Dr. Paul Héroux, McGill professor from the dept. of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, on how the rising levels of EM radiation from our devices are unacceptable for humans and animals, with potentially life-altering unforeseen consequences.
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In June, an article in the Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents entitled “5G Technology and Induction of Coronavirus in Skin Cells” caused major controversy by suggesting that high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) radiation from new 5G networks could potentially breed COVID-19 through the epidermis. The article circulated through conspiracy theory websites and social media accounts, with many readers holding it up as definitive evidence that COVID-19 is a hoax and other more or less tenuous conclusions.
One of the scientific studies cited in this incendiary article is a 2020 paper published in the journal Toxicology Letters, called “Adverse Health Effects of 5G Mobile Networking Technology Under Real-Life Conditions.” I noticed that the article’s second author was Dr. Paul Héroux, an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill. So, I reached out and spoke with Dr. Héroux by telephone on July 28 to ask his opinion of the article and the scandal surrounding its publication. What he said was at once reassuring and nonetheless shocking.
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“The Dirty Canes Lake” by Abdullah Miniawy & HVAD
First of all, I wanted to know if it was really possible, as the Journal of Biological Regulators & Homeostatic Agents article suggested, that our coiled DNA could act like “antennae,” receiving EM radiation and producing Coronaviruses in otherwise healthy bodies. Dr. Héroux immediately banished the notion. However, the news about the levels of EM radiation to which we are already exposed should have been cause for concern — and 5G is just going to make matters worse.
EM radiation, according to Héroux, is a good engineering idea in theory. But since the 1930s, it has also become a very profitable idea, too. This has led to the growth of the telecommunications industry beyond its usefulness and left it blind to the “very suspicious” impacts of its effects on environmental health. During the Cold War, it was considered unpatriotic in the U.S. to claim that radar, for example, may be detrimental to humans or animals. And while these kinds of devices were strictly for military applications, their footprint wasn’t that big. Now that every civilian has an EM-emitting and receiving device in their pockets, though, the footprint is far more significant and potentially threatening.
Héroux contends that policy in Canada and the U.S. is controlled by industry, a situation that he called “very immoral.” Telecommunications companies recruit scientists who are willing to downplay the potential adverse effects — as well as to divert attention away from the real risks — to produce what he called “Mickey Mouse science.” He told me that the Bioelectromagnetic Society (BEMS) which, according to their website was “established in 1978 as an independent organization of biological and physical scientists, physicians and engineers interested in the interactions of electromagnetic fields with biological systems,” had in fact been infiltrated by industry actors. Héroux called the science conducted under its aegis “easy to manipulate” — more of a “fashion show” than an independent body of research.
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Section 704 of the U.S. Telecommunications Act, for instance, prevents the discussion of potential health hazards due to the installation of mobile phone towers. In Canada, the establishment of safe limits of human exposure to radiofrequency EM radiation is determined by a policy called Safety Code 6. Yet, the Canadian government collects around $1-billion annually on the rental and sale of the wireless spectrum to the telecoms industry. Why rock the boat?
I asked Dr. Héroux what could and should be done — what can the average person do? — and he emphatically said that we need to change now, that the rising levels of EM radiation are unacceptable for humans and animals, with potentially life-altering unforeseen consequences. Globally, it is the World Health Organization that sets the tone for health and safety. If the U.S. follows through on its threats to defund the WHO, this will leave Bill Gates (whose fortune, the world’s second largest private fortune, depends upon selling more and more wireless and digital devices) as its biggest contributor. This constitutes a gross conflict of interest. The FCC in the U.S.claims no expertise in health, and the FDA’s mandate is to assess the safety of food and drugs, not EM radiation, leaving the industry literally to its own devices to directly control the policies around its products and services.
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There are alternatives. Optical Fibre, for instance, can provide data transfer rates that match or exceed 5G. And we can use wireless technology only when necessary in order to limit its detrimental effects upon ourselves and our environment.
Instantaneous global communication has become not only expected but, in many ways, necessary, as we have seen with the unprecedented flow of information around this “data-driven” pandemic. Ultimately, Héroux believes that governments are unwilling or unable to change on their own. There is too much money to be made, politicians don’t have the time or expertise to parse the scientific literature or to assess its robustness, and many of them are on the take from lobbyists and industry actors. It will have to quickly become a matter for the courts to decide. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in the U.S. is currently suing the FCC over its wireless health guidelines, contending that the agency knew and didn’t act upon credible information that wireless technology — and now 5G — is leading to a growing epidemic of illnesses.
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But it is everyone’s responsibility, too. Which begs the question: how much communications technology do we really need in our lives? Do we require a device in every room, emitting and receiving harmful radiation into our bodies and into our communities? Or could just one do the trick? Do we really need to be connected 24/7/365, or would taking a few days off to bask in an environment not blanketed with EM frequencies do us good from time to time? How many Netflix series do we really need to binge-watch. How fast of a network is fast enough? Perhaps we’d be wise to park that self-driving car, drop that iPhone 11 Pro and dream a little dream instead. ■
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