A new STL for Safe Technology group is celebrating what they view as a court victory in August. The group also will have its first informational meeting at the Webster Groves Public Library, 301 E. Lockwood Ave., on Monday, Sept. 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The Federal Appeals Court ruling in the District of Columbia overturns a Federal Communications Commission decision to allow wireless carriers to install new 5G cell towers without environmental review or historic preservation considerations.
The decision by the FCC would have allowed wireless carriers “to jam thousands of 5G towers in virtually every neighborhood in the country” without impact reviews, according to the Environmental Health Network and the new, local STL for Safe Technology.
The Sept. 9 meeting at the Webster Groves Public Library will feature a Skype presentation by Raymond Francis, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist and a leader in the field of health. Francis will speak on the health effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) emitted by 5G installations and other wireless technology.
“Our new group wants to spread the word about the ill effects of cell phones, ‘smart electric meters,’ and now the ‘5G Revolution’ that is coming at us,” said STL for Safe Technology member Pat Tocco of Kirkwood. “We are not being told about the 5G technology that is going to invade our lives.
“Doctors and scientists in Europe are much more concerned about the effects of 5G technology and Europe is holding 5G Awareness Days,” said Tocco. “In the United States, most people don’t even know it is coming. They don’t know the health impacts coming because of it.”
The 5G Revolution is expected to be up to 100 times faster than current wireless technology. That could mean downloading a two-hour movie on a smart phone in less than five seconds. It would also allow for improved control of appliances, autonomous vehicles and medical applications from a cell phone.
The 5G technology will require installing small cell tower antennas inside buildings and on millions of utility polls. Deploying all these wireless relays so close to one another, and subsequently, so close to human bodies, has elicited concerns.
In Europe, 200 scientists and doctors have called for a moratorium on 5G technology until more is known about its low-level radiation effects. In the U.S. Congress, several Senators have slammed the FCC and FDA for pushing ahead with 5G without assessing health risks, privacy issues and cyber security.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has warned about health risks as well as the unthinkable surveillance potential of millions of cell relays and sensors. He noted that telecom companies are already selling all kinds of wireless data to marketers and other corporations.
Defenders of wireless technology and the new 5G Revolution call concerns by grassroots groups around the country “unfounded paranoia.” They label the medical studies that are cited as “pseudoscience” and science fiction.
Proponents of the technology argue that the EMFs are similar to what the sun sends out naturally. They also insist that wireless involves low-level, non-ionizing radiation that is virtually harmless. They note that people have been living with microwaves, cell phones and Wi-Fi routers for years.
“Most of the rebuttals of our concerns come from people associated with the industry,” said Kirkwood’s Daryl Barker, a member of STL for Safe Technology. “It’s the same pattern we saw from the cigarette industry, first there is total denial of any ill-effects, and then they say all the studies are suspect or are inconclusive about the effects.”
Barker said he first became concerned about wireless effects from the high EMF readings in local schools due to high-powered Wi-Fi routers and devices used in the schools. Barker raised the alarm about wireless effects at Kirkwood School District meetings.
“I made my feelings known, but I was a voice crying in the wilderness,” said Barker. “Most of the other parents did not want to hear about it. Parents are just as addicted to their cell phones as their kids now, and don’t want to know about low-level radiation effects.
“Californians are much more sophisticated about the problem and are raising the issue, maybe because so many Silicon Valley scientists are there,” Barker added. “Missouri is behind in being conscientious about public health. Look at how many people still smoke cigarettes in Missouri.”
Sheilah Mitchell, a member of STL for Safe Technology and a Richmond Heights resident, arranged the Webster Groves presentation on Sept. 9.
“I lost my son, Adam, to testicular cancer,” said Mitchell. “He carried a cell phone in his pants pocket through grade school, high school and after college. If you take the time to read the studies, you know what that can do to you.
“I became acquainted with Dr. Francis’s work and he is trying to spread the word,” added Mitchell. “He has a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has several books out on public health issues.”
Webster Groves’ Dave and Diane Sperber became interested in the EMF issue after a smart meter for reading electric usage was installed at their home. They said they suffered many of the effects listed as possible consequences of low-level radiation. Those effects include sleep disturbances, insomnia, anxiety and depression, dizziness, loss of appetite, weight loss and more.
“My husband and I both suffered from adrenal fatigue. I was breaking out in hives and had angiodema,” said Diane Sperber. “All the medical tests we took came up with nothing. Then I saw a YouTube video about the effects of utility smart meters on people.
“We were sleeping three feet from where the meter was installed,” said Sperber. “We fixed that with a radiation shield. We unplug our Wi-Fi when it’s not being used. We stay away from cell phones when possible.
“We’ve addressed our issue and we are better, but we want other people to know what is going on,” said Sperber. “And this coming 5G technology is really frightening because it is all pervasive. I hope people come to our Webster Groves meeting to increase their awareness.”