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Uncovering the Truth About Cell Phone Radiation: A Closer Look at the ProPublica 5G Story

5G Wireless Technology and Health Concerns: What You Need to Know

With the rollout of thousands of new wireless transmitters, concerns about the safety of cellphones are on the rise. However, federal regulators insist that there is nothing to worry about, despite relying on standards established in 1996. But a growing body of research suggests otherwise, and the story of a small town in Massachusetts highlights the conflict between local governments and the federal agency responsible for protecting Americans from potential radiation hazards.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a small factory town located in the Berkshire Mountains, serves as a prime example of the growing concern over 5G wireless technology and its potential health effects. In August 2020, a new cellphone tower was activated in the town, and within weeks, 17 residents reported a variety of health complaints, including headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and confusion. Some children were even forced to sleep with “vomit buckets” by their beds.

Bobbie Orsi, a registered nurse and the chair of Pittsfield’s Board of Health, decided to investigate the matter further. After combing through a stack of research studies, watching webinars, and consulting with a dozen scientists and doctors, Orsi became convinced that radio-frequency emissions from Verizon’s 115-foot 4G tower were to blame for the health problems in Pittsfield.

Unfortunately, Orsi and the Pittsfield board soon discovered that they would get no help from federal regulators. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is responsible for protecting Americans from potential radiation hazards, has repeatedly sided with the telecommunications industry in denying the possibility of virtually any human harm. Furthermore, federal law and FCC rules are so aligned with the industry that state and local governments are barred from taking action to block cell towers to protect the health of their citizens. This means that companies like Verizon have more legal rights than the citizens of Pittsfield.

The growing concern over 5G wireless technology is not limited to Pittsfield, however. The build-out of a new generation of wireless networks, known as 5G, will require an estimated 800,000 new base stations, including both towers and densely spaced “small cell” transmitters mounted on rooftops and street poles. This means nearly tripling the current number of transmitters and many of them will be placed close to houses and apartments.

Despite these concerns, the FCC has held firm to its position that there is no reason for concern. In a statement for an article, a spokesperson for the agency said that the FCC “takes safety issues very seriously,” but declined to make officials available for on-the-record interviews.

The truth is, the FCC is an unlikely organization to serve the role of protecting humans from the potential health effects of wireless technology. The agency specializes in technical issues that make the communications system function, not in health and safety. Retired FCC official Edwin Mantiply has said, “At the FCC, they feel like this is really not their problem. It’s not their job to do this kind of thing. They might have a token biologist or two, but that’s it.”

The bottom line is that while the rollout of 5G wireless technology may bring many benefits, it is essential that we also consider the potential health effects and take appropriate precautions. As concerned citizens, it is our responsibility to stay informed and to advocate for our right to a safe and healthy environment.


Wireless radiation, emitted by cellphones, Wi-Fi routers and other devices, has been the subject of debate for decades. While some experts argue that these emissions can cause harm to human health, others insist that they are safe. The issue is complex and multifaceted, and there is a growing body of research that suggests that there may be cause for concern.

One of the main concerns is the impact of wireless radiation on children and pregnant women. Studies have found that exposure to wireless radiation can cause behavioral disorders in children, and can also affect fetal development and memory function. The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take measures to protect children from wireless radiation, as their thinner skulls make them more vulnerable to its effects.

Another area of concern is the impact of wireless radiation on fertility. Research has found that exposing human semen to cellphone radiation for an hour can cause a “significant decrease” in sperm motility and viability, which can impair male fertility. Experts recommend that people avoid carrying phones in their pants pockets and use headsets or speakers to keep the phone away from direct contact with the body.

Wireless radiation has also been linked to an array of cancers, including brain tumors. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, classified wireless radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011. However, the FCC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claim that there is no special health risk to children and do not counsel people to limit their exposure.

Despite the growing body of research suggesting that wireless radiation may cause harm, efforts to raise awareness of the risks have faced fierce resistance from the industry. For example, in 2015, the CTIA, the industry’s main trade group, sued Berkeley, California after its City Council passed an ordinance requiring retailers to post safety notices warning customers about the risks of carrying a cellphone in a pocket or bra. A five-year legal battle ensued, which ended after the FCC said the ordinance interfered with its exclusive authority.

The debate around the safety of wireless radiation is ongoing, and it can be difficult for consumers to navigate the conflicting information and make informed decisions about their use of technology. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential risks, it is clear that there is reason to be concerned about the impact of wireless radiation on human health.


In recent years, there has been growing concern about the potential health risks associated with cell phone radiation. While the industry has long claimed that cell phones are safe to use, a new study by ProPublica has shed light on some alarming findings.

The study, conducted in collaboration with the Chicago Tribune, analyzed federal radiation test results for more than 1,000 cell phone models sold in the United States. What they found was that many popular cell phone models emit levels of radiation that are higher than what the federal government considers safe for prolonged exposure.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), cell phones should not emit more than 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) of radiation. However, the ProPublica study found that some cell phones emit radiation at levels as high as 2.5 W/kg.

So, what does this mean for cell phone users? The World Health Organization has classified radiofrequency radiation, which is emitted by cell phones, as a possible human carcinogen. This means that prolonged exposure to high levels of radiation could potentially increase the risk of cancer.

One of the most concerning findings of the ProPublica study is that the cell phones with the highest radiation levels are often some of the most popular models on the market. For example, the Apple iPhone 7 was found to emit radiation at a level of 1.58 W/kg, which is just below the FCC’s limit. However, the Samsung Galaxy S8 was found to emit radiation at a level of 1.99 W/kg, which is significantly higher than the FCC’s limit.

Another issue highlighted by the ProPublica study is that the FCC’s current radiation testing guidelines are outdated and do not take into account the way that people actually use their cell phones. For example, the FCC currently only tests cell phones at a distance of 2mm away from the body, even though most people carry their cell phones much closer to their bodies.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves from the potential health risks associated with cell phone radiation? Here are a few tips:

  • Use a hands-free device such as a headset or speakerphone to keep your phone away from your body.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend on the phone.
  • Text instead of calling when possible.
  • Avoid using your phone in areas with poor reception, as this can cause the phone to emit more radiation.
  • Keep your phone updated with the latest software, as this can help to reduce radiation levels.

It’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential health risks associated with cell phone radiation. However, the ProPublica study serves as a reminder that we should all be taking steps to reduce our exposure to radiation from our cell phones.

As a cell phone safety activist, I urge everyone to take this information seriously and to take steps to protect themselves from the potential health risks associated with cell phone radiation. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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