Regarding the Feb. 20 Economy & Business article “U.S. has strong start in race for 5G, report says”:

The telecom industry touts 5G’s future benefits, most of which are still speculative, while ignoring its significant costs. Not everyone in Congress agrees that rapid deployment of 5G is a national imperative. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) first want proof that it’s safe.

It’s unlikely they’ll get any, because the Federal Communications Commission has protected its pet industry for years. It prohibits objections to wireless devices on health grounds as long as they comply with radio-frequency radiation guidelines adopted in 1996 and never updated for newer technology. It rejected the first national study done since then, which found clear evidence linking 2G and 3G to cancer in rats, as irrelevant to humans. And it only considers effects caused by heating, ignoring the serious nonthermal effects. Up until now, most of the public’s exposure to radio-frequency radiation has come from handheld devices. Upon deployment of the dense networks of small cells planned for 5G, which will also have 4G antennas to fill in bandwidth gaps, public exposure will reach a whole new level of magnitude. Thousands of independent scientific studies have shown that the electromagnetic radio waves that transmit wireless signals seriously damage living tissues — in humans, animals, even plants.

Ironically, other countries have responded by adopting far stricter RF exposure standards than the United States — including China.

Linnea Warren, Washington