The impact of of our communication technology on other species is alarming
"...Regarding the disappearing bees: the timing is correct — the problem has occurred primarily within the past two years....when we have nearly tripled the background level of information-carrying radio waves..."
—Dr George Carlo
from Microwave Radiation Is Killing the Bees Despite the Cell Phone Industry's Disinformation Campaign (Oct. 29, 2007)
With plummeting insect numbers there are warnings of an Electronic Silent Spring.
Birds in the Hague, The Netherlands
From October 19, 2018, hundreds of dead starlings have been found dead in the Huijgenspark, The Hague in the Netherlands. The Huijgenspark is an extreme EMF hotspot EMF with 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G frequencies beamed to it. The official cause of death is poisoning. This does not fit with the findings of bird shelter De Wulp who report that when examined, the birds were found to be well-fed animals, they were not staving either, they had large fat reserves, virtually no internal injuries and empty stomachs. To have an empty stomach means that the birds had not eaten for between 12 and 24 hours. Various viruses were also ruled out of as the cause of the deaths.
One of the occurrences was on Saturday, November 3. 44 dead starlings were all found under the tree they usually slept on, in Huygenspark, The Hague. RF radiation had been tested, including a peak frequency of 7.40 GHz. This corresponds to a wavelength of 4.05 cm. A wavelength that is exactly the same order of magnitude as the dimensions of the starlings.
The residents are used to waves of the birds, who use joint roosts after breeding. This, however, is new—never have residents seen them drop from the trees before.
Snopes (a fact-checking agency) refuted that 5G radio band frequencies were the cause of the bird deaths, after a phone call to one of the telecom agencies responsible, who claimed that they had not done testing on the day in question and this must be a hoax. Huawei (the other agents working in the area who had tested frequencies, with permission in June and apparently without bird deaths) did not respond to Snopes request for information. Claims have been made of social media communications between technicians that discuss testing. *Translate Dutch into your own language via
Further articles about similar bird deaths are posted here
Safe ICT NZ certainly cannot claim for certain that these deaths were caused by new frequencies tested. But research by Balmori et al shows harm, from the current frequencies including failure to nest, failure to hatch, etc to many species of birds.
A review of literature evidence on Science Direct from 80 articles, 4 reviews and 18 articles from these reviews found harm from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) which had a significant effect on birds, insects, other vertebrates, other organisms and plants in 70% of the studies. Effects included harm to fertility and reproduction, to nesting behaviour, to growth, to development, etc.
New Zealand is a hot-spot for biodiversity and Safe ICT NZ believes we need to avoid exposing all species to EMF, based on Dr Neil Cherry's assertion that there is no safe level of radiation above natural levels.
The story of the starlings dropping dead in the Hague after new antennae were put in place, was all over social media, shortly after it happened. Telcos did not have permission to test at this time.
That does not mean it did not happen. There are claims made that there were Facebook posts by technicians discussing their tests. Safe ICT NZ does not enough evidence to make a claim on the cause of these birds deaths.
We do believe, however, believe there is scientific evidence of EMF harm to a number of species, including birds.
German Researchers performed a very simple experiment with a cordless phone and a beehive. (A cordless phone is not as powerful as a cell phone). They turned it on near the beehive and investigated whether there was a change of in the number of bees that returned to the hive compared to a hive a nearby without a cordless phone emitting radiation. They performed the test with 16 different hives, 8 irradiated and 8 control hives.
Irradiated with a cordless phone: 7.3 percent of bees returned.
Non-irradiated bees 39.7 % returned.
A very similar study was performed at Landau University. Colony collapse is also the result of this study:
Irradiated: For the two phone base-station-exposed hives: no bees at all returned to one hive, and only six returned to the other.
Non-irradiated: 16 out of 25 bees returned in 45 minutes.
Many aspects of bees life cycles and systems are affected by cell phone and cordless (DECT) phone radiation. Studies in India and Germany produced colony collapse, with the majority of the worker bees leaving the hive.
Making phone calls to bees
Researchers from the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut, Lebanon, wanted to test establish the effects on honey bees from mobile phones. They recorded the normal noises of the bees, then placed a mobile phone in standby-mode near the hive. The bees behaved in the same way they had without the phone. After this, the researchers made a phone call to the bees. It takes bees time to realize the presence of electromagnetic radiation. The bees stayed relaxed for approximately ten minutes, producing sounds at normal frequencies. After this, they started an intense buzzing sound, reaching up to 1520 Hz. The sound is considered an alarm to inform the colony that something abnormal is present. After the call ended, it took three to four minutes before the bees resumed their normal sounds.
Another experiment was performed. For a month a mobile phone was kept by the hive, and a fifteen-minute call made once a day. At the end of the month, 80% of the bees were gone. Bee eggs were not transformed into larva.
Frog eggs exposed to
cell phone tower radiation
had a 90% death rate
In Spain, researcher Alfonso Balmori preformed a two month
experiment with frogs in a tank on a fifth floor terrace,
140 metres away from several antennae on a tall building.
He took the experiment from the egg stage to advanced
tadpole stage. He protected one lot of frogs from the radiation
using a Faraday cage.
In the unprotected group:
The tadpoles had a 90% mortality.
The tadpole tails waved slowly
The tadpoles swarm remaining tilted or sideways and
also swarm in closed circles
The didn't react to a bang on the side of the tank.
They showed little interest in stimulus or food
In the protected group:
The tadpoles had 2.4% mortality
The tadpoles tails moved quickly
They swarm normally, no sideways or tilted swimming, the didn't swim in circles, they swarm correctly.
When food was supplied most reacted quickly
Sudden stimulus also created a quick reaction
This research may have huge implications for the natural world, which is now exposed to high microwave radiation levels from a multitude of phone masts. Deformities and disappearance of amphibians and other organisms is part of the global biodiversity crisis. Since the mid-1990s striking deformities have turned up in more than 60 species of frogs, toads and salamanders in 46 US states and on four continents. The number of disfigured animals in some populations averages around 25 percent—significantly higher than in previous decades (Blaustein and Johnson, 2003. Chemical pollutants and parasites are part of the problem.
Frogs are an indicator species
They have long been regarded as important indicators of the earth’s
health because their unshelled eggs and permeable skin make
them extremely sensitive to perturbations in the environment.
Chances are good that factors affecting these animals harshly
today are also beginning to take a toll on other species.
When the world is blanketed by signals from the proposed many thousands of satellite transmissions, so that every part of the world can get a signal, to usher in the Internet of things, we will be lucky not to get an electronic silent spring.
Bats and insects
New Zealand has two species of bats: long-tailed and short-tailed, the lesser short-tailed bat is found nowhere else in the world and is thought to have been here 25 million years ago. They are an important pollinator of some native plants. Both long and short-tailed were a common sight to early settlers, but are now endangered species. There is plenty to blame for their demise, in New Zealand, habit loss—their need to roost in old trees with the right kind of protective cavities, insecticides, introduced competitors and so on. They have recently declined in Malborough and vineyard insecticides are being blamed, however, they face a new double whammy. Overseas researchers Balmori et al, on bats, the researchers found a colony exposed to a cell tower 80 metres away had colony decrease. During the study, the number of bats decreased so much that the control (ringing) works had to be interrupted.
Research by Panagopoulos et al found there was a huge drop in insect reproduction when exposed to cell phone tower frequencies, insect reproduction of fruit flies found a 50-60 % drop.
What is the likely effect on other species given mice studies make them infertile between 3 and five generations?
We should not wait to protect our flora and fauna. Safe ICT NZ is concerned about the research done on our native species using radiofrequency trackers. The research on how artificial radiation lowers fertility in diverse species: from chickens, to mice to fruit fly with mice becoming completely infertile within 3-5 generations, would recommend we apply the precautionary principle.
Frogs unshelled eggs and permeable skin make them an indicator species as to what is happening in the environment.
Image author Geoff Gallice, from Gainesville, FL, USA
Treefrog tadpoles, this is a different species than Balmori's research subjects who were common frogs Rana temporaria
Amateur video, (3.35mins) by Phillip Sites documenting RF towers in Sierra Madre, California. Between the two towers are many dead bees, including bees that fly into the space between the towers and simply drop in their flight. The videographer says "I come here all the time, I noticed all these dead bees, I couldn't figure out why they were dying..." Tyler Vanover commented on the YouTube video saying
“This bee killing phenomenon has been talked about for years inside the industry.”
“All tower climbers can attest to bees getting “drunk” on rf [radio frequency] signal coming from the towers, which act as a lure,”
“Heavily concentrated 4g activity like the site featured in this video, can aggregate a lot of frequency, and since it’s so low to the ground, it becomes quite dangerous for low flying insects.”
Since 2005, on the occasion of medical examinations of sick residents living near mobile phone base stations, changes in nearby trees (crown, leaves, trunk, branches, growth…) were observed at the same time as clinical symptoms in humans occurred.
German research shows the main features of damage from this from cell tower antennae are:
One-sided damage which extended to the whole tree over time.
There doesn't seem to be insect, nematodes, fungi, bacteria or viral causes.
Previously healthy trees have damage show in 1-2 years after the cell tower is put in.
Damage increases from the outside to the inner part of the crown over time.
Trees of different species in the same location also show damage.
Damage appears in favourable (gardens, parks) as well as in unfavourable locations.
Trees in the same location, but that are shielded by buildings or other trees are healthy.
Effects of cell tower radiation depend on the plant family and the growth stage, as well as the exposure duration, frequency, and power density.
Scientists: Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam, Alfonso Balmori-de la Puente, Helmut Breunig. and Alfonso Balmori measured effects of cell phone masts on trees over the period from 2006 to 2015 in the cities of Bamberg and Hallstadt.
They conclude that the occurrence of unilateral damage is the most important fact in their study and is an important argument for a causal relationship with RF-EMF, as it supplies evidence for non-thermal RF-EMF effects. This constitutes a danger for trees worldwide. The further deployment of phone masts has to be stopped.
Decrease of chlorophyll
Leaves of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seedlings were exposed to high-frequency electromagnetic ﬁelds of 400 MHz daily exposures for one, two, three and eight hours for three weeks. The leaves chlorophyll levels were measured. Chlorophyll-a, as well as chlorophyll-b level, was found to decrease, except for the exposure time of two hours, where a considerable enhancement was noticed. It was revealed that the ratio of the two main types of chlorophyll was decreasing logarithmically to the increase of daily exposure time in this pilot study.
Above: Trees in proximity to cell phone antenna.. Owhiro Bay, Wellington. 2019. Despite exposure to south coast winds this tree was formally healthy. The photo shows what Balmori and others have found in their research: asymmetrical damage and trees in the Radio Frequency shadow of other trees, or the other side of the tree are still healthy.
Liquidamber tree alongside cell tower at Williamson Ave Countdown store, Grey Lynn. July 2020.
Note: metal roofs can reflect the radiation like a mirror reflects light making the situation for some parts of the tree worse.
Black Locust L.Robinia pseudoacacia, in the municipal park of Mouscron (Belgium). In a pilot study, the two main types of chlorophyll decreased logarithmically in relation to the exposure to EMF in the 400 MHz frequency.
Image by Jamain - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=17286691