Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

In response to the December article by Midge Pierce on “The 5G Juggernaut” I would like to expand a little. Few understand that proposed fifth generation (5G) millimeter wave frequency is a weak frequency.

To implement the IOT will require a massive build-out requiring wireless antennas on most utility poles causing an exponential increase in environmental exposure to microwave radiation.

Ted Wheeler has filed a lawsuit against the FCC for regulatory rollbacks set to remove local control over locating antennas. Industry will be able to locate antennas without restrictions or requirements to notify the public of its plans.

Prior to implementation, city officials should consult with biophysicists, medical doctors or researchers studying the impacts of microwave radiation on living cells. Phone calls to the Office of Community Technology are never returned.

Scientists studying microwave radiation are raising the alarm. Former government scientist and Harvard physicist,  Dr. Robert Powell says 5G “is about life and death.”  Scientist Dr. Ronald Kostoff compares 5G with the “Holocaust” and begs cities to become sanctuary cities refusing 5G  on health grounds. There is much pushback throughout the country and internationally.

Beatrice Golumb, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine UC San Diego writes: “…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.”

OHSU Dr. Jerry Jaboin says 5-G  and WiFi are like; “Russian Roulette…” Portland scientist, Dr. Martin Pall, PhD just published a paper: “5G: Great Risk for EU, US and International Health.”

RF EMR can cause an array of adverse effects on DNA integrity, cellular membranes,  neuronal function, the blood brain barrier, melatonin production, sperm damage and immune dysfunction.

Will benefits outweigh risks by adding all this hyperconnecting technology compared to public health and environmental consequences?

A thorough investigation includes downsides like E-Waste, global climate change, toxics emissions, occupational safety, privacy, security, public safety from wide-spread battery backup systems, and most critically, direct human health and environmental risks. 209 leading scientists and doctors signed an Appeal demanding a moratorium on 5G due to the serious health effects.

5G affects the first layer of skin, specifically the sweat ducts. To get around the regulatory hurdle of too much exposure, the FCC has reclassified human skin as an extremity allowing for higher exposure. This is not new. Years ago the FCC reclassified the ear as an extremity for the same reasons.

How many with kids in school have been notified by PPS that wireless technology is not insured for “harm from electromagnetic frequencies” as explicitly stated in its policy. Should parents and students be notified that an agent found too dangerous to insure is being used in our schools?

Outraged? Write or call your representative and PPS and let them know.

David Morrison

Urban Burning:

Curling up by a cozy fire may feel great on winter days, but for Portland residents, it is important to think about the impact this has on our already compromised air quality.

It’s obvious to most who have lived in Portland the past few summers that thick amounts of smoke from forest fires can cause great distress, but even smaller amounts of everyday woodfire smoke can be harmful.

Fine particulate matter pollution is a public health concern, and Portland has unhealthy levels of PM 2.5 (particulates less than 2.5 microns large); local concentrations may be 3-7 times the threshold recommended by the World Health Organization.

According to the Multnomah County Health department, wood burning is a major source of harmful air pollution, accounting for the more than half of fine particulate matter during winter. In addition to fine particulates, woodsmoke contains several carcinogenic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, aldehydes, and other free radicals.

Woodsmoke can cause short term effects like throat, eye, sinus, lung irritation, headaches, decreased lung function, inflammation, asthma, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Long term exposure has been linked to chronic lung diseases (bronchitis and emphysema) and cancer.

The state of Washington’s Ecology Department conducted a study in 2009 and estimated that fine particulate matter air pollution may account for statewide healthcare costs of $190 million per year.

Not surprisingly, these illnesses disproportionately affect children, the elderly, and people with other chronic health issues. Burning wood increases exposure to smoke in the home, potentially affecting the health of people and their pets.

Oregon DEQ partnered with Portland State to conduct a residential survey of Portland in 2014 and found 32% of households reported burning wood. Approximately 230,000 tons of wood is burned in the area each year, of which 55% may be combusted in uncertified woodstoves or fireplaces. Fine particle emissions are threefold higher from a non-certified woodstove and twentyfold higher from a fireplace than from an EPA certified woodstove.

Last year, Multnomah county passed a new ordinance: on days when weather conditions indicate poor air quality, both indoor and outdoor wood fires are prohibited.

Exceptions exist in the event of power outages or for people with low income or those with no alternative heat source. To find out the air quality index, see airnow.gov and enter your zip code or click on the map. Poor air quality days also sometimes show up on weather apps.

Additional information about certified woodstoves and fireplaces, tips for cleaner burning, and the full 2016 legislative report from a statewide working group can be found here: tinyurl.com/y88kgldb.

Perhaps it is time for Portland to redefine the hearth. Light a candle instead, consider a gas “fireplace” unit for ambiance, or burn wisely in a certified woodstove.

Janice Snyder

Letters to the Editor

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