Bath event brings the 5G health debate into focus
A new generation of mobile phone technology known as 5G is being rolled out in the UK, bringing faster download speeds and the promise of more connectivity.
However, a growing number of people are voicing concern about the risks to health and the environment from this technology. Over 240 scientists and medical doctors from more than 40 countries have signed an appeal to stop the rollout of 5G. One of the doctors is
Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe (pictured right) who gave a talk on the subject at the Guildhall in July.
The event, organised by the campaign Stop 5G Bath, was attended by MP Wera Hobhouse, council leader Dine Romero and other local councillors.
Dr Mallery-Blythe has studied the effects of wireless radiation and is the founder of the Physicians' Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE). Her background in hospital medicine enables her to engage with research where scientists explore the pathways by which wireless radiation can affect living tissues. Her talk at the Guildhall covered some of the latest scientific research.
One area of study mentioned in her talk was the research by Martin Pall, Professor of Biochemistry at Washington State University. His work has shown how wireless radiation can cause human cells to absorb calcium, prompting a cycle where damaging molecules called free radicals are formed. This type of damage is called "oxidative stress" and may contribute to cancer formation and a range of other health conditions.
Dr Mallery-Blythe also highlighted a type of tumour called a schwannoma which is a tumour of the tissue surrounding nerve fibres. Some scientists have identified schwannomas as a tumour associated with increased mobile phone use. Schwannomas were also found in rats exposed to wireless radiation in the US National Toxicology Program; and further evidence was reported in a follow-up study by Italy's respected Marazzini Institute.
Dr Mallery-Blythe went on to discuss how 5G could involve new networks of antennas being installed across public areas. And she spoke of the threat from the higher frequencies used in 5G to bees and other pollinators. She said that guidelines from Public Health England on the safety of wireless technology are out of date and based on inaccurate reports.
The talk was followed by a lively debate, reflecting the fact that many residents have strong concerns, particularly over the lack of public consultation on 5G. Some of the audience were from Frome and Glastonbury whose local councils have voted to stop 5G on public health grounds – following the example of cities such as Brussels and San Francisco.
MP Wera Hobhouse agreed to consult with parliament on the issue, while Councillor Romero pledged to find out all that she could about the proposed rollout of 5G in BANES.
Dr Mallery-Blythe's presentation can be watched here.
Stop 5G Bath's petition is here and there is also a Stop 5G Bath group on Facebook.