• What’s the Deal With the New 5G Towers in Hoboken?

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    It doesn’t take much to get freaked out these days. After all, it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate what’s real from what isn’t anymore. Especially in the news and on social media. But if you’ve been walking around the Mile Square and noticed some strange posters taped onto the new 5G Verizon poles, you might be wondering just what is true and what’s not about things like the government, electromagnetic frequencies, Russia, and more. Keep reading to find out what the deal is with the new 5G towers in Hoboken.

    The Towers Are Coming 

    A reader sent a snapshot into us via Instagram Stories. You can see the full poster below:

    5g hoboken poles

    The poster, found around town on various Verizon 5G poles, reads:

    These are the new 5G towers. 5G is not an upgrade from 4G. 5G is weapon-grade technology used to connect all your smart devices. Smart = Secret Militarized Armaments in Residential Technology to the IOT (The Internet of Things). This technology will gravely affect your health.

    Thousands of scientists around the world are calling a hault to the implementation of 5G bec of the known health risks of electromagnetic frequencies but the government is rolling out the implementation wtihout any health strudies bec there are “trillions of dollars to be made.”

    5G is also a massive surveillance apparatus monitoring you 24/7 everywhere!

    5G directly affects your skin bec your skin acts as an antenna, 5G can fragment your DNA, it affects your immune system, your endocrine system, your heart, your brain, your sleep, your nervous system, every facet of the human body, as well as animals, and plant life. There is no greater threat to our health than the 5G technology!

    5G runs on milimeter waves {approx 60 HZ} so it does not penetrate walls or mature trees easily, which is why they need t intsall more towers in dencser numbers and why many trees have been cut down.

    Hoboken has been approved for 50 towers in less than a 2 mile square city which means you will be exposed to much higher doses of electromagnetic frequencies 24/7.

    Please research 5G dangers on YouTube. YouTube Barrie Trower, Debra Taveras, Elana Freeland.

    Is It a Conspiracy Theory About 5G Technology?

    The above is a lot to take in, and considering the misspellings and sources, it doesn’t appear to be very credible. 5G is supposed to arm us with better, faster, stronger WiFi. But could it be harming us, too? And sure, we might be able to stream videos speedily, but at what cost?

    See More: What You Need to Know About Styrofoam — Hoboken’s Next Ban

    But if you’re like a lot of local residents who came upon these posters themselves, then let’s start there. Right now, it’s unclear who is responsible for taping up the posters. What is clear is that the goal of these posters is not only to scare people but also promote the agendas of the YouTubers mentioned in the last line.

    Here’s a bit of debunking of the mentioned names, to start:

    First, who is Barrie Trower, the first name mentioned? According to RationalWiki, Trower is a pseudoscientist who claims to have trained in the Government Microwave Warfare Establishment in the 1960s. Trower has never been able to put forth concrete evidence to prove his training. We checked him out on YouTube and found a video titled, “Barrie Trower 5G Will Devastate Humanity But Those Above It Are Above the Law!”

    Next up is Debra Taveras, a self-described activist who “addresses the concerns regarding Agenda 21 and smart meters.” She also seems to have ties to 9/11 conspiracy theories.

    Lastly, we have Elana Freeland, a nonfiction writer and ghostwriter of books that focus on issues of National Security State. Her website describes Freeland as a “mythologist and storyteller.”

    While none of these figures seem to have their own YouTube channels, you can find plenty of videos of interviews that each of them has done.

    Here’s What Verizon Has to Say About 5G…

    Hoboken Girl reached out to representatives at Verizon for some information regarding the new 5G towers that are allegedly on their way to Hoboken.

    The taped-up poster alleges that Mile Square has been approved for 50 towers. It also alleges that this number of towers in such a confined space means higher doses of exposure to electromagnetic frequencies.

    We sent a list of questions to a representative including:
    Here’s what David Weissman of Verizon had to say over email:

    We have worked closely with the City of Hoboken to install wireless small cells. Once completed this wireless equipment will help add capacity to our 4G LTE network. This is necessary because more people are using more devices in more places to do more things. These small cells will also enable us to deploy 5G technology in the future. We worked in close collaboration with city officials in choosing the design and locations of the new equipment.

    We have 30 in place with another 20 in the coming weeks, and remain interested in adding additional locations to benefit our customers and first responders.

    All equipment used for our 4G and 5G networks must comply with federal safety standards. Those standards have wide safety margins and are designed to protect everyone, including children. Everyday exposure to the radio frequency energy from 4G and 5G small cells are well within those safety limits, and is comparable to exposure from products such as baby monitors, Wi-Fi routers, and Bluetooth devices.

    Weissman then went on to suggest that anyone looking for more information on 5G towers should check out CTIA’s site Wireless Health Facts.

    Hoboken Girl countered in a subsequent email, asking for specific answers to our specific questions. What we got in return was the following response: “That is the information available to share.”

    Read More: Hoboken Composting: Everything You Need to Know

    The Health Facts, According to Verizon

    The Wireless Health Facts website immediately addresses the concerns people have about 5Gs, thanks to posters like the one pictured above.

    “Why are people spreading misinformation about 5G online?” is the first FAQ question to which Verizon responds:

    A recent New York Times investigation reveals that the Russian government is “doing its best to stoke the fears of American viewers,” by spreading false information about 5G and health, including “claims that lack scientific support.” As the article makes clear, “plenty of careful science has scrutinized wireless technology for potential health risks. Virtually all the data contradict the dire alarms.” Russia’s efforts appear to be a form of ‘economic warfare’ that draw on discredited research, according to the experts cited by the New York Times.

    The aforementioned New York Times article can be accessed here. TL;DR: the article assures people that Russia is using 5G as a scare tactic to implant fear in American people.

    But do we actually have a reason to fear electromagnetic frequencies?

    Are Electromagnetic Frequencies Bad For Our Health?

    In an April 4, 2019 article from environmental science and technology magazine Down to Earth, the health risks of 5G were investigated.

    According to the article, “5G requires RF-EMF radiation between 600 MHz and 86 GHz, which fall well within the range analyzed by all the three studies… Cancer is not the only disease that such radiation can cause. Scientists have so far linked 5G to at least 20 ailments, including heart diseases, type-2 diabetes and mental disturbances such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies.”

    The article goes on to say the electromagnetic radiation from 5G has caused “world-wide worry.” According to Paul Heroux, professor of toxicology and health effects of electromagnetism at the McGill University Health Center in Canada, “All artificial electromagnetic radiations are bad because our biological systems are not adapted to it. They disrupt metabolism.”

    5g poles verizon

    “The evidence has been there but ignored for decades,” Heroux continued. “5G will promote cell phone use, and therefore human exposures from phones and base stations. The higher frequencies will concentrate the radiation in a smaller portion of the human body.”

    He also adds that higher frequencies of 5G go deeper in the body, a process called beam-forming. With multiple antennas creating signals for electromagnetic waves, the greater the intensity and reach.

    According to CNBC, Verizon isn’t the only network building out its 5G. LG, Qualcomm, Sprint, and Samsung are also working on expanding their 5G. But in the same article, CNBC cites that the “scientific consensus” is that 5G is ultimately harmless.

    The Food and Drug Administration maintains, “Based on our ongoing evaluation of this issue, the totality of the available scientific evidence continues to not support adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radiofrequency energy exposure limits.”

    The World Health Organization states, “Recent surveys have indicated that RF exposures from base stations and wireless technologies in publicly accessible areas {including schools and hospitals} are normally thousands of times below international standards… From all evidence accumulated so far, no adverse short- or long-term health effects have been shown to occur from the RF signals produced by base stations.”

    The American Cancer Society says, “At ground level near typical cellular base stations, the amount of RF energy is thousands of times less than the limits for safe exposure set by the US Federal Communication Commission {FCC} and other regulatory authorities… Some people have expressed concern that living, working, or going to school near a cell phone tower might increase the risk of cancer or other health problems. At this time, there is very little evidence to support this idea.”

    According to the National Institutes of Health, “… although many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiation from radar, microwave ovens, cell phones, and other sources, there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk in humans.”

    Lately, More People Are Expressing Concern

    You may have noticed that Hoboken Girl isn’t the only local outlet to report on the concern 5G poles and electromagnetic waves pose to residents. A recent editorial ran in The Hudson Reporter titled, “5G radiation is a menace.”

    A snippet from the op-ed reads:

    I haven’t heard any [concerns from others], but in other parts of the civilized world the outcry is intense, because hundreds of scientists have warned that 5G, the next generation of cellular technology for smartphones, Internet, etc., is a “dangerous escalation with higher energy radiation”, especially dangerous to children with their growing brains that will be zapped by this radiation.

    For this new technology to work properly, to speed up our telecommunications, we’ll need hundreds of them in Hoboken alone, 2 or 3 per block, millions of them across the country.

    “To speed up our telecommunications”… Speed it up? Don’t we live in a fast-enough world as it is? We’re willing to risk our children’s health to receive a message a minute sooner than 4G allowed? 4G was dangerous for the same reasons, but 5G, according to experts, will quintuple the radiation risk.

    There are also several reports by CBS including this one, in which a cluster of cancer in students in California is linked to a cell tower.

    What the Heck Does All This Mean for Hoboken?

    For Hoboken and beyond, it means that not a lot is yet known about the safety of 5G and the electromagnetic waves and radiation that come along with it.

    While Verizon is putting out its own story of safety, there just has not been enough research yet on the subject to definitively understand what 5G does to our bodies and biological systems.

    While it is true that there are no known health risks or concerns that 5G poses, it doesn’t mean that 5G is necessarily safe. Until better, more in-depth research comes along, we won’t have a verdict.

    What’s your take on all this? Let us know in the comments below!


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    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.