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Speaking Out on Electrosensitivity as 5G Expands

Thousands of 5G cell service antennae are popping up on light poles across the nation, prompting health concerns among some. (Noah Davidson)
Thousands of 5G cell service antennae are popping up on light poles across the nation, prompting health concerns among some. (Noah Davidson)
October 9, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As the march to install superfast 5G wireless service continues across the country, advocates for patients with electro-sensitivity are questioning the technology's safety.

Noah Davidson of Sacramento began lobbying to have 5G antennas moved away from people's homes and offices because his five- and seven-year-old nieces got sick for two months straight, right after Verizon installed a 5G box on a light pole next to their home.

The family hired an expert to measure the radio-frequency levels.

"He conducted some measurements and told us it was the highest indoor measurements that he'd ever recorded," Davidson claimed. "So, we ended up installing some shielding in the home, moving the kids into a back room. And within a few days, their symptoms went away."

Verizon's website quotes the Federal Communications Commission's guidance that there's no scientific evidence linking radiation from cell phones to health problems in humans. And 5G boxes do meet all legal standards.

Davidson wants the decades-old standards updated, saying the technology hasn't been proven safe.

Cell antennas for 3G and 4G signals are typically mounted on towers 50 to 200 feet above ground. But the 5G small cell boxes are more localized, generally placed every seven or eight houses, about 30 feet off the ground.

Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany and an expert on RF radiation, said some people do fall ill when exposed to non-ionizing radiation from cell phones, smart meters, and components of the 5G cell sites, boxes that are now being installed across the nation.

"There are a lot of people that get ringing in their ears or get headaches, and feel fatigued and their brain isn't working quite right, that never think about the fact that it may be coming from the Wi-Fi in their house, or the smart meter on the outside door," Carpenter explained.

A recent study from UC Irvine in the medical journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders finds extreme RF exposure can produce severe illness that mimics MS.

It looked at the case of 47-year-old Rick Garwood, a former cell phone tower technician from Southern California. He was exposed to massive radiation amounts in 2011, when a Verizon worker switched the towers back on after they'd been shut down for maintenance.

Garwood said he's now on permanent disability, suffering with nodules on his lungs and painful lesions on his brain, kidney and spinal cord.

"The person I was, is gone," Garwood said. "I mean, I've lost everything in life. I had to move back to my parent's home. I'm on permanent disability; I went from an $80,000-a-year career to all of a sudden, I was on worker's comp for four-and-a-half years. And then they finally said, 'You're not going to get any better.'"

Garwood sued, went to mediation, and received about a year's pay.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA