MORAGA (KPIX 5) — An East Bay neighborhood’s fight against 5G is the topic of a town council meeting scheduled for Wednesday night. Moraga residents are expected to turn out and demand the city do more to protect people from cell phone radiation exposure.

It is a fight that’s been going on across the country and has been particularly heated in the East Bay. Ellie Marks has been outspoken against 5G and cell phone companies for 11 years now.

“We may not see the full ramifications of this for 20-30 years. How can we just fly blindly into this? It doesn’t make sense,” Marks said.

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Her fight began when her husband developed a brain tumor on the right side of his head back in 2008. She says he was a heavy cell phone user since 1986.

“He used it all the time; held it right to his right ear and the tumor developed right where he held the phone,” Marks said.

Fortunately her husband survived, but she says it was her wake-up call. Ever since then, she’s been touring the country, organizing against the spread of cell phone towers and raising awareness about increased exposure to radio frequency.

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The FCC and cell phone companies all maintain RF exposure we receive from cell phones is well within safe levels.

“The FCC is lying to the general public,” Marks countered.

“So far every major study concludes it [5G] is not having a harmful impact,” CNET Editor at Large Ian Sherr said.

Sherr has been following the launch of 5G and the race to beat China to a full 5G launch.

“5G is not just another ‘G.’ It’s supposed to be faster, more reliable and possibly the way the internet runs will change because of this technology,” Sherr said.

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For most consumers, the excitement of 5G is about speed.

“The promise of 5G is that it will be a lot lot faster, so think of being able to download a movie in seconds rather than waiting a lot longer,” Sherr said.

Many local governments will say their hands are tied when it comes to regulating cell phone towers. The health and safety aspect of these towers is regulated by the state and federal government.

Oftentimes the only thing local governments can do is deny permitting if the towers are in the public right of way, but even in cases where that has happened, cell phone companies have threatened to sue.

Comments (37)
  1. Dave Hardesty says:

    If they drop the UHF and S-Band usage of frequencies, 5G is actually safer than 3G or 4G. They already are using 3G and 4G in the area so 5G is an improvement and the UHF and S-Band frequencies already used becomes a moot point. Who is really complaining here and you can’t really hear the voice? The providers that have to upgrade their networks to handle 5G and attempt to shield their customers from paying the expense, It really has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with money and profits.

  2. Greg Oswald says:

    The US must implement 5G to remain competitive on the world economic stage. I feel for the Marks and all others that are effected, but comparing radiation exposure from a phone against the ear and the exposure from a tower are different. Also, the potential lawsuit will be interesting because of the impact of 5G on interstate commerce and public safety. 5G extends well beyond mobile phones!

  3. William Hofmeister says:

    Wrong type of radiation to cause cancer and at insignificant levels. Why are so many people science ignorant?

    1. Carl Robbins says:

      Looks like hysterics from what I know and have read….

  4. Tom McGeachin says:

    And everyone in the 1940s 50s and even 60s thought cigarettes were safe too…. There is already plenty of research showing these frequencies have negative health impacts…
    Take a look at the Bioinitiative Report. The WHO classifies EMR as a possible carcinogen …the same category it puts lead and gasoline fumes…

  5. Don Lum says:

    Make the cell towers tech companies liable for any negative health reasons……

    1. Thomas Strode says:

      Sorry, but insurance companies (and even secondary insurance companies such as Lloyd’s of London) have already exempted any liability from damages due to health effects of EMFs from their policies.

  6. Jeff Kingston says:

    This is the very definition of fake news and demonstrates the intellectual laziness of reporters. The woman leading this crusade is a radical technophobe. She has no understanding of the core science. Saying the word “radiation” teaches nothing. There is “radiation” that is emitted by wifi in our homes, by our microwave ovens, by our watches that have numerals that glow in the dark, the the car keys that remotely unlock car doors, by our cordless phones. None of this “radiation” is harmful. All of it could be weaponized if the intensity were monstrously increased. 5G “radiation” falls into the same trivial category as these other objects. Let’s not deny ourselves the benefits of this wonderful technology by listening to unhinged rants by a technophobe.

  7. Fred Bieberer says:

    We’re all going to die from 5G and Roundup but at least the climate will be good.

  8. Harlan S Barney Jr. says:

    The race to 5G and I cannot get 4G to work in many places.

  9. Bob Smithers says:

    I suggest those that are fearful of 5g thanks to their belief in pseudoscience, is MOAR Tin Foil

  10. Bill Chappuie says:

    Maybe they should just exclude all of California from 5G. They can suffer from lack of technology and not have use of self driving electric cars.

  11. The incidence of brain cancer has not change in 50 years. Nor does it seem to be handed, although cell-phone users are.

    But heck, lets say that a cell phone, up against the head IS dangerous if it is trying to blast out a signal to a distant tower. If so, having the towers closer would be better, right?

    Oh, yeah, and 5G doesn’t even USE towers.

  12. Jim M. Ryles says:

    It’s not like you’re going to hold a cell tower up to your nugget, Geez! The high voltage lines are more dangerous, and they have been around forever.

    1. The issue is that there are actually multiple types of frequencies being sent out via 5G that are long and short range. The short range ones are newer, more intense, higher frequencies that some have hypothesized can cause harm to cellular structure/DNA. The problem is since 5G uses millimeter waves as part of the technology and those cannot pass through structures, the antennas are going to be at or near ground level and placed very close together (think light pole level/distance) instead of hundreds of feet high way off in the distance. So high powered antennas that close to the population is probably causing some harm.

  13. George Gervin says:

    The general public is willing to radiate themselves into getting cancer, all so they can download a movie in 10 seconds. I think that tells you all you need to know about the general public..

  14. So smart phone radiation is a problem but not space (Van Allen Belts) radiation. Makes no sense.