Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Welcome to EMR Safety

EMR Safety discusses scientific and policy developments regarding the health risks from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) produced by cell phones and cordless phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Smart Meters, baby monitors and other wireless devices. 



Supplemental information
  • Current news stories: Facebook
  • Twitter updates: @berkeleyprc
  •  News releases:  PRLog

Overview Articles


"Cellphones and Health" by Joel Moskowitz (Oct/Nov, 2013)
  http://www.saferemr.com/2013/09/cellphones-and-health_9.html

Teléfonos Celulares y Salud por Dr. Joel Moskowitz 
  http://www.saferemr.com/2014/02/telefonos-celulares-y-salud.html

"New Federal Policy Needed for Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation Safety"

  Prepared for "Oakland Voices: A Town Hall on Our Right to Communicate" (Jan 9, 2014)
  http://bit.ly/1cH1Yvf

"Cell Phones and Cell Biology: Are We Selling Out?"
   By David Katz, M.D., Huffington Post (Dec 12, 2013)
   Based upon my press releases.
   http://huff.to/1gtpcsX

"Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation" (one page handout)
   Original English version: http://bit.ly/1kVHRug
   Italian translation (by Associazione Elettrosmog Sicilia):  http://bit.ly/Y9E4Wy

Mobilize, A Film About Cell Phone Radiation

Best Documentary Feature at the California Independent Film Festival  

Mobilize, a feature-length documentary about cell phone radiation, premiered on September 12, 2014 at the 17th Annual California Independent Film FestivalThe film won the Slate Award for Best Documentary Feature of the year.

The film explores the potential long-term health effects from cell phone radiation and examines recent scientific research and the challenges politicians face trying to adopt precautionary legislation. Featuring interviews with experts, wireless industry representatives and prominent politicians, the film illuminates how industry’s economic and political influence can undermine public health. 

The film was directed by Kevin Kunze and produced by Ellen Marks, Joel Moskowitz, and Devra Davis.

The film can be viewed online or downloaded from Vimeo and Amazon. It is also available on DVD from Disinfo and Amazon. More information about the film is available at http://www.mobilizemovie.com.

Short Clips

Latest News Releases

Berkeley's Proposed Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance
http://www.prlog.org/12383163

iPhone 6 SAR: Radiation Levels and Separation Distance
http://www.prlog.org/12373670


CDC Retracts its Precautionary Health Warning about Cell Phone Radiation
http://www.prlog.org/12362077

CDC Issues Precautionary Health Warnings about Cell Phone Radiation
http://www.prlog.org/12359483

FCC: 98 Scientific Experts Demand Stronger Regulation of Cellphone Radiation
http://prlog.org/12355167

Scientists Call on Government to Protect Public from Wireless Radiation Exposure
http://bit.ly/ScientificDeclaration

Hybrid and Electric Automobiles Should Be Re-Designed to Reduce Electromagnetic Radiation Risks

Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation

Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife
http://www.prlog.org/12299815

Cell Phone Radiation Label Bill Passes Maine Legislature Before Dying
http://www.prlog.org/12299052


Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children
http://www.prlog.org/12269207

The Top Cell Phone Radiation Safety Stories of 2013
http://www.prlog.org/12262295

Everything You Wanted to Know about Cell Phone Radiation: Key submissions to the Federal Communications Commission
http://www.prlog.org/12245111

Belgium Adopts New Regulations to Promote Cell Phone Radiation Safety

French Health Agency Recommends Children and Vulnerable Groups Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure
http://www.prlog.org/12226630

Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use
http://www.prlog.org/12216483

LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users

Cell Phone Use, Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer of the Pituitary Gland
http://www.prlog.org/12135511

Most Significant Government Health Report on Mobile Phone Radiation Ever Published
http://www.prlog.org/12125230

More News Releases

Radio Interviews

Upcoming
Green Street Radio
8:00-9:00 PM EST, Feb 10, 2015
WBAI-FM (99.5 FM) in New York City
Hosts: Doug and Patti Wood
Guest: Joel Moskowitz
Livestreamed at http://www.wbai.org/


"Your Call: What do you want to know about cell phone radiation?"
Host: Rose Aguilar, Your Call, KALW - FM, Sep 16, 2014  (49 minutes)
Guests: Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley; Kevin Kunze, "Mobilize" Director
http://bit.ly/Yourcallcellphone

"Mobilize: A Film on Cell Phone Radiation”
Host:  Brian Edwards-Tiekert, Upfront, KPFA - FM, Sep 11, 2014 (25 minutes; starts at 33:50)
Guest: Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley

"Dr. Joel Moskowitz Joins the Show"  (52 minutes)
Boil the Frog Slowly Radio and Patient Safety Radio, Aug 1, 2014
http://bit.ly/boilfrogslowly

"Wireless Revolution: Research/Policy Implications" 
Host: Layna Berman, Your Own Health and Fitness, KPFA - FM, Apr 22, 2014 (1:00-2:00 PM)
Guest: Joel M. Moskowitz, UC Berkeley


http://bit.ly/QwhjbB

"Today on Your Call: What are 'best practices' for using digital devices?"
Host: Ali Budner, Your Call, KALW - FM, Mar 13, 2014  (53 minutes)
Guests:  Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley
                Levi Felix, founder The Digital Detox and director of Camp Grounded

"Cell Phones and Health"
KPFA-FM, Jan 31, 2014 (1:00-1:30 PM)
Moderator: Laura Garzon Chica
Guests:  Josh Hart, Director, StopSmartMeters
               Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley
               Kevin Kunze, Director, "Mobilize"
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/99666

"What Do You Need to Know about Cellphone Radiation?"
An interview on KAHI radio news (Nov 22, 2013) (11 minutes).

Transcript:      http://bit.ly/1heyOFv
Download at:  http://bit.ly/J2XAf9 

"Everything you and your 'Friends and Neighbors' need to know about cellphone radiation and how to protect yourselves"
A 2-part program aired on Calvary Radio Network in Dec, 2013 (50 minutes).

Download at:     http://bit.ly/18xbulT


Presentations


"Mobile Phone Use and Cancer Risk: Research on a Group 2B Carcinogen"
Joel Moskowitz, Webinar for CDC Workgroup on Cancer Prevention (Oct 29, 2014)
Slides:    http://bit.ly/CDCWebinar102914
Audio:     http://bit.ly/101l2lR or http://bit.ly/1tDZbg2

"Mobile Phone Radiation and Health: Recent Research and Policy Developments"
Joel Moskowitz, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley (Jun 19, 2014)
Slides:     http://bit.ly/1lFp9vc

"Brain Tumor Risk from Wireless Phone Use: Recent Research and Policy Implications"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part II: Dec 9, 2013) 
Slides:    http://bit.ly/1k9PeRQ
Video:     http://bit.ly/1kxkpto or http://bit.ly/1hx3t5j

"Expert Roundtable: Skeptical about Cell Phones and Health?"
Forum at Commonwealth Club of California (Dec 9, 2013)
Other presentations will be available soon. 
Agenda : http://bit.ly/1aqek9K

"Cell Phones & Brain Tumors What Does the Science Show?"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part I: Nov 18, 2010)
Slides:                       http://bit.ly/W5tNCN
Video (15 minutes): http://vimeo.com/17266112

Buyer Beware: Cell Phone Radiation-Reducing Products

About once a week someone asks me to recommend a harm reduction product to reduce exposure to the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by their cell phone. 

Every few months a manufacturer asks me to endorse a new radiation-reducing product.

To avoid conflicts of interest, I do not endorse any products. Moreover, I have little confidence in manufacturers' product safety claims even from manufacturers who report independent laboratory test results for their products. 

Rather, I recommend people reduce their EMR exposure by making some simple behavioral changes. See "Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation" on my EMR Safety web site for suggestions.

In the news article below, Juli Clover, the author evaluated an iPhone case which is supposed to enhance the phone's signal strength. Although this product is not a harm reduction product, the article is useful to examine as the author compares how well the case functioned in the real world to the manufacturer's claims that were based on laboratory test results from "CETECOM, a well-respected test and certification lab for mobile devices."

The author concluded, "after several days of use, it remains difficult to conclusively say that the case improves signal in a meaningful way due to mixed test results." 

Her analysis validates my concern that testing a cell phone's radiation in a laboratory has limited utility because it does not yield results that accurately predict how the cell phone functions in the real world.

As I discussed in an interview in 2011, although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires every cell phone in the U.S. to be tested in a laboratory for its Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), this measure is not useful to determine whether one cell phone is safer than another. In my opinion, the SAR is not useful to determine whether any cell phone is safe.

In sum, consumers would be wise to pay attention to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) advice: "there is no scientific proof that so-called shields significantly reduce exposure from these electromagnetic emissions."


The FTC makes the following recommendations in an article entitled, "Cell Phone Radiation Scams":
  • "Increase the distance between your phone and your head by using a hands-free device, like an earpiece that is wired to the phone, or using the speakerphone feature.
  • Consider texting more and limiting your cell phone use to short conversations.
  • Wait for a good signal. When you have a weak signal, your phone works harder, emitting more radiation. Phones also give off more radiation when transmitting than when receiving, so tilt the phone away from your head when you're talking, and bring it back to your ear when you're listening.
  • A phone's specific absorption rate (SAR) reveals the maximum amount of radiation the human body absorbs from the phone while it's transmitting. SAR testing ensures that the devices sold in the U.S. comply with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) SAR exposure limit, but the single, worst-case value obtained from this SAR testing is not necessarily representative of the absorption during actual use, and therefore it is not recommended for comparisons among phones. In short, selecting a lower SAR phone will not reliably ensure lower radiation absorption during use. The FCC has more information at Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) For Cell Phones: What It Means For You."                                                                     http://1.usa.gov/1CN1uBN

--

Hands-On With the Reach79 Signal Boosting Case - Does It Work?

Juli Clover, MacRumors, Jan 27, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: EESC urges continuance of the precautionary principle through regulation and advisory work  (Ref: 06/2015)
Press Release, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Jan 23, 2015            

At its January plenary session, the EESC adopted an opinion on electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS) which recognises the distress being suffered by people in Europe who believe they are affected. The opinion, which was adopted by 136 votes to 110 with 19 abstentions, calls for sympathetic and appropriate treatment and support for this condition.

Although the EESC opinion says that radiofrequency exposure is not causally linked to EHS symptoms, it urges continuance of the precautionary principle through regulation and advisory work, particularly as further research is still needed to accumulate evidence concerning any potential health impact from long-term exposure. 

The EESC opinion on electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome points out that further substantial research is ongoing to understand the problem and its causes. It also notes that the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) has performed an extensive analysis of this issue and will shortly be completing its latest opinion which draws on a broad public consultation. The opinion will soon be adopted and will be published on the SCENIHR website (http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/emerging/index_en.htm).

http://bit.ly/1BAvqz9

--

Public Hearing on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

Between 3 and 5 per cent of the population are electrosensitive according to the European Economic and Social Committee.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is causing distress and loss of quality of life to a growing number of Europeans and according to new estimates, between 3 % and 5% of the population are electro-sensitive. The most common sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) pollution are mobile phone masts, cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers installed in the homes. All these emit microwaves permanently (24/7) in the places where they are installed.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) study group on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) will hold a public Hearing on EHS on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.


This event will gather all relevant stakeholders from a broad range of European civil society for a debate on how to deal with this issues at EU level and to give input for the future EESC's opinion that is scheduled for adoption in January 2015.

The EESC is a consultative body of the European Union that gives representatives of Europe’s socio-occupational interest groups and others, a formal platform to express their points of views on EU issues.

http://bit.ly/1tFQcLd


--

EESC opinion: Exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)

European Economic and Social Committee, Dec 7, 2011

Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)

Key points
  • The EESC recommends that this directive be adopted and implemented in the legislation of Member States as soon as possible.
  • However, the Committee is in favour of a precautionary approach being adopted without delay, given the risks of the non-thermal biological effects of emissions from electromagnetic fields. The long-term health of workers must be completely guaranteed at a high level through the introduction of the best available technologies at economically acceptable costs. The Committee expects a relevant provision to be incorporated into the directive.
  • The EESC supports the Commission's initiative to fix thresholds so as to make this precautionary approach effective and credible; however, to ensure that this is absolutely effective it advocates fixed thresholds based on the thresholds applied when Directive 2004/40/EC was transposed (by Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Italy).
  • The Committee stresses the need to strengthen the independence of scientific bodies involved in determining thresholds for workers' exposure to electromagnetic radiation, its effects and its consequences for public health, and in establishing measures to protect the health of workers exposed to this radiation. It is essential to put a stop to conflicts of interest among members of these bodies, linked to the financing of their research and their appointment (procedures and calls for tender, use of independent public research institutes).
  • The Committee concedes the need for a derogation for professions using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for medical purposes, which should however be subject to a time limit and accompanied by additional resources for research into new technologies to protect workers from the effects of electromagnetic fields and alternative techniques. Workers subject to the derogation should be covered by enhanced measures to protect them, special medical supervision and civil liability insurance to cover errors in the execution of their work arising from strong exposure to electromagnetic fields. The Committee also feels that the above-mentioned principles should be applied not only to medical workers, but also to all other workers who may be excluded from the general principles of the directive on the basis of the derogation included in Article 3 of the proposal.
--

Following is an excerpt from "Electromagnetic hypersensitivity means Peter Lloyd can't leave his house... or enjoy any modern pleasures inside" by Martin Shipton, Wales Online, Oct 16, 2014 ...

What is electromagnetic hypersensitivity?
The term "electrical hypersensitivity" was first used in 1989, while "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" - EHS for short -  was coined in 1994 to reflect sufferers' sensitivity to magnetic as well as electric fields.
As early as the 1930s, however, EHS symptoms were observed in people working with radio and electricity, and with military radar in the 1940s.
Environmental EHS appeared in the general population from the 1970s with computers.
It increased in the 1980s with mobile and cordless phones, and with wifi from 2000.
Thousands of people are now linked with EHS support groups in 30 countries.
The first started in Sweden in 1989; the UK group began in 2003.
Sweden recognised EHS as a functional disability in 2002. The Canadian Human Rights Commission did likewise in 2007.
In 2009, the European Parliament voted for persons with EHS to be recognised as disabled.
Despite having official recognition, many doctors still know little or nothing about the condition.
http://bit.ly/1DiI5qQ
--


The EHS overview on the WHO's web site is nine years old. When will the WHO inform the public about the world-wide program of EMF studies on EHS it is co-ordinating? 


Electromagnetic fields and public health: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
Backgrounder, World Health Organization, December 2005

<snip>

What WHO is doing


WHO, through its International EMF Project, is identifying research needs and co-ordinating a world-wide program of EMF studies to allow a better understanding of any health risk associated with EMF exposure. Particular emphasis is placed on possible health consequences of low-level EMF. Information about the EMF Project and EMF effects is provided in a series of fact sheets in several languages www.who.int/emf/.

http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs296/en/

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Berkeley Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance

November 21, 2014

On November 18, the Berkeley City Council adopted a referral to the City Manager on a 7-2 vote. The referral asks the City Manager to draft a cell phone “right to know” ordinance. 

Once this ordinance is enacted, Berkeley will become the first city in the nation to require cell phone retailers to provide those who purchase a new phone an informational fact sheet. Retailers will be required to provide the fact sheet to those who purchase a cell phone which informs them to read the user manual to learn the cell phone’s minimum separation distance from the body.

The FCC requires manufacturers to provide this information to ensure that the consumers’ cell phone radiation exposure does not exceed the amount when the cell phone was tested. Few consumers are currently aware of this safety information because it is buried in their user manual or within their smart phone. Knowledge of this information is an important step in increasing awareness that cell phones should not be used next to the body.

Councilman Max Anderson who sponsored the referral grilled the CTIA representative, Gerard Keegan, about why the industry does not want consumers to see the safety information that the FCC mandates. The CTIA position is that this is between the FCC and the industry, and the FCC is in the process of deciding whether this information is necessary so the City should not act on this issue.

The referral directs the City Manager to ask City Attorney Zach Cowan and Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig to draft the ordinance.

A video of the meeting is now available for streaming (see 01:44:50 - 03:36:25).

Summaries of the meeting have been published by The Daily Californian and the Contra Costa Times.

--

November 10, 2014

The Berkeley City Council postponed discussion of the cell phone "right to know" ordinance until Tuesday, November 18, 2014.
City Manager Referral: Cell Phone Ordinance Referral to City Manager (Continued from October 28, 2014)
From: Councilmember Anderson
Recommendation: Refer to City Manager for the creation of an ordinance to have cell phone retailers give to consumers who purchase a phone, a factual, informational handout referring the user to their cell phone manufacturers' disclosure regarding the recommended separation distance for use against the body.
Financial Implications: See report
Contact: Max Anderson, Councilmember, District 3, 981-7130
http://bit.ly/1EvJvPz

--

October 15, 2014

Press Release: Berkeley's Proposed Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance

http://www.prlog.org/12383163

--

October 10, 2014

This cell phone "right to know" ordinance is on the consent calendar for the Berkeley City Council meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. The referral and briefing document are available at http://bit.ly/BerkeleyReferral.

City Manager Referral: Cell Phone Ordinance Referral to City Manager
From: Councilmember Anderson; Councilmember Worthington
Recommendation: Refer to City Manager for the creation of an ordinance to have cell phone retailers give to consumers who purchase a phone, a factual, informational handout referring the user to their cell phone manufacturers' disclosure regarding the recommended separation distance for use against the body.
Financial Implications: See report
Contact: Max Anderson, Councilmember, District 3, 981-7130
The advisory will be in the form of an informational handout to be handed to consumers by the retailer at the time of purchasing a cell phone. The proposed wording is as follows:  
"The Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. Don't carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is turned ON and connected to a wireless network. This will prevent exposure to RF levels that may exceed the federal guidelines."
"Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for the recommended separation distance."

--

Precaution or Paranoia? Berkeley May Require Cancer Warning Stickers for Cell Phones

Sabin Russell, California Magazine, August 19, 2014

[An indepth article about the science and  politics underlying the proposed Berkeley cell phone ordinance--research on cancer risk and fetal effects on neurological development is discussed.]

Just as the world supply of mobile phones is reaching one unit for every human being on Earth, here comes Berkeley, with a warning: These things could be hazardous to your health ...
Stakes in this argument are extraordinarily high. Cell phones are radio transmitters that are not only ubiquitous, they are close at hand: We press them against our ears. We store them in our pants pockets. Women slip them into their bras. Teens sleep with them under their pillows. With the adult market nearly saturated, the big growth opportunity for mobile devices is children.
“In our so­ci­ety, the pre­cau­tion­ary prin­ciple does not res­on­ate well. We want to see a body count first.” 
The CTIA statement builds a case that the “scientific consensus” is firmly in their camp. In fact, the two-word term appears 28 times in their filing. They quote numerous federal agencies asserting a lack of evidence that cell phone radiation can cause harm. Among them is the FCC itself, the FDA, and most notably, the National Cancer Institute, which states on its web site that “there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.
Moskowitz dismisses the endorsements. “Industry and government agencies seem to be in denial, and have been in that frame of mind for decades,’’ he says.
... Cell-phone makers in their fine print do advise keeping these devices about a half-inch away from your body, although there is no mention of it in an industry-written parents’ guide to cell phone safety.
And meanwhile, let’s face it: We just love these little appliances. They are changing the way we live. If they are changing the way we die, we’ll find out, eventually.
http://bit.ly/1p7158O

Also see:
Eric Schultz. Killer App: A Berkeley researcher weighs in on cell phones and cancer. California Magazine. Winter 2010.  http://bit.ly/1kSu5z5

--

Berkeley pushes for cancer warning stickers on cell phones

Carolyn Jones, SFGate, Jul 15, 2014 (updated)

Print version: "CELL PHONE ORDINANCE: Berkeley will fight for cancer warnings," San Francisco Chronicle, Jul 15, 2014, pg. A - 1

Berkeley, undaunted by abandoned efforts in San Francisco, is attempting to become the first city in the nation to require retailers to put stickers on cell phone packaging warning people that the devices may emit cancer-causing radiation ...
Joel Moskowitz, head of UC Berkeley's Center for Family and Community Health, has no such indecision. He's been studying the issue since 2009, and has concluded that cell phones are "one of the top emerging public health risks." 
Studies cited by the cell phone industry are outdated, he said. Newer and more complex wireless technology, coupled with people spending increasing amounts of time on their phones, is almost certain to lead to an uptick in brain cancer, he said.
"It's just a matter of time," he said. "The evidence is a lot more compelling than it has been."
Radiation from cell phones penetrates the skin and skull and absorbs into the brain tissue, having an adverse affect on cells, he said. Phone radiation can also affect sperm count among men who carry phones in their pockets, he said.
Consumers should wear headsets, use the speaker feature and otherwise keep phones away from their bodies, he said.
"With cell phones, distance is your friend," he said.
Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable, he said.
A warning sticker should advise consumers that some studies link cell phones to rare but serious cancers, and they should take precautions, he said ...


Media coverage about the ordinance
Bayvoice.net (in Mandarin) (July 14, 2014)
Berkeley High Jacket (Dec 20, 2014)
Berkeleyside  Op-Ed  (Oct 17, 2014)
Berkeleyside (Nov 18, 2014)
Berkeleyside (Nov 26, 2014)
Bloomberg News Radio (mp3: 0:06:55 - 0:08:35) (Jul 15, 2014)
Bloomberg Politics (Nov 26, 2014)
Breitbart News (Jul 15, 2014)
Business Insider (Jul 15, 2014)
Business Insider Australia (Jul 16, 2014)
Business Insider India (Jul 15, 2014)
California City News (Dec 1, 2014)
California Healthline (Jul 16, 2014)
California Magazine (Aug 19, 2014)
CBS SF Bay Area TV News (Aug 22, 2014)
CBS SF Bay Area TV News (Jul 16, 2014)
Chico Enterprise-Record (Nov 21, 2014)
Contra Costa Times (Nov 21, 2014) (Oakland Tribune, Nov 24, 2014)
The Daily Californian  (Jul 16, 2014)
The Daily Californian (Nov 19, 2014)
The Davis Enterprise  (Jul 22, 2014)
East Bay Express (Jul 15, 2014)
ecosalon (Jul 18, 2014)
GSMA (Nov 24, 2014)
Headlines and Global News (Jul 17, 2014)
Healthcare Global (Dec 1, 2014)
KALW  Crosscurrents   (audio - Sep 24, 2014)
KGO ABC 7 TV News (San Francisco) (Jul 15, 2014)
KGO 810  Radio News (San Francisco) (Jul 15, 2014)
The Kirk Show
KKSF AM Talk 919 (San Francisco) (audio) (Jul 15, 2014)
KQED Forum (Lawrence Lessig interview: 48:00 - 50:00) (Jan 8, 2015)
WCVB News (ABC5 Boston)  (Jul 15, 2014)
Yahoo! Screen (CBS) (Jul 16, 2014)
YourLawyer.com  (Jul 17, 2014)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cell Phone Radiation Cancer Risk: American Cancer Society’s Position

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently revised a 58-page document entitled, “Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults” and updated its website page on “Cellular Phones.”

Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults

“Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults” dismisses the potential cancer risk from using cell phones and refers readers to the ACS web site for further information:

Cell phone use
"This has been the subject of a great deal of debate in recent years. Cell phones give off radiofrequency (RF) rays, a form of energy on the electromagnetic spectrum between FM radio waves and those used in microwave ovens, radar, and satellite stations. Cell phones do not give off ionizing radiation, the type that can cause cancer by damaging the DNA inside cells. Still, there have been concerns that the phones, whose antennae are built-in and therefore are placed close to the head when being used, might somehow raise the risk of brain tumors.

Some studies have suggested a possible increased risk of brain tumors or of vestibular schwannomas with cell phone use, but most of the larger studies done so far have not found an increased risk, either overall or among specific types of tumors. Still, there are very few studies of long-term use (10 years or more), and cell phones haven’t been around long enough to determine the possible risks of lifetime use. The same is true of any possible higher risks in children, who are increasingly using cell phones. Cell phone technology also continues to change, and it’s not clear how this might affect any risk.

These risks are being studied, but it will probably be many years before firm conclusions can be made. In the meantime, for people concerned about the possible risks, there are ways to lower your exposure, such as using an earpiece to move the phone itself away from the head. For more information, see our document Cellular Phones."  (p. 15)

Can brain and spinal cord tumors in adults be prevented?

"The risk of many cancers in adults can be reduced with certain lifestyle changes (such as staying at a healthy weight or quitting smoking). But other than radiation exposure, there are no known lifestyle-related or environmental causes of brain and spinal cord tumors, so at this time there is no known way to protect against most of these tumors." (p. 17)  http://bit.ly/1y8vS9B.

Cellular Phones

The ACS web site reviews the research on cell phone radiation and downplays the cancer risk from long-term exposure to cell phone and cordless phone radiation.

Although the ACS seems skeptical there is any cancer risk from cell phone use, they recommend "several things that people who are concerned about RF [radio frequency] waves can do to limit their exposure":

"Use the speaker mode on the phone or a hands-free device such as a corded or cordless earpiece. This moves the antenna away from your head, which decreases the amount of RF waves that reach the head. Corded earpieces emit virtually no RF waves (although the phone itself still emits small amounts of RF waves that can reach parts of the body if close enough, such as on the waist or in a pocket). Bluetooth® earpieces have an SAR value of around 0.001 watts/kg (less than one thousandth the SAR limit for cell phones as set by the FDA and FCC).

Texting instead of talking on the phone may be another option to reduce your exposure. But it may not be a good option in some situations, especially if you are driving. For safety reasons, it is especially important to limit or avoid the use of cell phones while driving.

Limit your (and your children’s) cell phone use. This is one of the most obvious ways to limit your exposure to RF waves from cell phones. You may want to use your cell phone only for shorter conversations, or use it only when a conventional phone is not available. Parents who are concerned about their children’s exposure can limit how much time they spend on the phone.

Some people might consider choosing a phone with a low SAR value. Different models of phones can give off different levels of RF waves. But as noted above, according to the FCC the SAR value is not always a good indicator of a person’s exposure to RF waves during normal cell phone use. One way to get information on the SAR level for a specific phone model is to visit the phone maker’s website. The FCC has links to some of these sites here: www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cellular-telephones. If you know the FCC identification (ID) number for a phone model (which can often be found somewhere on the phone or in the user manual), you can also go to the following web address: www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid. On this page, you will see instructions for entering the FCC ID number.”     http://bit.ly/1z7mZNm

After reviewing and dismissing the growing body of scientific evidence which finds that long-term cell phone phone use is associated with increased brain cancer risk, the ACS makes the following recommendation:

"With these limitations in mind, it is important that the possible risk of cell phone exposure continue to be researched using strong study methods, especially with regard to use by children and longer-term use."   http://bit.ly/1z7mZNm

Since virtually everyone in the U.S. uses a cell phone and all are exposed to cell phone radiation, one might wonder what the ACS has done to ensure that there is adequate funding for strong research on the cancer risk. Has the ACS devoted any research funding to the study of this environmental risk? Has the ACS used its influence to ensure that Federal agencies prioritize health and safety research regarding this risk?

Sources

American Cancer Society. Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults. Last revised Jan 7, 2015. URL: http://bit.ly/1y8vS9B.


American Cancer Society.  Cellular Phones.  Last revised Dec 12, 2014. URL: http://bit.ly/1z7mZNm.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Wi-Fi in Schools

Many experts have raised serious health concerns about exposing students to wireless radiation in school because no research proves that long-term exposure to low intensity, microwave radiation is safe for children. Moreover, a considerable amount of research published in peer-reviewed journals strongly suggests that wireless radiation from laptops and other wireless devices (including cell phones and cordless phones) is harmful to children's health.

Opposition to Wi-Fi adoption in schools is mounting as schools in the U.S. and other countries have begun to adopt Wi-Fi to provide internet access to students even though a wired solution would be safer. 

The Los Angeles Unified School District was the first major school district in the U.S. to adopt Wi-Fi in all classrooms. Following is a summary of the evidence that health experts submitted to the Los Angeles School Board in opposition to this plan. This is followed by a list of resources for those who are concerned about Wi-Fi adoption in their local schools.

Also see below an open letter from the BioInitiative Working Group to the CEO's of major technology corporations in the U.S.

For a  list of research studies that have found adverse biological or health effects from Wi-Fi radiation, see a website maintained by some scientists in the United Kingdom.


October 16, 2014

iPad Scandal in 2nd Largest School District in U.S.

The Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District announced his resignation today due to a controversy over the district's billion-dollar iPad program. The program was suspended after the Superintendent received criticism about his close ties to Apple and Pearson, the company that manages the educational content. 

http://bit.ly/1uc4Cil



October 10, 2014

Los Angeles Unified School District Accommodates Teacher Who Fell Ill After Wireless Installation


Students were bleeding from the ears and nose and no incident reports were allowed by the school states the teacher who required medical intervention.

The National Association for Children and Safe Technology, Oct 10, 2014

YouTube video: http://bit.ly/1vXgwAY (3 minutes)
PRLog - Oct. 10, 2014 - In the Fall of 2014, LAUSD, the second largest public school district in the US, officially accommodated teacher Ms. Anura Lawson by approving her request to have the Wi-Fi turned off in her classroom during the 2014-2015 school year and alternatively approving a reassignment to a different school site where Wi-Fi has yet to be installed.

The Middle School teacher reported that she fell seriously ill after a wireless system upgrade in her school in Spring 2014.  She described her cardiac symptoms during a May 28, LAUSD Common Core Tech Project meeting. Ms. Lawson also stated, “The students are having nosebleeds and the main offices are refusing to do incident reports.  I have had two seventh grade students bleeding out of their ears.” See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wghaMbzRnb4&feature=youtu.be

This is the first accommodation in a US public school system for microwave sickness.

Microwave sickness, also known as electro hypersensitivity (EHS), is not widely recognized in the US.  However, physicians in many other countries are familiar with this medical condition and the diagnosis is more common.  EHS symptoms include:  headaches, dizziness, anxiety, rapid heart beat (tachycardia) and irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), ear and nose bleeds, tinnitus, red and irritated eyes, increased mucous and upper airway congestion, itchy skin rashes, abdominal pain, poor focus and attention, memory and sleep problems.

In March 2012, the Austrian Medical Association recognized and developed EHS treatment guidelines.  In the United States, adverse effects were identified before 1988 when a US Air Force Review stated that "Experimental evidence has shown that exposure to low intensity radiation can have a profound effect on biological processes."

The LAUSD Board of Education went ahead with a wireless technology plan in February 2013, even after they were presented with numerous letters from many noted medical doctors and researchers, including the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, imploring them to use wired technology in the classroom because of the health impacts from wireless radiation.  See http://wifiinschools.com/lausd-testimony.html

Wireless LAUSD classrooms typically employ 30+ devices (iPads) in addition to an industrial-sized router. These devices all emit microwave radiation and represent an unprecedented level of exposure to children.

Decades of accumulated research show wireless radiation damages neurological, immune, and reproductive systems in addition to increasing cancer risk.  Professor Olle Johansson, Karolinksa Institute, Stockholm Sweeden, has stated that wireless radiation exposure studies have indicated “irreversible sterility within five generations.”  As this damage is cumulative, the longer the radiation exposure, the greater the health impact over time.

"We are getting reports of headaches and cardiac issues from across the country.  The time to act is now," stated a spokesperson for the National Association for Children and Safe Technology (NACST).

NACST is an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the health impacts of wireless radiation on children.  They are calling for schools to use wired Internet only.  Their website details both the accumulated research showing wireless radiation’s acute as well as long term health impacts.

The National Association for Children and Safe Technology

http//www.nacst.org
contact@nacst.org

http://bit.ly/1stRqcd



February 9, 2013

The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to spend $500 million to install Wi-Fi in every classrooom and provide every student with a wireless tablet or laptop.

The initial $50 million pilot phase for this project was discussed at a School Board meeting on February 13, 2013.  Although written and oral testimony was presented to the Board in opposition to this plan based on concerns about the health and safety of students and employees from continued exposure to Wi-Fi radiation, the Board approved the pilot plan.

For background on this issue and video clips, see these news stories:

  
Following are excerpts from eight of the letters submitted in opposition to the plan.

Excerpts from Selected Letters

Martin Blank, Ph.D., College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
“As a researcher on biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) for over twenty five years, as well as one of the contributors to the 2007 and 2012 Bioinitiative Reports, I am writing to  you concerning the health risks associated with the radiation from WiFi and to urge you not to install WiFi in the schools in your district.”

“RF radiation can cause single and double strand DNA breaks at exposure levels that are currently considered safe under the FCC guidelines. There are also epidemiological studies that show an increased risk of cancers associated with exposure to RF.”

“RF has been shown to cause other potentially harmful biological effects, such as leakage of the blood brain barrier that can lead to damage of neurons in the brain, increased micronuclei (DNA fragments) in human blood lymphocytes--all at RF exposures that are well below the limits in the current FCC guidelines.“

“As noted above, many potentially harmful effects, such as the stress response and DNA strand breaks, occur at nonthermal levels. Since these field strengths do not cause a temperature increase (the only parameter currently accepted as dangerous), they are unwisely considered safe.  It is clear that the safety standards must be revised downward to take into account nonthermal as well as thermal biological responses. Given the problems in current standards, it is essential, for the protection of ourselves and our children, to take a precautionary approach and not install a WiFi system.”


Devra Davis, Ph.D., MPH, Environmental Health Trust
“In our new paper, we conclude that the weight of scientific evidence available at this time supports a classification of cell phone and other wireless technology as a "probable human carcinogen." (2A) The information on which we base this view includes experimental studies as well as a growing number of studies in humans. The criteria on which we rely have been validated through more than three decades of use by the IARC; other materials classified as probable human carcinogen include: diesel engine exhaust, tars, petroleum refining and a number of pesticides. Our paper reviews new studies not available to the IARC in its determination in 2011, including several reports from the team of Swedish investigators led by Lennart Hardell.” 

“We note that the American Academy of Pediatrics has expressed its concerns about the growing exposures to children in a letter to Congress dated 12 December 2012: ‘Children are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. The differences in bone density and the amount of fluid in a child’s brain compared to an adult’s brain could allow children to absorb greater quantities of RF energy deeper into their brains than adults. It is essential that any new standards for cell phones or other wireless devices be based on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded through their lifetimes.'”

"As many researchers have noted, children are not merely little adults. Their brains and skulls absorb more radiation than do adults. Empirical data have shown a difference in the dielectric properties of tissues as a function of age, mostly due to the higher water content in children's tissues. High resolution computerized models based on human imaging data suggest that children are indeed more susceptible to the effects of EMF exposure at microwave frequencies."

"Please be aware that national authorities in France and Israel are advising against wi-fi expansion, especially in schools with younger children. Many authorities have noted that standards for wireless exposures differ by several orders of magnitude, with those in the home country of the World Health Organization, Switzerland being among the most stringent in the world."

"In fact, research on this topic remains poorly funded in the U.S. The absence of definitive information on risks from wi-fi in the U.S. at this time should not be interpreted as proof of safety."

"Wired systems are far more safe, secure, and speedy, and avoid potential long term public health issues. In addition, wired systems will protect the growing number of persons who are hypersensitive to wi-fi exposures, as well as limit risks to persons with pace-makers or those with other implanted electronic or metal devices that can absorb greater amounts of such radiation."


Katharina Gustavs, Cert. EOH, Building Biology Consultant IBN
 “Second, as an EMF consultant, I recommend choosing wired technologies, especially for Internet access in schools and, in general, keeping RF radiation exposures from all sources as low as possible. In this I follow the recommendations of the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (2007), the Parliament of the Federal State of Salzburg (2007), the Israeli Parliament (2010), the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS), the BioInitiative Working Group (2012), and the Seletun Scientific Panel (2010), just to name a few. Understand that with each additional wireless transmitter you add to the school environment, you unnecessarily increase the overall exposure to radio-frequency radiation for each student and staff member. Be inspired by other government agencies and school districts that try reducing the RF exposure of their students and staff members. “

“Last year the Physicians’ Working Group of the Competence Initiative not only launched another International Doctors’ Appeal, but they also released another warning regarding Wi-Fi in which it says: ‘Wi-Fi radiation seems to be perceived as particularly stressful. Not only electrohypersensitive people say so, but also healthy people report their discomfort in the presence of Wi-Fi radiation.”

“Laboratory tests of laptops have shown that the exposure level for a user can easily be greater than 100,000 μW/m2 when the laptop is placed in the lap, which is definitely higher than even elevated urban RF levels. The recently released EMF Guidelines by the EMF Working Group of the Austrian Medical Association consider any level greater than 1000
μW/m2 ‘very far above normal,’ and greater than 10 μW/m2 ‘far above normal.’”

“Do not be fooled by the URS report.* In my testing experience, people tend to adversely react to Wi-Fi radiation, starting at 100 μW/m2 (0.01 μW/cm2). And this is not a whole- body, time-averaged value, which would be much lower, but a peak value. The human body does not care about the ‘accepted practice’ of the FCC.”

“Also, basic logic seems to escape the authors of the URS report. On the one hand, they claim that ‘a cautionary level of 0.1 μW/cm2 is attainablewithin LAUSD classrooms.’ At what distance from any device? At the user distance? From one single Wi-Fi device? For any scenario when all devices in a given classroom are working? How can recommendation
number 3 on page 1-2 be reconciled with number 6? Does this mean that the recommended cautionary level only applies to a single frequency band, i.e. Wi-Fi? What about cumulative exposure from all the different types of wireless frequencies?”

“Ambient exposure levels in a classroom with a Wi-Fi access point may range from 100-4,000 μW/m2 (up to 90,000 μW/m2), depending on a person’s distance to the access point. Compared to the 10 million μW/m2 of the FCC limit, 1000 μW/m2 (0.1 μW/cm2) may sound rather small. Considering that the natural background radiation (in which
human life has evolved) is over a billion times lower (ca. 0.000001 μW/m2), this may give you pause. For your orientation, I have compiled a table with various Wi-Fi exposure levels: 

“The electromagnetic quality of our indoor environment is part of a healthy learning environment. Just because we cannot smell RF radiation does not mean it cannot cause any harm at low levels. Be smart; invest in wired networks and the future health of our children.”


Magda Havas, Ph.D., Environmental & Resource Studies, Trent University, Canada
“The safest way to connect to the internet in the classroom is through either Ethernet cable or through fiber optics.  The worst way to connect to the internet from a health perspective is through Wi-Fi routers.  However, if Wi-Fi routers are deployed in the classroom it is essential that the routers be turned off when not in use and/or turned down to minimize exposure of students and staff.”

“The scientific evidence clearly shows that microwave radiation at levels well below the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) guidelines and at levels now commonly found inside classrooms with Wi-Fi routers causes cancer in laboratory animals, causes heart palpitations in sensitive adults, causes reduced sperm motility and viability, and is associated with symptoms of electrosensitivity that include–but are not limited to–cognitive dysfunction, pain, fatigue, mood disorders (depression, anxiety, irritability), dizziness, nausea, weakness, skin problems, and tinnitus.”

“The current guidelines for microwave radiation are based on a heating effect of a healthy adult male (as they were originally designed for military personnel working near radar antennas).  These guidelines were never designed nor intended to protect children and pregnant women.  The guideline in the U.S. is calculated as the average exposure over a 30-minute period that does not raise the body temperature of tissue by 1 degree Celsius.  The U.S. has no long-term guidelines and no biological guidelines for microwave radiation.  The guidelines in Russia, Switzerland and many other countries are 100 times more protective than those in the United States.”

“Furthermore, in 2011 the World Health Organization classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as a possible human carcinogen, which is a warning to governments around the world.   Why would we want to place a possible human carcinogen in the classroom?”

  
Martha Herbert, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital :
“In fact, there are thousands of papers that have accumulated over decades and are now accumulating at an accelerating pace, as our ability to measure impacts become more sensitive that document adverse health and neurological impacts of EMF/RFR.  Children are more vulnerable than adults, and children with chronic illnesses and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities are even more vulnerable. “

“EMF/RFR from wifi and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember,  and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function.  This will make it harder for some children to learn, particularly those who are already having problems in the first place.“

“I urge you to step back from your intention to go wifi in the LAUSD, and instead opt for wired technologies, particularly for those subpopulations that are most sensitive.  It will be easier for you to make a healthier decision now than to undo a misguided decision later.”


Olle Johansson, Ph.D., Dept of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
 “In November, 2009, a Scientific Panel comprised of international experts on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields met in Seletun, Norway, for three days of intensive discussion on existing scientific evidence and public health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to artificial electromagnetic fields (EMF) from telecommunications and electric power technologies. This meeting was a direct consequence of on-going discussions already from the mid-nineties, when cellular communications infrastructure began to rapidly proliferate, and stretching through, among many, the Benevento (2006), Venice (2008) and London (2009) Resolutions from this decade, and involving important conclusions drawn from the 600-page Bioinitiative Report published August 31, 2007, which was a review of over 2,000 studies showing biological effects from electromagnetic radiation at non-thermal levels of exposure, which partly was published subsequently in the journal Pathophysiology (Volume 16, 2009). The Bioinitiative Report has, in addition, recently been updated (2012).”

“The Seletun Scientific Statement (2011) recommends that lower limits be established for electromagnetic fields and wireless exposures, based on scientific studies reporting health impacts at much lower exposure levels. Many researchers now believe the existing safety limits are inadequate to protect public health because they do not consider prolonged exposure to lower emission levels that are now widespread.”

“Furthermore, based on the available scientific data, the Seletun Scientific Panel states that:

· Sensitive populations (for example, the elderly, the ill, the genetically and/or immunologically challenged) and children and fetuses may be additionally vulnerable to health risks; their exposures are largely involuntary and they are less protected by existing public safety standards.

· It is well established that children are more vulnerable to health risks from environmental toxins in general.

· The Panel strongly recommends against the exposure from wireless systems of children of any age.

· The Panel strongly recommends against the exposure from wireless systems of pregnant women.”

“Another misunderstanding is the use of scientific publications (as the tobacco industry did for many years) as 'weights' to balance each other. But you can NEVER balance a report showing a negative health effect with one showing nothing! This is a misunderstanding which, unfortunately, is very often used both by the industrial representatives as well as official authorities.”


Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
 “Based upon my review of the research of the health effects associated with exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR), especially microwave radiation, I feel compelled to register my concern that adoption of Wi-Fi in LAUSD classrooms is likely to put at risk the health of many students and employees in the District.”

“…I was concerned about the health risks of unnecessarily subjecting 660,000 children to 13,000 hours of Wi-Fi microwave radiation during their K-12 school years.”

“I have been calling on the FCC to strengthen its standards and testing procedures to protect the public and workers from the low-intensity, non-thermal risks of RF EMR exposure that have been reported in hundreds, if not thousands, of research studies. These include increased risk of neurological and cardiovascular problems, sperm damage and male infertility, reproductive health risks, and cancer.”

“The precautionary principle should be applied to this critical policy decision. This principle, developed at a U.N. environmental conference in 1992 states that in the absence of scientific consensus if an action has a suspected risk of causing harm, the burden of proof it is not harmful falls on those taking the action, and all reasonable measures to reduce the risk must be taken. Internet access can be provided to students through wires or optical fiber without installing Wi-Fi in the classrooms.”   

(Complete letter: http://saferemr.blogspot.com/2013/02/adoption-of-wi-fi-in-los-angeles-usd.html .)


 Cindy Sage, M.A., Sage Associates, Santa Barbara, CA 
“The LAUSD will place hundreds of thousands of school children at risk for illness, learning impairments and other health problems by choosing a delivery technology that produces a toxic emission (radiofrequency and microwave radiation) that has recently been classified as a Possible Human Carcinogen.”

“There is overwhelming evidence that children are more vulnerable than adults to many different exposures (Sly and Carpenter, 2012), including RFR (Wiart et al, 2008), and that the diseases of greatest concern are cancer and adverse effects on neurodevelopment. “

“Existing FCC safety standards are under formal review by the FCC (Proceeding 03-137).  The US Government Accountability Office Report of 2012 recommends to the FCC that it formally reassess, and, if appropriate, change it's current RF energy exposure limit and mobile phone testing requirements related to likely usage configurations,  particularly when phones are held against the body (US GAO, 2012).  The existing FCC public safety standards cannot be presumed for purposes of the LAUSD decision on wireless to be protective of public health under these circumstances.  The existing safety limits do not protect against chronic exposures nor against non-thermal effects of radiofrequency and microwave radiation on human health.  They are specifically not protective of children or smaller-stature individuals (they are developed to be suitable to protect a six-foot man (in stature). They address acute, but not chronic exposures.  And they are not protective against biological effects of non-thermal low-intensity RFR exposures for either children,  adults, or the disabled.”

“LAUSD must incorporate appropriate measures to address the recent World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of RFR as a Possible Human Carcinogen before subjecting widespread hundreds of thousands of its District personnel and students to a preventable toxic exposure. The WHO IARC  classified RF radiation as a Group 2B Possible Human Carcinogen; it joins the IARC classification of ELF-EMF (Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields) as a Group 2B Possible Human Carcinogen.  The evidence for carcinogenicity for RFR was primarily from cell phone/brain tumor studies but IARC applies this classification to all RFR exposures.”

“New scientific studies of radiofrequency radiation of the kind and at the levels associated with wireless classroom environments report that chronic, whole-body RFR exposure at levels as low as 0.003 microwatts per square centimeter result in adverse health effects on children and adolescents (Thomas et al 2008; Heinrich et al 2010; Thomas et al 2010; Mohler et al 2010). Wireless classrooms will create unavoidable and involuntary exposure to RFR at levels shown to adversely affect memory, learning, cognition, attention, concentration and behavior to school occupants. No level of RFR exposure has been conclusively determined to be safe.”

“LAUSD should not encourage or mandate the use of wireless devices like iPads or wireless computers with associated wireless access points installed in classrooms; or cell phones in learning environments on LAUSD properties. There is evidence that is sufficient to warn against chronic use of wireless devices near or worn on the body related to reproductive organs in both males and females (See Footnote 1).”

Other Submissions

Numerous other individuals submitted written testimony in opposition to the LAUSD WiFi plan including Stephanie and Jeff Austin, Liz Barris, Mary Beth Brangan (Ecological Options Network), Susan Brinchman (Center for Electrosmog Prevention), Merry Callahan, Sue Chiang (Center for Environmental Health), Linda Ewart (Citizens for Safe Technology), C. Gartz, Shane Gregory, Kim Hahn, Joshua Hart (Stop Smart Meters), Kawartha Safe Technology Initiative, Elizabeth Kelley, Barbara Li Santi, Ellen Marks (California Brain Tumor Association), Kiki Iwata and Gail Nicol, Garril Page, Ray Pealer, Sharon Phillips, Deb Rubin, Victoria Siever, Toni Stein (Environmental Health Trust), K. Sundmark, R. Paul Sundmark, and Diane Whitmire.

The testimony in opposition to this policy is available at:  
http://www.wifiinschools.com/lausd-testimony.html


March 11, 2013

Dear School Board Members:

I wish to bring to your attention a press release I distributed today as it is relevant to the District's Technology Plan. At a recent meeting, the Board decided to adopt a Wi-Fi system in the LA Unified schools against the recommendations of some American health experts as well as the Council of Europe:


http://saferemr.blogspot.com/2013/02/testimony-in-opposition-to-lausd-wi-fi.html and
http://saferemr.blogspot.com/2013/03/council-of-europe-called-for-council-of.html.

As you may know, the FCC's regulatory standard protects the population from thermal exposure to microwave radiation from wireless equipment but not from low-intensity, non-thermal exposures.

Since the District ignored these warnings and intends to install wireless networks in the schools, I suggest you consider a requirement that the systems be designed consistent with the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle in order to minimize potential health risks to students and staff. It would be prudent for the Board to follow this course of action based upon the precautionary principle.

In 2003, a major telecommunications company acknowledged in a patent filing that exposure to low intensity, non-thermal wireless radiation is carcinogenic. The technology described in this patent could substantially reduce microwave radiation exposure from a local wireless network. Although I have not done a patent search, I would imagine that the wireless industry holds numerous patents that could reduce microwave radiation exposure from wireless local networks. Unfortunately, the industry has little incentive to apply these patents to extant technology because the FCC has been lax in its regulation of microwave radiation.

The District could become a model for the nation by adopting a Wi-Fi system and distributing tablets/laptops that are compliant with the ALARA principle. School districts and their students throughout the country could also benefit if the Board requires the wireless industry to make this  option available to the public.

Sincerely,

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.



Wireless Industry's Patented System to Reduce Cancer Risk from Wireless Local Networks Never Adopted 

A major telecom company patented a system to reduce "electrosmog" from wireless local networks to reduce cancer risks associated with non-thermal exposures to microwave radiation. The industry has known the risks for many years but has failed to act. Joel M. Moskowitz, PRLog (Press Release) - Mar 11, 2013

Swisscom AG, a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland, filed U.S. and international patent applications for an innovative system to reduce “electrosmog” from wireless local networks (i.e., Wi-Fi) in 2003.

This patent application acknowledged the cancer risk from exposure to wireless radiation eight years before the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that radiofrequency energy, including cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation, is a “possible carcinogen” to humans, like DDT and lead.

Furthermore, the application acknowledged that low-intensity, non-thermal exposures to wireless radiation is genotoxic. This is critical because the current U.S. regulatory standard for wireless radiation, established in 1996, does not protect us from non-thermal exposures ...

To see entire news release: http://www.prlog.org/12094566



March 25, 2013 
On March 19, the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, an international association of physicians and other professionals, wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District that makes the following recommendation:
"do not add to the burden of public health by installing blanket wireless internet connections in Los Angeles schools. Hardwired internet connections are not only safer, they are stronger, and more secure."
The letter discusses why precaution is warranted:
"There is consistent emerging science that shows people, especially children are affected by the increasing exposure to wireless radiation. In September 2010, theJournal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine ‐ Fertility and Sterility reported that only four hours of exposure to a standard laptop using WiFi caused DNA damage to human sperm."
"In May 2011, the World Health Organization elevated exposure to wireless radiation, including WiFi, onto the Class 2b list of Carcinogens."
"In October 2012, the AAEM issued a public warning about WiFi in schools that
stated:
'Adverse health effects from wireless radio frequency fields, such as learning disabilities, altered immune responses, and headaches, clearly exist and are well documented in the scientific literature. Safer technology, such as use of hardwiring, is strongly recommended in schools.'”
"In December 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics ‐ representing 60,000 pediatricians, wrote to Congress requesting it update the safety levels ofmicrowave radiation exposure especially for children and pregnant women."
"The WiFi systems in schools are typically hundreds of times more powerful than the home consumer systems you may be familiar with. They are also dozens of times more powerful than the cafe and restaurant systems you may have beenexposed to. The WiFi systems in schools are necessarily more powerful than anymicrowave communication systems in any other setting because they are requiredto run hundreds of computers simultaneously. They are also exposing children ‐ the most vulnerable to microwave radiation ‐ to extended periods all day, for their entire childhood."
"This is an unprecedented exposure with unknown outcome on the health and reproductive potential of a generation."
"To install this system in Los Angeles risks a widespread public health question that the medical system is not yet prepared to answer."
The Academy forewarns the District, "caution must be exercised to prevent a potential public health disaster."
"It is unlikely that there are currently enough doctors in Los Angeles County familiar with the biological effects of microwave radiation to diagnose and treat the numbers of children who will potentially become symptomatic from exposure to your wireless system should you elect to install it. Statistics show that you can expect an immediate reaction in 3% of your students and time‐delayed reactions in 30% of them. This will also include teachers."

The full text of this letter is available at:

Resources on WiFi in the Schools 
(Last updated: 1/22/2015)

CEO Wireless Letter from the Bioinitiative Working Group

September 17, 2014

[The BioInitiative Working Group consists of 29 scientists from ten nations.]

On behalf of the BioInitative Working Group, we are writing to express our concern about the views expressed by CEOs from Google, Dell, Apple, Adobe, eBay, Facebook, the George Lucas Educational Foundation and others to the FCC supporting wireless technologies in schools ....

Saturating schools with wireless technology will likely create unnecessary liability for municipalities and result in a loss of public trust and confidence in the corporations that push their wireless products with a blind eye toward health concerns.

Epidemiological studies show links between radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure and cancers, neurological disorders, hormonal changes, symptoms of electrical hypersensitivity (EHS) and more. Laboratory studies show that RFR exposure increases risk of cancer, abnormal sperm, learning and memory deficits, and heart irregularities. Fetal exposures in both animal and human studies result in altered brain development in the young offspring, with disruption in learning, memory and behavior. 

The brain development of a fetus can be impaired by in-utero exposure to a pregnant woman. The evidence for these statements is based on hundreds of published, peer-reviewed scientific studies that report adverse effects at levels much lower than current FCC public safety limits. WiFi is schools, in contrast to wired internet connections, will increase risk of neurologic impairment and long-term risk of cancer in students. Corporations cannot avoid responsibility simply by asserting compliance with existing legal, but outdated and inadequate FCC public safety limits ...

--

Ahonen, M. & Koppel, T. (2012). Mobile Learning and Health-Risk Management of Pulsed Microwave Technologies. In Specht,  M. et al. (Eds.) mLearn 2012, Mobile and Contextual Learning, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning 2012 Helsinki, Finland, October 16 -18, 2012. Helsinki, 134-139. (CEUR Workshop Proceedings Vol-955).  http://bit.ly/1f1tDcc
Many schools and educational institutions are using wireless Wi-Fi and Tablet technologies in their education. Recently WHO IARC classified radiofrequency (RF) radiation  ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’. Currently guidance levels for electromagnetic fields (including RF) are based on thermal effects while effects have been reported on non-thermal levels. Possibly these biological, non-thermal effects are brain-related and affect cognition, memorizing and  learning. We start by describing our measurement method used for Wi-Fi routers and laptop Wi-Fi antennas. Then a historical overview on thermal and non-thermal viewpoints is provided. The objective of this study is to quantify the actual RF radiation levels around Wi-Fi access points and laptop computers at educational facilities and to assess their compliance with the current thermal-only guidelines and also with precautionary, biological guidance levels. This paper ends to recommendations how to minimize radiation exposure in educational institutions. 

Ahonen, M. Mobile Learning and Health Risks—Implications for Pedagogical and Educational Practices (Based on a presentation in the Online Education Berlin 2008, slides updated in March 2011). 

American Academy of Environmental Medicine –Statement on WiFi in Schools

American Academy of Pediatrics – Protection of Children and Pregnant Women from Wireless Radiation

Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST)– WiFi in Schools

Citizens for Safe Technology – WiFi (Schools, Children and Families)

EMF in Schools – Collaboration for High Performance Schools