Wednesday, 14 September 2016

My comment to the FCC

My comment to the FCC - Dave Ashton

Following on from yesterday's post about submitting EHS-related comments to the FCC regarding their plans for 5G in the US, involving the installation of "millions" of small cells, I've submitted mine today, which I've copied below.

I had real problems submitting a file containing my comments - I tried a number of different file types, but the only one that worked for me was a .txt file.

I don't know if other people have experienced this, but if you do, a .txt file should work.

Also, there are some instructions below which hopefully simplify the process if you have a text file that you want to submit (rather than typing a comment on their website).

To add a file with your comments

Use the link below:

Proceedings - enter number, and select the relevant proceeding from the list
(the numbers are 14-177, 15-256, RM-11664, 10-112, 97-95)

Name(s) - press Enter after entering your name

Primary contact email - fill in if you want confirmation

Type of filing - Comment

Address of - select Filer

Description - I put "14-177 - comment from..." etc.

Email confirmation - click if you want this

On the next screen, click on the filename to check the preview

My comment:

To the FCC:

My name is Dave Ashton.

I try to keep up with the news about the global proliferation of wireless technologies, and I note the FCC's drive to roll out 5G cellular communications to the maximum extent possible, and with the minimum of delay.

I also see from Chairman Tom Wheeler's comments to the CTIA Super Mobility Show 2016 that 'there may be millions of small cell sites in the 5G future'.

Strategic Goal #2 on the FCC website says:

Protecting Public Interest Goals

The rights of network users and the responsibilities of network providers form a bond that includes consumer protection, competition, universal service, public safety and national security. The FCC must protect and promote this Network Compact.

The page entitled 'A Guide to Public Safety Enforcement', again on the FCC website, says:

What we do:

...Resolve complaints, investigate and take or recommend enforcement action in cases involving violation of the Commission's Radio Frequency ('RF') Safety rules.

Using the proposed 5G rollout as an example, I would like to question the FCC's commitment to public safety, and also the integrity of its RF Safety rules.

I'm not a scientist, nor a medic, and so I have only my own experience to guide me (and the experience of others), as well as the research that I have done on the health effects of exposure to the pulsed microwave radiation from wireless technologies such as 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi - in all its current and future guises, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and now 5G.

I worked in information technology for many years, until in 2007, completely out of the blue, I started developing chronic headaches, dizziness and vertigo.

Over the next three years, my symptoms steadily worsened, and were gradually joined by others, such as chronic pain and tiredness, insomnia, auditory problems, vision problems, and gastrointestinal issues.

In 2010, my symptoms became so severe, and so unrelenting, that I was forced to stop working.

It never would have occurred to me in the early days of my functional impairment that these symptoms could be related to electromagnetic radiation, and nor was it suggested to me by any of the many health professionals that I saw, in an effort to understand what was happening to me.

I knew absolutely nothing about this subject, and in fact I was completely unaware that in 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, has classified radiofrequency/microwave (RF/MW) radiation as Group 2B Possibly Carcinogenic.

I had no phobia of technology, and indeed I worked in the technology sector. If I'd have thought about the subject at all, I would've probably said that as long as technology is useful and safe, then it's fine by me.

In 2013, I finally joined all the dots, and realised that I was suffering from electromagntic hypersensitivity (EHS).

In order to reach this understanding, I firstly got rid of my own cellphone and DECT cordless phone, and then I bought an RF/MW meter to see the extent to which I was being exposed to radiation from external sources.

The results were shocking, and to add to the microwave exposure from nearby celltowers, and the wireless gadgets of my neighbours, I found that my own electricity meter was also emitting this Group 2B carcinogen, day and night.

I now know that my symptoms, which have been described using many names, such as microwave sickness, have been known about for decades, and that there are literally thousands of scientific studies examining these health issues from something, electromagnetic radiation, that most people don't give a second thought to.

I also know that far from being unique in suffering from debilitating and life-changing symptoms, I am just one of a large, and unfortunately growing, community of electrosensitive people around the world.

This community includes people from all possibly backgrounds, and of all possible diversities, and even, tragically, includes young children.

I am now in regular contact with a number of EHS people from all around the world, and I spend much of my time now trying to raise awareness of this issue, and doing what little I can to try to support some of them.

Many of us are living in dire circumstances, having in many cases had to leave jobs, and even homes, in order to try to escape the constant second-hand exposure to microwave radiation, even when we often do not use wireless devices ourselves.

As I'm not any kind of an expert, or even a diplomat, this frees me up to say some things that I might otherwise not be able to say.

I believe that the proliferation of wireless, microwave-emitting, technologies around the world is based on a falsehood - that the radiation is harmless unless it heats the body by more than a certain amount - and that it is immoral, as it exposes every single one of us, 24/7, to a toxin that may lead to illness, and - eventually - cancer.

I think that the rollout of 5G technologies is just the latest example of this insanity, where the interests of the wireless communications industry are put ahead of the health of the people, and where agendas and conflicts of interest abound - even among the regulatory and health and protection bodies which ought to be acting in a precautionary manner, and setting biologically-based exposure levels.

I am struck by a couple or ironies as we move into the 5G era, with the proliferation of microwave-emitting small cells and other infrastructure that this will entail.

The first is that, with impeccable timing, the FCC's 5G push comes just as the National Toxicology Program has released the partial results of its cellphone/cancer study, which appear to corroborate the non-conflicted, non-industry scientific consensus that cellphone radiation (2G and 3G in this case), can lead to DNA damage and cancer, even where significant heating is not involved.

This finding appears to directly contradict the cosy assumption that harmful, non-thermal, effects cannot possibly exist, and seems to suggest that the so-called safety standards, set by organisations such as the IEEE and ICNIRP, are not fit for purpose.

The second irony is again one of timing. At more or less the same time that we are being told that millions of small cells will be deployed to facilitate 5G in the US, a Spanish engineer has been awarded a disability payment by the High Court in Madrid, in respect of his electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

This decision overturned a previous ruling in his case, and was made on the basis that his condition prevents him from being exposed to electromagnetic radiation in his place of work.

In a further ironic twist, this engineer used to work at Ericsson, the telecoms company.

FCC - in the words of the 222 experts who have now signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, submitted to the UN, all UN member states, and the World Health Organisation in May 2015, we are facing an 'emerging public health crisis related to cell phones, wireless devices, wireless utility meters and wireless infrastructure in neighborhoods'.

They note that:

'Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines.

Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans.

Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.'

I note that your Chairman, Mr Tom Wheeler, used to be head of the cellular industry trade body, the CTIA. Perhaps his move to the FCC was less of a case of 'poacher turned gamekeeper' than of 'poacher changes desk'?

I fail to understand how the FCC can fulfil its stated remit to protect public safety, when its Chairman is accustomed to putting the interests of the wireless industry first (and, according to the book by Dr George Carlo, has denied the health findings of the very scientists commissioned by the CTIA to investigate the issue).

I am pleased for the opportunity to be able state, on the record, my bewilderment at the FCC's apparent lack of concern regarding the known health effects of pulsed microwave radiation, and - more specifically - its irresponsibility in manufacturing a situation whereby it is so impossible for many EHS people to live their lives, and enjoy their basic human rights which should be assured under international law, that a number of them have felt compelled to take their own lives.

In finishing, I would like to say that I very much hope that I am still around when the tipping point on this issue is inevitably reached, and the individuals and organisations responsible for what has been described as the 'largest biological experiment ever' are finally held to account for their actions.