Paul Héroux, PhD

Professor of Toxicology & Health Effects of Electromagnetism, McGill University (Canada)

Dr. Paul Héroux is a scientist with experience in physics (BSc, MSc and PhD), electrical engineering (15 years), and the health sciences (30 years), teaching Toxicology, Hearing Conservation and Health Effects of Electromagnetism at the School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University.


A Chicken in every Pot, a Fiber in every Home

Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) has become practically obligatory, because of the widespread use of wireless. As a result, there has been controversy over the deployment of system updates, such as 5G, that imply large increases in exposures and their crest factors. This results from 5G beam-forming, and relatively poor penetration at higher frequencies. Contrary to industry propaganda, driverless cars and remote surgery are not dependent on 5G, or on wireless. Deployment 5G and the Internet of Things should be strongly limited not only by technical feasibility, but mainly by EMR hygiene, privacy and environmental legislations.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sits its public health impact assessment of EMR on the arguments that EMR is (1) non-ionizing, and (2) of low amplitude. The FCC, conveniently for industry, excludes all risks except the risk of heating, in practice erasing all other biological reactions to EMR from existence. Over
time, the FCC has also suspiciously and regularly increased its tolerable human limits to EMR to accommodate various technical-commercial needs.

But in biological systems, the motors of enzymatic reactions and metabolism are electrons and protons, species that are already extracted from atoms, thus pre-ionized, making the first FCC argument untenable. The argument that the fields are “too low” can be put to rest even using the FCC’s own metric of energy. FCC only prohibits irradiations that are near heating thresholds, specifically 10,000,000 μW/m². FCC critics, such as Bioinitiative, report measurable biological impacts at sub-thermal fields ranging down to 0.001 μW/m². And, further, humans can detect power densities as low as 0.000001 μW/m² (the threshold of hearing). The FCC can hardly claim ignorance, as the main mechanism supporting interaction between EMR and biology, the tunneling of electrons and protons, is used in commercial devices (Spin Tunnel Junctions) with a sensitivity as low as 0.001 μW/m², the lowest level of EMR ever reported to alter biology.

Thus, electron, proton transfers as well as hydrogen bridges, known to be critical to biological function, are the true targets of EMR, not heating. There are two important exposures. First, the intense short-term exposure from a cellular portable held against the head. Second, the more continuous exposure at lower intensity from cellular towers. The extensive use of wireless phones has been associated with cancers of the nervous system by epidemiologists, animal studies, as well as laboratory experiments. Cellular towers are associated with cancer lethality, and numerous other neurological symptoms. Further risks involve reproduction, and many chronic diseases, including diabetes. Experiments in my own laboratory on human cancer cells support effects of EMR on cancer, and on chronic diseases (through necrosis, apoptosis and reactive oxygen species). Further risks relate to mitochondrial heteroplasmy, possibly leading to evolutionary erosion of oxidative phosphorylation physiology.

Fortunately, there is a spectacular alternative to wireless to serve our data transmission needs, optical fiber, which is incomparably faster, energy-efficient, hack-proof, hygienic and environmentally acceptable. This solution would restrict wireless to applications where mobility is essential. Hence prosperity is better served by “a fiber in every home”, because future data needs, not only of industry but for individuals, will soon outpace all that wireless has to offer.

10:30 - 11:00 AM

Saturday 30 January 2021

A Chicken in Every Pot, a Fiber in Every Home