Submission to the UK Government on Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review: Call for Evidence

Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review  – Call for Evidence
Written submission by Dave Ashton

You sometimes hear it said – mainly by pious politicians – that the first job of any Government is to protect its citizens.

This is a laudable aim, but, concerning harmful microwave-emitting technologies such as cellular communications, wi-fi, and smart meters etc., the rhetoric sadly lags far behind the reality.

Every person in this country is already exposed to layer upon layer of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation from a staggering array of sources, and the very last thing that any of us needs is yet more electrosmog, the harmful effects of which are abundantly clear to many of us, but not – tragically – to the Government, which is pressing full steam ahead with plans to remove the last remaining mobile “not spots”, and to further pollute the environment with 5G radiation.

It wants our homes to be integrated with a “smart grid” and the “internet of things”, via microwave-emitting “smart meters”. We must, all of us, be exposed to this Group 2B Possible Carcinogen 24 hours a day it seems. Except, possibly, some Government ministers; it would be interesting to know how many of these have had smart meters installed…

We must drive on “smart” roads, soon in internet-connected driverless cars, being wi-fried by the ubiquitous mobile phone masts and other radiation-emitting infrastructure that we pass by on our way, or else we must travel on planes, trains and buses, and be irradiated at point blank range by Wi-Fi routers.

Our shops, banks, restaurants and bars, places of leisure, public places, even national parks, must all be immersed in a perpetual fog of microwave radiation. How could it possibly be otherwise?

Similarly, our children must be exposed to Wi-Fi radiation in schools – an unbelievably reckless biological experiment, perpetrated on the innocent, by those whose irresponsibility defies words and comprehension. What would Orwell or Huxley have made of our current dystopian reality? Or what does France make of it, having recently banned toddlers under three from being exposed to Wi-Fi radiation in nurseries and public places, and having restricted the exposure of older children to Wi-Fi? This enlightened country also has a complete ban on mobile phones in schools coming into force later this year.

Even in the supposed places of healing – GP surgeries, hospitals, and other NHS premises – we must obviously be exposed to radiation from within (through wireless “health” wearables, implantables, Wi-Fi, and other microwave-emitting wireless technologies), as well as from without – as anybody who has glanced up at the festoons of mobile phone and Tetra antennas adorning many hospital roofs will know.

Our Government paternalistically assures us that the allowable radiation expsoure levels in this country are well within established international norms, and are sanctioned by worthy organisations such as the (now defunct) Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) and Public Health England (PHE), and based on the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP), and the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The trouble is, as has been well documented, all of these apparently worthy bodies are actually rotten to the core, riven with conflicts of interest that should exclude them from having any say in our radiation exposure levels. They are beholden to business, military and telecommunications interests, and by their own admittance, their suggested radiation levels only protect against acute, short term exposures that result in thermal effects, and do nothing to protect any of us against long term non-thermal effects, which have been so extensively documented in the non-industry scientific literature.

In reality, each of us isn’t just exposed to a single source of radiation for a finite and short period, at a particular frequency, and comprised of a particular pulse, modulation, and intensity. Rather, we are immersed in radiation from a multitude of sources, consisting of differing frequencies, pulses, and modulations. These will interact in ways that nobody really understands – both with other sources of radiation, and also other environmental toxins such as air pollution.

Whilst the radiation from wireless technologies – mobile phones, DECT cordless phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters, Bluetooth devices, wearables, implantables, mobile phone masts, tv and radio transmitters, radar installations etc. – is currently classified as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), many scientists are now calling for this classification to be tightened to Group 2A Probable Carcinogen, or even to Group 1 Human Carcinogen.

These include the 236 experts on the biological effects of this radiation who have now signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which has been sent to the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and to all UN member states, such as the UK.

These experts note that:

“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include 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 humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

In addition, Dr Lennart Hardell, whose studies on the link between mobile phone radiation and cancer informed IARC’s 2011 Group 2B classification of radiofrequency (RF) radiation, has gone much further, suggesting that the radiation from mobile phones etc. is a known human carcinogen. For example, in a recent paper – Evaluation of Mobile Phone and Cordless Phone Use and Glioma Risk Using the Bradford Hill Viewpoints from 1965 on Association or Causation – he and Michael Carlberg say:

“The nine Bradford Hill viewpoints on association or causation regarding RF radiation and glioma risk seem to be fulfilled in this review. Based on that we conclude that glioma is caused by RF radiation. Revision of current guidelines for exposure to RF radiation is needed”.

The UK, which follows ICNIRP’s guidelines, has among the highest allowable non-ionising electromagnetic radiation exposure levels in the world. A number of other countries have chosen to implement precautionary exposure levels at far below the ICNIRP guidelines. Ironically, these include countries that are perceived to be lacking the democratic credentials of the West, such as China and Russia.

Precautionary and biologically-based radiation exposure levels have been proposed by the BioInitiative Group, but sadly there seems little prospect of these being adopted by the UK Government, which seems to be determined to facilitate the rollout of wireless technologies such as 5G in the face of the non-conflicted scientific evidence, and arguably also the evidence before our eyes (have you noticed how sick most people look, and actually are, these days…?).

So-called “electrosensitive” people, such as myself, are among the first to warn the authorities that we are embarked on a catastrophic course, based on our first-hand experience of being harmed by the ubiquitous electrosmog. Adding insult to injury, we then have to endure the platitudes of paid-for psychologists, who through their flawed provocation tests, seek to portray our incapacitating symptoms as being all of the mind – a sort of irrational fear of modern technologies which they term the “nocebo effect” – oblivious to the fact that prior to the onset of our severe reaction to harmful radiation, many of us were enthusiastic early adopters of the technologies that we are now supposed to fear, and some of us actually worked in the technology sector.

I spoke earlier about conflicts of interest being rife in the organisations which are supposed to protect us.

The Head of Physical Dosimetry Department at Public Health England is a chartered engineer. He is also an Investigator into the “health impact of low dose non-ionising and ionising radiation” at the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU).

His responsibility here is working within one of the research areas: Theme 3: Health impact of low dose non-ionising and ionising radiation, part of which includes Project 2 – Electromagnetic fields. The work of this project is described thus: “The SCAMP cohort study is investigating whether children’s use of mobile phones and/or other wireless technologies that use radio waves (e.g. tablets, laptops) might affect their neurocognitive or behavioural development (e.g. attention and memory)”.

He also dutifully turns up at Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) meetings from time to time, to give reassurances that non-ionising EMR is still safe, and that no recent science has shown otherwise.

(This despite the fact that recent and highly reputable science HAS shown otherwise – such as the $25m US National Toxicology Program study on cell phone radiation and cancer, which, in its partial results, showed that exposure to 2G cellular radiation led to cancer and DNA damage in some of the test animals.) The draft final results of this study are expected on February 2nd 2018.

He is also a member of the “Scientific Expert Group” at ICNIRP, the private, self-elected, industry and military-friendly “non-thermal effects don’t exist” organisation, whose non-protective radiation exposure guidelines we follow in the UK.

It would be a remarkable thing indeed if he were to say one thing (i.e. non-thermal effects of non-ionising radiation don’t exist) whilst wearing an ICNIRP hat, and then say something different when wearing any one of his other hats – PHE, COMARE, or NIHR HPRU. As Sarah Starkey noted in a recent critique of the now defunct Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) – of which he was, naturally enough, Secretary:

“PHE and AGNIR had a responsibility to provide accurate information about the safety of RF fields (in the 2012 ‘Report of the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation. Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields’). Unfortunately, the report suffered from an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest. Public health and the well-being of other species in the natural world cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up”.

We are living through an extraordinary period in the history of this country.

The Government is failing to protect its citizens through the implementation of the Precautionary Principle. Instead, it is facilitating the unchecked proliferation of wireless technologies which have never been shown to be safe, but which HAVE been shown to be otherwise, and is relying on the advice of conflicted individuals and organisations when setting the radiation exposure levels – in defiance of all of the warnings from concerned scientists and health professionals.

Also, the Government and its agencies are failing to warn UK citizens of the risk of non-thermal, long term exposure to this radiation. Every one of us has a fundamental right to know, which is not being honoured.

As with Big Tobacco before it, only on a much greater scale, the tech and telecoms industry is making as much hay as it can while the sun shines, and this is allowed by a Government which is asleep on the job, and by “health and protection” organisations which are more concerned with protecting business and military interests than they are with protecting people.

For example, buried away in mobile phone manuals, and deep in the phone itself, are warnings that a separation distance must be maintained between the device and the user, in order to protect against thermal effects, which is all that our utterly ineffective radiation exposure levels do protect against.

Where are the warnings from Public Health England not to hold a phone to the head or keep it in a pocket or bra though? In the US, Berkeley City has been fighting a legal action bought by the CTIA, the telecoms trade body, against a Right to Know ordinance, which advises consumers at point of sale of the somewhat precautionary information that’s already available from the authorities – for those who know where to find it. Having lost every stage of this legal action so far, the CTIA has now pursued it right up to the Supreme Court.

If the CTIA loses again, then it seems likely that other US states will follow Berkeley’s lead. Will the UK? Will purchasers of Wi-Fi routers, mobile phones, wireless wearables, and other microwave-emitting devices be advised at point of sale that these devices emit a Group 2B carcinogen and so may promote cancer, and that if people continue to use them pressed against the head, or keep them in a pocket or bra, that even the protection against acute, thermal effects offered by the current radiation exposure levels will be negated?

Will people who have smart meters installed in their homes and workplaces be warned? Will people who have a 5G small cell installed outside their home be told of the known risks? Or how about the parents of children in schools equipped with Wi-Fi?

Will people be given a choice about whether or not they agree to be irradiated by microwave radiation originating from outside their homes? And if not, why not?

I understand that my words will have no impact on this consultation, but that doesn’t matter. I will have added my warnings to the Government about its irresponsible and immoral course of action, as so many others will have done before me, and as so many will do after me.

The truth is the truth, and in the long run, none of the conflicted attempts by vested interests to sow confusion and bury the science will work. This radiation is inherently harmful, and it would benefit us all to recognise this as soon as possible, and to start work on undoing the harm, and develop safer alternatives.

I hope that I will see the day when those who are responsible for this unfolding disaster are held to account for the crimes against humanity, and all other life forms, that they have wilfully committed.


Background to the submission:

DSMS has launched a Call for Evidence for the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, announced last month in the government’s Industrial Strategy. Submissions will inform a report, to be published in Summer 2018, which will identify options available to government to support an attractive and stable environment for investment in full fibre and 5G technologies.

Submissions are now closed.

Dave Ashton is the editor of  ‘Being Electrosensitive (in a microwaved world)’.  The blog publishes articles on what it is like to live with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in the modern world, written by people who know only too well.

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