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RMA only breached closer than 5.5m to a 5G access point


The Ministry of Health's reply to our letter of July 4 ignores most of the points we make and concentrates on saying “With regard to the data presented by your correspondents, the graph showing SAR appears to be based on a misunderstanding of the relevant limits.” And indeed, page 43 of the thesis referred to in our letter shows that the ICNIRP guidelines on which NZ's SAR limits are based are slightly higher than the FCC's — our (ICNIRP's) limit is 2W/kg, while America's (FCC's) is only 1.6W/kg. Thus, moving the blue line in the SAR graph up to 2W/kg shows that NZ's Resource Management Act will only be breached closer than 5.5m to a 5G access point, not 6m.

We invite the MoH to tell your readers (a) the distances from the cellsites at which their “actual measurements near operating 5G cellsites” were made, and (b) whether or not these measurements were made within the directed beam of radiation from the antenna to a device actively communicating with the antenna. 5G uses beam-forming technology.

If the answer to (b) is no, such measurements would be as meaningless as measurements of machine gun power made from behind the gun.

The NZ MoH says “The New Zealand exposure standard's limits are recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)”.

ICNIRP is a small, self-selected NGO based in Germany. It and its parent organisation the World Health Organisation choose to ignore or dismiss the now vast volume of evidence disproving their claim that microwaves are harmless at intensities too low to heat tissue. We don't have to follow them.

It is time for New Zealand to uphold the proud tradition of independence that made us nuclear-free. We need to reject the biased testimony of the 20-odd “experts” in the world who agree with ICNIRP and listen to the hundreds of doctors and scientists who collectively have published thousands of research papers on the many biological harms caused by sub-thermal microwaves.

Susan Pockett (MSc, PhD) and Robin Kelly (FRNZCGP).

Response from NZ Ministry of Health

There is a variety of ongoing research into the possible health effects of radiofrequency fields. Many reviews of the research in this area have been published over the past few years. These reviews conclude that, overall, the results show that exposures which comply with current limits do not cause health effects.

Reviews of the research on radiofrequency fields and health carried out by national and international health and scientific bodies can be found on the Ministry of Health website (health.govt.nz) by searching “research non-ionising radiation”.

The Ministry welcomes further research in this area.

The data presented in the document your correspondents supplied with their previous letter refers to exposures from a 5G transmitter operating at 28GHz, and the upper graph claimed to show specific absorption rate (SAR) data and compared this with the FCC limit. However, neither the FCC nor ICNIRP applies limits in terms of SAR at frequencies of 28GHz so this graph, purporting to show that 5G exposures are far higher than from 4G transmitters, and exceeding the FCC limits at distances up to 6m from the transmitter, has no meaning.

We stand by our statement that “exposures to 5G signals are similar to, or lower than, those from existing cellsites”. This is supported by the second graph in the document.

Research in this area is complex and we are also keen to clarify another basic misunderstanding from this document. The claim (page 40) that “it is noteworthy to mention that FCC or ICNIRP do not have an exposure guideline for SAR in terms of far-field based on a belief that SAR is not effective to be considered in a far-field scenario” is incorrect. At the frequencies where SAR limits are specified by ICNIRP and the FCC they apply in both the near and far-field regions, and in fact form the fundamental exposure limits for both organisations in both regions.

The measurements made near operating cellsites in New Zealand were recorded at distances ranging from 30 to 130 metres from the sites. Most were made at or near locations accessible to the public close to the sites, where the highest exposures would be expected. Certainly, exposures within a few metres of these sites would have exceeded the public limits, as is the case with almost all sites, whatever technology they use. (The exception is low-power sites, such as so-called “small cells”, that are designed to cover more limited areas and for which the exposures are correspondingly lower.)

As stated previously, regulations under the Resource Management Act would not permit cellsites that produce exposures in public areas that exceed the public limits.

Ministry of Health Spokesperson

Footnote from Ed: The Gisborne Herald has been advised that this is primarily a response to the letter above, however, the MoH also had Mary Redmayne’s column made available to it for response.

Leave a Reply to Devra L Davis, Wyoming, USA Cancel reply

  1. Anthea, Wellington says:

    It is hard to believe the Ministry of Health welcomes research in this area when it does not appear that anyone employed by the ministry actually looks at the papers already published, versus highly selective reviews of the science by the non-transparent and self-selected ICNIRP group recently the subject of a damning study by the European Parliament.

    The international BioInitiative scientists updated their reviews of the science (in 2019) and of the 305 papers regarding for radiofrequency radiation (used by Wi-Fi, cell phones etc) there were 222 (72%) of the papers showing neurological effects and 83 (28%) showing none. (One health aspect of many) How does the work of this transparent and independent group of scientists findings match with the MoH finding of no health effects overall?

    When scientists found DNA strand breaks as evidenced by Micronuclei chromosomal fragments found in the blood decades ago and reported this to the heads of the telecoms industry including Apple, At@T and Motorola, the telcos responded not with precautionary advice to users but by a PR response that included donations to community groups. Maybe our MoH is finding the donations by telcos to PHOs, Starship etc clouds their judgement on this.

  2. Anthea says:

    I would like to congratulate the Gisborne Herald in publishing my comments since other news organisations seem to believe that 5G being unsafe has been debunked without revealing a jot of evidence as to why they have this opinion. I would love it if The Herald would take up the gauntlet and use their journalistic training to discuss these questions:
    1. How much more power does 5G take than current networks, and can our electricity network cope? Huawei’s’ white paper says a lot: https://carrier.huawei.com/~/media/CNBG/Downloads/Spotlight/5g/5G-Power-White-Paper-en.pdfis this an environmentally sound way to go?
    2. Are the retrofitting of 4G sites for 5G causing the fires attributed to arson, because of inherent problems in an increase of cooling needed as Huawei’s white paper would suggest, especially as we get hotter weather? Is this actually safe enough?
    3. That was great to have an article about beamforming, made sense. Igor Belyaev is an expert on frequency modulation which in the opinion of many experts is a bigger danger than radiated power. Are you able to interview him or make a layman/laywomen’s outline of what this means for us, please? He has also published that 5G MMW [Milli-Meter Wave) modulation inhibits DNA repair genes: can we get his commentary on the safety of 5G?

    1. Tom Whitney says:

      All your questions and fears about 5G, answered by an expert

      5G is harmless unless you believe it isn’t – doctor

      Is 5G making you sick? Probably not
      The Truth About 5G

      Is 5G Safe?

      Three reasons why 5g is unlikely to cause harm

      The use of 5G does not pose a risk to human health below ICNIRP exposure guidance levels and there is no evidence it is linked to any biological viruses. https://srp-uk.org/news/article/241/position-statement-on-5g-exposure

      Debunking 5G health concerns There are a variety of particular claims about how 5G is a health hazard … https://telecoms.com/opinion/debunking-5g-health-concerns/

      No evidence that 5G radiation is harmful to human health, experts say

      5G Will Not Kill Us All, but Stupidity Might – ExtremeTech

      5G is not going to microwave your brain: All the myths, debunked

      BBC News – 5G judged safe by scientists but faces tougher radiation rules https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51839681

      1. Anthea says:

        Hi Tom, this would be a great reply if my question was “How is 5G debunked?” If you go to the website https://www.safeictnz.org/ you will find explanations and links to the science that debunks the arguments made in these sites that you have suggested. Thanks for the quick reply, however, I hoped for answers to my very specific questions and deeper-digging journalism. We keep getting our health concerns allayed by so-called “experts” without the credentials to be that. How about referring to the scientists who are actual experts in the field and have their science reviewed by other experts in this field. The scientists published in Microwave News: https://microwavenews.com/ or noble prize-winning Dr Devra Davis at https://ehtrust.org/ meet this criteria, versus industry comms experts. Don’t allow your audience to be deceived by acts of omission.

        1. Sue, Auckland says:

          Here is Tom Whitney’s Linked-In profile:
          “Graduated from the RCAF Radar and Communications School in 1963, and served as a technician in Cold Lake, Alberta and Ottawa. After serving, I worked as a Radio Technician at Motorola and then at General Electric. I later worked in Sales and Marketing at GE and RCA. Next, I had a one year stint as a Communications Advisor for the Ontario Police Commission. My next and last employer was LeBlanc Communications, where I sold towers, antenna products and turn-key telecom site construction services –…”

          If this is the same Tom Whitney, apparently he has a gigantic conflict of interest in this matter. OF COURSE someone who sells/sold towers, antenna products and turn-key telecom site construction services is going to tell you it’s all fine.

  3. Laurie Ross, West Auckland says:

    Thanks again to The Gisborne Herald for allowing public dialogue in the newspaper among informed, respectful participants on this controversial 5G issue (which is not happening in other NZ mainstream media).

    The NZ public has good reason to question the Ministry of Health assurances on 5G, because MoH relies solely on WHO and ICNIRP for advice, which excludes science on adverse effects of 5G EMF technology on biological health. NZ health professionals should also be engaged in independent research of this largely untested technology which is intended to dominate our lives.
    It is not a matter of free choice or ‘market rules’ like the satellite dish you could buy to put on your roof if you wanted more technology systems. Now everyone is forced into having this invasive technology in their community and homes, whether they want it or not.

    The measurement tech tests are only done on individual cell towers – not measuring the thousands of towers, antennas, satellites and millions of devices, all pulsating millimetre waves simultaneously – everywhere!
    Are they saying this will have no ill effects?

    The underlying argument for 5G is an ideology of NZ economic prosperity being dependent on IoT Technology, Artificial Intelligence, driverless cars etc as the ONLY future. But how much technology do we really want and need, and how much is too much or detrimental?

    We must question the whole theory of Technocracy, in the same way NZ questioned the theory that nuclear energy and nuclear defence were required for prosperity and progress, etc.
    The NZ government was able to resist enormous pressure from multinational corporations and our political allies, to become a successful, respected Nuclear-Free Zone.
    This was due to public engagement in the issue, much study, critical thinking, debate and democratic process, to reject both forms of this highly-toxic nuclear element. We need to apply the same intellectual rigour in relation to the 5G Electromagnetic Radiation technology.

  4. Devra L Davis, Wyoming, USA says:

    I would appreciate if the anonymous Ministry of Health spokesperson could address this question: You say “exposures within a few metres of these [cell]sites would have exceeded the public limits, as is the case with almost all sites, whatever technology they use”. What does this mean for residents of dense urban environments where cell sites are operating within a few metres?