The State of New Hampshire passed law HB522 on July 19th, 2019 to establish a commission to study the health and environmental effects of evolving 5G technology. The commission, formally titled, "Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology," released its final report on November 1st, 2020.
The report is considered a major win for the public health community as it contains 15 recommendations, of which the majority of the Commission approved, to better protect public health and the natural environment from harmful wireless radiation exposures.
The recommendations are as follows:
1-Propose a resolution of the House to the US Congress and Executive Branch to require the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to commission an independent review of the current radiofrequency (RF) standards of the electromagnetic radiation in the 300MHz to 300GHz microwave spectrum as well as a health study to assess and recommend mitigation for the health risks associated with the use of cellular communications and data transmittal.
2-Require that the most appropriate agency (agencies) of the State of New Hampshire include links on its (their) website(s) that contain information and warnings about RF-radiation from all sources, but specifically from 5G small cells deployed on public rights-of-way as well as showing the proper use of cell phones to minimize exposure to RF-radiation, with adequate funding granted by the Legislature. In addition, public service announcements on radio, television, print media, and internet should periodically appear, warning of the health risks associated with radiation exposure. Of significant importance are warnings concerning the newborn and young as well as pregnant women.
3-Require every pole or other structure in the public rights-of-way that holds a 5G antenna be labeled indicating RF-radiation being emitted above. This label should be at eye level and legible from nine feet away.
4-Schools and public libraries should migrate from RF wireless connections for computers, laptops, pads, and other devices, to hardwired or optical connections within a five-year period starting when funding becomes available.
5-Signal strength measurements must be collected at all wireless facilities as part of the commissioning process and as mandated by state or municipal ordinances. Measurements are also to be collected when changes are made to the system that might affect its radiation, such as changes in the software controlling it. Signal strength is to be assessed under worst-case conditions in regions surrounding the tower that either are occupied or are accessible to the public, and the results of the data collection effort is to be made available to the public via a website. In the event that the measured power for a wireless facility exceeds radiation thresholds, the municipality is empowered to immediately have the facility taken offline. The measurements are to be carried out by an independent contractor and the cost of the measurements will be borne by the site installer.
6-Establish new protocols for performing signal strength measurements in areas around wireless facilities to better evaluate signal characteristics known to be deleterious to human health as has been documented through peer-reviewed research efforts. Those new protocols are to take into account the impulsive nature of high-data-rate radiation that a growing body of evidence shows as having a significantly greater negative impact on human health than does continuous radiation. The protocols will also enable the summative effects of multiple radiation sources to be measured.
7-Require that any new wireless antennae located on a state or municipal right-of-way or on private property be set back from residences, businesses, and schools. This should be enforceable by the municipality during the permitting process unless the owners of residences, businesses, or school districts waive this restriction.
8-Upgrade the educational offerings by the NH Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC) for home inspectors to include RF intensity measurements.
9-The State of New Hampshire should begin an effort to measure RF intensities within frequency ranges throughout the state, with the aim of developing and refining a continually updated map of RF exposure levels across the state using data submitted by state-trained home inspectors.
10-Strongly recommend all new cell phones and all other wireless devices sold come equipped with updated software that can stop the phone from radiating when positioned against the body.
11-Promote and adopt a statewide position that would strongly encourage moving forward with the deployment of fiber optic cable connectivity, internal wired connections, and optical wireless to serve all commercial and public properties statewide.
12-Further basic science studies are needed in conjunction with the medical community outlining the characteristics of expressed clinical symptoms related to radio frequency radiation exposure.
13-Recommend the use of exposure warning signs to be posted in commercial and public buildings. In addition, encourage commercial and public buildings, especially healthcare facilities, to establish RF-radiation free zones where employees and visitors can seek refuge from the effects of wireless RF emissions.
14-The State of New Hampshire should engage agencies with appropriate scientific expertise, including ecological knowledge, to develop RF-radiation safety limits that will protect the trees, plants, birds, insects, and pollinators.
15-The State of New Hampshire should engage our Federal Delegation to legislate that under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) the FCC do an environmental impact statement as to the effect on New Hampshire and the country as a whole from the expansion of RF wireless technologies.
*Read the full Commission report here.