Written evidence submitted by Gillian Jamieson
Connected tech: smart or sinister?
By Gillian Jamieson 20/06/2022
I am writing as a member of the public and will address the first 2 bullet points in the Terms of Reference, using my personal experience as a sufferer of electro-hypersensitivity as well as looking at wider issues of vulnerability & present research using expert publications to support my views.
These are that the impact on health of the radio-frequency radiation/non-ionising radiation emitting from WIFI, SMART devices, phones and phone masts is sinister, especially in relation to vulnerable groups, that insufficient research has been done, especially on 5G and the IoT and that depletion of energy and metal resources has scarcely been considered.
I am also concerned that my evidence will not be taken seriously and will give my reasons.
As the Government has never asked the relevant committee (COMARE) to report on health effects, no MP or government official can dismiss these risks. I will expand on this later.
My personal experience
I belong to a vulnerable group in that I suffer from the disability of electrohypersensitivity (EHS). I believe that I have EHS, because I lived about 15 to 20 meters away from a mobile phone mast for 3 years. The 2 neighbours who lived right next to it have died from motor neurone disease. I have permanent neurological symptoms including tinnitus, brain fog, fibromyalgia, tingling in the hands and feet, chronic fatigue as well as hormonal disturbances to the hypothalamus. When I am directly exposed to WIFI, SMART devices or a phone mast, I suffer extreme exhaustion within a couple of hours as well as heightened symptoms.
I therefore avoid WIFI etc as much as possible. At home I have a wired ethernet connection to the internet, which is both fast and reliable and use a wired landline (not cordless phones). We have just moved to a rural area with a poor phone signal to alleviate my symptoms. Unfortunately our house has a SMART meter, but we have eventually found an energy supplier willing to replace it with a traditional meter. We have a wired burglar alarm, no microwave and no induction hob. I have happy not to own a smartphone and do not find this to be a disadvantage.
I restrict any travel to a minimum. Train travel is impossible due to strong WIFI and travelling on the motorway very difficult due to the number of phone masts by the roadside. I have to wear protective clothing with silver thread to shield me from the radiation.
Being in many public places, such as restaurants, theatre/concert venues and crowded places exposes me to radiation too.
I resent this. I would like to live in a small town, not a rural village. I would like to visit cultural events much more often and to mix with people much more often. I would like to feel much better. Despite a very healthy lifestyle, I cannot overcome my symptoms.
Thus my life is severely restricted. I am not even one of the worst affected people. A growing percentage of the population is being affected as shown by large numbers in Facebook groups for “Electrosensitives”. Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe a world expert in EHS believe that most people are already affected by EMFs, though they may not yet realise it and that the effects are cumulative and synergistic with other pollutants. Each individual will react differently depending on their own health, intensity or length of exposure. Some peoples’ symptoms may take many years to develop.
Recognition of EHS
EHS is recognised as a functional impairment in Sweden, Canada and the USA and recognised as a disability by the WHO (see section 12 here): https://www.iemfa.org/wp-content/pdf/Mallery-Blythe-v1-EESC.pdf an expert document, heavily referenced.
A few days ago in the UK a social worker was granted early ill-health retirement for EHS, due to widespread reliance on radio frequency radiation emitting devices in the workplace as described here: https://phiremedical.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Press-Release-EHS-Social-Worker-granted-long-term-ill-health-pension-UK-Named.pdf
A general statement by medical and scientific experts can be found here: https://phiremedical.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2020-Non-Ionising-Radiation-Consensus-Statement.pdf
General vulnerability in the population
I am vulnerable because I lived too close to a phone mast, but others will develop vulnerability because their mobile phone is often too close to their bodies and this has been linked to cancer in certain large studies at the Ramazzini Institute here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0013935118300367?via%3Dihub
and the National Toxicology Program here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2016/05/26/055699.full.pdf
A group that is vulnerable per se is children, due to their thinner skulls. It is highly disturbing that young children in the UK are exposed to WIFI and SMART devices for long periods both in school and at home, because the general public has not been alerted to the health risks, which are outlined here in this written evidence to parliament from neuroscientist Dr. Sarah Starkey:
Evidence of likely harm (a range of cancers) is reported here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6886561/Cell-phone-tower-shut-elementary-school-eight-kids-diagnosed-cancer.html
Addiction & mental health
Speaking as a human being and psychotherapist, I am aware of the potential for addiction to an ever-present smartphone and also the way in which it deters people from interacting with humans and their environment in a healthy, alert and curious way.
In addition being able to track, monitor and measure every detail of one’s life is likely to contribute to an obsessiveness and rigidity of personality
All of this will foster mental health problems and has done already. I do not have research on this to hand.
Loss of landlines and the elderly & disabled.
I have been informed that landlines will be abolished, which means that phone connection is either dependent on electricity (internet) or mobile phone coverage. Some elderly or disabled people may find it difficult to use newer technology and this combined with the less than 100% reliability of mobile phone connection bring into doubt the safety of these groups in an emergency or during loss of electricity.
Research on millimetre wave frequencies and 5G
Due to the patchy research on new frequencies to be used and the blanket coverage involved, there should be a moratorium on further rollouts until robust, non-industry-funded research has been undertaken. The precautionary principle should apply.
(In fact this should also apply to all existing mobile technology).
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., a Director at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, has said:
“With the deployment of fifth generation wireless infrastructure (aka 5G), much of the nation will be exposed to MMWs for the first time on a continuous basis…
Unfortunately, few studies have examined prolonged exposure to low-intensity MMWs, and no research that I am aware of has focused on exposure to MMWs combined with other radiofrequency radiation”.
However a recent study of the health effects of 5G radiation on humans shows that “5G causes typical symptoms of microwave syndrome and a massive increase in microwave radiation. The case study also confirms that radiation well below levels allowed by the authorities causes ill health”. https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/modern-day-censorship/swedish-study-says-5g-causes-microwave-syndrome/
Depletion of energy resources for the rollout of 5G and tech connections.
Here Dr. Alice Courvoisier argues that the energy requirements for this roll-out could be at odds with climate change targets and that the metals needed are coming into short supply and their extraction is extremely damaging to people and the environment.
Will the committee listen to my concerns?
My anxiety is that your committee will not listen to my concerns. The reason for this is two-fold:
1. In your Broadband and Road to 5G inquiry, there were 147 pieces of written evidence, around 50% of which were about the adverse health effects of non-ionising radiation. Many of these were from experts and extremely well supported by scientific and medical studies, yet in your summary report, this evidence was ignored, even vilified by this unsubstantiated statement:
“Instead of a compelling consumer case for 5G, misinformation has taken root, as our sub-committee on online harms and disinformation has explored. The spread of false information linking 5G to the COVID-19 outbreak led to attacks on workers and infrastructure” (section 73).
This was your only reference to the health implications of 5G, even though none of the submissions I read, mentioned Covid-19, but concentrated on the build-up of scientific evidence of harms to health of EMFs generally, not just 5G.
2. There is only one scientific government committee (COMARE) which has a responsibility to report on the health effects of both ionising and non-ionising radiation. They only report, when government asks them to. They confirmed to me via email on 19th May 2022 that they had never been asked to report on the health effects of EMFs or 5G writing, as follows:
“Thank you for your email dated 19th May 2022, following up on previous correspondence from 2020.
To date, COMARE has not received any requests from government departments to provide advice on possible health effects from EMFs or on 5G health concerns. COMARE continues to recognise public health concerns about EMFs and the Committee’s work programme for 2022-2023 is available from its GOV.UK webpage”.
The Government appears to assume that the self-selecting ICNIRP with its major conflicts of interest will take care of any concerns. However I urge you to read my own written evidence as to why this cannot be trusted. It is here and comes with your “health” warning: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/842/pdf/ The information here is backed up by a later extensive document produced by MEPs Klaus Büchner and Michelle Rivasi here: https://www.politico.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ICNIRP-report-JUNE-2020-BUCHNER-RIVASI.pdf
I believe that the proliferation of radio-frequency radiation will further damage health. There are already thousands of studies showing this with regards to pre-5G technology, which has been ignored by regulatory bodies, which are captured by industry. The impact of 5G technology in the proposed intensity has not been studied. Not only will it disadvantage the vulnerable groups I have mentioned, but it will harm the health of the whole population as well as that of animals, insects and all of nature as seen in these two examples: