Earth Matters: The Times got it wrong on 5G



The race to deploy 5G is on…but not so fast!

There are two conversations going on regarding the rollout of 5G. The first, amplified
by telecom companies, their investors and the media, promises a fantastic new future with breakthroughs in communications, medicine, education, transportation and entertainment…all delivered instantly by a seamless, wireless infrastructure surrounding us everywhere we go. The second, engaging medical professionals, public health experts and scientific researchers, concerns a looming public health crisis based on the known biological risks from both short and long-term exposure to radiofrequency (RF) microwave radiation, the foundation of that wireless infrastructure.

The New York Times has chosen to align themselves with the industry group.
Over the past few months, they have strategically placed two articles in their paper, the first one claimed that the concern over the safety of 5G can be attributed to a Russian conspiracy and the second, to the work of a single researcher who “got it wrong.” The second article, “Don’t Fear the Frequency,” was published as the lead story in the Science Section on July 16, and placed the blame on the research of an esteemed, but low-profile physicist Dr. Bill Curry, and the graph he created depicting absorption of microwaves by the brain. The author of the article, William J. Broad, discredited the scientist and claimed the graph was not accurate because the higher frequencies, like 5G, are mostly absorbed by the skin. In his article, he frequently referred to “mainstream scientists” or the “science establishment” which disputed the validity of Curry’s work.

In fact, Bill Curry’s research was meticulous and his graph was exactly right. It was actually Broad who got it wrong. He was mixing up the impact of different frequencies. Curry mapped out the graph back in 2000, when 2G was the standard and 3G had only just been introduced. In this part of the spectrum, the radiation does indeed penetrate well into the brain.

There are hundreds of scientists and medical experts who strongly disagree with the experts mentioned in Broad’s article who said that radio waves become safer at higher frequencies. Broad also conveniently avoids revealing that 5G will be adding yet another layer on top of existing forms (3G, 4G) of RF microwave radiation. Ongoing and past research in this field focuses on a wide range of radio wave frequencies and biological impacts are found at virtually every frequency measured. 5G, which employs a new millimeter band frequency, also utilizes decimeter and centimeter microwave lengths, and has been identified in numerous studies as presenting a direct threat to human health, as well as to animal, insect and plant life. There has been no independent testing to support any claims of safety of 5G.

People, including me, read The New York Times expecting to get the facts, and the consequences of misleading readers on a subject of this importance are monumental. However, the conflict of interest here is pretty clear. The Times and Verizon have entered into a business partnership utilizing 5G technology and, of course, the telecoms hold a special place as powerful advertisers at The Times.

Who on the Times science desk fact-checked Broad’s story? Who brought the obscure Curry graph to Broad’s attention? The day after publication, the telecom industry posted a celebratory article in Wireless SmartBrief entitled “Experts: 5G Health Scare Based on Bad Science.”

The race between science and commerce is on, with extremely high stakes for everyone on the planet. Will the telecoms succeed in achieving sufficient market penetration, integrating their networks and devices inexorably into the everyday lives of consumers before scientists and public health officials are able to make their voices heard?
Will there be enough time to alert the public to the undeniable risk, and force government to take steps to protect public health?

We’ve been here before, of course. At one point in time, DDT, asbestos and tobacco were all considered beneficial. Only later, as the research accumulated and the human suffering became obvious, did we understand the danger of ignoring emerging science and early signs of trouble. Will we make the same mistake again with wireless radiation?

Dr. Robert O. Becker, surgeon and researcher who was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize, observed, “I have no doubt in my mind that, at the present time, the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields.”


  1. Bravo, Patti! Thank you for your tireless work to educate others on the risks of today’s wireless technology and the foolishness of allowing toxic small cell antennas into our communities for 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). I am grateful for the 5G Crisis project which helps folks have intelligent, fact-based conversations with their neighbors and local municipalities. Together we can ensure safe, hard-wired technology solutions to the premises and skip the toxic radiation exposures from small cells and cell towers. Since the NYT and others won’t do true investigative reporting on this, it’s up to us to get educated and protect our communities:

  2. I find it interesting that people are on one side of the fense or the other on this, when the actual chipsets used in 5G transmitters haven’t been around long enough to be tested. How can there be a study that makes claims that in reality could not have been tested? People need to think critically here.


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