Authored by Marina Zhang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Courtney Gilardi’s 10-year-old daughter never had problems sleeping. But in August 2020, the morning after a 5G cell tower was installed within 450 feet of their Pittsfield, Massachusetts, home, she woke up complaining of headaches, dizziness, a buzzing in her head, and general malaise.
Normally, she gets up at 8 a.m. But on that day, she didn’t come downstairs till the afternoon.
“She didn’t look well, and she said that she was headachy, dizzy, fuzzy. Those are not words that she has ever used to describe how she’s been feeling before,” Ms. Gilardi said.
The girl, her sister, and Ms. Gilardi herself, who said she started experiencing sleep disturbances, rapid heart rates, and migraines, were soon diagnosed with microwave syndrome, a condition known to develop after a person is exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by wireless technologies.
The doctor’s advice was simple: Stay away from your home.
Microwave Syndrome: What Is It and How Does It Harm You?
Microwave syndrome refers to sensitivity and symptom development caused by environmental microwave radiation. This type of radiation is used to heat food in microwave ovens.
People are primarily exposed to microwave radiation through wireless devices and antennas. Cell phone towers, Wi-Fi modems, phones, tablets, smart wearables, and smart home appliances continuously emit these waves 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Symptoms of microwave radiation exposure include insomnia, headaches, fatigue, stress, pain, and even skin rashes. Individuals with chronic diseases may experience a worsening of preexisting symptoms as part of microwave syndrome, according to research.
Microwave Radiation’s Health Effects: Current Findings
Microwave radiation’s health effects have long been debated, with industry-funded studies often concluding no link between exposure and health.
Randomized human studies are lacking due to ethical considerations, but prospective studies on humans, and animal and cell studies suggest potentially harmful biological effects.
Naval Medical Research
In 1971, researchers at the Naval Medical Research Institute published a report on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields, including radio frequency and microwave radiation (pdf). The report examined their effects on humans, animals, and cells.
Professor Martin Pall from Washington State University, who specializes in chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, and the effects of low-intensity microwave frequency electromagnetic fields on the human body, summarized the biological effects as follows:
- Forty neuropsychiatric effects, including changes in brain structure, brain function, psychological responses, and behavior.
- Eight hormonal effects, including hyperthyroidism and pituitary dysfunction.
- Cardiac effects, including decreased heart activity and changes in heart rhythm.
- Chromosome breaks and changes to chromosome structure.
- Histological changes to the testes.
- Cell death, an important process in neurodegenerative diseases.
Other biological effects included changes to metabolism and digestion.
The Bioinitiative Report
The Bioinitiative Report, coauthored by Dr. David Carpenter, professor of environmental health sciences at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health, investigated the correlation between EMFs and health. It found that adverse biological reactions can be triggered even at levels far below the industry standards of maximum body exposure, set at 1.6 watts per kilogram (pdf).
The current standard is based on the assumption that microwave radiation affects the body solely through heat, disregarding its nonthermal effects.
However, exposure to nonthermal EMF radiation at a chronic level of 0.00034 microwatts through mobile phones has been linked to a significant reduction in sperm count. Microwatts represent a millionth of a watt.
Furthermore, children and adolescents exposed to 0.02 microwatts for a short period reported symptoms like headaches, irritation, and difficulties with concentration in school, according to the report.
“There is really no level that you could say with absolute confidence that it was safe for everybody,” Dr. Carpenter told The Epoch Times.
He added that setting a standard with no biological effects is unrealistic given the rapid growth in wireless technology use since the report’s publication in 2007, leading to increased microwave radiation exposure for individuals.
While the report faced scrutiny for its lack of peer review, all of its included studies were subject to peer review.
The Moscow Signal
Before the introduction of cellphones and wireless devices, the Moscow Signal report documented microwave transmissions by the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1976, ranging from 2.5 to 4.4 gigahertz (GHz), which aligns with the frequency range of today’s Wi-Fi and 4G networks.
Although the U.S. government eventually determined the exposure was an espionage attempt with no significant health effects on embassy staff, this conclusion has been disputed.
In 1975, Walter Stoessel, the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, became sick, experiencing bleeding from the eyes and later succumbing to leukemia. Other embassy personnel also developed cancer, fueling the controversy surrounding the link between microwave radiation and cancer.
A year later, the U.S. Department of State commissioned a study comparing the health outcomes of Moscow embassy staff and their families to counterparts from Eastern European cities, who were assumed to have not been subjected to the same exposure. The study found that the staff in Moscow suffered no significant ill effects from the microwave exposure.
A 2019 review of the epidemiological study suggested that the original findings were toned down by the Department of State and that some key questions remain unanswered.
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