Is Wireless Technology an Environmental Health Risk? – Society of Environmental Journalists Article

Katie Alvord

The Society of Environmental Journalists published an article on wireless radiation by award winning environmental journalist, Katie Alvord entitled “Is Wireless Technology an Environmental Health Risk?” This article highlights research by numerous international experts including Environmental Health Trust, Dr. Joel Moskowitz and the Bioinitiative.


“Early in 2012, I started having debilitating cognitive lapses, pressure headaches, nausea and worse when around wireless and electronic devices.

That winter and spring, I’d put in long hours, drafting an eco-themed novel, writing for a hyperlocal news blog and starting to update a climate series I’d done for the site five years before.

But my worsening symptoms felt more extreme than simply too-much-screen-time fatigue. By late May, I could not sit down at any keyboard without losing my ability to work within minutes.

“What changed before this began?” one doctor asked me. As we explored the question, technology kept coming up.

Not only had I logged extra computer time in recent months, but a new community-wide wireless internet service had started nearby. My symptoms consistently worsened within what I later learned was the range of that service. The 12-mile trips from my country home into town, where this new provider and others had transmitters, often left me so impaired it took days to recover.

Was it possible higher levels of wireless radiation had crashed my health?

My search for answers led me deep into a topic that has expanding relevance for the environmental beat in the current COVID-19 era.

Recent lockdowns and more time online — plus the push for rapid expansion of 5G infrastructure, now touted for economic recovery (see sidebar) — are increasing our exposures to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR, aka electromagnetic fields or EMF). This includes the radiofrequency radiation, or RFR, emitted by wireless devices.

Are these exposures safe? That’s hotly debated, so you’ll find plenty of story potential at the intersection of wireless tech, health and environment.

Plus, Project Censored — which since 1976 has publicized important news stories missed by mainstream media — says the health risks of wireless technologies are underreported. The topic has made the group’s annual list of Top 25 Censored Stories in 2012-132017-18 and 2018-19.

The safety debate

Arguments over these health risks center on whether RFR, which includes microwave frequencies, does much or any harm when below intensities that heat tissue.

Those who say that low-intensity RFR poses little risk include the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, the Institute of Electrical  and Electronics Engineers, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and the wireless industry.

Accordingly, safety standards and guidelines in the United States and many other locations are based on avoiding RFR’s tissue-heating effects.

Those concerned about this approach say thousands of studies — such as research cited by the BioInitiative Report, Physicians for Safe Technology, Americans for Responsible Technology, Understanding EMFs, Electromagnetic Radiation Safety and Environmental Health Trust — conclude that RFR can hurt us at levels well below those microwave ovens used for cooking…


SEE Also:

Interview With Journalist Katie Alvord on Wireless And the Environment

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