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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Firefighters DID NOT Suffer Neurological Damage After Contact With 5G Cell Towers

  • by: Alan Duke
  • (Tue, 05 Mar 2019 02:16:41 Z)

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Did firefighters in Northern California suffer neurological damage after contact with 5G cell towers? No, despite claims in several trending reports there is no "new university study" or other scientific evidence to support the claim that installation of the latest evolution of mobile communication towers -- known as 5G -- has caused such harm. An indepth look at the sourcing of the articles revealed the "new study" is of questionable scientific value and was done several years before the first 5G towers were erected.

The story recently reappeared in an article published on March 4, 2019 titled "Firefighters suffer neurological damage after contact with 5G cell towers" (archived here) which opened:

Firefighters in Sacramento, CA have reported neurological damage including memory problems and confusion after new generation 5G cell towers were installed outside their fire station. News of the adverse health effects suffered by the firefighters comes days after a major university study into 5G wireless technology declared the upcoming rollout of the wireless technology to ...

Screenshot of https://www.healthnutnews.com/firefighters-suffer-neurological-damage-after-contact-with-5g-cell-towers/

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Firefighters suffer neurological damage after contact with 5G cell towers

Firefighters in Sacramento, CA have reported neurological damage including memory problems and confusion after new generation 5G cell towers were installed outside their fire station. News of the adverse health effects suffered by the firefighters comes days after a major university study into 5G wireless technology declared the upcoming rollout of the wireless technology to ...

The story includes an embedded version of a January 2018 report by San Francisco TV station KPIX in which Dr. Gunnar Heuser, a clinical toxicologist who said he recently "came out of retirement" to concentrate on the ill-affects of EMF (Electro Magnetic Field), shares his "pilot study" of firefighters at one fire station near a cell tower. However, his co-author posted a clarification that the study was done in 2004 and was related to 2G cell towers -- 14 years before the first 5G towers were installed in California.

The article also references a World Health Organization study about "mounting concerns" of health hazards from Electro Magnetic Fields in 2011 -- again seven years before 5G towers began propagating across the landscape. WHO did "classify radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer1 , associated with wireless phone use." But, again, years before 5G.

While this article and the warnings it raises are based on questionable sourcing, there is legitimate concern about 5G since hundreds of thousands of cell transmitters will be installed in communities across the United States. However, these questions should be addressed responsibily.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes healthnutnews.com as:

A site dedicated to alternative medicine that originated a false conspiracy theory about the deaths of holistic doctors.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about healthnutnews.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

The healthnutnews story is a cut and paste version of an original report published July 2018 by YourNewsWire/NewPunch. It has been copied by other questionable websites, as well.

NewsPunch (formerly YourNewsWire) has published several hoaxes and fake news articles in the past so anything they write or publish should be taken with a large grain of salt. Their Facebook page "The People's Voice" even lost its verification checkmark according to a report from MMFA.

The Terms of Use of the site (archived here, still referencing YourNewsWire) also make it clear they don't really stand behind the accuracy of any of their reporting:

THE PEOPLE'S VOICE, INC. AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

The site was profiled in the Hollywood reporter where it was described as:

Your News Wire, a 3-year-old website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway -- a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 -- out of an apartment in L.A.'s historic El Royale.

RationalWiki described it as:

YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto ("News. Truth. Unfiltered").[1]

A while ago we reported that YourNewsWire had rebranded itself as NewsPunch by changing its domain name in an apparent effort to evade filtering/blocking.

Updates:

: The Healthnutnews.com story removed the claim about 5G towers causing neurological damage.

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About the author:

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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