of 5G small cell deployment, was announced to the world on July 15, 2019. The same day an article by William J. Broad appeared in the print version of the New York Times with the headline: "Don't Fear the Frequency". The next day the Times published an online version of Broad's article with the title: "The 5G Health Hazard That Isn't". 

In May, 2019, on the eve of the first 5G National Day of Action sponsored by Americans for Responsible Technology to raise awareness about the harmful health effects of 5G small cell infrastructure, the Times published an article asserting that those concerned about 5G health effects are being unwittingly manipulated by Russian fake news. Like the previous article, the recent piece mentions Russian propaganda again, and, like that article, the recent Times piece is full of inaccuracies, omissions, and is deeply flawed in its basic premise.

Moreover, the recent article hides the Times' conflicts of interest when it comes to 5G, including their investment in a 5G joint venture with telecom giant Verizon. In addition, the Times' pages are frequently filled with expensive full-page color ads for wireless companies like Verizon, companies that stand to make billions of dollars from new services made possible by 5G-enabled small cells intended for deployment on public infrastructure throughout the country.

The byline of the recent Times article, "How one scientist and his inaccurate chart led to unwarranted fears of wireless technology" indicates the crux of Broad's argument. From a multitude of research at that time, Broad cherry-picks, singling out the chart of Bill Curry, PhD, and asserts:

Over the years, Dr. Curry's warning spread far, resonating with educators, consumers and entire cities as the frequencies of cellphones, cell towers and wireless local networks rose. To no small degree, the blossoming anxiety over the professed health risks of 5G technology can be traced to a single scientist and a single chart.

This constitutes the entire premise of Broad's article, yet it amounts to an unsubstantiated claim. The reference Broad cites to support his argument of Curry's alleged far reaching influence is a document, Cell Phone Towers FactPack, of which Curry's graphs appear once in a five page memo, from the year 2000, by Curry to the Broward County School District. This memo is buried (on pages 131-135) among 39 other references contained in the packet. In fact, out of 215 pages of documents in the packet Curry's name and chart appear exactly once. According to Broad, Curry's chart was included in a dismissed lawsuit and began "circulating online", for which Broad includes reference to an obscure website that apparently hasn't been updated since February of 2018. To cite this as evidence of "a single scientist and a single chart" being responsible for 5G health concerns in 2019 is egregious.

Broad then asserts "Dr. Curry and his graph got it wrong" because "according to experts" radio waves become safer at higher frequencies such as 5G, yet no references are given for these many "experts". One would expect a multitude of references to support such a claim, yet not one is referenced. Further, Broad's assertion of 5G safety ignores relevant research that shows "permanent tissue damage even after short exposures" to 5G radio frequency radiation, and "significantly higher power density (PD) and specific absorption rate (SAR) then a current cellular system. Another study in 2018 showed a disconcerting variety of health effects, including increased skin temperature; altered gene expression; cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress; inflammatory and metabolic processes; possible ocular damages; and disturbance of neuromuscular dynamics.

Martin Pall, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, wrote a 90 page paper in which he compiled relevant research demonstrating the health risks of 5G. In his paper Pall includes evidence of 5G harm on the nervous system, endocrine system, reproductive systems, our DNA and 15 different mechanisms of attack on our cells, among other things, all of which were ignored or overlooked by Broad in his article.

Broad goes on to say that "in subsequent years, as the frequencies of wireless devices continued to rise, an associated risk of brain cancer was repeated uncritically" as if a link between cell phone use and brain cancer is fiction. This claim ignores the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized radio frequency radiation as a Class 2B possible carcinogen based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer.

Says Broad, "mainstream scientists continue to see no evidence of harm from cell phone radio waves". Again, in making such a claim one would expect numerous references to back it up, yet not one reference is provided. Further, Broad's assertion ignores the results of the $30 million National Institutes of Health, National Toxicology Program study that took ten years to complete and shows a link between cell phone use and cancerous tumors of the heart, adrenal gland and brain. Broad also ignores this 2016 meta-analysis in the International Journal of Cancer and Clinical Research with 87 references that found accumulated evidence of several types of cancers associated with radio frequency radiation. Of such magnitude is the growing body of research on this type of radiation and cancer that WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has made it a high priority to consider reclassifying the cancer risk.

Broad goes on to state that Curry's analysis failed to account for the protective effect of human skin, citing as evidence a Cornell University safety guide focused on the thermal effects of radio frequency radiation. This guide mentions the skin exactly once in passing. When researchers are focused on tissue heating, as cited in the safety guide, they are likely to regard the skin as a barrier to heating. However, to infer this means the skin blocks radio frequency radiation is erroneous. In fact, with recent research specific to 5G, the skin has been shown to play a key role as a mechanism of harm, particularly the sweat ducts of the skin which intensely absorb the higher frequencies of 5G and show thermal effects. The skin, with the special properties of the sweat ducts, is shown to act as "arrays of helical antennas" akin to a sub terahertz receiver, potentially compounding the damaging effects of 5G radio frequency radiation.

To further support his erroneous claim that the skin acts as a barrier to 5G radiation, Broad cites two radiologists, one of whom studies magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the other studies medical ultrasound. When an individual is exposed to radiation from medical interventions the exposure is typically short in duration and isolated in application. Neither of these conditions applies to the type of radio frequency radiation emitted by cell antennas, and neither of the professors referenced specializes in the type of non-medical radiation that 5G produces. In its proposed form, 5G wireless radiation will be large-scale, omnipresent and pervasive. So categorically different than the brief exposure afforded from medical uses as to render them non-applicable. For Broad to refer to these two researchers as comprising "the benign assessment of the medical establishment" is disingenuous.

In sum, Broad's lack of substantive evidence for his central claim and numerous inaccuracies and omissions in his article leave the reader with serious doubts as to the real aim of the writing. These factors, combined with the New York Times' conflicts of interest regarding 5G render the article questionable. Essentially, Broad's article would be better suited to the editorial page.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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