Children pulled from school over Wi-Fi concerns

Maple Ridge News

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Subject: Maple Ridge News - Children pulled from Maple Ridge school over Wi-Fi concerns

I am the 'other parent' mentioned in your article (Children pulled from Maple Ridge school over Wi-Fi concerns) who removed their daughter from xxxxxx Elementary. While I understand that, as a newspaper, you must be seen as neutral, I feel your article supported Health Canada's standards and mentioned nothing of the many, many studies contravening them. Nor did you mention the growing number of countries that are banning wireless communication technology in schools and public buildings because the mounting evidence is so disturbing.

For the record, Health Canada has deemed many things 'safe' over the years - Thalidomide, asbestos, tainted blood, PCBs and DDT, to name just a few. Our government is woefully inadequate when it comes to putting the safety of our population before the profits of corporations, and the fact that it is our children who are most at risk in this instance is what I find so offensive.

We removed our daughter from xxxxx because the Wi-Fi routers they are using in most schools are fundamentally commercial grade and extremely powerful, and the words 'acceptable levels of radiation' are not ones I wish to hear in conjunction with my daughter's health and safety. I cannot imagine a parent who wouldn't be bothered by such a description of a school environment, but apparently there are plenty. In fact, most did not bother to attend the meeting we had at the school to address this. It was well advertised and our concerns made very clear in the flier we handed out. But what I have come to realize is that most people want to chat on their cell phones and complacently play X-Box rather than consider the idea that not all technology is positive. To quote Arthur Firstenberg of the Cellular Phone Task Force; 'Memory of life before cell phones is strangely fading. In that world, one child in a hundred had ADHD, not one in six as today. Strokes and heart attacks in twenty and thirty year olds were almost unheard of. Sleep disorders never occurred in children, and were not common in adults. Colony collapse disorder in honeybees did not exist.'

In response to my concerns over this issue, a parent said to me ' Oh, this stuff is everywhere.' And that is correct, it is everywhere, and it could be life threatening, and one would think that the sensible thing to do is err on the side of caution rather than subject our children to something that could end up killing them. But the majority of parents consider it 'acceptable risk' and continue to send their children into an environment where they are constantly bombarded with something that many scientists and people far more learned than I consider incredibly dangerous.

They trust the school board and Health Canada and the World Health Organization, all of which have been proven wrong before.

When concerns over BPAs rose, our government - miraculously - chose to pull products containing them off the shelves, although the science was not yet conclusive, because it was more prudent to do so, rather than risk a health epidemic. Why is this any different? Could it possibly be the extremely powerful telecommunications companies? Why is it that studies funded by them all conclude that this is safe technology, but all the independent studies say just the opposite? Dr. Henry Lai, of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, has stated that, on average, 25% of industry funded studies show biological effects below the heating threshold, whereas 75% of non-industry funded studies find biological effects below the heating threshold. So, not only is there complacency among the masses, but there is also dissembling from those funding and reaping the financial rewards from this technology. A perfect recipe for disaster.

We need to take this issue seriously right now. It is unlikely that we will get any second chances. Unfortunately, I think it is going to take a generation of children who spend less time in school and more in the oncology ward of their local hospital to wake people up, and by then it will probably be too late.



Maple Ridge

Dear xxxxxx (school administration)

Thank you for meeting with us, the xxxxxx Parent Action Group, acting on behalf of our children with concern to the adverse health effects from Wi-Fi microwave radiation in schools.

To facilitate our meeting, we are providing a summary of some of the pertinent points we wish School District 42 to consider.

1. 1. Wireless routers emit microwave radiation constantly. They therefore resemble cell phone towers more than cell phones, because cell phones only power up when a call is made or received. There are rules about how many metres a cell tower has to be from a school, because of health concerns for children. Unfortunately, by placing 6 wireless routers into the Laity View School Building, you have for all intents and purposes put 6 mini cell phone towers in close proximity to children.

2. 2. Across Canada, children becoming sick at school are all suffering from the same group of symptoms. This cannot be coincidence. The parents of these children have ruled out other causes such as vision problems, as well as pursued the matter with pediatricians and specialists only to be told that there is no explanation for their children?s headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle aches, skin rashes, palpitations and anxiety.

3. No studies have been done to date specifically examining health concerns to children, nor have any studies been done examining low-level, long-term microwave radiation exposure. Children are not mini adults. They are physically more susceptible to microwave radiation than adults due to a thinner skull and other physiological considerations. Safety standards based on adults cannot be extrapolated onto children.

4. Health Canada cannot be relied on. The recent report from the Standing Committee on Health, released at the beginning of December, recommends the Canadian Government provide funding for safety studies (something it has not up till now done even in light of public concerns). The report also recommends that an independent academic society review all studies to do with microwave radiation because there is uncertainty about Health Canada?s objectivity. The present health standards are based solely on thermal effects of radiation (Safety Code 6) despite the significant body of research confirming non-thermal biological effects of this type of radiation, such as DNA damage, leaking of the blood brain barrier and increased brain tumours.

5. Scientists are divided on this issue. There is general consensus on biological effects resulting from non-thermal microwave radiation. What is disagreed upon is whether these effects cause harm. How are we as parents supposed to sift through all this information to make decisions for our children? The World Health Organization recommends that in situations such as this, the Precautionary Principle be adopted. The Precautionary Principle is a risk management policy applied in circumstances with a high degree of scientific uncertainty, reflecting the need to take action for a potentially serious risk without awaiting the results of scientific research. Several countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, as well as Israel have already implemented this principle and dramatically reduced the exposure of their children to wi-fi. What is taking so long in Canada? It is unacceptable to maintain the use of this technology for the sake of convenience if there is the least chance that children?s health is at risk. It is urgent that the Precautionary Principle be enacted to protect children within school walls.

6. It is unlikely that School Boards and their employees were aware that by exposing children to wireless technology in schools, they had placed those children into a biological experiment without informed consent from their parents. In 1999, the Royal Society Report to Health Canada confirmed that the long term effects of non-thermal microwave radiation were unknown. They suggested that the exposed population be observed over a number of years to document health effects. This is the definition of human biological experimentation. There are strict Canadian and international rules concerning human experimentation, especially with regards to informed consent on behalf of children. By disregarding the need for informed consent in this matter, the school board is contravening the Nuremberg Code, the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

In consideration of the points listed above, it would be prudent for SD42 to act in accordance with the Precautionary Principle and hard-wire all schools in the district until there is conclusive proof that wireless technology is safe for children. At the very least, one school building in the district needs to be hard-wired only so that wi-fi sensitive children and children whose parents do not consent to exposing them to technology with no long term safety record, have a public school option for their children.



(submitted by Una)

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I'm delighted to announce that the EMR Policy Institute now posts my essay, a primer about electromagnetic radiation. Please distribute it as you deem fit.


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If cell phones were a drug, there would be a system for recording reports of problems

Environmental Health Trust

PO Box 58 Teton Village, WY 83025 http://www.environmentalhealthtrust.org

December 9, 2010

As we prepare for the holiday season, I want to thank you all for what you have done to help make 2010 the best year ever for Environmental Health Trust. It does take a village to promote sensible policies to curb environmental health hazards, and I am very happy that you are part of mine. We have worked with some of the world?s top scientists and local officials ranging from the Mayors of Jackson, Wyoming, Portland, Maine, Philadelphia and San Francisco, to parliamentary leaders or experts in Canada, U.K., Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil and France. To view the Practice Safe Phone video that has made it around the world, click here. Media response to the launch of my new book, Disconnect, has been amazing. Stories covering this work have been among the most emailed in both the New York Times, the Washington Post, and TIME magazine, and also the subject of broad radio and television attention from Australia, Japan, Canada, U.K. and the U.S. We are getting tremendous traction and have provided expert testimony to cities in the U.S. and national governments around the world. CSPAN covered the book?s inaugural Maloy Lecture at Georgetown University?s School of Foreign Service, and the CBC, NPR and many U.S. television and radio stations have provided coverage.

But while our work is already starting to direct public policy, there is still much more that needs to be done. To this purpose, I am writing to ask if you can help us with a remarkable chance to double our funds for two essential programs. An anonymous donor has offered us $75,000 if we can match money that we receive by the end of this year, so that we can support cutting edge research with expert scientists in this country, Brazil and Israel, and develop and provide training materials and programs based on this work. EHT cannot continue to protect you or your loved ones without these essential programs: Critical pilot research projects and public seminars on cell phone science and health will be held at some of the top institutions of the world in San Francisco, London and Boston.

* Hands-on training programs for parents, teachers and students will show how cell phone radiation works and how to reduce it in order to promote responsible and safe cell phone use with local contests to produce posters, stickers, and YouTube videos that spread the word.

We are working with experts, schools, and community groups to hold major events in London, Ottawa, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC. This offer of matching funds gives us a tremendous boost. Most health professionals are unaware of the robust and growing science on cell phone health consequences. It is appalling to realize that the U.S. has a paltry research program underway in this field, despite the massive growth of this technology. If cell phones were a drug, there would be a system for recording reports of problems.

Amazingly, no such system exists today.

Our research teams are prepared to carry out cutting-edge studies that will clarify the ways that cell phone affect children and the rest of us and promote appropriate public health policies and research. These research and major training programs must be carried out and must be begun soon, given the tremendous growth in use of this now universal technology.

We have researchers like Alvaro deSalles, one of the world?s top experts in brain modeling, ready to produce clear compelling models of children?s brains and bodies, and world-renowned epidemiologists like Siegal Sadetzki of Tel Aviv Medical University, whose work sets Israeli government policy, ready to join us in conducting state of the art training programs, promote surveillance programs to understand how cell phones are affecting health today, and conduct workshops at major institutions around the world to promote better understanding of the issues and recruit new scientists to the field.

But, we need the funds to support this work now.

Here at EHT we believe your ability to influence your own future should not be delayed while government, industry or the medical community work to provide conclusive evidence and laws. That can take decades. If you had a chance to prevent a global epidemic from tobacco by galvanizing research and public understanding on its dangers in the 1960s, would you done so? We face a similar situation now with one important difference. Cell phones are revolutionary devices that can save lives, but we must be smart about how we use them.

So, this year, we are focusing on your right to know about how to reduce your exposure to microwave radiation when you use your cell phone. The need for clear, honest consumer information for people buying cell phones grows every day. None of the other issues we?ve worked on has affected such a broad range of people in every corner of the world. Would you allow your children or grandchildren to be part of an uncontrolled experiment while we wait decades to find proof of harms in humans that have already been demonstrated in animals? If you wouldn?t, we?d like to help you understand simple things you can do to reduce the amount of microwave radiation you and your family are exposed to every day when you use your phone. And we need your help in seeing that more and more people become aware that they can lower their risks by taking these simple steps.

A dedicated team of volunteers and I have made real progress this year, exposing the issue to millions across the globe. But we need your help to continue providing information and support free of industry or political influence.

I remind you that the problem we face now is an urgent one. Soon there will be so many using cell phones for so long, we will be unable to study the problem at all. We will have lost all hope of having what science needs for such studies in people?a suitable control group without exposure. That?s why we must advance experimental work on this issue, improve the ability to model the brains and bodies of children, pregnant women, young men who wish to become fathers, and the 98% of all those who have smaller brains and bodies than the big guy model on which all cell phone standards are set today.

Help us to help our scientists and colleagues do what is needed to understand and resolve some of the most vexing and important public health challenges the world has ever faced. With specialists from around the world, including those from nations that have issued precautionary advice to children, like Israel, Finland and France, the Washington Expert Conference that EHT produced last year created a treasure trove of specific research and policy recommendations, and we must act on them now.

My U.S. Senate testimony of last year proposing warning labels on cell phones, a major research agenda, and a one dollar fee on all phones to support that research can still be seen on CSPAN. Since then, important new developments about cell phones and health have taken place in Norway, Australia, France, Israel, Finland and now nationally, in Maine, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and California, making resoundingly clear the value in having EHT?s scope extend from the local to national and international levels.

None of this would have been possible without your support and the tremendous help I?ve received from our largely volunteer staff of Ellie Marks, Director of Government and Public Affairs and Lloyd Morgan, Senior Science Fellow, our talented young energetic staffer, Nasreen Hosein, the counsel of Susan Eriksen-Meier, Rob Stuart of Evolve Strategies and a number of residents and graduate students who believe in what we are trying to do. We are working with a Jackson Action team in Wyoming and have other enthusiastic volunteers from Maine to California who are stepping in to spread the word. We?ve also been able to draw on some of the world?s top experts in the field from Australia, Switzerland, Israel and France. While some of them prefer to remain anonymous, we have recently posted the names of those who are serving as our Scientific Advisory Group. Finally, we are pleased to be working with talented collaborators such as Radiation Research Trust, I?m Too Young for This--young cancer survivors group and Healthy Child, Health World.

During these challenging economic times, raising funds to support research and public outreach remains a very tough sell. Please ask yourself if you can provide something to help us reach our goal so that we can achieve our matching goal of $75,000 by the end of the year. These moneys will allow experts to advance the modeling of the brain of children, support the collection of vital information on children?s uses of cell phones and other wireless devices, promote our hands-on training programs in the schools around the nation to encourage children and teenagers to take simple precautions.

This is not a theoretical hazard?certainly the governments of Finland, France, China and Israel?nations with sophisticated appreciation of microwave radiation?are taking steps. You can help us now by protecting yourselves and donating to us online or through appreciated assets by clicking here.

All donations are anonymous, every donor can contact us to specify which projects or campaigns they'd like to donate to, and we can provide you with receipts for taxing reports. Any questions or comments can be sent to environmentalhealthtrust(at)gmail.com or you can call our office at 202 544 7731.

For my part, I continue to be blessed with good friends, a loving family, and the generous support of strangers and anonymous donors who are helping me to make prevention the cure for cancer and other chronic disease. I remain deeply grateful for your support and wish good health and happiness to you and your families in 2011.

Devra Davis PHD MPH

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