For a long time, I have been concerned by the problem of electromagnetic pollution and its consequences on living beings, in particular on human beings.
As early as 1994, I was the initiator of the position taken by the European Parliament in favor of the rigorous application of the precautionary principle with regard to exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, a position reaffirmed by the same Parliament in 1998.
I note that, in recent years, the scientific literature has been enriched by numerous publications confirming the significant risks to human health of regular exposure to pulsed microwave radiation at very low frequencies. And this at exposure levels far below the legal limits and too low to cause any heating of the tissues.
The postulate of the harmlessness of non-thermal effects is, in my opinion, thus definitively invalidated!
Moreover, the deployment of 5G, the fifth generation telecom network, planned for this year 2019 in Brussels, destined to be generalized in Belgium, Europe and the world, implies an increased exposure to microwave radiation and, what is even more worrying, to radiation in the millimeter wave range, at high levels given the proliferation of antennas required by this technology.
The knowledge about the impact of millimeter waves is far from sufficient at this time to support that their use for 5G is devoid of risks for human health.
With this in mind, a great many specialists with internationally recognized expertise sounded the alarm back in 2017 and then again in 2018.
In September 2017, more than 170 scientists and physicians from 37 countries expressed serious concerns about the ongoing and universal increase in exposure to electromagnetic fields from wireless technologies and called on the European Union to suspend any deployment of 5G until it is proven that the technology is safe for the European population, especially infants, children, pregnant women as well as the environment.
In April 2018, the International Society of Doctors for Environment (ISDE) called for the same moratorium under the precautionary principle. It denounces the experimentation, decided at the European level, which consists in testing in many European cities (including Brussels) the 5G network at frequencies above 6 GHz, before the introduction of the typical frequencies of 5G, above 30 GHz (millimeter waves).
In support of this request, ISDE cites preliminary scientific data on radiation exposure above 30 GHz:
- Alteration of gene expression;
- Increased skin temperature;
- Alteration of cell membrane functions and neuromuscular systems;
- Ability to modulate the synthesis of proteins involved in inflammatory and immunological processes leading to possible systemic effects.
Finally, very recently, at the end of 2018, an international call demanding a halt to the deployment of 5G on land and in space was made to the UN, WHO, the European Union, the Council of Europe and the governments of all countries on the Internet ( site www.5gspaceappeal.org) by doctors, scientists and members of environmental organizations urging a halt to the deployment of the 5G network including from space satellites.
In addition to the impact on human health, serious damage to bacteria and insects is mentioned in their argument.
I personally co-signed this appeal with enthusiasm.
I do not know if the Superior Council of Health has been challenged by these positions and if it has considered the issue.
I would like to insist even more forcefully that recent publications (2018) bring new data that increase the burden of proof regarding permanent exposure to millimeter waves.
In September 2018, Neufeld and Kuster(1) draw attention to the fact that wireless devices operating in wide frequency bands, above 10GHz, transmit data in bursts of milliseconds to seconds. Although the temperature and power density values remain within acceptable safety limits for continuous exposure, these bursts can lead to temperature peaks in the skin of exposed persons. This can result in permanent tissue damage.
In February 2018, Betzalel et al.(2) demonstrated that sweat glands, which have a helix structure in the upper layers of the skin can act as antennas for millimeter waves. The consequence is a significant increase in the specific absorption rate for these waves.
Finally, and also in 2018, Thielens et al.(3) report their work on four insect populations exposed to radiation at frequencies ranging from 2GHz to 120 GHz.
All insects showed a strong frequency dependence of the absorbed power. All insects showed a general increase in absorbed power above 6 GHz.
This could lead to changes in insect behavior, physiology and morphology over time.
I think that all these elements are sufficiently challenging to justify a careful examination of the file by the specialists of your institution and a call for caution to the political leaders.
The history of the last decades has taught us that it is better for public health to question the dissemination of potentially dangerous technologies beforehand than to manage the consequences afterwards.
I hope that you will be sensitive to my arguments and please accept my sincere greetings.
Doctor of Physical Sciences
Honorary Member of the European Parliament
President of Grappe
- Neufeld E, Kuster N., Systematic Derivation of safety Limits for Time-Varying 5G Radiofrequency Exposure Based on Analytical Models and Thermal Dose . Health Phys. 2018.
- Betzalel N et al, The human skin as a sub-THz receiver – Does 5G pose a danger to it or not ? Environ. Res. 2018.
- Thielens et al., Exposure of insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic fields from 2 to 120 GHz , Scientific Reports Volume 8, Article number 3924 , 2018.