5G Health Effects: 5 Case Reports of Health Symptoms After 5G Cell Towers Placed in Sweden

Now that the massive rollout of 5G cell towers is proceeding throughout cities worldwide, remarkably devoid of the barriers of premarket testing or health and safety studies, and propelled by industry friendly laws, research is now being published on the real-life exposures and health effects of operational 5G towers. For now this series examines only short-term health effects which have been reported. Long term health effects will not be known for decades.  The first investigation of health impacts is in a series of 5 case reports from Sweden in the last year have been delivered to the scientific community, revealing that some residents living near the new 5G towers developed symptoms of microwave illness soon after deployment of the 5G base station. When these affected individuals moved to a lower EMF dwelling their symptoms subsided. Most of these cases are considered classic examples of a provocation test.  In all cases the exposure levels, although some of the highest levels researchers had measured in homes, were below the current ICNIRP standards purported to be “safe” and cause no health effects. These were, however, well above levels considered “safe” according to robust literature referenced in many reports including the BioInitiative Report and EuropaEM EMF Guidelines. These 5 case reports were preceded by reports of similar neurologic health symptoms in residents and families in Geneva Switzerland when 5G towers were placed in 2019. 

Case Report: The Microwave Syndrome after Installation of 5G Emphasizes the Need for Protection from Radiofrequency Radiation.  Hardell and Nilsson. Annals of Case Reports. 8: 1112. January 2023. In the first case report of a man and woman in their 60’s, symptoms of microwave syndrome occurred a few days after the 5G tower was turned on.  The most common symptoms which developed in the couple were insomnia, irritability, fatigue, poor concentration, headaches, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), dizziness, depression, and nose bleeds, few of which were present before the new 5G cell tower. It was notable that the woman had more significant symptoms. Researchers were able to obtain measurements of indoor radiofrequency radiation (RFR) before and after the rooftop 5G cell tower was placed. In Sweden the frequencies used for 5G in city environments are typically around 3.5 GHz and added to current lower frequencies. They found the peak RFR levels in the bedroom after placement of 5G were 250 times greater than that of the prior 3G and 4G cell tower which was in the same location.  The authors conclude, “These now presented symptoms of the microwave syndrome were caused by non-thermal effects from RF radiation and highlight that the ICNIRP guidelines used in most countries including Sweden do not protect human health. Guidelines based on all biological negative effects from RF radiation are urgently needed, as well as monitoring human health, not the least due to rapidly increasing levels of exposure.”

Development of the Microwave Syndrome in Two Men Shortly after Installation of 5G on the Roof above their Office.    Nilsson and Hardell. Ann Clin Case Rep. February 2023; 8: 2378. In the second case report two male office workers (Case 1 and Case 2) reported health effects after a rooftop 3G/4G cell tower was replaced with new 5G infrastructure. In Case 1, the 57 year-old male often experienced symptoms of headache which disappeared after he would leave the building, as well as joint pain, ringing in the ears, poor concentration, attention deficit, fatigue and skin burning. He would also experience sharp pain in the elbows when working and living in the office space as well as skin sensitivity. All symptoms disappeared 2 weeks after relocating, however the joint pain and headache would reappear when he was in areas of higher radiation. He feels he has become more sensitive to the wireless radiation. In Case 2, the 42 year-old male, who also had a work/apartment arrangement in the same building as Case 1, experienced new symptoms of headache, dizziness, poor concentration, confusion, toothache, pressure in the head and ringing in the ears, in addition to worsening insomnia. All new symptoms, along with insomnia and disappeared when he moved to the country with low RFR.

Case Report: A 52-Year Healthy Woman Developed Severe Microwave SyndromeShortly After Installation of a 5G Base Station Close to Her Apartment. Hardell and Nilsson. Annals of Clinical and Medical Case Reports. April 2023. In the third case report a 52 year-old woman developed severe health symptoms soon after a 5G cell tower was installed opposite to her second story apartment 60 meters away. Symptoms disappeared when she moved into another apartment with lower EMF but became more severe after she tried to return. She experienced headaches, dizziness, balance problems, loss of concentration, loss of immediate memory, confusion, fatigue, anxiety, cough, nose bleeding, GI and skin symptoms. Measurements were surprising, “The balcony of the apartment is facing the base station at 60 meters distance. RF radiation was measured 10 times 1 minute each time. Within 10-15 sec the highest measurement peak level for the meter, >2 500 000 μW/m2, was obtained each time. Thus, the highest peak level was not possible to measure with the used exposimeter.” The authors note, “A 4G base station antenna was previously active at the same spot but it was not until the 5G deployment that her symptoms developed”.

5G Radiofrequency Radiation Caused the Microwave Syndrome in a Family Living Close to the Base Stations. Nilsson and Hardell.  Journal of Cancer Science and Clinical Therapeutics. 7 (2023): 127-134. June 2023. In the fourth case report the authors examined a family of three persons living in a corner apartment across from two newly placed 5G base stations located 50 and 70 meters on the corner roofs of two adjacent 6 story buildings but directed slightly lower at the 4th floor apartment directly across the street.  All family members reported symptoms but the daughter had the most severe health issues with insomnia, headache, concentration and memory problems, skin disorders, irregular heartbeat, light sensitivity, anxiety and panic attacks.  She did have symptoms of microwave illness prior to the cell tower change but symptoms significantly worsened with the higher power and variable frequencies. The authors point out that there were 3G/4G base stations situated at the same spots since at least 2013 but with no reported symptoms from the residents. In this study no measurements were available before the deployment of the 5G by any researchers or government agencies.

A 49-Year-Old Man Developed Severe Microwave Syndrome after Activation of 5G Base Station 20 Meters from his Apartment. Nilsson and Hardell.  J Community Med Public Health 7: 382. Nov 2023.   In the fifth case report a 49-year old previously healthy male developed symptoms almost immediately after a 5G base station was installed 20 meters from his apartment across the street. He had lived in the apartment for 10 years without symptoms. This was again on the roof of a 3-story building and unfortunately at the same level as the gentleman’s apartment. The most severe effects were “headache, dysesthesia (abnormal sensation), loss of immediate memory, high and irregular pulse, chest squeeze, burning and lancinating skin.” The symptoms were so severe he and his daughter had to leave the apartment one week after the 5G cell towers were deployed. The symptoms disappeared or decreased within a short time period after moving to another apartment with lower RF radiation. Unfortunately, they reappeared whenever he returned to his apartment to pick up his personal belongings.   Again noted is that a base station for 3G/4G had previously been active for 10 years on the roof of the same building in front of the man’s apartment, during which time the man had resided in the apartment without symptoms. Indoor levels reached the maximum peak measureable level of 3,180,000 μW/m2 within 10-15 seconds.

5 Case Reports on 5G Health Effects

These case reports also include a discussion on the definition, cause and policies surrounding wireless radiation. The authors of these studies note:

“These levels apparently provoked, within a short time period, ill health in the studied persons. They are far above levels that have been reported to provoke ill health from previous generations of wireless technology [20-27], and also far above levels recommended by experts. In 2012, the BioInitiative Report suggested a limit of 30-60 μW/m2 for human exposure, lower for sensitive persons and children, 3- 6 μW/m2 [28]. Even lower guidelines were proposed in 2016, maximum 10 – 1 000 μW/m2, lower at night time 1-100 μW/m2, and for sensitive persons 0.1-10 μW/m2 [29]. On the other hand, the measured levels from 5G are still far below the levels recommended by ICNIRP [5] and the FCC [30]. According to ICNIRP 2020 exposure can be as high as 10 000 000 μW/m2 for whole body exposure averaged over 30 minutes, thus allowing peak levels to be even very much higher [31].” (Hardell and Nilsson, April 2023)

“The children’s playground is located 40 meters from the base station, Figure 1. High RF levels were measured on the playground. For medical reasons it must be regarded to be a harmful place to be used, especially by children. Children are more vulnerable to RF radiation exposure than adults [32]” (Hardell and Nilsson, April 2023)

“The woman’s dog also showed signs of ill health after the 5G deployment. According to her, the dog got diarrhea soon after the 5G deployment. This disappeared during the washout period in the other apartment with no 5G, but returned when they moved back to her own apartment.” (Hardell and Nilsson, April 2023)

“The sensitivity to RF radiation is known to vary considerably be- tween different persons [33,34].” (Hardell and Nilsson, April 2023)

“The RF radiation levels measured in this study, and in our three previous case studies on this topic, were very much higher than levels in previous generations of wireless technology found to increase the risk of ill health such as symptoms of the microwave syndrome.”  (Nilsson and Hardell, June 2023)

“The microwave syndrome is similar to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) [8] or electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS). However, unlike the microwave syndrome, individuals suffering from EHS can develop deliberating symptoms at extremely low exposure levels that are tolerated by most other people. That is in contrast to the very high RF radiation levels seen in our four case studies where healthy individuals, with no prior major reactions to wireless technology, developed symptoms due to levels of exposure far exceeding levels that have been reported to increase the risk of symptoms of the microwave syndrome, also called radiofrequency sickness, near mobile phone masts or base stations [24].” (Nilsson and Hardell, June 2023)

“The effects of the exposure depend not only on the carrier frequency, for instance 3.5 GHz as for 5G, but also, and perhaps more importantly so, on the modulation and/or pulsation of the signal and as well as on the peak and average intensity . Pulsed signals and simultaneous exposure to several frequencies has been observed to cause more effects and were thus considered more hazardous. The observed effects increased with time of exposure [13, 14].” (Nilsson and Hardell, June 2023)  

“The exposure caused oxidative stress and an increase of degenerated neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain in addition to increased Irisin levels. The observed effects may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases after continued exposure [18]. (Nilsson and Hardell, June 2023)

 “In a review of early studies it was stated already in 1969 that “A surprisingly wide variety of neurological and physiological reactions are to be expected” [12]. (Nilsson and Hardell, June 2023)

 “The current limits based on thermal effects from ICNIRP [16] and FCC [45] are severely insufficient and outdated and do not protect against known health risks. They offer no safety. On the contrary, they allow exposure to RF radiation at levels that have repeatedly been shown to be harmful [46].” (Hardell and Nilsson, Jan 2023)

“In addition current guidelines for exposure to RF radiation give no protection against harmful effects on biodiversity, i.e., the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi.”  (Hardell and Nilsson, Jan 2023)

“To our knowledge, there is no study that shows that these levels, or the maximum levels allowed by applying the ICNIRP guidelines, are safe for long-term exposure to RF radiation from base stations for 5G, 4G, 3G or even 2G. No studies have examined whole body long-term exposure effects at ICNIRP limits or at maximum levels measured in this study.”  (Hardell and Nilsson, Jan 2023)   

“The EMF Scientist Appeal was launched in 2015 (www. emfscientist.org), and is today signed by 256 scientists, all -active in this field of research. They demand that people must be better protected against risks from this form of RF radiation exposure by more stringent guidelines for permitted RF radiation and that the general public and the medical profession, particularly doctors, should be informed about the risks.” (Hardell and Nilsson, Jan 2023)

“In 2017, the 5G Appeal was launched (www.5gappeal.eu). The appeal, which is currently signed by more than 400 medical doctors and scientists from around the world, demands that decision-makers stop the 5G expansion “until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry”, due to the risk of serious consequences for human health [50], as discussed further in [51-54].” (Hardell and Nilsson, Jan 2023)

“Guidelines based on all biological negative effects from RF radiation are urgently needed, as well as monitoring human health, not the least due to rapidly increasing levels of exposure.” (Hardell and Nilsson, Jan 2023)

5G: No Science, No Safety, No Problem

Many scientists, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations have searched for studies on 5G telecommunication and could not find sufficient evidence of safety. A recent study, Systematic review on the physiological and health-related effects of 5G-relevant radiofrequency fields (3-4 GHz and 20-30 GHz), acknowledges the need for such research. (Bodewein 2022) National Institute for Health and Care Research. Nov. 2022.   An older Russian paper, “Biological Effects of Millimeter Wavelengths” by Zalyubovskaya (1977) was declassified by the CIA in 2012. This paper disturbingly describes the research on both humans and animals showing a myriad of adverse effects of millimeter wavelengths.  The author notes that millimeter wave technology had been used for years without any studies on biological effects. The researchers found that “millimeter waves caused changes in the body manifested in structural alterations in the skin and internal organs, qualitative and quantitative changes in the blood and bone marrow composition, and changes in the conditioned reflex activity, tissue respiration…and nuclear metabolism. The degree of unfavorable effect of millimeter waves depended the duration of radiation and individual characteristics of the organism.”  The author confirmed that millimeter waves do not penetrate skin but act in a different way to cause systemic harm. This could be due to skin nerve receptors in the skin, or release of biochemical molecules, that could cause the observed diverse biological and metabolic effects as a reduction in hemoglobin and erythrocytes, higher blood cortisol levels, adrenal stimulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and suppression of the central nervous system with notable changes in liver, kidneys, heart and brain.  

Russell (2018) wrote in 5 G wireless telecommunications expansion: Public health and environmental implications, “Current radiofrequency radiation wavelengths we are exposed to appear to act as a toxin to biological systems. A moratorium on the deployment of 5G is warranted, along with development of in- dependent health and environmental advisory boards that include independent scientists who research biological effects and exposure levels of radiofrequency radiation. Sound regulatory policy regarding current and future telecommunications initiative will require more careful assessment of risks to human health, environmental health, public safety, privacy, security and social consequences. Public health regulations need to be updated to match appropriate independent science with the adoption of biologically based exposure standards prior to further deployment of 4G or 5G technology.”

Moskowitz (2019), wrote a title for his publication which is a conclusion as well, “We Have No Reason to Believe That 5G is Safe”. Dr. Moskowitz is a scientist who has studied and written on tobacco, as well as radiofrequency radiation, and gives a precautionary view in his 2019 articleWe Have No Reason to Believe That 5G is Safe, published in Scientific American. He has presented very clear review of radiofrequency and health impacts at the UCSF Occupational and Environmental Medicine Grand Rounds called “Radio Frequency Radiation Health Risks: Implications for 5G” on Sept 24, 2020.  Slide Share is here. 

Hardell (2021) notes regarding The Health Council of the Netherland report that “The Health Council Committee recommended not to use the 26 GHz frequency [millimeter] band until health risks have been studied. For lower frequencies, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines were recommended. The conclusion that there is no reason to stop the use of lower frequencies for 5G is not justified by current evidence on cancer risks as commented in this article. A moratorium is urgently needed on the implementation of 5G for wireless communication.”

Redmayne and Maisch (2023) note, “This[new 5G] frequency band will be transmitted using beamforming, a new introduction in near-field exposures… Many significant sources conclude there is insufficient research to assure safety even from the heat perspective. To date, there has been no published in vivo, in vitro or epidemiological research using exposures to 5G New Radio beam-formed signals”.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report of 2020 -5G Wireless Capabilities and Challenges for an Evolving Network, is a comprehensive report, pointing out the challenges of privacy, cybersecurity as well as health risks of 5G wireless systems. The report notes that 5G Millimeter Wave Technology is New and Different with Multiple Antennas and Beamforming Capabilities and that;

  • “No research has been conducted to characterize long-term exposure to the multiple active antennas with beamforming that are a feature of 5G.”  
  • “It is unknown how the signals from these antennas may affect human health in the long-term. It could be computationally intensive to study the long-term exposure to these antennas due, in part, to their many possible configurations”
  • “While research on the biological effects of RF energy has been underway for decades, research  on the long-term health effects of pre-5G technology is ongoing and research on the possibility of long-term health effects of 5G technology is largely unknown because the technology is still new and has not been widely deployed.”
  • “According to an NCI scientist, even after high-band 5G technology has been put into use in the coming years, the long- term health effects on people, if any, may not be known for many years later because some health outcomes could take decades to develop. The high-band frequencies used in 5G will only be available for observational studies once 5G technology has been deployed widely. A National Institutes of Health scientist noted that the 5G frequencies are still not clearly defined, making it difficult to understand the impact on human exposure.”

European Parliament Briefing 2020: Effects of 5G wireless communication on human health. The March 2020 European Parliament Briefing on the health effects of 5G admits that the “European Commission has not yet conducted studies on the potential health risks of the 5G technology.” 

ANES (French) 2021 The French Report from ANES, Exposure to electromagnetic fields related to deployment of “5G” technology. Collective expert report, April 2021 notes, “No results from scientific studies focusing on the possible health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields, specifically in these new frequency bands planned for 5G, are currently available.’ Yet the rollout continued. In March 2023 France had 39,895 authorized 5G sites using 700 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands. France nevertheless plans to launch more of the 5G Networks of the Future” France 2030 plan : launch of the “Networks of the Future” research and 5G.

Review of Long Term Health Effects of Cell Towers  2022

Balmori (2022) In August 2022 the biologist and respected researcher Alfonso Balmori published a thorough review of the existing scientific literature on the health effects of base station (cell tower) antennas on humans titled, Evidence for a health risk by RF on humans living around mobile phone base stations: from radiofrequency sickness to cancer.  Three effects were noted 1) radiofrequency sickness  2) cancer and  3) changes in biochemical parameters. He states, “Considering all the studies reviewed globally (n = 38), 73.6% (28/38) showed effects: 73.9% (17/23) for radiofrequency sickness, 76.9% (10/13) for cancer and 75.0% (6/8) for changes in biochemical parameters...Of special importance are the studies performed on animals or trees near base station antennas that cannot be aware of their proximity and to which psychosomatic effects can never be attributed.”

International Commission on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF)

In addition, a new group of independent scientists who study radiofrequency radiation has formed the International Commission on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF) to provide a different perspective and recommendations which challenges the current International Commission on Non- Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards arguing that they (and the FCC and FDA) are fundamentally flawed in their methodology and assumptions for health or environmental effects of electromagnetic fields. This is especially true for 5G.

Thus, any new reports published by the WHO, FCC, FDA or other government organizations that rely on the current methodology and assumptions of ICNIRP are fundamentally flawed, as they completely ignore biologic non-thermal effects of RFR demonstrated so well in the scientific literature. Heat is the only measure of harm identified by radiofrequency radiation according to these government authorities.

Do We Need 5G (or 6G)?

In a European Parliamentary report in 2019, 5G: State of Play in Europe, USA and Asia, the in Depth Analysis indicates 5G is a manufactured need. The report states, “ As 5G is driven by the telecoms supply industry, and its long tail of component manufacturers, a major campaign is under way to convince governments that the economy and jobs will be strongly stimulated by 5G deployment.”


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