Insurance Industry: 5G is an Emerging High Risk Situation Along with Climate Change

Insurance companies typically do not insure harm from radiofrequency radiation (RFR), it is an exclusion in almost all insurance policies. Special pollution insurance is required to cover this. The insurance industry keeps track of relevant emerging risk topics to make sound business decisions to reduce their exposure and costs.

Wireless Radiofrequency Radiation is an Insurance Risk

Swiss Re is the second largest reinsurance company in the world. In 2013, their Swiss Re Emerging Risk profile listed electromagnetic fields in the highest casualty risk due to “unforeseen consequences” beyond 10 years, similar to asbestos. This distinction is shared with endocrine disruptors and nanotechnology due to their long latency period for harm. 2013- Swiss Re Sonar Insurance Risk Report. Emerging Risk Insights 2013.

Update: Board of Health Issues then Removes Emergency Order for Verizon to Cease and Desist in Pittsfield Massachusetts Cell Tower Battle

In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where author Herman Melville penned Moby Dick while peacefully contemplating the pristine rolling Berkshire Hills, residents have been fighting an imposing cell tower affecting residents health for over 2 years. They argue the cell tower was not permitted properly and has caused severe symptoms in 17 nearby residents in the town. After careful deliberation the Pittsfield Board of Health agreed with the later and unanimously voted on February 2, 2022 to send to Verizon a cease and desist order to resolve the issue of RF emissions from the large 116-foot monopole antenna complex which abuts a residential neighborhood. This story, however, has taken many turns and twists. It is still not over.

Feb 23, 2022– The Pittsfield Board of Health reaffirmed their intention to move forward with the order on Feb 23, 2022 emphasizing “it is their duty to do everything they can to protect the health of residents.” On Feb 28, 2022 an educational expert forum was presented on wireless radiation to the citizens of Pittsfield by resident Courtney Gilardi highlighting policy changes needed to protect citizens. On April 6, 2022 the Board of Health formally ordered the cease and desist order to be sent April 8, however, it was conditioned on city funds to be released. On April 11, 2022 a formal Emergency Cease and Desist Order was sent to Verizon and Farley White South Street LLC, the owners of the property where the cell tower is located. Verizon and Farley White SS LLC will have 7 days from the Order to request a hearing and Show Cause.

April 11, 2022- Pittsfield, Massachusetts Board of Health Cease and Desist Order issued. the Order states that “The Verizon Wireless 877 South Street wireless facility operated by Verizon Wireless is a public nuisance, a cause of sickness, and a trade which may result in a nuisance or be dangerous to the public health for purposes of G.L. ch. 111 ss 122-125, 127B, 127C, 143-150 and 152.” and further, “The Verizon Wireless 877 South Street wireless facility operated on the premises creates an access barrier that directly causes harm to certain individuals, and renders dwellings Unfit for Human Habitation or constitutes a Condition Which May Endanger or Materially Impair the Health or Safety and Well-Being of an Occupant as defined in State Sanitary Code 410.020 and 410.750(P).”

It is the first time in the United States that a Board of Health has made the courageous determination that cell towers could cause adverse health effects and should be turned off and relocated. It is not the first time, however, residents have experienced health effects from cell towers, hundreds have reported symptoms near cell towers including in California- Sacramento, Sonoma, Long Beach, Silicon Valley, Canada, Cape Cod and Italy. A school board in Ripon, California did terminate its cell tower agreement on school grounds due to concerns of a cancer cluster.

On May 10, 2022 Verizon Wireless filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, in an attempt to block an emergency order from the Pittsfield Board of Health. This was the same day a vote was to occur by the Pittsfield City Council to obtain funding for legal expensesand which never materialized. Verizon’s lawsuit argues that the Board of Health’s order violates the Telecommunications Act of 1996, specifically in Section 332, which states that “no state or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate that placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the purported environmental effects of radio frequency emissions” as long as the facility is operating within the Federal Communications Commission’s regulations on those emissions. Through prior court determinations environmental effects include human health effects.

May 25, 2022 Children’s Health Defense filed intervention papers in support of the residents of Pittsfield. CHD attorney Mary Holland stated, “We will explain to the Court that the Board’s order is lawful and is not preempted by federal law, but first we will move to dismiss the matter at the outset because the cell company’s legal contentions are premature and invalid.”

On June 1, 2022 the Pittsfield Board of Health voted to pull its Cease-and-Desist Order for the Verizon Cell Tower with Verizon removing its lawsuit against them the following day. Board Chair Bobbie Orsi stated, “When we issued the cease-and-desist order, we did that as a strategy to have a conversation with Verizon. I felt in my heart that we really wanted them to come talk to us about this. It is notable that the residents and the City have tried diligently to resolve this issue with two commercial land owners coming forward with alternative sites for the tower which were rejected. As reported in the Berkshire Eagle article June 6, 2022, “Board members said they’d continue to work with the City Council and state representatives on “collaborative discussion” around changing state law around the process and standards for placing and citing cell towers. On June 16, 2022 the Pittsfield City Council did however adopt a resolution recognizing June 16 as World Electrosensitivity Day.

In a July 2022 article in the Hill Country Oberver, The cost of connectivity? Cell tower dispute puts Pittsfield at center of a national debate, Tracy Frisch interviews those affected and documents the frustration and confusion about why the cell tower has not yet been turned off. The Gilardi family still pleads with the Pittsfield City Council after 710 days of being sick asking, “Please, Do Not Cell Us Out!”

July 29, 2022 a group of Pittsfield residents opposing the cell tower filed a legal action challenging the June 1, 2022 Board of Health decision to remove it’s Cease and Desist order on the Verizon cell tower. This now goes to the Berkshire Superior Court to review the administrative process and decision by the Board to drop the order, with the hope that this can be corrected and the order reinstated. Residents claim unethical and illegal aspects of the decision that need to be addressed, including interference by the Pittsfield mayor, as well as a conflict of interest by City Solicitor Pagnotta who is representing the City of Pittsfield in a separate abutter lawsuit by several residents claiming the permit for the Verizon tower violated the city process and should not have been approved. Pagnotta is also a managing partner at Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP, The law firm representing Verizon Wireless in a North Adams-based lawsuit from 2016 to 2020. Attorney Scott McCollough stated, “The goal here is to let the board make that decision with the resources that it needs, including independent counsel, a lawyer that can give them fair and objective advice and does not have a conflict,” . Courtney Gilardi and Scott McCollough voice their frustration in a Spectrum News Report. The Pittsfield Civil Action Complaint is here Pittsfield Civil Action Complaint 7-28-22

Aug 23, 2022 an IBerkshire article notes, ” hacktown residents want the Supreme Judicial Court to weigh in on the city’s notification process for the cell tower at 877 South St., alleging that they found out about it when construction vehicles showed up on their narrow residential roads.”

August 2022 Biologist and researcher Alfonso Balmori published a thorough review of the existing scientific literature on the effects of base station (cell tower) antennas on humans in Environmental Research titled, Evidence for a health risk by RF on humans living around mobile phone base stations: from radiofrequency sickness to cancer. He states in the abstract, “Overall results of this review show three types of effects by base station antennas on the health of people: radiofrequency sickness (RS), cancer (C) and changes in biochemical parameters (CBP). 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.”

November 10, 2022 Pro Publica Investigation published, How the FCC Shields Cellphone Companies From Safety Concerns. Peter Elkind reveals the history and current politics of how health effects are dismissed along with legla actions challenging the FCC’s narrative of safety . ProPublica. Nov 10, 2022.

November 29, 2022 Pittsfield City Council meeting passed 3 resolutions (14, 15, 16) under New Business from Councilors Warren and Conant to 1,2) Notify the Massachusetts State Legislature and the federal delegation on the council’s position on the negative health effects of cell tower radiation 3) Contact the Massachusetts Municipal Association for assistance, solutions and legislation on the negative health effects of cell tower radiation. The video of the meeting is here.

Teen’s Electrosensitivity Story from Wi Fi Router at School

Another example of electrosensitivity symptoms similar to that described by Courtney Gilardi and her daughters is young teen, Solveig, who in 2021 described her compelling story of how she developed electrosensitivity, first from a Wi Fi router at school she sat near to Theodora Scarato Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust. Solveig’s symptoms included rashes on her face, brain fog, fatigue and nausea. Solveig discusses the difficulty in first identifying the symptoms which occurred only at school initially, how her parents helped by eliminating wireless devices in the home and how the school eventually gave her accommodation. As cell towers began to proliferate her ability to move in her community and have a normal life became limited.

Updated Dec 4, 2022

Wildlife and Biodiversity: A Disappearing Act by Cell Towers on Land and in Space?

Calling all environmentalists! The most important peer reviewed article to date on environmental effects of wireless radiofrequency radiation was just published and deserves a full read. What do we know about wireless radiation effects on the natural environment? This comprehensive 3 part  review by Levitt, Lai and Manville (2021) provides a wealth of scientific information, connecting the scientific dots of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) harm to flora and fauna. In a very readable text the authors answer many puzzling questions about this complex subject that combines biology, ecology, technology and physics. The authors warn, “It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as ‘habitat’so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants.”

Most of us are aware that human activity has drastically altered the terrestrial and marine environment causing an accelerated decline in species and biodiversity by land degradation, over-harvesting, plastic and chemical pollution, and the extraction and use of fossil fuels.  Environmental scientists all agree that transformative change is necessary in these areas. But what happens to the environment when humans alter the Earth’s previously low-level geomagnetic forces that life evolved harmoniously in? Can cell towers and proliferating 5G satellites impact species that depend on the Earth’s magnetic fields for navigation, foraging, pollination and reproduction? What are the effects on climate change? Read below for links and summaries of the 3 part article.

NEW 11/26/22- Levitt, Lai and Manville in November 2022 published a new shorter summary article of the 3 part series in Frontiers in Public Health called “Low-level EMF effects on wildlife and plants: What research tells us about an ecosystem approach.” The authors highlight that “the unique physiology of non-human species, their extraordinary sensitivity to both natural and anthropogenic EMF, and the likelihood that artificial EMF in the static, extremely low frequency (ELF) and radiofrequency (RF) ranges of the non-ionizing electromagnetic spectrum are capable at very low intensities of adversely affecting both fauna and flora in all species studied.” and note that, “Any existing exposure standards are for humans only; wildlife is unprotected, including within the safety margins of existing guidelines, which are inappropriate for trans-species sensitivities and different non-human physiology.”

Low-level EMF effects on wildlife and plants: What research tells us about an ecosystem approach. Levitt BB, Lai HC, Manville AM. Frontiers in Public Health, 25 November 2022
Sec. Radiation and Health .

The Effects of Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Fields on Flora and Fauna

California Telecom Bills Crushing Local Government Control

In the biggest telecom power grab so far to remove local authority in zoning for broadband expansion, California legislators have authored a stack of telecom bills, many of which are poised to benefit industry while overlooking health, safety and environmental consequences, as well as democracy. Big Telecom isn’t messing around anymore. Under the guise of “closing the digital dividein underserved and rural areas after the pandemic, many of the 20 bills are give aways to industry and do not focus attention on safer and more equitable solutions, such as fiberoptic to premises, to expand much needed broadband to all. The Big FourTelecom bills include SB 556 (Dodd), SB 378 (Gonzalez), AB 537 (Quirk), and AB 955 (Quirk). As of Sept 10, 2021 these bills are now on the Governor’s desk and he has until Oct 10th to sign them. Governor Newsom is likely being heavily lobbied by industry and some legislators. The California League of Cities continues to be opposed to at least SB 556 and states, “Despite securing amendments that narrow aspects of the bill to conform with federal law, the measure still undermines local authority and makes no meaningful progress towards closing the digital divide.”

Firefighter Exemptions For Cell Towers

In addition, AB 537 (Quirk) has an exemption for firefighters for placing cell towers on their facilities. Firefighters developed neurologic effects (headaches, fatigue, memory impairment, insomnia) when cell towers were placed on their fire stations thus an exemption was inserted in California bills on cell towers. AB 57 (Quirk 2015) has an exemption on the grounds of health effects. AB 537 (Quirk 2021) also has this exemption and reads, Due to the unique duties and infrastructure requirements for the swift and effective deployment of firefighters, this section does not apply to a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility where the project is proposed for placement on fire department facilities. SB 649 (Hueso, Quirk and Dodd 2018) is a bill similar to currently proposed SB 556 (Dodd 2021) also had a health exemption for firefighters and was vetoed by Governor Brown.   

Updated 11/13/21

UPDATE 10/4/21 Governor Newsom Vetoes SB 556 and signs AB 537, SB 378 and AB 955

Governor Newsom Vetoed SB 556 (Dodd) and signed into law AB 537 (Quirk) . Here is a list of bills signed and vetoed on Oct 4, 2021 with the Governor’s veto message. Here is an Analysis of SB 556 by Best, Best, & Krieger, Attorneys at Law. The California Senate Floor Analysis of SB 556 states,

Opponents raise a variety of concerns associated with this bill. Opponents claim that this bill could have negative consequences for public health, safety, and cybersecurity due to the technologies deployed. Opponents also argue that this bill conflicts with the FCC’s regulations, creates ambiguities about local fees for utility attachments, and limits local governments’ ability to regulate access to public rights of way without enabling local governments to effectively enforce consumer protections. In opposition, the League of California Cities states, “SB 556 directly conflicts with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adopted regulations on wireless services deployment, which cities and counties across the nation are actively implementing. This measure requires local governments to make space available to telecommunications providers without recognizing local authority to manage the public right of way preserved in federal law. FCC regulations explicitly enable local governments to ensure that such installations meet appearance and design standards, maintain traffic safety, protect historical resources’ integrity, and safeguard citizens’ quality of life. To protect the public’s investment, the control of the public rights of way must remain local.”

Mystery Solved: 2020 NAS Report Links Diplomats Neurologic Symptoms from “Havana Syndrome” to Directed Microwave Radiation Similar to Electromagnetic Illness

American scientists have been struggling to unravel the cause of a “mystery illness” for years, after reports of incapacitating neurologic symptoms were experienced in American and Canadian government officials stationed in Cuba in 2016 (AKA-“The Havana Syndrome”), and American diplomats in China in 2018. More recently similar attacks have been reported on U.S. soil and later in 2021 in Vienna. A second 60 Minute episode on the Havana Syndrome airing on February 20, 2022 revealed many more White House officials and family members who suffered attacks on the White House grounds in the last 3 years. Several have developed permanent neurologic symptoms requiring ongoing medical treatment. This variable and perplexing array of symptoms were reported in diplomats, their families, and even their pets intermittently, but usually at night in homes and hotels, with many developing permanent neurologic effects from what physicians termed was a form of “functional brain injury”. Dr. Beatrice Golomb authored an explanation for the mystery illness in her 2018 peer reviewed article, Diplomats’ Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation. The National Academies of Sciences agrees that it is likely to be directed pulsed microwave radiation beams of “energy”. Congress is moving to pass a bill to pay for medical treatment of the brain injuries suffered by U.S. diplomats and their families.

The distinctive symptoms experienced by the victims included severe piercing headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, imbalance, nosebleeds, memory loss, hives, ringing in the ears, loss of eyesight and hearing loss.   Odd sounds such as chirping, ringing, grinding or humming, were also experienced, that were loud, emanated from a distinct direction that appeared to follow the individual and could not be reduced by putting their hands over their ears.  The health effects mirror those of individuals who have developed electrosensitivity (EHS) or electromagnetic illness in the presence of wireless devices such as Wi Fi, Cell Towers and cell phones, which emit pulsed radiofrequency radiation. The National Academy of Sciences in 2020 looked at the evidence and concluded that pulsed radiofrequency radiation is the most plausible explanation for the diplomat’s symptomatology. This is a story of political and medical intrigue that dates back to the 1950’s. 

New Hampshire Commission Studies 5G Technology Health and Environment Effects

The first Commission formed in the United States to study the environmental and health effects of 5G technology released their comprehensive final report November 1, 2020. The Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology was born in the in the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire, and included 15 recommendations addressing the need for public education about wireless hazards, RF health studies, RF measurements, cell antenna setbacks, fiberoptic rather than wireless deployment, commercial warning signs and wildlife protection. After hearing extensive testimony in a series of 13 meetings over the course of a year and reviewing an abundance of research, the Commission highlighted the lack of a single definition for 5G, insufficient evidence of safety for 5thgeneration technology, a concern that safety standards for wireless technologies have not been updated with the latest science and that 5G is largely a marketing concept. They also expressed concern that the FCC has a long history of being accountable to industry over the desires of communities and individuals.

Landmark Lawsuit Successful Against FCC for Failing to Reevaluate 5G and Wireless Safety

A joint lawsuit was won against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed on July 30, 2020 by the Environmental Health Trust and the Children’s Health Defense for failure to protect human health and the environment by dismissing scientific evidence of harm from wireless radiation. The Petitioners challenged the FCC’s refusal to reevaluate and update their 24-year-old radiofrequency (RF) safety guidelines for existing and new telecommunications technologies.  This comes at a time when new lucrative 5G Spectrum is being auctioned and fast tracked in communities.  The lawsuit was won by the Petitioners (EHTrust, CDH and others) as per the DC Court of Appeals Decision on August 13, 2021. The Court stated, Under this highly deferential standard of review, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its failure to respond to record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer. In the ruling the court returned this decision back to the FCC and ordered the FCC to reexamine its standards for wireless radiation exposure and provide a review of wireless harms that is compliant with the law for non-cancer harms. The decision could be appealed. Oral arguments were heard by the DC  Court of Appeals January 25,2021.

Earlier OTARD (Over the Air Reception Device) Petition Not Successful

Note that another Petition to Review an FCC ruling on wireless antenna placement on homes was filed Feb 26, 2021 by CHD ( CHD vs FCC OTARD) failed. The original FCC OTARD (Over-the air reception devices) ruling allows quick deployment of wireless in neighborhoods and rural areas without permits or notification that was previously required. It preempts sate and local zoning laws, homeowners associations and deed restrictions. For the first time it allows property owners to place antennas for wireless and data services to their neighbors, including 5G.  Scroll down to see the information and extensive testimony and references filed in the OTARD Petition. An Opening Brief was filed6/23/21.

EMF Medical Conference 2021

A  comprehensive four day CME and CEU sponsored medical conference for health professionals on EMF convened online January 28-31, 2021 to present the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health effects associated with exposures to wireless technologies and electromagnetic fields. At the EMF Conference 2021, expert scientists and physicians discussed broad aspects of this complex subject that many physicians have not been aware of, despite more patients exhibiting health impacts. Non healthcare professionals registered for the symposium as well. Physicians and allied health professionals can now obtain CME/CEU for the talks for the next year after the conference.
Update 5/23/21

5G Health Concerns Overshadowed by COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

Investigate Europe has written a series of comprehensive articles on 5G relating to health and the environment. They point out that 5G is a mass experiment. In their latest articleReal 5G issues overshadowed by Covid-19 conspiracy theories, they underscore that the critical discussion of health effects has been upstaged and buried with the current conspiracy theories about 5G causing COVID-19. Cell towers have even been destroyed by alleged conspiracy theorists.

Anna Eshoo with Congressional Members of House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ask FCC to Delay New 5G Declaratory Ruling

Update 11/7/21

In another effort to “cut the red tape” and fast track deployment of 5G throughout cities in America, the Federal communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 on a new Declaratory Ruling  June 9, 2020, which will further limit local government control in the permitting and placement of 5G cell towers. Representative Anna Eshoo, along with 23 of 29 Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to ask for a delay in voting on this measure this during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter states, “We are especially troubled by the burden responding to this Declaratory Ruling will place on local governments that are justifiably focused right now on combatting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, we worry that if this Declaratory Ruling does not benefit from meaningful input from local governments, the result could undermine municipalities’ ability to balance their responsibilities to public safety and community design with their desire to ensure access to affordable wireless networks and the next generation services.”