Hampstead solicitor raises more than £32,000 in bid to stop the roll-out of 5G
- Credit: Archant
A Hampstead solicitor has crowdfunded more than £32,000 towards a judicial review into the roll-out of 5G in the UK.
Public Health England says there “should be no consequences for public health” from the new technology, which is intended to increase the speed and capacity of electronic communication.
The government’s policy is based on work by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which says that as long as its guidelines are followed, 5G exposure “will not cause any harm”.
Some opponents claim a condition exists called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), whose symptoms can include lethargy and headaches to cancer and miscarriages.
Solicitor Jessica Learmond-Criqui has crowdfunded more than £32,000 for a judicial review into the government’s infrastructure roll-out.
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She became interested in the subject when she was contacted by a woman who believes she has EHS.
“They are told nothing is wrong with them, it’s all their mind, that they’re mad,” said Jessica, who owns law firm LCS Practice. “The more I learned the more horrified I became and I couldn’t believe it could be allowed.”
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She says the science backs her argument and that she will start preparing the judicial review if the crowdfunder hits £50,000 - but she says £150,000 is needed in total.
Dr Eric van Rongen, vice-chairman of the ICNIRP, said: “The people against the development of 5G are very good at picking and choosing to show the studies that support their view and ignoring the bulk of the scientific information.”
A meta-analysis of more than 1,300 peer-reviewed publications on the subject of human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, published in the IEEE Microwave Magazine in 2005, found no adverse health effects related to heating. Furthermore it found no non-thermal effects at all.
“If you are not an expert then leave the evaluation of the facts to the experts because it is a complex issue,” Dr Rongen added. “You can never say that any system or technology will be completely safe because it takes so much research it would take centuries before you know.”
The ICNIRP is criticised by the anti-5G community because its recently-updated advice is based only on adverse affects from heating and, Jessica argues, ignores symptoms caused through other means.
This view is supported by Denis Henshaw, emeritus professor of human radiation effects at the University of Bristol, who said he has published more than 260 papers.
“If you went back to the smoking and lung cancer story and you asked the tobacco companies, they would say smoking is completely harmless,” he said.
“There are 30,000 to 40,000 papers in total on this, and a lot of those are rubbish. Of the few 1,000 papers which are good quality, about two-thirds show positive affects.”
He said electromagnetic waves can cause infertility and brain tumours.
This position, however, is far from universal in the scientific community.
Professor Bal Virdee at the London Metropolitan University, who specialises in microwave wireless communications, said a judicial review would be a “waste of time”.
He said 5G uses existing frequency bands and transmits less wattage than the microwave oven in most homes.
Professor Virdee said: “She is risking a lot of money when it could be used on something useful, like on the local hospital. The claims are not based in scientific fact.”
Professor Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics and clinical engineering at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said the bringing of a judicial review risks giving anti-5G arguments credibility they do not merit.
“You can say with a degree of certainty the findings of a court case will say it is not harmful, and then that case will be used as evidence the government are taking it seriously, which they aren’t,” he said.
When approached by this newspaper, the World Health Organization (WHO) would only provide a statement quashing rumours 5G is linked to the coronavirus outbreak.
A spokesperson from the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “I can confirm a pre-action letter has been received on this issue and the government legal department will be responding in due course.”