Medical Association Adopts Recommendations for Best Practices for Safe Technology in Schools  

March 2023 the Santa Clara County Medical Association, in California, adopted comprehensive Recommendations for Best Practices for Safe Technology in Schools in order to educate physicians, school officials and teachers of the complex health risks and potential health hazards of digital and wireless technology in schools. The group examined research on the broad impacts of digital technology including health effects of exposure to wireless radiation, eye effects, mental health effects, and impacts on academic performance. Recognizing the importance of protecting children’s health in all environments, including schools, several recommendations for best practices were advised.  

SCCMA Best Practices Recommendations include

  • Creating a “Safe Tech in Schools Program” to educate students and staff on how to use devices safely and reduce wireless use in the classroom
  • Using blue light reduction methods to reduce eye strain
  • Establishing and promoting school cell phone-free policies
  • Preferring and installing hard-wired ethernet devices instead of wireless wherever possible
  • Consulting with an RF professional who can measure radiofrequency radiation
  • Avoiding installation of smart meters on school premises
  • Considering a policy to restrict installation of cell towers on school property

California and Federal Wireless Telecom Bills 2023:  Big Tech Fast Tracking AB 965 and AB 1065, H.R. 3557

In many states, like California, there has been a relentless push over the last several years to blanket 5G cell towers over broad and beautiful landscapes. Telecom’s promise of connecting everyone to their toasters, webcams, and self-driving cars anywhere at any time, as well as a promise to close the digital divide, appears to have allured and aligned California legislators into passing laws that promote the Telecom agenda. In California 2 telecom bills predominate in 2023. The first, AB 965 (Carrillo) removes more local authority and thoughtful permitting for cities by allowing unlimited batched permits for cell tower placement within a shot clock or they will be deemed approved. This would spell a massive and rapid increase in cell towers throughout California. The second bill,  AB 1065 (Patterson). allows for California funds previously designated for fiberoptic to be used for wireless infrastructure. 

The deliberate industry goal is a “light regulatory framework” in order “to remove regulatory barriers”.  Wireless technology is surely useful and convenient, however, with the massive and intrusive buildout of cell towers on land and in space, long term sustainability factors need to be placed into the equation. These include significant and irreparable harm to the environment from increased energy use, mining of minerals on land and in the ocean with effects on sea life, E waste, harm to wildlife, trees, and bees, as well as harm to public health, human rights violations abroad and harm to children’s mental health. While some laws are wise and promote safer, faster, locally controlled wired fiber, some bills are considered by critics to be a pure and reckless give away to the affluent lobbyist heavy wireless industry. Fiberoptic, not wireless, should be promoted by Telecom, and this appears to be just another broken promise. In addition, legacy copper landlines, which those who are electrosensitive depend on for communication, are planned to be discontinued and some are  petitioning to keep them.

Other states have taken a sharper look at what 5G wireless really means for solving the digital divide, public health, environmental health, privacy and security, with the continuous steam of profitable data collection.  One state, New Hampshire, formed a Commission to study 5G health and Environmental health effects. Kent Chamberlin, a member of the New Hampshire 5G Commission discusses the rationale for one of their recommendations for a 1640 foot setback from cell towers for the protection of public health. Another 5G Commission recommendation states that the State of New Hampshire should “develop RF-radiation safety limits that will protect the trees, plants, birds, insects, and pollinators.” Blake Levitt, Environmental journalist and author speaking about wireless telecommunications in a 2023 wildlife forum notes, It is these exact RFR bands between 30 KHz and 3 GHz used in telecommunications technology that have increased during this period of accelerating wildlife disappearance. No other pollutant has increased in parallel like this.”

New wireless Federal legislation in 2023 is proposed which overrides local authority as well environmental laws as well. After a briefly looking at Federal legislation we will look at current telecom bills from California and the rest of the U.S to compare wireless proliferation bills versus public protection bills and which states opt for open access fiberoptic.  We will also examine European concerns about 5G deployment.

Environmental Health Trust has a useful post and summaries of the congressional bills of concern – CONGRESSIONAL BILLS THAT WILL INCREASE WIRELESS RADIATION. Sept 2, 2023. EH Trust notes, “Pending bills are being promoted under the banners of “streamlining”, “removing barriers to entry”, and “closing the digital divide.” In fact, these bills ignore constitutional protections, conflict with existing federal law, remove states’ rights, and would perpetuate the digital divide. Increasing RF levels across the country will put people, wildlife, and the natural environment at serious risk of harm. Federal accountability and environmental safeguards are needed before allowing unfettered wireless proliferation.

Updated 9/8/23

ICBE-EMF Challenges ICNIRP Standards: New Published Paper on Safety Exposure Standards and Engineering Solutions for Wireless Radiation

“ICBE-EMF’s primary purpose is to make recommendations, based on the best peer-reviewed scientific research publications, that include, and go beyond establishing numerical exposure guidelines [for wireless radiation[. We are dedicated to ensuring the protection of humans and other species from the harmful effects of non-ionizing radiation.” ICBE-EMF

Update 9/15/23


The International Commission on the Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (ICBE-EMF) has just published their much anticipated second peer reviewed paper on wireless radiofrequency radiation(RFR) exposure standards, Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Limits and Engineering Solutions. The ICBE-EMF was recently formed as an independent scientific authority with goals similar to the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation protection (ICNIRP), but with a different perspective. Both address the key issue of safety and exposure standards of non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation from burgeoning wireless devices and infrastructure.  The powerful 12 member ICNIRP, however, is criticized by the ICBE-EMF, among others, for using outdated and flawed criteria, creating exposure standards that are 1) based only on heat 2) Do not consider long term exposure 3) do not take into account sensitive populations 4) do not consider new research into health effects and biological harm at levels that are far below current standards.

ICBE-EMF Workshop at the Royal Society of Medicine June 14, 2023

An ICBE-EMF-Sponsored Workshop was held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on June 14, 2023 and is now available to view online. For links and a summary of the ICBE-EMF talks go here. Separate links are also listed below. Speakers: Dr. David Gee, Dr. Erica Mallory-Blythe, Dr. Kent Chamberlin, Dr. James C. Lin, Dr. John Frank.

Insurance Industry: 5G is an Emerging High Risk Situation Along with Climate Change

Insurance companies typically do not insure harm from radiofrequency radiation (RFR), it is an exclusion in almost all insurance policies. Special pollution insurance is required to cover this. The insurance industry keeps track of relevant emerging risk topics to make sound business decisions to reduce their exposure and costs. In the small town in Langley, in Washington state,  passed a strong but legal wireless facilities ordinance to give as much power as possible back to the city within the legal bounds of the 1996 Telecommunicastions Act (TCA). A provision in their ordinance requires pollution liability insurance . This Oct 2022 article describes the ups and downs of how they did this. 

Wireless Radiofrequency Radiation is an Insurance Risk

Swiss Re is the second largest reinsurance company in the world. In 2013, their Swiss Re Emerging Risk profile listed electromagnetic fields in the highest casualty risk due to “unforeseen consequences” beyond 10 years, similar to asbestos. This distinction is shared with endocrine disruptors and nanotechnology due to their long latency period for harm. 2013- Swiss Re Sonar Insurance Risk Report. Emerging Risk Insights 2013.

Update: Board of Health Issues then Removes Emergency Order for Verizon to Cease and Desist in Pittsfield Massachusetts Cell Tower Battle

In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where author Herman Melville penned Moby Dick while peacefully contemplating the pristine rolling Berkshire Hills, residents have been fighting an imposing cell tower affecting residents health for over 3 years. They argue the cell tower was not permitted properly and has caused severe health symptoms in 17 nearby residents in the town. After careful deliberation the Pittsfield Board of Health agreed with the later and unanimously voted on February 2, 2022 to send to Verizon a cease and desist order to resolve the issue of RF emissions from the large 116-foot monopole antenna complex which abuts a residential neighborhood. The order has been rescinded but the fight continues. This story has taken many turns and twists. It is still not over. The summary begins after the dated events.

Wildlife and Biodiversity: A Disappearing Act by Cell Towers on Land and in Space?

Calling all environmentalists! The most important and thorough peer reviewed article to date on environmental effects of wireless radiofrequency radiation was published in 2021 and deserves a full read. This has been followed by other publications, as well as an eye opening 2023 legal and policy webinar on wireless radiation and wildlife that should be a call to action for all groups interested in biodiversity and planetary health. What do we know about wireless radiation effects on the natural environment? The comprehensive 3 part  review by Levitt, Lai and Manville (2021) provides a wealth of scientific information, connecting the scientific dots of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) harm to all flora and fauna. In a very readable text the authors answer many puzzling questions about this complex subject that combines biology, ecology, technology and physics. A shorter summary article was published in 20222 titled, Low-level EMF effects on wildlife and plants: What research tells us about an ecosystem approach. The authors warn, “It is time to recognize ambient EMF as a novel form of pollution and develop rules at regulatory agencies that designate air as ‘habitat’ so EMF can be regulated like other pollutants.” Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has weighed in as well with comments in 2017 and 2022 on the rewriting of policies on cell tower placement in public land and National parks.

Most of us are aware that human activity has drastically altered the terrestrial and marine environment causing an accelerated decline in species and biodiversity by land degradation, over-harvesting, plastic and chemical pollution, and the extraction and use of fossil fuels.  Environmental scientists all agree that transformative change is necessary in these areas. But what happens to the environment when humans alter the Earth’s previously low-level geomagnetic forces that life evolved harmoniously in? Can cell towers and proliferating 5G satellites impact species that depend on the Earth’s magnetic fields for navigation, foraging, pollination and reproduction? What are the effects on climate change? Read below for links and summaries of the 3 part article.

One of the authors of the article, former USFWS senior wildlife biologist and adjunct professor at john Hopkins University, Albert Manville, explained the critical need to protect birds and bats, impacts from cell towers, wind turbines and solar arrays, as well as research on effects of radiofrequency radiation in My Life for the Birds & Bats. This informative and eye opening talk was sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) for their 26th annual Winter Speaker Series in 2023.

California Telecom Bills Crushing Local Government Control

In the biggest telecom power grab so far to remove local authority in zoning for broadband expansion, California legislators have authored a stack of telecom bills, many of which are poised to benefit industry while overlooking health, safety and environmental consequences, as well as democracy. Big Telecom isn’t messing around anymore. Under the guise of “closing the digital dividein underserved and rural areas after the pandemic, many of the 20 bills are give aways to industry and do not focus attention on safer and more equitable solutions, such as fiberoptic to premises, to expand much needed broadband to all. The Big FourTelecom bills include SB 556 (Dodd), SB 378 (Gonzalez), AB 537 (Quirk), and AB 955 (Quirk). As of Sept 10, 2021 these bills are now on the Governor’s desk and he has until Oct 10th to sign them. Governor Newsom is likely being heavily lobbied by industry and some legislators. The California League of Cities continues to be opposed to at least SB 556 and states, “Despite securing amendments that narrow aspects of the bill to conform with federal law, the measure still undermines local authority and makes no meaningful progress towards closing the digital divide.”

Firefighter Exemptions For Cell Towers

In addition, AB 537 (Quirk) has an exemption for firefighters for placing cell towers on their facilities. Firefighters developed neurologic effects (headaches, fatigue, memory impairment, insomnia) when cell towers were placed on their fire stations thus an exemption was inserted in California bills on cell towers. AB 57 (Quirk 2015) has an exemption on the grounds of health effects. AB 537 (Quirk 2021) also has this exemption and reads, Due to the unique duties and infrastructure requirements for the swift and effective deployment of firefighters, this section does not apply to a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility where the project is proposed for placement on fire department facilities. SB 649 (Hueso, Quirk and Dodd 2018) is a bill similar to currently proposed SB 556 (Dodd 2021) also had a health exemption for firefighters and was vetoed by Governor Brown.   

Updated 11/13/21

UPDATE 10/4/21 Governor Newsom Vetoes SB 556 and signs AB 537, SB 378 and AB 955

Governor Newsom Vetoed SB 556 (Dodd) and signed into law AB 537 (Quirk) . Here is a list of bills signed and vetoed on Oct 4, 2021 with the Governor’s veto message. Here is an Analysis of SB 556 by Best, Best, & Krieger, Attorneys at Law. The California Senate Floor Analysis of SB 556 states,

Opponents raise a variety of concerns associated with this bill. Opponents claim that this bill could have negative consequences for public health, safety, and cybersecurity due to the technologies deployed. Opponents also argue that this bill conflicts with the FCC’s regulations, creates ambiguities about local fees for utility attachments, and limits local governments’ ability to regulate access to public rights of way without enabling local governments to effectively enforce consumer protections. In opposition, the League of California Cities states, “SB 556 directly conflicts with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adopted regulations on wireless services deployment, which cities and counties across the nation are actively implementing. This measure requires local governments to make space available to telecommunications providers without recognizing local authority to manage the public right of way preserved in federal law. FCC regulations explicitly enable local governments to ensure that such installations meet appearance and design standards, maintain traffic safety, protect historical resources’ integrity, and safeguard citizens’ quality of life. To protect the public’s investment, the control of the public rights of way must remain local.”

Mystery Solved: 2020 NAS Report Links Diplomats Neurologic Symptoms from “Havana Syndrome” to Directed Microwave Radiation Similar to Electromagnetic Illness

American scientists have been struggling to unravel the cause of a “mystery illness” for years, after reports of incapacitating neurologic symptoms were experienced in American and Canadian government officials stationed in Cuba in 2016 (AKA-“The Havana Syndrome”), and American diplomats in China in 2018. More recently similar attacks have been reported on U.S. soil and later in 2021 in Vienna. A second 60 Minute episode on the Havana Syndrome airing on February 20, 2022 revealed many more White House officials and family members who suffered attacks on the White House grounds in the last 3 years. Several have developed permanent neurologic symptoms requiring ongoing medical treatment. This variable and perplexing array of symptoms were reported in diplomats, their families, and even their pets intermittently, but usually at night in homes and hotels, with many developing permanent neurologic effects from what physicians termed was a form of “functional brain injury”. Dr. Beatrice Golomb authored an explanation for the mystery illness in her 2018 peer reviewed article, Diplomats’ Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation. The National Academies of Sciences agrees that it is likely to be directed pulsed microwave radiation beams of “energy”. Congress is moving to pass a bill to pay for medical treatment of the brain injuries suffered by U.S. diplomats and their families.

The distinctive symptoms experienced by the victims included severe piercing headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, imbalance, nosebleeds, memory loss, hives, ringing in the ears, loss of eyesight and hearing loss.   Odd sounds such as chirping, ringing, grinding or humming, were also experienced, that were loud, emanated from a distinct direction that appeared to follow the individual and could not be reduced by putting their hands over their ears.  The health effects mirror those of individuals who have developed electrosensitivity (EHS) or electromagnetic illness in the presence of wireless devices such as Wi Fi, Cell Towers and cell phones, which emit pulsed radiofrequency radiation. The National Academy of Sciences in 2020 looked at the evidence and concluded that pulsed radiofrequency radiation is the most plausible explanation for the diplomat’s symptomatology. This is a story of political and medical intrigue that dates back to the 1950’s. 

New Hampshire Commission Studies 5G Technology Health and Environment Effects

The first Commission formed in the United States to study the environmental and health effects of 5G technology released their comprehensive final report November 1, 2020. The Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology was born in the in the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire, and included 15 recommendations addressing the need for public education about wireless hazards, RF health studies, RF measurements, cell antenna setbacks, fiberoptic rather than wireless deployment, commercial warning signs and wildlife protection. After hearing extensive testimony in a series of 13 meetings over the course of a year and reviewing an abundance of research, the Commission highlighted the lack of a single definition for 5G, insufficient evidence of safety for 5thgeneration technology, a concern that safety standards for wireless technologies have not been updated with the latest science and that 5G is largely a marketing concept. They also expressed concern that the FCC has a long history of being accountable to industry over the desires of communities and individuals.

Landmark Lawsuit Successful Against FCC for Failing to Reevaluate 5G and Wireless Safety

A joint lawsuit was won against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed on July 30, 2020 by the Environmental Health Trust and the Children’s Health Defense for failure to protect human health and the environment by dismissing scientific evidence of harm from wireless radiation. The Petitioners challenged the FCC’s refusal to reevaluate and update their 24-year-old radiofrequency (RF) safety guidelines for existing and new telecommunications technologies.  This comes at a time when new lucrative 5G Spectrum is being auctioned and fast tracked in communities.  The lawsuit was won by the Petitioners (EHTrust, CDH and others) as per the DC Court of Appeals Decision on August 13, 2021. The Court stated, Under this highly deferential standard of review, we find the Commission’s order arbitrary and capricious in its failure to respond to record evidence that exposure to RF radiation at levels below the Commission’s current limits may cause negative health effects unrelated to cancer. In the ruling the court returned this decision back to the FCC and ordered the FCC to reexamine its standards for wireless radiation exposure and provide a review of wireless harms that is compliant with the law for non-cancer harms. The decision could be appealed. Oral arguments were heard by the DC  Court of Appeals January 25,2021.

Earlier OTARD (Over the Air Reception Device) Petition Not Successful

Note that another Petition to Review an FCC ruling on wireless antenna placement on homes was filed Feb 26, 2021 by CHD ( CHD vs FCC OTARD) failed. The original FCC OTARD (Over-the air reception devices) ruling allows quick deployment of wireless in neighborhoods and rural areas without permits or notification that was previously required. It preempts sate and local zoning laws, homeowners associations and deed restrictions. For the first time it allows property owners to place antennas for wireless and data services to their neighbors, including 5G.  Scroll down to see the information and extensive testimony and references filed in the OTARD Petition. An Opening Brief was filed6/23/21.