Health impacts of 5G network on Board of Health agenda | Local News

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As cell phone companies highlight the benefits of 5G’s stronger network reliability, the health implications of staying connected may weigh heavier. 

Gloucester’s Board of Health will discuss the health implications of 5G networks on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the request of Ward 4 City Councilor Val Gilman and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. 

This discussion is being continued from the board’s Sept. 3 meeting where Assistant Public Health Director Max Schenk outlined his findings from the New York Times, BBC, American Cancer Society and World Health Organization (WHO). 

The WHO found inconclusive evidence as to whether or not there are any health impacts due to 5G networks, Schenk reported. 

“Basically everybody has been saying the same thing, that is things are inconclusive,” Schenk said. “It is obviously not used enough to have any overt concerns.”

The benefits to using 5G are that it allows a greater number of people to use the frequency at a faster rate, as Schenk explained. 

But not everybody seems to think that the benefit outweighs the costs. 

Director of Massachusetts for Safe Technology Cece Doucette tuned in to the meeting to explain how her research showed major health risks associated with 5G networks. 

“I was astounded to find literally thousands of studies peer reviewed, published all over the world linking radio frequency radiation, non-ionizing, non-thermal, low-level radio frequency to not only child and adult cancer, but  o DNA damage,” she explained. “It is also linked in the scientific literature to cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, autism, and infertility.”  

The pushback on 5G is international as protesters across the globe came together on Sept. 26 to take part in the fourth Global 5G Protest Day of 2020. It took place across 25 countries as people in opposition to 5G called for safe wired technology. 

The distribution of 5G across the globe would, as the protest organizer’s release stated, require “roughly 100,000 satellites, millions of new cell tower antennas, user terminals and a plethora of Earth-based stations blanketing us with ever more radiation.”

Added concerns noted by those in opposition include increased loss of privacy, impacts on human and wildlife health, and e-footprint from resource extraction, energy consumption, space debris and fallout from collisions. 

The conversation about 5G health implications from the city’s Sept. 3 Board of Health meeting can be found at

Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or

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