Maternal cell phone use during pregnancy – effect on pregnancy duration and risk for preterm birth

Tsarna E, Reedijk M, Birks LE, et al Maternal Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy, Pregnancy Duration And Fetal Growth In Four Birth Cohorts. Am J Epidemiol. 2019 Apr 17. pii: kwz092. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwz092.

Previous studies evaluating potential effects of prenatal exposure to radiofrequency fields from cell phones on birth outcomes are inconsistent. We explored if maternal cell phone use was associated with pregnancy duration and fetal growth. We used information from 55,507 pregnant women and their children from Denmark (1996-2002), the Netherlands (2003-2004), Spain (2003-2008) and Korea (2006-2011). Based on self-reported number of cell phone calls per day, exposure was grouped as none, low (reference level), intermediate, and high. We examined pregnancy duration (gestational age at birth, preterm/postterm birth), fetal growth (birth weight ratio, small/large for gestational age), and birth weight, low and high birth weight, and meta-analyzed cohort specific estimates. The intermediate exposure group had higher risk of giving birth at lower gestational age (Hazard Ratio=1.04, 95%CI 1.01, 1.07), and exposure-response relationships were found for shorter pregnancy duration (P<0.001) and preterm birth (P=0.003). We observed no association with fetal growth or birth weight. In conclusion, maternal cell phone use during pregnancy may be associated with shorter pregnancy duration and increased risk for preterm birth. Results should be interpreted with caution, as they may reflect stress during pregnancy or other residual confounding, rather than direct effect of cell phone exposure.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30995291

Deployment of 5G stopped in Switzerland

The implementation of the fifth generation, 5G, for wireless communication has been stopped in three cantons in Switzerland (Jura, Geneva and Vaud) until effects on health and environment have been investigated. This is in line with what we have asked for in the 5G appeal, see www.5gappeal.eu.

Thus, we asked for a moratorium until investigations on adverse effects have been studied by independent scientists. The appeal has been signed by more than 230 scientists and medical doctors.

In the article “World Health Organization, radiofrequency radiation and health – a hard nut to crack (Review) published in 2017 we showed low levels of radiofrequency radiation in the investigated part of the WHO Geneva building. The conclusion was: Ironically enough, whether knowingly or not, the WHO staff seems to protect themselves from high involuntary RF radiation levels at least in the measured areas within the Geneva building.

Those employed at the WHO office in Geneva will now be protected from 5G radiation. The question is if this is justified since people in most parts of the world are not protected and WHO seems not to take action for prevention. As discussed in the article WHO seems to rely on a small group of scientists in the biased ICNIRP group.

5G Deployment – State of Play in Europe, USA and Asia

5G Deployment, April 2019, EU – State of Play in Europe, USA and Asia

The report is available here.

Authors: Colin BLACKMAN and Simon FORGE

PE 631.060 – April 2019

5G will be three times more expensive
5G is driven by the telecom supply industry
Campaign to convince governments
Marketing hype is widespread
Get policy makers to believe that there is a race between nations

This is because the technologies involved with 5G are much more complex. One aspect, for example, that is not well understood today is the unpredictable propagation patterns that could result in unacceptable levels of human exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

Increasing long-term R&D efforts on 5G is essential to understand multiple propagation unknowns (e.g. measuring and controlling RF EMF exposure with MIMO at mmWave frequencies).

Focused beams: Rather than transmitting a wide area broadcast spread over a segment of the cell around a base station, an “active antenna” technique is used to form a set of steerable radio beams with power focused on a small area – the receiving handset.

Range declines with the square of frequency

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interference from weather (rain, snow, fog)
Trees, foliage, walls, buildings

Typical range 20-150 meter
Cell radius of 20 meter gives 800 base stations per square kilometer
Needs battery back-up

This dense network rollout will be costly, not just in terms of installations, but, also in the costs and delays in obtaining planning permission and any authorisation. So, for urban coverage with 5G small cells, it would be sensible for the EU member states to simplify and harmonise their authorisation permits and planning permission processes, to enable a standard EU approach to densification:

• Small cell standards are needed to give the EU a way forward for high quality outdoor and indoor cellular connectivity to support a light-touch regulatory regime, essential to ensure rapid rollout of perhaps hundreds of small cells per square kilometre.

5G Electromagnetic Radiation and Safety

Significant concern is emerging over the possible impact on health and safety arising from potentially much higher exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation arising from 5G. Increased exposure may result not only from the use of much higher frequencies in 5G but also from the potential for the aggregation of different signals, their dynamic nature, and the complex interference effects that may result, especially in dense urban areas.

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, as the signal levels and patterns interact as a closed loop system. This has yet to be mapped reliably for real situations, outside the laboratory.

EU member states are subject to Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC which follows ICNIRP guidelines, the problem is that currently it is not possible to accurately simulate or measure 5G emissions in the real world.

After technology capability, the key factor will be the ease with which a large number of small cells can be deployed in densifying the network.

In response, in line with EECC Article 57, the EU is crafting a regime for SAWAP deployment, aiming for permit-free installation from 2020 (small area wireless access points = SAWAP).

The level of marketing activity is key, with intense lobbying of governments by equipment suppliers and operators – and also of the public by governments.

Recommendation No 1:

Long-term technology research to solve multiple propagation unknowns with the new technology (e.g. measuring and controlling RF EMF exposure with MIMO at mmWave frequencies).

5G stopped in Brussels

Plans for a pilot project to provide high-speed 5G wireless internet in Brussels have been halted due to fears for the health of citizens.

Most European countries have radiofrequency radiation guideline on 61 V/m based on recommendation by ICNIRP. Belgium has lower limit of 6 V/m. That guideline may be too low for 5G. In fact, proper dosimetry had not been done for 5G under real outdoor conditions.

Environmental Minister Céline Fremault explains: “If since July (when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Region and operators in order to make Brussels the first Belgian city to welcome 5G by 2020, Ed) I never stopped working on the file, with a whole series of essential health indicators, today it is clear that it is unthinkable for me to allow the arrival of this technology if I can not ensure the respect of the standards protecting the citizens, 5G or not. The people of Brussels are not laboratory mice whose health I can sell at the cost of profit, we can not leave any doubt.

Florence will use the precautionary principle for the rollout of 5G

It is written that as the highest local health authority, Mayor Dario Nardella is officially committed “to elaborate an overall plan, in agreement with the competent authorities, for the installations of the 5G technology before issuing individual authorizations in view of the application of the Precautionary Principle and public health”, “carefully evaluating any authorization for 5G installations in the territory of the municipality of Florence”.

Florence, after the Stop5G vote expressed by the XII Municipality of Roma, is therefore the first city in Italy to have formally approved the concerns of the political-institutional world on the dangers originated from the fifth generation wireless, recalled in the motion the ambiguity and the ‘uncertainty of supranational and private organizations (such as ICNIRP) that “have very different positions from each other, despite the huge evidence of published studies”, considering that “it would now be established that 5G causes damage to the human body, such as DNA strand breaks”, as the extensive independent biomedical literature produced by the authoritative American biochemist Martin Pall has evaluated.

See news in Italian here.

Environmental radiofrequency radiation at the Järntorget Square in Stockholm Old Town in Sweden compared with results on tumour risks in rats exposed to 1.8 GHz base station environmental emissions

We measured radiofrequency (RF) radiation at the Järntorget square in the Stockholm Old Town in a new study recently published.  In a previous study of the Old Town we found especially high RF radiation at that square. The maximum level in the present study was 11.6 V/m at the center of the square, where the antenna was focused. Järntorget’s mean value was 5.2 V/m, median 5.0 V/m, range 1.2-11.6 V/m.

Of interest is that this level can be compared to life-span carcinogenicity study on rats exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM environmental radiation performed at the Ramazzini Institute (RI) in Italy. A statistically significant increase in the incidence of malignant Schwannoma in the heart was found in male rats at the highest dose, 50 V/m. In treated female rats at the highest dose the incidence of malignant glial tumors was increased, although not statistically significant. In conclusion our study showed RF radiation levels at one square, Järntorget, in Sweden was only one order of magnitude lower than those showing increased incidence of tumours in the RI animal study. An increased cancer risk cannot be excluded for those working next to or at Järntorget for longer time periods.

These results indicate that it is pertinent to measure RF radiation levels in the environment and in homes. Such exposure levels should be declared for those intending to settle down in any dwelling.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden misleads about cancer risks from radiofrequency radiation

The mission of this Agency is according to their home page:

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has a national responsibility for public health issues and works to ensure good public health. The agency also works to ensure that the population is protected against communicable diseases and other health threats.

However, when it comes to radiofrequency radiation and health their report from 2017 gives a wrong evaluation of the state of knowledge. Cancer risks are denied. It was written by a former and a present member of ICNIRP so no doubt the message is not different from that provided by ICNIRP. Our critique is published only in Swedish but can be read here.