The Miseducation of America on 5G: The New York
Times Gets It Spectacularly
When William J. Broad, a Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times
science writer, strangely mangles information on the dangers of 5G,
this plays right into the hands of those determined to advance this
never-tested technology without serious examination of its long-term
impact on human health and the environment.
headline of the NYTimes trumpeted 5G as the “health hazard that
isn’t.” Not so fast. A close examination of claims in that article
indicates that it is time for a reset on the march to the latest wireless
technology as the consequences could not be more monumental.
Ten Corrections to William J. Broad’s
“The 5G Health Hazard That Isn’t” New York Times July 16,
Issued by Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President, Theodora Scarato, MSW,
Executive Director, Environmental Health
- First of all, contrary to Broad’s claim,
Dr. Curry’s report and graph on wireless radiation risks to children
in schools in 2000 were not the central foundation for scientific
concerns regarding wireless radiation.
2. In fact, in contradiction to Broad’s assertion, Curry’s graph
showing greater absorption with higher frequency of wireless radiation up
to 3G was correct and directly applicable to schools.
graph showing brain tissue absorption of RF came directly from
research commissioned by the
U.S. Air Force and was not a manipulation of data as Broad claims.
- Broad alleges that Curry’s graph was “wrong” because higher and
faster 5G millimeter waves don’t penetrate the skin. In fact, Curry’s
chart had nothing to do with the frequencies of 5G, but solely with the
lower and slower wireless frequencies in use at that time about which
there is no debate that Wi-Fi penetrates the
body and brain
- Wireless radiation frequencies get faster and higher, the depth of
penetration goes down
but the rate of absorption
- A graph from
Curry’s second report to the school district (also cited by Broad)
references “absorption into a slab of grey matter” otherwise known as
the brain. Broad incorrectly captioned Curry’s graph in the NYT story as
showing “tissue damage,” rather than “absorption” the word used in this
graph shown below.
3. The NYTimes graph on 5G frequencies is wrong, because it
incorrectly indicates that 5G devices will start at 3000 MHz (3 GHz),
when in fact companies have stated that 5G will use the same frequencies
as current cell phones as low as 600MHz, in addition to higher
Wireless industry is clear that for 5G phones, routers, and systems
to work, they must use a full range of frequencies, from low to middle to
high, as well as higher millimeter-wave frequencies never used in
mass-scale before (from 600 MHz up to around
50,000 MHz and
higher into Terahertz for 6G).
T-Mobile, for example, will use 600 MHz while AT&T is using 39
GHz in it’s 5G test cities.
- New 5G phones will have multiple antennas emitting multiple
frequencies and modulations all at the same time. Think Bluetooth,Wi-Fi,
Mobile hotspot and LTE on top of the
multiple 5G antennas in just one phone.
- As the American Academy of Pediatrics has noted in their
letters to Congress, lower frequencies are absorbed
deeply into brains and bodies, especially in children, because the
skull of the young child is thinner than that of the adult, the neurons
of their developing brains not fully myelinated, and their brains contain
more fluid. As a consequence, the children will absorb proportionally
more wireless radiation per exposure into the brain than adults, a
point that Curry also makes in his reports.
- Broad’s misrepresentation of 5G as not including these lower
frequencies is the foundation for his erroneous conclusion that the skin
is “a barrier” to 5G. We wrote Broad, but he refused to correct.
- By email, Marvin Ziskin clarified that his statement quoted by Broad
that “5G emissions, if anything, should be safer” applied solely
to the higher frequencies to be used in 5G as they did not penetrate
into the body as deeply. Apparently, his statement did not apply to the
slower and lower frequencies that are well known to be absorbed past the
4. Broad errs in reporting the assertion of radiation physicists that
radio waves become “safer” at higher frequencies because human skin
purportedly “acts as a barrier.” The skin does not just act as a mirror
deflecting the radiation.
- 5G’s faster mmWave frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz are absorbed
into and just below the surface of the skin, and such exposure is
biologically impactful. That is why the U.S. Defense Department developed
weapons with high-powered millimeter waves as
System (ADS), also known as the Pain-Ray, was deployed to
considered as a
deterrent in Somalia.
- The military grounds for
concluding that the Pain-Ray does not cause cancer after long-term
exposure rests on a single three-month-long
animal study involving two exposures per week. Further, the expert
review alleges that blinking would spare
eyes from harm. “The eyes would have to be held open to achieve
damage“ and in a
2009 review ”Researchers learned that the human eye reflexively
blinks within a quarter of a second of detecting millimeter waves,
quickly protecting the eyes.” So do we stream movies superfast with our
eyes closed? What about children’s developing eyes glued to 5G Virtual
Reality streaming into classrooms?
- Wireless 5G networks will use beams of radiation like the Pain-Ray,
Massive MIMO (multiplex in and multiplex out) and
meaning each installation could consist of numerous antennas
simultaneously sending and receiving beaming waves into neighborhoods.
2019 European Parliament Report notes, “The 5G radio emission fields
are quite different to those of previous generations because of their
complex beamformed transmissions in both directions from base station
to handset and for the return. Although fields are highly focused by
beams, they vary rapidly with time and movement and so are
unpredictable.” Because of this, that report concludes, “It is not
possible to accurately simulate or measure 5G emissions in the real
- As our largest organ (~20 square feet), the skin is not a “barrier”
but a filter that
interacts with chemicals and EMF, that can produce systemic effects
on the immune system and specific organs. Poison Ivy and peanuts need
only touch the surface of the skin to set off an occasionally fatal
reaction. A number of medicines are delivered through skin patches
absorbed throughout the body. Babies born with jaundice are treated with
intense light that penetrates through the skin to their blood that
becomes transformed in their livers.
- As with all drugs in medicine or chemicals in the environment,
biological impact depends on who gets exposed to how much under what
specific conditions. For instance, a fair-skinned baby and her
darker-skinned mother can have the same exposure to the sun with
profoundly different results.
5. Contrary to what the NYTimes article asserts, studies find that as
RF frequency increases past 10 GHz, the intensity of the rate of
absorption does increase, despite the shallow penetration.
investigating the impact to the skin from 5G’s higher millimeter
warning flag” on the safety of 5G after finding that human sweat
ducts absorb these frequencies at much
higher rates than in surrounding skin structures acting as tiny
helical EMF antennas to magnify these signals.
- The video below shows one of those researchers, Paul Ben-Ishai, PhD,
lecturer in the Department of Physics, Ariel University, Israel
explaining how 5G millimeter waves interact with the skin. Ben-Ishai also
a letter to California Governor Brown on 5G.
government and private sector researchers caution that 5G frequencies can
cause big increases in temperature that “may lead to permanent tissue
damage after even short exposures.”
6. Contrary to the NYTimes statement, “mainstream scientists
continue to see no evidence of harm from cellphone radio waves,” more
experts in the field of bioelectromagnetics have asked the United
Nations to call for a
moratorium on 5G.
- For insects, a new
study finds that their bodies can absorb up to three times more power
from 5G that could lead to major changes in how they behave and function,
affecting the capacity of bees and other insects to pollinate crops.
waves and wireless
decades ago) have cataloged a host of harmful impacts including
increased temperature, altered gene expression, faster cell growth,
inflammatory and metabolic processes, damage to the eyes and cellular
7. Broad neglected to mention industry connections of several of
- They note that while exposures have risen many fold, so have
studies showing damage to
- Astonishingly, Broad omitted any mention of the fact that an
independent panel in 2011 advised the World Health Organization’s
International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC) that
cellphone and other wireless RF radiation should be classified as a
“possible human carcinogen,” based on evidence from studies carried out
up to that date.
- Nor does Broad report more recent analyses from scientists who have
been senior advisors to the WHO and the NIH on bioelectromagnetics
concluding that the FDA is
downplaying clear evidence of cancer in the
National Toxicology Program study, later corroborated by the
Ramazzini Study, or that a growing
scientists say RF is a “human carcinogen.”
- In light of this mounting research, the WHO/IARC advisory group
released 2019 “high priority”
recommendations to reevaluate the cancer hazard from wireless
8. Broad cites the lack of a marked uptick in brain cancer rates
as proof of RF safety. This misunderstands the long latencies for brain
cancer and also fails to consider that several other cancers plausibly
tied with cellphone use are increasing in young adults.
- Several of the experts quoted in this article have in fact
funded by the wireless industry or by
an R&D arm” of NYU’s
affiliates, which include AT&T, Sprint and Crown Castle the
very companies spearheading the rollout of 5G.
- The word “safe” means different things depending who you talk to.
‘safe” as compliance with outdated FCC government limits despite the fact
that these limits are based on thirty year old science. “Safe” is also
conflated with “less penetration” into the body- another erroneous
assumption based on no scientific research. When independent scientists
state electromagnetic fields are not “safe” because biological
effects are replicated and proven (a fact), the industry connected
scientist response is often that these biological effects “are not the
same as health effects.” This is no better exemplified in this
“consistent evidence” of physiological changes during sleep are found,
yet “these effects do not translate into any measure we can use to
describe disturbances.” When
brain wave changes,
behavior issues in
efflux of calcium ions and
blood brain barrier permeability studies are replicated, the
is that it is “unclear,”
“difficult to draw conclusions,” “the functional significance cannot be
determined” and “more studies need to be done.” When
asked why authorities
do not issue clear protections for children, they say the exposure is
“low” and “society as a whole should decide“ and it’s difficult to prove
- Unfortunately, the field of EMF research has been
industry loyal experts, that have
influenced federal agencies and
sponsorship bias, where works underwritten by industry tend
find no effect, while those few that are
independently funded do
- When Broad was questioned as to why he omitted industry affiliations
March 2019 article claiming Russia was fomenting 5G health concerns,
Broad responded in an email to EHT Executive Director Scarato that “We
do point out industry financial support when it seems appropriate. It’s a
9. Broad’s article fails to report on a number of major policy
efforts to restrict 5G due to concerns about the lack of safety data,
including the following developments:
- Cancers do not occur immediately after exposure to a causative agent
and usually take years to
several decades to be diagnosed. Widespread rises are not expected to
be evident in today’s statistics.
- New analysis by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and
show that non-Hodgkin lymphomas, central nervous system tumors (CNST)
(including brain cancers), renal, hepatic and thyroid tumors have
increased recently among Americans under 20 years old.
- Perhaps more importantly, cancer is not the sole indicator of a
problem. The Cleveland Clinic
advises men who wish to father healthy children to remove phones from
their pockets, because there is growing
evidence that exposures can damage sperm. Sterility and infertility
rise in many countries. While factors accounting for this are
complex, exposures to
- The European Environmental Authority
ranked the impact of 5G as “high” due to “the possibility of
unintended biological consequences.”
Swiss Re and
Lloyd’s have compared 5G and wireless to asbestos as “high” risk and
will not underwrite coverage for health damages.
- The State of New Hampshire passed
HB522 establishing a commission on the health and environmental
effects of 5G. One of the tasks of the Commission is to answer the
question,” Why have more than 220 of the worlds leading scientists signed
an appeal to the WHO and the United Nations to protect public health from
wireless radiation and nothing has been done?”
- The State of Louisiana passed
HR 145 requesting
authorities to study the environmental and health effects of 5G.
a dozen municipalities in Italy have issued resolutions for
precaution on 5G, as have several other
localities in the world.
- Several US members of Congress have written the FCC asking for proof
of safety of 5G and result was “unsatisfactary.” Read the letters and
- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, over industry objections,
upheld the City of Berkeley’s cell phone right to know
ordinance requiring retailers to inform consumers that cellphones
emit radiation and that “if you carry or use your phone in a pants or
shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a
wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to
published analysis of cell phone radiation tests completed by the
government of France shows when phones are touching the skin, they can
exceed US FCC radiation limits up to 11 times, depending on the model.
- Oregon passed
SB 283, a Bill
that directs the Health Authority to review independently-funded
scientific studies of the health effects of wireless, especially for
10. Broad refuses to correct the inaccuracies of his articles and
the Times persists in demeaning critics and concerned citizens.
- Cyprus just launched a major public educational
campaign to reduce children’s wireless exposures (as have
several countries) and has
removed wireless from the pediatric intensive care units of Archb
shop Makar os III Hospital.
- The first major US medical
conference for doctors on the
health effects of electromagnetic radiation will be held this September
Despite ample documentation of the need for corrections, the NYT
refuses to correct their misleading and deceptive articles about 5G
and cellphone radiation.
Broad’s 5G articles have been picked up by
media nationwide, and are invoked as
proof of safety by the former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler who is also
former Head of the CTIA-The Wireless Association. A 2015
Harvard Report documents how the heavy Congressional lobbying of the
multibillion-dollar wireless industry coupled with the revolving door
between industry and government has resulted in undue industry influence
into the science and policy of wireless radiation.
The NYT article included a belittling
graphic showing people fleeing in fear from a cell tower, mocking
those who are working for safe neighborhoods and schools and the many
nations that reduce children’s exposure and do not permit towers near
schools and hospitals, but did not reference a major
investigative journalism analysis indicating serious grounds for
tweeted the story with “He was a very bright guy.”
- William J. Broad
- “He was a very bright guy”
The 5G Health Hazard That Isn’t
- How one scientist and his
inaccurate chart led to unwarranted fears of wireless technology.
- As Senator Patrick Moynihan stated, “Everyone is entitled to his own
opinion, but not his own facts.” We call upon the New York Times to
correct the misinformation.
- This was penned by Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President and Theodora
Scarato, MSW, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust (EHT).EHT
scientific resources on 5G.
- Note: Louis Slesin of Microwave News also
reported on the inaccuracies in the New York Times article at
A Fact-Free Hit on a 5G Critic: Fabricating History on the New York Times
The 5G Health Hazard That Isn’t” New York Times 7/16/19 July 16,
Curry PhD, Report on Wi-Fi in Schools, February 24, 2000
Curry PhD, Report on Wi-Fi in Schools, September 29, 2000
- Written by
Devra Lee Davis, PhD MPH President of Environmental Health
Trust ehtrust.org, Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew
University Hadassah Medical School
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