[Translation: By Antoinette Janssen, via Google; edited when it was obviously an authentic Russian expression, by using also Reverso context; frequently searching for synonyms, to discover what could have been meant within the context. Some words and names are linked through. What might be a wrong interpretation is followed by the Russian word or words. Sometimes both are added to direct to a page with info, like Russian Wikipedia and English Wikipedia. Note: the blog title differs from the Literaturnaya Gazeta title, 5G: fiction and truth. For obvious reasons I offered the blog title the last words of the interview.]
5G: fiction and truth
There is a lot of talk about harmful electromagnetic radiation. What is it really? Radiobiologist Oleg Grigoriev answers questions from “Literaturnaya Gazeta”.
Intro to the interview
Before starting an interview, it is good to be informed about the guest. Two words are not enough. Oleg Aleksandrovich Grigoriev is a doctor of biological sciences and a world-recognized specialist in the field of full-scale research of the bio-effects of EMF (electromagnetic fields). Back in the mid-90s, he was among the organizers of our first study of the bio-effects of the electromagnetic field of cellular communications, was a member of the group of the first irradiated volunteers, was the scientific director of the first systematic study of the electromagnetic characteristics of base stations of cellular communications.
He supervised and carried out dozens of studies on non-ionizing radiation. For about 10 years he was the chief expert of the state commission for sanitary and epidemiological regulation, a member of the medical commission of the Военно-промышленная комиссия Российской Федерации – Military-Industrial Commission. Since 1997 he has been collaborating with WHO, worked for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). I think it’s clear: Grigoriev is the one who can answer at least some of the questions indicated in the title: “5G: fiction and truth”.
Some more things. On the tabloid level, it is generally accepted that everything is bad in Russian science, the Soviet heritage is being eaten up. This is both true and not true. Russia retains a scientific school based on earlier studies of the role of biological electricity and, in general, the role of electricity in nature. Many Russian scientists have dealt with this topic – from Sechenov, Pavlov to Vernadsky, Bekhterev and others. This level of scientific schools of bio-electromagnetism exists only in France and the United States. In the last century, only two countries – the USSR / Russia, and the United States – conducted full-scale studies of the bio-effects of EMF. What does it mean?
- First, all ranges from 0 to 100 GHz and all modes were studied.
- Second, all radiation intensities from sub-threshold to lethal were studied.
- Third: studies were conducted on all living things – from rats to humans. All body systems were studied, including the immune system.
In short, blaming ourselves will not help. Better to try to imagine a real picture of the “waves bringing death” and what is happening around them. We need less mysticism, and more awareness that the electromagnetic field is a different kind of matter, and science understands its characteristics very provisional / [Нужно поменьше мистики, а больше осознания, что электромагнитное поле – это иной вид материи, природу которого наука понимает очень условно.]. In any case, the only way to know that the electromagnetic field is there, is the reaction of a charged particle, such as an ion. Science knows no other methods.
1- Oleg Aleksandrovich, the people are speculating about the harmfulness of EMF,
if you give them “full freedom” [«полную волю»]. Someplace they are demolishing the towers of the 5G network, they say that they are being burned to the ground. This is warmly welcomed on the Internet. Are people doing the right thing?
– We have a cloud of “specialists” everywhere. With the help of networks, they can give out anything at face value. Electromagnetic radiation is food for conversations. This area of science, I note, has since the middle of the last century been promising not only as a peaceful, but also as a military one – even Lenin supported the projects of “electromagnetic guns”. After the massive introduction of wireless communication and the arrival of investments there, the possibilities of EMF bio-effects —both in one direction and in the other direction— have been greatly commercialized. It is booming business! This is also why all sorts of “commissions”, “expert groups”, “international committees” sprung up like mushrooms… The majority of the people have not irradiated a single animal, have not seen in nature a single bloody bunny or rat with fruits that have been absorbed from an autoimmune reaction … And, a giant group of expert activists has chosen their own direction in social media. These are interesting guys. They dig out a lot of things that they don’t understand, but they are very passionate. The presence of such truth-tellers is very harmful, since their idiotic ideas are used by PR groups of different companies, after which it is difficult to discuss real problems. Hence the talk about the burning of towers, all sorts of incredible rumors and provocations motivating radicalism.
2- So there is no reason for concern?
– While discovering a nuclear reaction, could Einstein have imagined that after a while atomic bombs would raze Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and hundreds of thousands of people would die a slow death? Science cannot be prohibited from developing. And the question of how to use discoveries and inventions, in whose hands they will end up, how control will be conducted, is another topic.
In 2018–2019, IARC had a long-term planning group until 2024. She ranked the most dangerous factors for human health, since cancer is officially the main socially dangerous disease (and not a “mysterious” covid, as many think). In the group, I was responsible for “the electromagnetic field” and a number of other questions. By the way, the very decision that EMF is an urgent problem was born after a fierce face-to-face discussion at the agency’s headquarters. The best experts from different countries took part. We agreed to place the research of electromagnetic fields of radio frequencies as the highest priority – everything. The agency reviewed 174 agents potentially causing cancer, but just over a dozen were classified as the most dangerous, including cellular EMF. Detailed work should begin in 2022. This means that the topic of “electromagnetism and health” cannot be considered outside the context of multiple risk factors. You must also understand that now, with the global coverage of mankind with cellular communications, even small fractions of a percent of risk realization grow into huge absolute figures. We are talking about millions and millions of people, their lives. So there are reasons for concern.
3- Moreover, 2022 is not tomorrow. And you can’t keep the problem waiting! Do not freeze it either.
– And nobody did. Not in our country, not in the USA, not in France or China, that is, in four countries where science in this direction is most advanced. The difference between us and the Americans is that they have an extremely important role for the military in organizing and funding research. However, they were unable to establish long-term clinical and physiological observations, which is explained by the capitalist approach to all aspects of life, which is not, for example, disposed to a systematic examination of health at the expense of the state. And in our country this has been preserved since the times of the USSR, when experimental and hygienic work was supplemented by clinical and physiological work: the health and the effect of EMF irradiation on it were monitored in all contingents of people, starting from the age of five. By the way, to this day in Russia a lot of work is being done on the use of EMF in therapy, even in the agrarian-industrial complex. This provides rich experimental material for well-grounded conclusions and conclusions.
Since the beginning of the century, the People’s Republic of China has deployed a state program, primarily with the participation of the military. China was the first to officially supplement its defence environments (air, land, water) with an “electromagnetic” environment. Until 2014, by the way, they had fully Soviet sanitary standards. But for the fifth year now, they have been moving towards greater consideration of environmental factors.
There is little to learn in the rest of the world. No one, for example, except for the four, conducts experiments on large animals. I’m sure we cannot say that everything has been parked here and is waiting for 2022.
By the way, the North-West Public Health Research Center is engaged in the regulation of EMF in Rospotrebnadzor as the head institution. But the situation is such that in connection with the “legal guillotine” for sanitary norms, it is time for uncertainty, if not confusion. Meanwhile, ideas are smoothly moving to our country from abroad, the implementation of which can lead to a deterioration in living conditions and increase the risks of developing diseases. The state of affairs – as in the saying “to execute can not be pardoned.” Where do we put the comma? What, to agitate citizens to throw gadgets in the trash? And send all the towers for scrap? Can you imagine something like that?
As far as protection is concerned, there is only room shielding. Many countries have mastered the production of domestic absorbers, they are used on the walls of apartments in China, Japan, Germany. It is the absorber that is important so that the radiation is not re-reflected and does not create local areas of increased EMF. We have also developed domestic/household level absorbers, but developing does not mean implementing. In general, there is still a lot to be done. But if there is poison, there is usually an antidote. It is only important not to be late.
4- Honestly, it’s hard to imagine. But clear limiters, “red lines” are needed. After all, EMF, a mobile phone, everything in this line is dangerous, including a possible path to the “digital concentration camp”, which many fear. But it is clear that the “line” also provides enormous opportunities, which can not even be listed. Will humanity be able to find a middle ground and act in concert? A very big question if you look at the actions of the main players on the world stage, the growing competition, the depletion of resources, the unrestrained race for profits.
– Humanity has already solved the problem of cellular communication security. There is a division into countries and groups of people that tightly control the use of cellular communications and in a number of cases directly prohibit it, for example, in places of mass stay of children – these are Switzerland, France, Italy, Israel and others. Silicon Valley is also not a fan of wireless. If in 1994 the “elite” was with a mobile phone in their hands, now they are without them. Generally speaking, mobile communication is only alive because it is a convenient element of the neo-Keynesian economy. And there everyone has a place: banks lend and twist money, vendors produce and sell, scientists research, doctors treat brain cancer – everything is in business. And the subscriber pays for all this with money and health. A month ago, an article was published by Professors Ben Greenebaum, winner of the most honorable “bioelectromagnetic” prize in the United States, and Frank Barnes, a living classic of American electromagnetic science. The article is devoted to the rationale for tightening the standards for chronic exposure, it also puts forward a tough forecast: the combined action of solar UV and radio frequencies of new generations of communication can increase the number of cases of melanoma (it is in first place among skin cancers). Another area of research is opening up, and pharmacists will not be left passive.
Russia, in my opinion, is still following the worst of the scenarios, since it does not restrain, in fact does not regulate the use of cellular communications. We have an excellent specialist on this topic – Yuri Borisovich Zubarev. By the way, foreign colleagues ask the question: why are there so many cell towers in Moscow with such strict standards? Every Muscovite knows a place where two or three cell towers are located on a patch of several tens of meters. Indeed, in Europe there is no such concentration of base stations, and I myself ask my colleagues from Rospotrebnadzor: how is this possible? But so far nothing has changed.
5– Let’s go back directly to the “waves of death”. Is it possible from a technical point of view to create absorbers or scatterers of 5G radiation?
– The difference between 5G and previous standards in the way the signal is organized:
- high-amplitude high-gradient pulse,
- the direction of the main beam to the device (now the main beam into space),
- the use of a wide spectrum of frequencies in the pulse train. In potential, this is a very dangerous – not harmful, but a dangerous way of organizing a signal. This is the full agreement of experts.
Surprisingly, 5G still does not exist as a standard, since the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) has not approved it, and when it will happen is unknown. Experimental equipment of supplier companies is being tested in different countries. As far as I know, local experimental zones, not commercial ones, are also deployed in Russia. But a lot still needs to be studied in order to understand the patterns in the response of organisms, to learn how to predict diseases with a certain probability. Let me explain. There is a large amount of bio-effect data available to predict response and then the likelihood of disease. In the USA, this has already been formalized as a database of EMF bio-effects, but they are not available to ordinary researchers and even more so to the public from Facebook. In Russia, by the way, there are even more source materials, including clinical ones. I would like to emphasize: the effect is not equal to the disease. Cancer in a rat is not equal to cancer in humans. The immune response in the rat is very different from the human immune response. Oncology is a medical criterion of harm accepted in many countries, and the discussion about carcinogenic effects began in the 90s. But one must be careful about classifying radio frequencies as a carcinogen.
By the way, EMF of radio frequencies of non-thermal intensity is also an irritant of the nervous system. It can be strong or weak depending on the radiation conditions and the person’s health. In connection with the new covid, as one of the main hypotheses, I would consider the influence of the electromagnetic field of base stations as catalysts for changing the properties of the virus. This hypothesis is based on similar studies conducted with microorganisms in the past. We need to investigate further. Of course, the virus itself does not transfer the electromagnetic field from place to place – based on modern knowledge.
As far as protection is concerned, there is only room shielding. Many countries have mastered the production of domestic absorbers / бытовых поглотителей, they are used on the walls of apartments in China, Japan, Germany. It is the absorber that is important so that the radiation is not re-reflected and does not create local areas of increased EMF. We have also developed domestic level absorbers / поглотители бытового уровня, but developing does not mean implementing. In general, there is still a lot to be done. But if there is poison, there is usually an antidote. It is only important not to be late.
6- Let’s talk about the waves themselves, otherwise it is difficult to understand the essence of the problem. Explain, please, what the figure of 10 μW means for human life (as well as more and less), what is it about?
– It is worth remembering that, for example, back in 1966 for radiation of 10 μW / sq. cm for a working day, gave milk and extended leave / за рабочий день давали молоко и расширенный отпуск. In 1968, a team led by Academician M.G. Shandaly substantiated the first in the country and in the world norms of EMF for the population. They started with 1 μW / sq. cm, then raised to 3 μW / sq. see in the 70s. In the mid-1970s, a joint Soviet-American program of research on the bio-effects of EMF was launched. After the completion of the work, the USSR raised the rate to 10 μW / sq. see what we live with today. By the way, the main school of civil EM hygiene for the population was in Kiev, Ukraine [then part of the Soviet Union, USSR], at the Institute of Communal Health / Институте коммунальной гигиены. The people of Kiev developed a mathematically grounded theory, according to which it turned out somewhere around 3 μW, but the Soviet Union norms for a number of reasons were taken as 10 μW. After the collapse of the USSR in Ukraine, the norm was set between 2–3 μW, and only the year before last, they immediately raised it to 10 μW – by a government decision contrary to the opinion of the Academy of Sciences and Hygienists. Incidentally, Uzbekistan last year repeated the “Soviet” series of studies and set the rate less than 3 μW. In Paris – 10 μW, as in Italy, Switzerland. This figure does not provide a complete picture of exposure and safety conditions. We are talking about fundamentally different approaches that take into account the frequency composition and type of modulation. And about social norms. There are still many inconsistencies and red tape. And in the end we all suffer, and our children.