EMF/RF: Government Exposure Limits for Wireless Not What You Think They Are

Thousands of Studies Show Harm Below Government Limits

Guest Post by Angela Tsiang (This article was originally published in the April Newsletter for the Minnesota Chapter of Children’s Health Defense. Reprinted by Permission.)

Did you know there’s a medical condition called microwave sickness that occurs from chronic exposure to wireless radiation that is below government limits and that 3-30% of the population suffer from it? Since 2002, this condition has been recognized by the ADA as a disability, and it might be causing your or your children’s headaches, insomnia, heart rhythm problems, tinnitus, and/or mysterious skin rashes like eczema or psoriasis, but your doctors most likely would not recognize it because most doctors are unaware of this condition. The government exposure guidelines protect you only from radiation levels high enough to cause skin or tissue burns, but not from other effects like DNA damage that can occur from chronic exposure below thermal levels.

Did you know that our government has not established a safety standard to protect people, animals or the environment from the health effects of chronic exposure to wireless radiation from personal devices like cell phones and computers and infrastructure like cellphone towers? And that in 2021, the FCC was ordered to re-evaluate its radiofrequency exposure guidelines because they lost a legal case brought forth by the Children’s Health Defense, Environmental Health Trust and others?

There are four important facts to know about the FCC’s exposure limits:

Fact #1:

There are actually no government safety standards for safe levels of wireless radiation exposure, only “guidelines” that the FCC adopted from the wireless industry. In the FCC’s own words:

“there is no federally developed national standard for safe levels of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy” and government agencies “have generally relied on RF exposure standards developed by expert non-government organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP).”

Fact #2:

These exposure guidelines only protect your tissues from getting burned by cell phone towers and by your wireless devices like cell phones, not against all health effects that happen from chronic exposure at low, non-thermal levels (i.e. power levels not high enough to cause tissue heating). Because RF radiation is in the range of frequencies used by microwave ovens for cooking, the presumption was made that heating is the only effect of concern.

In other words, according to the government, if there is not enough microwave radiation coming from your cell phone to burn your skin, then the amount of radiation is safe.

In 1996, the FCC adopted exposure guidelines which only protect consumers from short-term thermal levels of radiation emitted by cell phones and their infrastructure, ignoring substantial evidence of biological harm from chronic exposures at below thermal levels. The FCC has not reviewed these guidelines since then, despite the exponential increase in prevalence of cell phone use and wireless devices and wireless infrastructure since 1996 and use by children and despite clear scientific evidence and growing rates of radio frequency-related sickness.

The RF maximum permissible exposure for the general population is 1.0 mW/cm2 ( = 1000 uW/cm2) for less than 30 minutes for frequencies 1.5 GHz and above, which are the ones used for 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi. Thirty minutes is a short-term exposure, not a chronic exposure. What about children going to school if there is a cell phone tower at school? They would be exposed to RF radiation at a minimum for 7 hours a day. What about people who live close to a cell phone tower, who would be exposed 24 hours a day? What is the exposure limit for more than 30 minutes? There is none specified.

This recent paper by the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF) presents the scientific evidence that invalidates the health assumptions underlying the FCC and ICNIRP exposure limits for RF radiation.

Fact #3:

No testing of cell phones was done in establishing these limits. In fact, the COVID vaccines received more testing than cell phones for safety when they were brought to market. Cell phones were assumed to be safe because there was not enough radiation coming from them to cause tissue heating.

Fact #4:

In 2021 the FCC was ordered by the U.S.Court of Appeals to re-evaluate its thermally based RF exposure limits when it lost a lawsuit that was brought by CHD, EHT, and private citizens against the FCC, but so far, there has been no action by the FCC to re-evalulate exposure limits.

These lawsuits were filed in 2019, after the FCC proposed to increase the exposure limits to allow for thermal effects in order to accommodate the much higher exposure levels that come with 5G and 6G. CHD, EHT, and citizens filed the lawsuit that challenged the FCC’s decision. EHT’s filings can be found here. While the court ruled against the FCC in 2021, it still has not re-evaluated these limits.

In November 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its (thermally based) wireless radiation exposure guidelines, which were set in 1996, adequately protect against all harmful effects from (non-thermal) exposure. The U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit held that FCC failed to respond to “record evidence that exposure to radiofrequency radiation at levels below the FCC’s current limits may cause negative health effects”, and the court ordered the FCC to explain why it ignored scientific evidence showing harm from wireless radiation. The court also said that the agency demonstrated “a complete failure to respond to comments concerning environmental harm caused by RF radiation.” The court found the FCC ignored numerous organizations, scientists, medical doctors who called on them in docket 13-84 for new, biologically based exposure limits for wireless radiation. Thus far, there has been no response from the FCC, while hundreds of millions of people in this country continue to use these products, assuming wireless products were made to safety standards that protect them from harm. Consumers are unaware that safety below thermal levels was assumed, and that safety testing was only to ensure these products do not cause tissue heating.

Health Effects Present at Exposures Below the FCC Limits – DNA Damage and Microwave Sickness

Are there scientific studies that have found biological effects at non-thermal levels?  Yes, there are thousands of studies, showing effects on microbes, plants, animals, and humans.

The 2012 Bioinitiative Report is a compendium of 3800 peer-reviewed, published studies on bioeffects from RF radiation, authored by 21 PhDs (10 with MDs), with which the European Parliament used to set limits on RF radiation exposure in 2007.

From the Bionitiative Report, many scientific studies show various biological effects at well below 1000 uW/cm2 – on this one page below from the report, headaches, behavioral problems, concentration difficulties, neurological problems, sleeping problems, and increased leukemia risk are seen at 0.01 to 1uW/cm2, which is 1/100,000 to 1/1,000 of the FCC thermal limit:

Electromagnetic Sensitivity is a Disability Recognized by the ADA

In 2002, the ADA recognized electromagnetic sensitivity as a disability under the ADA “if they so severely impair the neurological, respiratory or other functions of an individual that it substantially limits one of more of the individual’s major life activities” (p. 56353 of ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; Final Rule, September 2002 .

Non-Thermal Effects Exist – FDA Approved Pulsed EMF for Medical Therapy is Example

In addition to the GHz range frequencies found in wireless communications, frequencies in the 0-3 kHz range are found in wireless communications as well in the form of pulsation and modulation.  Electromagnetic fields have been used for over a hundred years therapeutically, and PEMF devices, approved by the FDA, have been used in animals and humans to reduce inflammation, increase circulation and reduce pain . Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a non-invasive, non-thermal treatment that involves pulsing electromagnetic fields in tissue to promote healing.  PEMF devices have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat non-union fractures in bones, post-operative pain and edema, osteoarthritis, and plantar fasciitis. The fact that non-thermal levels of RF radiation have been used therapeutically in allopathic medicine proves that there are biological effects at non-thermal levels.

RF Radiation Confers Antibiotic Resistance to Bacteria, Antibiotic Resistance Growing

Bacteria communicate using frequencies that are in the range of Wi-Fi and 5G.  A U.S. DARPA funded study found that bacteria,  Staphylococcus aureus biofilms, communicate using frequencies that are in the range that are used by Wi-Fi and 5G C-band. The experiment found that “Notable radiation is observed in the 3–4 GHz band” coming from the Staph. Aureus biofilms. In this 2019 study,  Staphylococcus Aureus became resistant to 3 antibiotics (levofloxcin, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) after  24 hours of irradiation from a cell phone emitting a frequency of 0.9 GHz.  Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is growing and a global health problem.  According to the  National Geographic Society, “multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, caused more than 11,000 deaths in the United States in 2011 alone, and that one plus other resistant microbes kill hundreds of thousands of people annually around the world.”

RF Radiation Damages DNA and Shortens Life Span in Sperm

In a study, after 6 hours of daily exposure for 18 weeks to cell phone radiation at a distance of 1cm from their heads, the amount of live sperm in exposed rats was 45% compared to the unexposed control group at 71%.  More scientific studies on the effects of RF radiation on reproduction, including effects on sperm and ovum, can be found here on the website for Physicians for Safe Technology, founded by this distinguished group of scientists, medical doctors and University of California Professors

With consistent scientific evidence showing negative biological effects on DNA, microbes, plants, animals and the environment, how could it not harm humans?

Microwave Sickness Affects 30% of the Population – Do you have these symptoms?

Microwave sickness, aka “microwave syndromeelectrohypersensitivity or electrosensitivity, occurs at non-thermal levels of RF exposure, i.e. below the FCC thermal limit of 1000uW/cm2.

EHS, electrohypersensitivity, aka electrosensitivity,  is a collection of negative biological reactions that some people, including children, experience when exposed to EMFs.  The reactions include immune and nervous system problems: headaches, sleeping problems, skin rashes, respiratory allergies and flu-like symptoms, digestive problems, heart palpitations, panic attacks/anxiety, tinnitus, and memory and cognition problems.  To read more on EHS, see Electromagnetic Sensitivity – Environmental Health Trust

Microwave sickness affects up to 30% of the population according to a 2019 study  1.5-5% have moderate symptoms, and < 1.5% have severe symptoms, while up to 30% have mild symptoms.  However, as exposures increase, as is happening with higher radiation levels from 5G devices; increased cell antenna density for 5G; increased internet service from space provided by satellites instead of line-based service; increased use of wireless by the general population who presume safety and unaware of the effects from non-thermal exposures; and installation of more cell phone antennas into residential neighborhoods and schools, the prevalence will increase.

Microwave sickness is a medical condition defined by Merriam-Webster as “a condition of impaired health reported especially in the Russian medical literature that is characterized by headaches, anxiety, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and difficulty in concentrating and by changes in the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and that is held to be caused by prolonged exposure to low-intensity microwave radiation.”

Children are affected.  Read this CHD article about an 8 year old boy who got bad headaches, dizziness, and fatigue at school with a 5G tower 200 meters away.  Dr. Lennart Hardell and Mona Nilsson measured the radiation levels at the boy’s school to be at a maximum of 27 uW/cm2, which while is under U.S. thermal exposure limit of 1000 uW/cm2 (the FCC limit), was 40 times higher than what it was at his home, which was measured to be at 0.104 uW/cm2 8-Year-Old Boy’s ‘Severe’ Headaches Likely Caused by 5G Tower Near School  

Hardell and Nilsson found many similar instances of people developing microwave sickness after a cell tower was installed near their homes or workplaces at exposure levels well below 1000 uW/cm2.  Their studies can be read here 5G Health Effects: 5 Case Reports of Health Symptoms After 5G Cell Towers Placed in Sweden (mdsafetech.org)

Wireless radiation has become ubiquitous, and growing exponentially.  It’s not just cell phones, but large cell phone towers, and small cells in front of homes and downtown streets.  Wi-fi modems, personal tablets and laptops, smart meters in homes, satellites in the skies providing wireless internet service showering radiation from above, personal assistants like alexa, ring doorbell camera systems, wireless tech in cars, Wi-Fi hot spots, modems in residential homes being used to provide cell phone service to millions since 2014, wearables like apple watches, and fitbits.  In fact, people started to get EHS symptoms after they got fitbit. Fitbit was recalled due to mysterious EMF wifi symptoms and complaints in 2018 and many people reporting dermatitis with Air Pods and Wearable Wireless Devices  Then there are the thousands of satellites providing wireless internet that have already launched  with 42,000 planned for Space X (Star Link), with up to one million (paper) satellites planned.  You may have seen these passing overhead like a train of Santa’s reindeer.  Here’s a look at what they look like, also how to track where they are How to see Starlink satellites in the sky?   Starlink Tracker | Starlink Satellite Train 2024 Schedule with lots of them launching regularly

Until governments acknowledge non-thermal harms from wireless technology,  consumers beware.  At a minimum, please take a look at these 10 tips on how to reduce your exposure and set-up a low radiation workstation for you and your children https://ehtrust.org/how-to-set-up-a-low-emf-safe-tech-computer-workstation/

To read more

Studies on Brain Effects, Cancer, and Other Wireless Radiation Effects:·  

Spread the love

Sign-up to receive current EMF NEWS and most recent BLOGS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.