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Could our obsession with mobile technology destroy wildlife


A scientific review of the impacts of electromagnetic radiation launched today reveals our limited understanding about how changes we are making to the environment may be damaging wildlife.  Pollution levels have been rapidly rising, and plans for saturating coverage of wi-fi and 5G will push levels higher still.  Despite concerning evidence that such radiation could harm plants, insects, birds and other species, there is very little work underway to understand the impacts or to apply even basic pollution limits.


Following a proposal by Buglife a review of the impacts of electromagnetic radiation on wildlife was undertaken by EKLIPSE, an EU funded mechanism that considers policy relevant knowledge relating to human interactions with biodiversity and ecosystems.  


The review found evidence that electromagnetic wireless signals, including from powerlines, radar, TV/radio broadcasting, Wi-Fi and 2G/3G/4G communications pose a credible threat to wildlife.  While surprisingly few studies have been published, from the 97 useable papers the scientists highlighted electro-magnetic radiation as a potential risk to bird and insect orientation and movement, and to plant metabolic health.  Serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out.


The authors of the EKLIPSE review conclude that there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife. In particular, there is a need to base future research on sound, high-quality, replicable experiments so that credible, transparent and easily accessible evidence can inform society and policy-makers to make decisions and frame their policies.”


The increase of electromagnetic radiation and its potential effects on wildlife has recently been identified by an international expert group led by Professor Bill Sutherland of Cambridge University as one of the fifteen emerging issues that could affect global biodiversity, but that are not yet well recognised by the scientific community (Sutherland, 2018).


“We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied.  This is a classic case of out of sight out of mind, just because humans cannot see electromagnetic radiation this does not mean that animals cannot ‘see’ the pollution or be significantly impacted at a neural or cellular level.  A proper research programme and clear policy measures are long overdue”. Said Buglife CEO Matt Shardlow.


As of this March 237 scientists have signed an appeal to the United Nations to take the risks posed by electromagnetic radiation more seriously.

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    Monday 10th June 2019

    The EKLIPSE report concludes for invertebrates that: “EMR is an environmental cue detectable by invertebrate physiological mechanisms governing orientation or movement [established but incomplete]. EMR from anthropogenic sources (e.g. mobile phones) represent a potential risk to such physiological mechanisms [established but incomplete], but current evidence is limited, both by the number and quality of studies [inconclusive].” We reported this as “a potential risk” and a “credible threat”, and the press release makes it abundantly clear that there is “limited understanding”, that safe levels have not been established and that society should respond to the “urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis”.
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    Friday 3rd May 2019

    You reference a scientific paper from EKLIPSE, but you state that it concludes: "that electromagnetic wireless signals, including from powerlines, radar, TV/radio broadcasting, Wi-Fi and 2G/3G/4G communications pose a credible threat to wildlife." Have you not read the article that you are quoting? It does not confirm ANY of that. It literally states each result as "Unresolved" or "Inconclusive". This is deliberately lying and you should not be posting false scientific facts for your "alternative" readers to latch on.
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    Tuesday 30th April 2019

    Hello Doug I and my partner are also sensitive to electromagnetic radiation and we make sure we only use wired technology in our house. We screen out the neighbours Wifi,and cordless phones, smart meters etc with special paint. Its a nightmare to say the least. I have been in contact with Green Peace and the Green Party and their response was very disappointing to say the least. With all the noise about Global Warming you think they would take this very seriously. I believe this technology has a very serious effect on all living organisms. I can feel it and I dont need to be a scientist to know its very bad for me. I lived in London when a large mobile base station was installed on a building in our street. Within a short space of time all the small birds disappeared. They had always been there before and suddenly they were gone. They either perished or left as all the insect life could not survive there either. I have listened to various You Tube videos and read several documents online that are very alarming. Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy and Barrie Trower make very interesting listening.
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    Saturday 19th May 2018

    i believe electromagnetic radiation is a very serious problem to all life on our planet i am particularly sensitive to it i thought i had tinnutis but every time i went in to my metal shed ringing in my ears stopped and when i go on holiday to cumbria where there is no mobile phone or wifi my head feels clear with no ringing , and my short term memory is much better which i noticed a lot of people of all ages seem to have a problem with these days so i guess insects and animals birds etc are having a real bad time. its probably why dolphins and whales get stranded for no apparent reason.

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