Children pulled from school over Wi-Fi concerns

Maple Ridge News

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Wi Fi Concerns in British Columbia Schools

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)

Essay about EMR

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.


Katie Singer

Informant: Martin Weatherall


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