Professor Beatrice Golomb (MD, PhD) from the School of Medicine at the University of California published an open letter yesterday that explains why she is vigorously opposed to SB 649 – a bill in the California legislature that would expedite the deployment of “small cell” antennas to facilitate the roll-out of 5G across the state.

Beatrice Alexandra Golomb, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine

August 18, 2017

To whom it may concern,

I urge in the strongest terms that you vigorously oppose California SB 649.

If this bill passes, many people will suffer greatly, and needlessly, as a direct result.

This sounds like hyperbole. It is not. My research group at UC San Diego alone has received hundreds of communications from people who have developed serious health problems from electromagnetic radiation, following introduction of new technologies. Others with whom I am in communication, have independently received hundreds of similar reports. Most likely these are a tip of an iceberg of tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of affected person. As each new technology leading to further exposure to electromagnetic radiation is introduced – and particularly introduced in a fashion that prevents vulnerable individuals from avoiding it – a new group become sensitized to health effects. This is particularly true for pulsed signals in the radiowave and microwave portion of the spectrum, the type for which the proposed bill SB 640 will bypass local control.

Mechanisms by which health effects are exerted have been shown to include oxidative stress (the type of injury against which antioxidants protect ,see optional section below), damage to mitochondria (the energy producing parts of cells), damage to cell membranes, and via these mechanisms, an impaired “blood brain barrier”(the blood brain barrier defends the brain against introduction of foreign substances and toxins; additionally, disruption can lead to brain edema, constriction of blood vessels and impaired blood flow to the brain, and triggering of autoimmune reactions. Following a large exposure, that depresses antioxidant defenses, magnifying vulnerability to future exposures, some persons no longer tolerate many other forms and intensities of electromagnetic radiation that previously caused them no problem, and that currently cause others no problem. But this group deserves – nay needs — the right to be able to avoid these exposures.

Affected individuals not only experience “symptoms” that “merely” cause them distress and suffering, when they are exposed – symptoms like headaches, ringing ears and chest pain10 from impaired blood flow, heart rhythm abnormalities and inability to sleep. These symptoms arise from physiological injury. Moreover, many experience significant health problems that can include seizures, heart failure, hearing loss and severe cognitive impairment. The mechanisms involved are those also involved in development and progression of neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease.

Many state that they didn’t give credence to the problem (if they had heard of it at all) until they themselves fell prey to it.

This is not a psychologically driven condition. Multiple objective physiological changes reflecting mechanisms of injury have been shown in persons with this condition.

The role for oxidative stress, that has been shown in innumerable studies (below), is affirmed by evidence of a link of this condition to genetic variants in antioxidant defenses, that are less avid in defending against oxidative stress. People cannot manipulate their genes, to produce such an outcome by suggestibility.

An analysis by a University of Washington researcher showed that most studies funded by industry reported failure to show physiological effects. However, most studies without such industry bias affirmed effects. This is redolent of findings shown in medicine, regarding which the former editor in chief of the BMJ (the British Medical Journal), Richard Smith, noted, based on findings of a study, “This {result} suggests that, far from conflict of interest being unimportant in the objective and pure world of science where method and the quality of data is everything, it is the main factor determining the result of studies.” So where articles deny injury from nonionizing radiowave-microwave radiation, there is commonly a stake aligned with financial benefit from such denial.

Those who are affected are in desperate need of protection by our elected officials. They need creation of safe spaces and housing, and roadways to allow travel, not removal of any prospect of one; protection of local rights to make decisions – not removal of any recourse or ability to avoid what injures them. They are far more strongly in need of protections than a great many protected classes – their problems arose due to actions of others, against which they were given no control – and can be reversed, in most cases, if the assault on them is rolled back. Through no fault of their own, and in some cases against their will (e.g. before opt out was permitted with smart meters), they were subjected to an exposure that has altered their lives as they knew them, and forced them – needlessly – to the margins of society.

Let our focus be on safer, wired and well shielded technology – not more wireless.

This legislation, if passed, and the resulting unrestricted roll-out of this technology, will predictably and directly injure and disable a new group, and add depth of suffering to those already affected. In other spheres we abridge freedoms to protect the vulnerable few. We require that every schoolchild be vaccinated, supposedly to protect the vulnerable few who may not respond effectively to a vaccine. The need to protect the vulnerable group is deemed to be so great that it justifies the decision to abridge individual rights.

In contrast, this bill seeks to abridge individual freedoms, and local rights, in the service of harming a vulnerable group, and creating a new one. (The common factor appears to be that in both cases, the direction is aligned with a powerful industry that influences political decisions.) Luckily, no abridgment of individual rights and freedoms is required to protect here.

If any group can opt out (such as, I understand, firefighters*) then every group deserves that equal right. Others should not be second class citizens, subject to fewer protections.

It would go far to helping this cause if anyone complicit in promoting or passing the legislation (and then after that, their families) were required to be the first subjected, for a substantial test period, to the greatest amount of exposure that anyone else (and their families) may be subjected to, when new policies of this type are rolled out. It will still not do them equal damage; because they may not represent the vulnerabilities that others will have; but such a policy might help them to think twice. That is a bill I would strongly endorse.

Most who are now affected – were not, until they were. This may become you – or your child or grandchild. Moreover, if you have a child, or a grandchild, his sperm, or her eggs (all of which she will already have by the time she is a fetus in utero), will be affected by the oxidative stress damage created by the electromagnetic radiation, in a fashion that may affect your future generations irreparably.

It was noted above that, among survey completers, fully half of those who were employed at the time they developed electrosensitivity, lost employment due to this problem. (This may understate the scope of the tragedy, since this most-affected group may be least likely to be able to respond to an online survey.) Many who previously had no problem navigating in the world are now restricted from access to basic services like hospital care, post offices and libraries because of these problems. With each new introduction of technology that exposes many to yet a new nondiscretionary source of electromagnetic radiation, particularly (but not exclusively) that which emits pulsed radiation in the radiowave-microwave part of the spectrum, a new group of people are affected; and the suffering of those who are already affected increases greatly.

Please, defend the public and our future. Protect the rights of the individual and the locality, against a form of incursion that will lead to serious harm to some – and set a terrible precedent. Vote no on California SB 649, and urge that everyone else do the same.

Sincerely, Beatrice Alexandra Golomb, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Appended to the letter are 360 references to the scientific literature.

Full letter:

More letters:

UC San Diego Medical Professor Opposes “Small Cell” Antenna Bill (Calif. SB 649)

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