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5G technology could come with health risks, critics say

Critics say 5G technology may come with health risks. (Full Measure)
Critics say 5G technology may come with health risks. (Full Measure)
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WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) -- Super cool 5G technology is being implemented across the U.S., particularly in big cities. It promises to make our smartphones better and faster. The wireless industry calls it “4-G on steroids.” "It’s going to be data that's faster and more of it, but it also enables the connection of more devices to the network,” says Jonathan Adelstein of the Wireless Infrastructure Association.

But some scientists and consumers say the same magic that makes 5G so special also makes it more dangerous to our health.

We set out to learn whether the supposed risks are real or overblown. The journey led us to a preeminent scientist on the topic, Professor Martin Pall. Pall is so concerned about cell phone radiation known as “EMF” or electric and magnetic fields, that he refuses to even hold a mobile phone. In fact, he doesn’t engage in any wireless communication. He says he uses a wired mouse on his wired computer, has a shield over the screen that reduces EMF, and even wears special EMF-resistant fabric.

It turns out, Pall’s concerns are backed up by dozens of peer-reviewed, scientific studies. His own credentials include a Physics degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and genetics at the California Institute of Technology.

"I've got both the life sciences and the physics,” says Pall. "It's the way in which these two interact, which is crucial for understanding how EMF impact the cells of our bodies.”

According to Pall, scientific studies show EMF impacts all of the cells in our bodies and can produce "neuropsychiatric effects,” reproductive problems, anxiety, sleeplessness, headaches and oxidative stress, which he says is involved in essentially all chronic diseases. "So I'm, I'm deeply concerned about the situation.”

Pall isn’t alone in his worries. Consumer groups and activists are speaking out across the U.S. and the world. At least three expert medical groups have linked certain kinds of EMFs to cancer, particularly childhood leukemia. They are: the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; a working group under the World Health Organization (the International Agency for Research on Cancer), and the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks— which studied cell phones in particular.

What does the industry say? Adelstein, whose wireless industry group represents companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, says the safety issues have been “well studied” and there is no cause for concern.

"It's continuing to be studied,” he told me. "We follow all the guidelines and the World Health Organization. We defer to the scientists as the industry who say it's safe. You can't ever prove a negative, but there've been no indications of any problems. But you know, the government do whatever it needs to do to set strongest possible guidelines and industry will adhere to them.”

U.S. regulators agree there’s nothing to fear. After reviewing “hundreds of studies,” the Food and Drug Administration recently told Congress “the current safety limits for cell phone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health.” At the same time, the FDA did urge the cell phone industry to support new research on cell phone safety.

So far, the industry says it has not done so.

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In any event, 5-G deployment is moving full steam ahead.

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