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Tinnitus and Microwave Hearing – Have You Heard?

By Sean Carney and Patricia Burke of Safe Tech International

Top image courtesy Pixabay

Tinnitus in the Media

 “Ringing in your ears? About 750 million people have this perplexing condition, study says”  was published by USA Today on August 13, and was written by Christine Fernando, who informs us of the following:

“Tinnitus, commonly described as a ringing in the ears, may affect about 750 million people around the world, according to new research based on about 50 years of data.

The study, published this week in the research journal JAMA Neurology, suggests tinnitus is perceived as a major problem by more than 120 million people, most of whom are 65 or older.

“This study suggests that the global burden of tinnitus is large, similar to migraine and pain, and the lack of effective treatment options justifies a major investment in research in this area,” researchers wrote.”

“The condition can either be temporary or chronic [ ]. It’s not a disease in itself but is a symptom of other underlying health conditions, according to the association.

In most cases, tinnitus is a reaction in the brain to damage in the ear or auditory system,

[ ] However [ ] tinnitus can also be a symptom of roughly 200 health problems, including hearing loss, obstructions in the middle ear, and head and neck trauma.

Even something as simple as a piece of earwax blocking the ear canal can cause tinnitus [ ]. The condition may also be the first sign of hearing loss in older adults or can be a side effect of more than 200 different medications.”

USA Today shares its opinion on Tinnitus. Unfortunately, people aren’t given the whole story.

The USA Today article also stated:

“Tinnitus usually isn’t a sign of a serious health problem [ ]. But if it’s loud and persistent, it can cause memory and concentration problems, fatigue, anxiety and depression.

For some, tinnitus can be a source of real mental and emotional anguish,” the institute said.”

“The ATA (American Tinnitus Association) also said chronic tinnitus can be a debilitating condition that can interfere with a person’s ability to work and socialize.

“People at higher risk for tinnitus include older people, active military personnel or veterans, people who work in loud environments and musicians, [ ]”

There is “no scientifically-validated cure” for most forms of tinnitus, the ATA said. But treatment options can reduce the effects of the condition and help people live more comfortably. [ ]

“Treatments that may help tinnitus include hearing aids, counseling and wearable sound generators, the NIDCD (The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) said. Limiting exposure to loud noises can also help prevent tinnitus from worsening.”

At Safe Tech International we think treatment could include precautions to counter excessive microwave exposures. Switching to wired internet access, and putting cell phones on airplane mode when not in use, for example.

Safe Tech International takes an interest in the rise in Tinnitus being reported. We decided to reach out to the USA Today journalist Christine Fernando with additional information pertinent to Tinnitus experiences we thought the public should be made aware of.

Sean Carney of Safe Tech International Responds

Sean Carney of Safe Tech International wrote to the article’s author as follows:

“Dear Christine Fernando, I have read your article with interest. 

What could cause a mysterious rise in tinnitus? A known problem (the Frey effect, a.k.a. microwave hearing) arising from wireless radiofrequency antennae/equipment, is strongly implicated. There are sure a lot of radiofrequency transmitting devices around these days.

Please read the following factual extracts.

This is from global guidelines (2020 revision) for exposures to non-ionising radiation, eg, wi-fi, mobile phones, radio-masts, radar, etc:

3.6. Microwave hearing effect

“Sub-millisecond pulses of RF EMF can result in audible sound. This occurs due to thermo-elastic tissue expansion resulting from very small (circa 0.00001°C) temperature rises, which is detected by sensory cells in the cochlea via the same processes involved in normal hearing.”

This is from a TBR New Media article:

“The Frey effect, named after American biologist Allan H. Frey, occurs when microwaves cause the brain to “hear” ordinary sounds, like loud noises, ringing and even human voices. These can be the result of stealth attacks with sonic weapons.”,stealth%20attacks%20with%20sonic%20weapons.

This is from the Journal of Applied Physiology:

“Using extremely low average power densities of electromagnetic energy, the perception of sounds was induced in normal and deaf humans. The effect was induced several hundred feet from the antenna the instant the transmitter was turned on, and is a function of carrier frequency and modulation.”

This is from IEEE:

Absorption of a single microwave pulse impinging on the head may be perceived as an acoustic zip, click, or knocking sound. •A train of microwave pulses may be sensed as an audible buzz, chirp, or tune by humans. •Mechanistic studies show absorption of microwave pulses by soft tissues in the head launches a thermoelastic pressure wave that travels in the brain.”

This is from Elsevier:

“Tinnitus is a multifactorial condition and its prevalence has increased on the past decades. The worldwide progressive increase of the use of cell phones has exposed the peripheral auditory pathways to a higher dose of electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation (EMRFR)…

There are already reasonable evidences to suggest caution for using mobile phones to prevent auditory damage and the onset or worsening of tinnitus.”

This is from the National Environmental Society:

Cell Phone Tower Tinnitus: This is a major public health disaster and has been sent to the following with a request for remedial action.

This is from UC San Diego Health:

““Everything fits. The specifics of the varied sounds that the diplomats reported hearing during the apparent inciting episodes, such as chirping, ringing and buzzing, cohere in detail with known properties of so-called ‘microwave hearing,’ also known as the Frey effect.”

“There are growing reports of “mysterious” tinnitus, but there is strong evidence that microwave hearing is causing widespread hearing problems such as tinnitus.” – Sean Carney

Patricia Burke of Safe Tech International Responds

Microwave hearing was described in 1960 by Alan Frey. 

Microwave Hearing was also described by James Lin in 2007, in his article “Hearing of microwave pulses by humans and animals: effects, mechanism, and thresholds.” He wrote “the microwave pulse, upon absorption by soft tissues in the head, launches a thermoelastic wave of acoustic pressure that travels by bone conduction to the inner ear. There, it activates the cochlear receptors via the same process involved for normal hearing. Aside from tissue heating, microwave auditory effect is the most widely accepted biological effect of microwave radiation with a known mechanism of interaction: the thermoelastic theory.”– Patricia Burke

The study’s authors and the reporter fail to note that reports of the onset of ringing in the ears across age groups have coincided with exposure to microwave radiation from wireless devices and infrastructure, including ‘smart’ meters using sensors while pulsing microwave radiation. 


We are familiar with sensors, the ubiquitous semiconductor technologies that are used in intelligent devices, like laptops and smart bulbs, to detect stimuli and respond in accordance to it. As sensitive, sensing beings, we are caught now in a web of anthropogenic radiofrequency “chatter,” of remotely communicating electronic systems. From Wi-Fi routers to motorway radar systems, or from remotely sensing street lamps to sensor-equipped smart homes, ubiquitous wireless technologies incessantly chatter on night and day.

As science shows, the “chatter” is subtle and so often beyond audible range, but not always so. Certain exposures and interactions with these electromagnetic fields can induce sensory effects, including a range of concerning hearing phenomena. This is as the IoT (Internet of Things) demands everything chattering incessantly in radiofrequencies – the connectivity prized in the Industry 4.0 radiofrequency identification (RFID) digital paradigm, where health concerns are officially unheard of.

What is Microwave Hearing?

As WiredChild notes, ICNIRP were very concerned about microwave hearing in 1998. ICNIRP stated, “Repeated or prolonged exposure to microwave auditory effects may be stressful and potentially harmful,” in its 1998 review, on p.506.

Was it the first time alarm bells were sounded about microwave hearing? No. It was acknowledged years before ICNIRP had raised concerns.

Microwave hearing was recognized by the U.S. military sixty years ago. As the Cellular Phone Task Force explains, “In 1960, biologist Allan Frey, then 25, was working at General Electric’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University when he was contacted by a technician whose job was to measure the signals emitted by radar stations. The technician claimed that he could “hear” radar.

Frey traveled to the facility where the man worked and stood at the edge of the radar beam. “And sure enough, I could hear it, too,” he said. “I could hear the radar going ‘zip, zip, zip’.” Frey went on to establish that the effect was real—microwave radiation from radar (and other source) could somehow be heard by human beings. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It apparently occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as microwaves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. Frey proved also that many deaf people and animals could hear microwave radiation. This phenomenon came to be known as the Frey effect, or simply “microwave hearing.”

At that time the U.S. military, which was interested in greatly expanding its use of radar around populated areas, had substantial funding available to investigate the effects of such radiation on health. For the next two decades Frey, funded by the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Army, was the most active researcher on the bioeffects of microwave radiation in the country.

Changing Behaviour With Non-Ionising Radiation

Frey caused rats to become docile by exposing them to radiation at an average power level of only 50 microwatts per square centimeter. He altered specific behaviors of rats at 8 microwatts per square centimeter. He altered the heart rate of live frogs at 3 microwatts per square centimeter. At only 0.6 microwatts per square centimeter, he caused isolated frogs’ hearts to stop beating by timing the microwave pulses at a precise point during the heart’s rhythm.

0.6 microwatts per square centimeter is about 10,000 times less than the amount of radiation an active cell phone would expose a man’s heart to if he carried it in his shirt pocket.

In a study published in 1975 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Frey reported that microwaves could induce “leakage” in the barrier between the circulatory system and the brain. Breaching the blood-brain barrier is a serious matter. It means that bacteria, viruses and toxins from the blood can enter the brain. It means the brain’s environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in other dangerous ways. [ ] Dr. Leif Salford is currently the most active researcher continuing Frey’s pioneering work on the blood-brain barrier.” – Cellular Phone Task Force

Subliminal Anthropogenic “Chatter”

Those reporting tinnitus in recent years, belong to a global population largely unaware of microwave hearing. People are oblivious to an invasion of their physiology that ranks among sky-rocketing rates of neurological diseases.

The human brain and sensory nervous system were getting along nicely before invasive thermo-acoustic waves added to the sea of likely suspects causing an escalation of Tinnitus. We underestimate our “new normal” of intensified exposures to electromagnetic fields, but an avalanche of science illustrates how this “habit” is anything but normal, or healthy.

How will future generations reconcile the repeated history of the tobacco wars? The public remains skeptical about cancer caused by cell phone use, while ignoring scores of other symptoms, illnesses, disease onset, and reported suffering and harm. But even skepticism is a habit, and it can be fatal too.

A side effect of ignoring the warning signs is that second-hand exposures to non-benefitting, non-consenting populations, exposes others to neurological, fertility, endocrine, and neurological issues, in addition to cancer.

We see the forced installation of proximal industrial-scale infrastructure on private property, near homes, hospitals, schools, and other sensitive environments. Clearly this is not in the same ethical category as the scenario of an adult consumer choosing to accept the risks associated with a health impacting consumer product. Instead, society largely accepts exposures to non-ionising radiation on trust they are in safe limits, though are arguably contributing to disease from continued, industry sponsored “denial.”

Will we, for the same reasons, also continue to deny a correlation between microwave hearing and Tinnitus, and the domino effect on our health?

A widely unrecognized implication of tinnitus is mental and physical health degradation from sleep interruption and/or poor quality sleep. Poor sleep is increasingly being linked to impaired immune function by researchers.

Physiological and biological impacts from EMF/RF exposures are not just a problem for humans. Plants and animals are sensing beings forming delicately balanced ecosystems, contingent upon navigating within electromagnetic fields that predate the electronic anthropogenic “chatter” from global wireless applications. Concerns include the expansion of wireless applications in the skies and under the oceans, affecting pollinators, as well as whales, dolphins, and other intelligent life forms that rely on echo-location.

A detailed examination —likely the most exhaustive ever attempted— of the environmental effects of non-ionizing radiation has been published in Reviews on Environmental Health. “Effects of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Fields on Flora and Fauna” by Blake Levitt, Henry Lai and Albert Manville, includes 3 papers of over 200 pages, with more than 1,000 references. This was reported by Microwave News,

Confronting Industry Mythologies

Our wireless, sensing world, the Internet of Things (IoT), overlaid on a rich and diverse natural world of pre-established sensing beings, is sold as the only possible future – as “progress –or else.” There is no freedom of choice, we’re expected simply to comply an industrial-political agenda, vulnerable to challenge, because it is reliant on many myths. Impacts on health and well-being are the territory of ever-renewed resistance to industry acknowledgements, draped in flimsy denials.

We are experiencing the natural biological alarm systems with which nature equipped us. They manifest the radiation side-effects voiced through our own biological sensing mechanisms. The price of uninformed compliance can play out in devastating ways, parallel with that “progress,” leading as it is, to erosion of the Big H’s, health and human rights. Seeking an alternative future to a prescribed one backed by the wireless industry would be a victory for the Big H’s.

As we are entwined with all biological systems and beings, we cannot afford to be complacent or subscribe to myths and marketing as facts, no matter how much convenience and entertainment wireless technology supplies us. Long term exposure to wireless technologies does harm. The myth defended by industry interests (Big Tech, wireless industry, the mass media, even the UN) is that they do not have evidence that anything other than thermal tissue damage is a perquisite for many life-inhibiting health conditions, including infertility, cancer and neurological diseases. The scientific community of experts increasingly begs to differ.

Very British Cases of Tinnitus?

In 2021, the UK government, (which since 2019 was funding “5G testbeds” with millimetre wave nodes across the UK, in the 57-71 GHz band, including on rail and road systems in 2020) reported that “Despite the impact of coronavirus, the 5G projects have been resilient in their progress and testing.” Testing had proceeded into 2021, all through the lockdowns and economic upheavals, and came under fire in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). No protestations were heeded despite health implications. The government goal was “securing investment at the end of the programme” after testing the “emerging technologies.”

How were British ears coping through all of this? According to the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) a surge in tinnitus cases was consistent with pandemic period and concurrent 5G roll out as the nation witnessed an unprecedented increase in online activity, with long-term working from home trends setting in. 

The UK’s Guardian newspaper had observed “tinnitus-related searches on Google …soared following the outbreak of Covid-19, with searches for “tinnitus causes” jumping 83% in February 2021 compared with February 2020, while searches for “tinnitus” grew by 50% over the same period, according to data collated by software company SEMrush.” We know 5G test-beds in major cities were well established by 2021 with tests across the UK being conducted day and night. 

No public health warnings were given, yet the sudden surge in tinnitus is remarkable. With a marked densification of 4G and 5G transmitters and dramatic increase in wireless online activity exacerbated by Covid restrictions a “new normal” was created, and no one was allowed to point the finger at 5G – or else.

The “new normal” of course meant enhanced boredom, media dependency, more online activity including working long hours remotely. The home was full of “occupational exposures” that seemed to transcend all health and safety legislation. RF emissions were not likely measured, risk assessed or corrected as homes became ad-hoc offices, devoid of any concerned scrutiny except from the UKHSA’s wireless “track and trace” service for monitoring Covid status. Such ironies, and the worrisome exposure levels caused not a blip of concern to UKHSA. The government has normalised prolonged exposures to radiofrequencies without any precautions. Precautions remain fully warranted.

Arguably, shortcomings in procedural health interventions and the prevalent myth that “wireless is safe” have played a role in the UK’s, (and global) surge in tinnitus. This possibility is not acknowledged by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), or researchers of tinnitus, as can be ascertained from peer reviewed science and media articles like that published by Fernando in USA Today.

The UK’s Manchester University attributes hospital treatments for Covid to rising Tinnitus cases. The BTA has no hesitation in sharing the findings with us. Hospitals are very well equipped with electromagnetic equipment; Data about Manchester Hospitals, such as here and here suggests they are using 4G LTE, with future plan for 5G smart hospitals.

The National Health Service (NHS) policy during the pandemic crisis was “We want you to use your mobile device in hospital” and “…There are many benefits for patients that arise from encouraging them to use mobile devices.” Manchester is also a 5G testbed city and focus of the ongoing Smart Junctions 5G project using “Open RAN 5G technology” for IoT connectivity and interoperability.

Patients (and populations), were clearly being exposed to a variety of wireless radiation sources. We mustn’t forget that certain medications can cause/contribute to Tinnitus, and can also interact with bodily exposures to microwave frequencies which “may compromise the body’s thermoregulatory ability.” Considering the mobile phone policy of hospitals can we really say “covid is to blame” for Tinnitus increases from hospitalisations? Manchester University had “found that a significant number of patients reported a deterioration in their hearing after hospitalisation for Covid-19, with 6.6% developing tinnitus.”

Covid has indeed become a convenient scapegoat, even for symptoms in individuals who did not contract the virus. It’s true that pandemic hysteria is being blamed for causing widespread Tinnitus. The Manchester University findings draw such conclusions.

We are reminded Tinnitus is regarded as a multifactorial condition, and was once generally attributed to exposure to loud noises, a criterion which may have satisfied our wireless-free ancestors decades ago. Today we can see the pandemic surge in Tinnitus far exceeded any predictions about the course Tinnitus would take, even by the BTA’s reckoning. However, implicating radiofrequency radiation is not yet part of their conversation about the condition.

By all accounts, Tinnitus is more than a case of “the usual suspects.”

At some point we have to see the wood and the trees in full clarity, especially when ascertaining contemporary experiences of widespread audio-sensory disruption. If we, as a society, are not willing to question current myths regarding wireless safety, including the fact that cell phones are safety-tested by taking exposure readings from a plastic mannequin filled with gelatin, we need to have our sensitive biological heads thoroughly examined.

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