Parents for safer technology in Florida Schools

Parents for safer technology in Florida Schools

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Change needs to take place immediately to secure a safe, radiation-free environment in which our children can grow and learn. Cell tower, routers, access points, classroom devices and personal devices are having a negative impact on our children's health.

Most people are unaware that wireless technology was never tested for long-term safety and that accumulative exposure shows harm. Powerful industrial entities have a vested interest in leading the public to believe that Electro Magnetic Frequencies/Radio Frequency Radiation (EMF/RFR), which we cannot see, taste or touch, is harmless, but this is not true.

Within a school setting there is increasing evidence that excessive exposures to electromagnetic radiation from cell towers and Wi-Fi devices 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 learning or medical problems in the first place. Some children will also develop a syndrome of electro-hypersensitivity, thereby reducing the ability to pay attention and learn. Worldwide, many schools have banned 5G and even Wi-Fi in schools, and are opting for fiberoptic connections which are safer, faster, more reliable, provide greater capacity, and are more cyber-secure.  A technologically safer school fosters academic achievement and staff-well being due to increased immunity, and increased performance. 

Studies have found that wireless radiation can damage reproductive systems, impact the immune system, alter brain function, and increase the risk of cancer. Symptoms can range from headaches, memory problems, dizziness, depression, sleep problems, sperm damage, hormonal changes, lowered immunity, and cancer. Cumulative electro-smog from devices is harmful--regardless if symptoms are present or not--everyone is at risk to long-term damage. In fact, there are thousands of papers that have accumulated over decades, 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. Elderly or chronically ill adults are more vulnerable than healthy adults.  

There is clear and strong evidence that intensive use of cell phones increases the risk of brain cancer, tumors of the auditory nerve and cancer of the parotid gland, the salivary gland in the cheek by the ear. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the radiation from both cell phones and cell towers as a Class 2B “Possible Carcinogen” in 2011. Cell towers use similar radiofrequency radiation as cell phones (in the 1.8 to 5.0 GHz range). The difference between a cell phone and a cell tower-router-access point environment, is that while the cell phone is used only intermittently, and at higher power, a cell tower-router-access point environment is continuous, serving many people at the same time, directing their beam in all directions. Tablets (used in classrooms) reverberating these frequencies nearest to the child, have up to 5 antennas that are constantly emitting short, intense bursts of radiation, even when not connected to the internet.  Thus, a child in a school with a nearby cell towers, routers, access points and WiFi devices, will be exposed every moment he or she is at school.  This is especially the case in a wireless computer classroom, where exposure can be very high. However there will be essentially no exposure in a wired computer classroom. 

5G Wi-Fi will not only utilize the current 3G and 4G wireless frequencies, but also add higher frequencies--submillimeter and millimeter wave--in order to transmit data at high speed (24GHz - 90GHz). 5G lobbyists have passed federal laws to by-pass the state and local governments and push the 5G rollout despite the fact that there is a world-wide call for a moratorium through the International EMF Scientists Appeal to the World Health Organization and United Nations signed by over 240 scientists and doctors appealing 5G based on biological and health effects.  We, as parents, are asserting our concern in our local communities through our schools, with our most important interest in mind: the well-being of our children. We request the following measures to be implemented:

 Safe Technology in Schools

1) Hardwire all devices that connect to the Internet such as computers and tablets.

2) Hardwire all fixed devices such as printers, overhead projectors and boards.

3) Teach students about how to minimize radio frequency radiation exposures.           --Integrate SAFE TECH (education for children on precautionary methods to avoid unwanted exposure) into health curriculum.
   --Explore the politics of the precautionary principle in ethics and debate classes. 

4) Share resources with parents on how to decrease exposures at home.

5) Integrate SAFE TECH into our schools' policy on cellphones/devices from home on school property.

6) Prohibit construction of cellular antennas within 1000 feet (305 m) from school property.

FACTS: 

1. GUIDELINES: Guidelines for microwave radiation (which is what is used in Wi-Fi) range 5 orders of magnitude in countries around the world. The lowest guidelines are in Salzburg Austria and now in Liechtenstein. The guideline in these countries is 0.1 microW/cm2. See short video: (http://videos.nextup.org/SfTv/Liechtenstein/AdoptsTheStandardOf06VmBioInitiative/09112008.html In Switzerland the guideline is 1 and in both Canada and the US it is 1000 microW/cm2! Why do Canada and the US have guidelines that are so much higher than other countries? The exposure levels of the Federal Communications Commission are outdated and do not protect the health of the public, especially of children.  Based on the growing number of scientific publications that are reporting adverse health and biological effects below our “short-term, thermal-based” guidelines (see http://www.bioiniative.org there are a growing number of scientific and medical organizations that are asking for stricter guidelines to be enforced. Our guidelines are based on a short-term (6-minute in Canada and 30-minute in US) heating effect.  Current technologies were designed and promulgated without taking account of biological impacts other than thermal impacts. We now know that there are a large array of impacts that have nothing to do with the heating of tissue, documented at intensities well below those that are able to heat body tissue. See attached report: Analysis of Health and Environmental Effects of Proposed San Francisco Earthlink Wi-Fi Network (2007). These biological effects, perhaps less obvious than full-blown symptoms discussed above, include increased permeability of the blood brain barrier, increased calcium flux, increase in cancer and DNA breaks, induced stress proteins, and nerve damage. Exposure to this energy is associated with altered white blood cells in school children; childhood leukemia; impaired motor function, reaction time, and memory; headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and insomnia. 

2. ELECTRO-HYPER-SENSITIVITY: A growing population is adversely affected by these electromagnetic frequencies. The illness is referred to as “electro-hyper-sensitivity” (EHS) and is recognized as a disability in Sweden. The World Health Organization defines EHS as:
“. . . a phenomenon where individuals experience adverse health effects while using or being in the vicinity of devices emanating electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic fields (EMFs). . . EHS is a real and sometimes a debilitating problem for the affected persons, while the level of EMF in their neighborhood is no greater than is encountered in normal living environments. Their exposures are generally several orders of magnitude under the limits in internationally accepted standards. “
Health Canada acknowledges in their Safety Code 6 guideline that some people are more sensitive to this form of
energy but they have yet to address this by revising their guidelines.
Symptoms of EHS include sleep disturbance, fatigue, pain, nausea, skin disorders, problems with eyes and ears (tinnitus), dizziness, etc. It is estimated that 3% of the population are severely affected and another 35% have moderate symptoms. Prolonged exposure may be related to sensitivity and for this reason it is imperative that children’s exposure to microwave radiation (Wi-Fi and mobile phones) be minimized as much as possible. 

3. CHILDREN’S SENSITIVITY: Children are more sensitive to environmental contaminants and that includes microwave radiation. The Stewart Report (2000) recommended that children not use cell phones except for emergencies. The cell phone exposes your head to microwave radiation. A wireless computer (Wi-Fi) exposes your entire upper body and if you have the computer on your lap it exposes your reproductive organs as well. Certainly this is not desirable, especially for younger children and teenagers. For this reason we need to discourage the use of wireless technology by children, especially in elementary schools. That does not mean that students cannot go on the Internet. It simply means that access to the Internet needs to be through wires rather than through the air (wireless, Wi-Fi).

4. REMOVAL OF WI-FI: Most people do not want to live near either cell phone antennas or Wi-Fi antennas because of health concerns. Yet when Wi-Fi (wireless routers) are used inside buildings it is similar to the antenna being inside the building rather than outside and is potentially much worse with respect to exposure since the source of emission is closer.
Libraries in France are removing Wi-Fi because of concern from both the scientific community and their employees and patrons.
The Vancouver School Board (VSB) passed a resolution in January 2005 that prohibits construction of cellular antennas within 1000 feet (305 m) from school property.
Palm Beach, Florida, Los Angeles, California, and New Zealand have all prohibited cell phone base stations and antennas near schools due to safety concerns. The decision not to place cell antennas near schools is based on the likelihood that children are more susceptible to this form of radiation. Clearly if we do not want antennas “near” schools”, we certainly do not want antennas “inside” schools! The safest route is to have wired internet access rather than wireless. While this is the more costly alternative in the short-term it is the least costly alternative in the long run if we factor in the cost of ill health of both teachers and students.

5. ADVISORIES: Advisories to limit cell phone use have been issued by the various countries and organizations including the UK (2000), Germany (2007), France, Russia, India, Belgium (2008) as well as the Toronto Board of Health and the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (July 2008). While these advisories relate to cell phone use, they apply to Wi-Fi exposure as well since both use microwave radiation. If anything, Wi-Fi computers expose more of the body to this radiation than do cell phones. 

6. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE: Even those who do not “accept” the science showing adverse biological effects of microwave exposure should recognize the need to be careful with the health of children. For this reason we have the Precautionary Principle, which states:
In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capability. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
In this case “States” refers to the School Board and those who make decisions about the health of children. The two most important environments in a child’s life are the home and the school. For this reason it is imperative that these environments remain as safe as possible.

 

It is irresponsible to allow 5G Wi-Fi microwave radiation into a school environment where young children and school employees spend many hours each day. A 21st century classroom must bridge the digital divide so that all students are engaged with technology. Hardwiring for schools and following our Safe Guidelines for Schools allows for full technological access in the classroom while minimizing health risk so that schools and safe technology can work together. We urge you to abandon any plans for wireless communication within our schools and opt for wired technologies in Miami-Dade and Broward School District classrooms

References: 

The Bioinitiative Report 2012

Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Papers Finding Evidence of Harm from Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Published between August, 2016 and July, 2018 Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley which contains 92 papers published in scientific journals during the last two years that report evidence of harm from cell phone radiation exposure.

PowerWatch: 1,670 Peer-Reviewed Scientific Papers on Electromagnetic Fields and Biology or Health

This list is a compilation of citations for 1,670 peer-reviewed scientific papers about electromagnetic fields (EMF) published in scientific journals from 1979 through 2018. The list includes all papers that PowerWatch published on its website as of October 11, 2018.

“5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them” by Dr. Martin Pall

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