LIHUE — In a national day of protest against the fifth generation of cellular network technology, 5G Action Kauai rallied on Kapule Highway and Ahukini Road Wednesday afternoon.
Around 35 activists held signs to combat the possibility of 5G being installed on Kauai as early as 2020, according to the event’s co-organizer Asmita Kulkarni.
“We’re here today because 5G is over a 100 times stronger than 4G,” Mahana Dunn said. “In the Netherlands, they did this Tesla 5G and all the birds fell out of the sky. We need to protect our island from excessive radiation because there are not significant studies done about the 5G.”
Dunn said 4G is strong enough, adding that “5G is another technology that doesn’t belong on this island.”
Co-organizers Kulkarni and Danny Hashimoto said their concerns are for people’s health.
“In the same way that Pierre Omidyar proceeded with the dairy, he actually started with construction, he had zero permits, nor did he even have an environmental impact assessment,” Hashimoto said. “Now carry that to an issue that is so important. Decades ago, scientific evidence came out that said that radio towers — and these are the large radio towers emitting the signals — were dangerous if you lived in close proximity.”
There are arguments on both sides of the issues.
A recent article by Susan Pocket of the School of Psychology at Auckland University concluded that “politicians in the Western world should stop accepting soothing reports from individuals with blatant conflicts of interest and start taking the health and safety of their communities seriously.”
She wrote that low-intensity radiofrequency radiation has multiple harmful effects on human health.
“Unlike secondhand smoke, secondhand radiation is fast becoming inescapable,” Pocket wrote.
An article on digitaltrends.com, states: “According to expert agencies and the studies we have so far, there’s nothing to suggest 5G mmWave is a significant health risk, but it’s clear there is more research to be done on the subject.”
The article also stated that: “The (Food and Drug Administration) told Digital Trends that, at this time, it “continues to believe that the current safety limits for cellphone radiofrequency energy exposure remain acceptable for protecting the public health.”
“The limits are based on the frequency of the device, meaning that 5G has a different limit than other technologies,” an agency spokesperson wrote in an email. “As part of our commitment to protecting the public health, the FDA has reviewed, and will continue to review, many sources of scientific and medical evidence related to the possibility of adverse health effects from radiofrequency energy exposure in both humans and animals, and will continue to do so as new scientific data are published.”
Hashimoto said that, simply put, these intense microwaves or electromagnetic frequencies can be damaging to people who are vulnerable, especially keiki.
Kulkarni, who has a background in biotechnology and works for a law firm, started getting information on the intensity of 5G technology through her research.
“I learned that right now the current 4G runs at up to 2.4 gigahertz,” Kulkarni said. “5G will expose people to people up to 95 gigahertz.”
Kulkarni added that the Federal Communications Commission hasn’t tested the effects of 5G technology on human biology and that any exposure is without consent and a violation of human rights.
Kulkarni pointed to a recent, 10-year study performed by the National Institutes of Health that found 4G cellphone radiation is 100 percent toxic.
“That’s based on the 4G technology,” she said. “So imagine the 5G technology.”
The organization 5G Action Kauai plans to hold similar rallies in the future, and will begin circulating a petition to legislators about their 5G health concerns.
Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.