The AWARE campaign aims to raise awareness and understanding of the health risks of wireless and other forms of microwave radiation in our environment, and to take action to reduce our exposure.
We are all involved in a global experiment with the rollout of wireless technology which has happened without our informed consent and whose long-term consequences are unknown.
With mounting scientific evidence of serious biological effects from this technology, with children particularly vulnerable, we believe a precautionary approach needs to be taken, with action to protect the most vulnerable first, but ultimately to protect us all.
What AWARE is not
AWARE is not anti-technology. Our campaigners use technology and acknowledge the role it plays in modern life (we created this website, for example). We are working parents who would much prefer not to have another thing to worry about in our busy lives!
However, we are concerned enough about the health risks from Wi-Fi, mobile phone masts and other sources of microwave radiation, including smart meters and the forthcoming 5G network, to spend our spare time trying to raise awareness on this issue.
Growing numbers of medical doctors and scientists are warning of serious health risks from long term exposure to even very low frequency microwave radiation. See doctor-led campaign organisation Physicians' Health Initiative on Radiation and Enviroment (PHIRE) for more information.
More than 5,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies are indicating increased risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia and infertility from long-term exposure to this radiation.
What are the symptoms of electro-sensitivity (also known as microwave radiation sickness)?
Electro-sensitivity or ES (sensitivity to electro-magnetic fields and/or radiofrequency radiation), and its more serious form electrohypersensitivity (EHS), are not currently recognised as medical conditions in the UK. Yet doctors and scientists around the world are calling for this to change. A 2015 scientific study has shown clear biological effects (i.e. shown up in scans) in people identifying as electro-sensitive after exposing them to low frequency microwave radiation.
A growing number of people (estimated as 3% of the population by Electro-sensitivity UK) are reporting adverse reactions when exposed to radiofrequency or microwave radiation from mobile phones, mobile phone masts, Wi-Fi and wireless devices including smart meters and cordless phones. Find out more about electro-sensitivity here.
Still more people may be experiencing unexplained symptoms but are not yet making the link with exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
As Wi-Fi and mobile phones are everywhere, it is difficult for most people to know or remember what an environment without this radiation feels like. Although wireless technology has been rolled out very quickly and is still relatively new, it has become normalised, all the more so as it is so convenient and addictive. The symptoms being reported in local schools, such as children regularly experiencing nausea in class and being issued with sick-bags but not being sick; or complaining of constant headaches which used to be rare among children; or being unable to think clearly or remember recent information ("brain fog") - all these symptoms have become normalised too.
According to Electro-sensitivity UK, common syptoms of electro-sensitvity include chronic headaches and nausea. Other symptoms include unusually heavy nosebleeds, cardiac arrhythmia, heart palpitations, adbominal pain, pains in joints or limbs similar to growing pains, pain all over the body (also known as fibromyalgia), ear aches and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, sleep problems and extreme fatigue. There are also cognitive and behavioural effects such as anger, tearfulness, difficulty concentrating or focusing, short term memory loss and difficulty learning new things.
All these symptoms are commonly reported by electro-sensitives. But, disturbingly, they are also similar to the symptoms of radiofrequency or microwave sickness which occurred during the Cold War when Russia used radiofrequency radiation as a weapon. For more information on this and a full list of symptoms, click here.
The truth about wireless technology
You may ask, if there really is such a danger from wireless technology, wouldn't we know about it? Sadly, as was the case with tobacco, pesticides (such as DDT) and asbestos, public health guidance often lags behind the latest science.
In addition, governments and the telecoms industry have a vested interest in suppressing research that could threaten such a lucrative technology. The tech industry is now worth billions worldwide.
Wi-Fi in schools
In the UK, the rollout of Wi-Fi continues, in schools, nurseries, parks and other public places and even on public transport. Yet, around the world, countries such as France and Israel are banning or limiting Wi-Fi exposure in schools. Now evidence is mounting about the adverse effects of this technology on children's developing brains and even their learning. Scientific studies are showing a link between radiofrequency radiation and the increase in autism and ADHD.
Smart meters - what the government isn't telling us
Currently the UK government is heavily investing in and promoting smart meters. Microwave radiation from smart meters has already been linked to serious health effects in the United States and Canada. Find out the facts about smart meters.
Remember, legally, you do not have to accept a smart meter despite what the energy companies may tell you. The Stop Smart Meters campaign has more guidance on how to protect yourself.
5G mobile - a public health disaster in the making?
Meanwhile, trials of the 5G mobile network have begun in major cities in the United States and China, with plans for a trial in the UK. 5G will enable ever faster downloads of films and videos on smartphones, and will also be used in driverless cars and "smart" household appliances, linked together for our ease and convenience. But how safe is it?
5G technology uses millimeter waves, the same frequency as crowd control weapons which are known to cause damage to skin and eyes. There have been no tests of the safety of this technology as deployed 24/7 in populated areas. Due to the shorter range of millimeter waves, the 5G mobile network will require mobile phone masts to be installed on every lamp-post, dwelling and public building in towns and cities across the country.
To this end, in the UK, the Queen's Speech of June 2017 has outlined a 5G Bill on which Parliament will vote. The Bill will seek to change the regulatory environment so that 5G technology can be deployed i.e. remove public rights to object to masts being placed near homes and schools. The March 2017 UK Government Budget has already pledged more money for 5G as well as the continued roll-out of smart meters.
Research from Israel is indicating serious health risks to the general population if 5G technology is rolled out. Although the first deployment of 5G is not expected until 2020, the time to act is now. If you are concerned, please contact your MP before this Bill comes before Parliament.
The need for a precautionary approach
The current advice from Public Health England, based on outdated research from the 1990s which looked only at thermal or heating effects, not other biological effects, is that "there is no consistent evidence of health effects from RF [radiofrequency] exposures below guideline levels."
Our response is this: there is equally no proof of safety. Even if the research was inconsistent - and that is debatable - do we really want our children to be guinea-pigs in a mass experiment while we wait ten or fifteen years for evidence of harm?
AWARE advocates a precautionary approach, limiting our children's exposure to this radiation, and safeguarding them as far as possible from its effects.