“It is essential that any new standard for cell phones or other wireless devices be based on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded throughout their lifetimes.“
Dr. Thomas Mc Inerny, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Sutherland LSC nixes contracts with cellular firms. School votes to not renew cell tower contract. 3/1/22. https://www.beverlyreview.net/news/community_news/article_c7be4104-997a-11ec-9d49-8bc5438dd3e8.html
- On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Non-Ionizing Radio Frequency Radiation: The Case of Digital Technologies in the Home, Classroom and Society. Professor Tom Butler. University of Cork, Ireland. May 2020. https://www.radiationresearch.org/articles/on-the-clear-evidence-of-the-risks-to-children-from-non-ionizing-radio-frequency-radiation-the-case-of-digital-technologies-in-the-home-classroom-and-society/ or 5G Professor Tom Butler On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Non-Ionizing Radio Frequency Radiation or here
- Screen Use Tied to Children’s Brain Development: In a study, preschoolers who used screens less had better language skills. New York Times. Nov 4, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/well/family/screen-use-tied-to-childrens-brain-development.html
- Association of Screen Time and Depression in Adolescence. Boers E et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(9):853-859. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2737909
- Associations Between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children. Hutton J et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(1). https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2754101
- Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance on a Developmental Screening Test. Madigan S et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(3):244-250. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2722666
- Adverse effects of Wi-Fi radiation on male reproductive system: A systematic review. Jaffar FHF et al. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2019;248(3): 169-179. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/tjem/248/3/248_169/_html/-char/en
- Role of Mitochondria in the Oxidative Stress Induced by Electromagnetic Fields: Focus on Reproductive Systems. Santini SJ et al. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018; 2018: 5076271. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6250044/
- Roanoke County school board terminates cell tower agreement. Alison Graham, Roanoke Times, Dec 12, 2019. https://www.roanoke.com/news/education/roanoke-county-school-board-terminates-cell-tower-agreement/article_cff769a0-d0c5-5fbf-9c29-93ebe15bc6ff.html
- This Colorado Middle School Banned Phones 7 Years Ago. They Say Students Are Happier, Less Stressed And More Focused. Nov 5, 2019. Jennie Brundin. CPR News. https://www.cpr.org/2019/11/05/this-colorado-middle-school-banned-phones-seven-years-ago-they-say-students-are-happier-less-stressed-and-more-focused/
- Children Protest Vodafone in Ireland: Children in Ireland Singing Against Plan To Install Cell Tower In School (To Tune of Pink Floyd). Nov 30, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvl2uQwHHSA&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR3qAOLqxrc0WSCAN45iOvqYXCB3SRIZVGCo5XtFRdE1bj3cql_TUj3z0OU
- Across the Board, Scores Drop in Math and Reading for U.S. Students: The latest results from the Nation’s Report Card show declines in student performance across demographics. Oct 30, 2019. Lauren Camera. U.S. News and World Report. https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2019-10-30/across-the-board-scores-drop-in-math-and-reading-for-us-students
- Backlash After State Issues Landmark Best Practices For Digital Device Use In Schools Aimed At Protecting Students From Health Impacts Of Screens. EHTrust. October 25, 2019. https://ehtrust.org/backlash-after-state-issues-landmark-best-practices-for-digital-device-use-in-schools-aimed-at-protecting-students-from-health-impacts-of-screens/
- New Law Asks California Schools To Ban Smartphones In Classroom. AB272. July 8, 2019. CBS News Sacramento. https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/07/08/california-school-smartphone-ban/
- California high school becomes largest public school in the country to ban phones. Aug 20, 2019. KTRK Houston. https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-high-school-becomes-largest-113254629.html
- A California high school found students’ cellphones too distracting, so they’re locking the devices up. Aug 20, 2019. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/education/california-high-school-found-students-cellphones-too-distracting-so-they-n1044636
- ‘Major distraction’: school dumps iPads, returns to paper textbooks. Jordan Baker. March 31, 2019. https://www.smh.com.au/education/major-distraction-school-dumps-ipads-returns-to-paper-textbooks-20190329-p5191r.html
- Cell Tower Removed After 4th Ripon Student Diagnosed with Cancer. March 25, 2019. PST. https://mdsafetech.org/2019/03/25/cell-tower-to-be-removed-after-4th-ripon-student-diagnosed-with-cancer/
- Tech suffers an ’empathy gap,’ California governor Gavin Newsom warns. Stephen Shankland. March 18, 2019. Those who embrace disruption won’t have a business if economic damage means they don’t have any customers. https://www.cnet.com/news/tech-suffers-an-empathy-gap-california-governor-gavin-newsom-warns/
- Whitehouse ,Udall, Gardner, and Cortez Masto Introduce Bill to Put Wi-Fi on School Buses and Help close the Digital Divide. March 12, 2019.Sheldon Whitehouse. https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/whitehouse-udall-gardner-and-cortez-masto-introduce-bill-to-put-wi-fi-on-school-buses-and-help-close-the-digital-divide
- France bans smartphones in school. July 31, 2018. Hamza Shaban. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/31/france-bans-smartphones-school/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d58aff6e9244
- Free Google Wi-Fi transforms rural school buses into rolling classrooms. Trevor Hughes. April2, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/04/02/google-giving-rural-school-bus-riders-free-wi-fi-homework/476899002/
- A Prospective Cohort Study of Adolescents’ Memory Performance and Individual Brain Dose of Microwave Radiation from Wireless Communication. (2018) Forster M et al. Environ Health Perspect. 2018 Jul 23;126(7):077007. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108834/
See Also EHTrust Cell Towers and Schools
Are Wi Fi Systems in Schools Safe?
There has been a worldwide shift in thinking about the safety of the widespread adoption of Wi-Fi systems for internet access in schools as well as excessive digital screen time. The push for digital technology in schools was prompted by 21st Century Learning Initiative , to give students a more authentic learning experience. Initially all school systems were using wired technology in computer lab stations but this was transformed in the last 10 years to all wireless networks. These systems are convenient, however they use similar radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) frequencies as cell phones, cordless phones and microwave ovens. Although at lower power, these microwaves pass through the body and can affect fragile biological processes during development, especially the brain. Children absorb more brain radiation due to thinner skulls and higher water content. Exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation is classified as a Group 2B Possible Human Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the WHO as of 2011. Abundant scientific evidence points to a range of health and environmental injury from RFR.
Health and Psychosocial Concerns
There is a growing concern among parents, teachers and researchers, that children are being exposed to increasing levels of wireless radiation without consideration of adverse consequences. These include long term health effects such as cancer, reproductive and neurologic harm; short term health effects such as headaches, dizziness, poor concentration; memory loss; psychosocial issues including internet addiction, cyberbullyingi, impulse control disorders, distraction, academic decline and loss of empathy; along with serious concerns surrounding privacy, security and targeted commercialization of children. Many community and parent groups have organized to oppose Wi-Fi in local schools, arguing that wiring schools is safer, more secure and cheaper. Expert physicians and scientists have called for precaution advising cell towers and Wi-Fi should not be used in schools and written enlightening and sobering letters. Non profit groups are advising reducing screentime for children.
Continuous exposure to Wi-Fi radiation or a nearby cell tower can cause a generalized stress response which affects various biological systems, especially the nervous system. New research by Meo et al (2018) shows there can be cognitive impairment in children as well from nearby cell towers.
- The German Parliament examined WiFi in 2007 and recommended reducing exposures to WLAN and wireless computers and laptops. They also recommended further studies. Radiation exposure due to wireless Internet-Networks (WLAN). Lower House of the German Parliament [Bundestag] printed matter 16/6117. July 23, 2007. https://www.icems.eu/docs/deutscher_bundestag.pdf
- Germany warns citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi. Independent UK. Sept 7, 2011. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/germany-warns-citizens-to-avoid-using-wifi-5329224.html
- Wifi Ban in Six Schools in Hamburg, Germany Due to EMF Concerns. R Blank. https://www.shieldyourbody.com/hamburg-germany-wifi-ban/?billing_country=USOriginal Article in German- * * *Hamburg legt Pläne für WLAN an Schulen auf Eis – Nov 2014. Quelle: https://www.shz.de/8321086 ©2021. https://www.shz.de/deutschland-welt/wissenschaft-netzwelt/hamburg-legt-plaene-fuer-wlan-an-schulen-auf-eis-id8321086.html?billing_country=US
- Could Germany’s digital education initiative threaten states’ rights? March 15, 2019. DW. https://www.dw.com/en/could-germanys-digital-education-initiative-threaten-states-rights/a-47923536
“Screen Schooled”– Screen Time UP…School Test Scores lower
It is not just Wi Fi, but screen time as well, that is of concern. Lower math and reading test scores have been reported by the 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress, who administered the tests to over 600,000 students across the nation. The publication, Education Weekly, notes that as Screen time has risen test scores have declined. The article highlights the findings of the national survey, which showed that only 1 in 3 American students read proficiently in grades 4 or 8 as of 2019. One person interviewed commented, ““My suspicion rides on the ubiquity of screens and our attempts to make those useful in educating kids, and the concomitant increase in their use outside of school. It could just be that actually technology is not the answer for education, but that it’s sort of the enemy … wearing down the attention span that it takes to develop a sense of reading for pleasure.” Joe Clemens and Matt Miles, veteran teachers and authors of the book “Screen Schooled” , would agree.
The MIT Department of Economics researched the effects of digital technology in schools and published their findings in a report The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military Academy. They found, “Average final exam scores among students assigned to classrooms that allowed computers were 18 percent of a standard deviation lower than exam scores of students in classrooms that prohibited computers. Through the use of two separate treatment arms, we uncover evidence that this negative effect occurs in classrooms where laptops and tablets are permitted without restriction and in classrooms where students are only permitted to use tablets that must remain flat on the desk surface.”
Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers.Sana F et al. Computers and Education. Vol 62, March 2013. “The results demonstrate that multitasking on a laptop poses a significant distraction to both users and fellow students and can be detrimental to comprehension of lecture content.”
Students are Better Off without a Laptop in the Classroom. Cindi May. July 11, 2017. “New research by scientists at Michigan State University suggests that laptops do not enhance classroom learning, and in fact students would be better off leaving their laptops in the dorm during class. Although computer use during class may create the illusion of enhanced engagement with course content, it more often reflects engagement with social media, YouTube videos, instant messaging, and other nonacademic content.” They found students engaged in non-academic purposes 40% of the time and this was negatively associated with final exam scores.
Screen Time and COVID-19
Screen time has been a special concern with only distanced learning online during COVID-19 in 2020. A group called FACTS: Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxic’s Safety, sponsored a webinar called Safe Tech for Kids: What to do about children’s increased use of technology during COVID-19, in May 2020 to address this issue and provide recommendations for the safer use of technology.
Schools, Screens and Covid 19- The Santa Clara County Medical Association examined the effects of children and technology in a compelling 2021 webinar featuring author and addiction specialist Nicholas Kardaras, PhD,LCSW, integrative psychiatrist and author Dr. Victoria Dunckley and two veteran teachers who wrote “Screen Schooled”. This expert panel discussed the harms from excess technology in school and excess screen time in general for kids. Dr. Kardaras provided an insightful and engaging discussion about the increase in depression, anxiety and suicides in kids that he has seen in his practice and associated with an addiction to cell phones, which he describes is a “powerful drug”. Dr. Dunckley expertly discussed emotional dysregulation of children, explaining the science and physiologic response to the excessive use of screens and effects on sleep. Teachers Joe Clemens and Matt Miles gave an eye opening and honest assessment of the impacts of digital technology on children that they have seen in their combined 30 years of educating students, and taking the long view of changes in student behavior, academic success and interpersonal skills. It seems the 21st Century Learning Initiative has some knots to work out. View video.
Autism and Wireless Radiation: Is there a connection?
Neurologic effects from non-ionizing radiation have been documented in the scientific literature both in basic science and clinical/epidemiologic studies. We know autism is rising and not just due to increased diagnosis or genetics. One environmental factor that has been suggested is wireless radiation from our devices and infrastructure such as cell towers. Harvard professor Dr. Martha Herbert and Cindy Sage, have published Part 1 and Part 2 of an article “Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a Pathophysiological Link“, examining this issue in depth. Peter Sullivan, a Silicon Valley engineer and software designer, whose children have had autism symptoms, discusses his education discovering contributors to autism including wireless radiation in this video. His presentation at an autism conference reviews common pathways of pathology, total toxic load and what steps he took to improve the neurologic symptoms in his children. Mr. Sullivan founded Clear Light Ventures and has become an advocate for wired classrooms highlighting the mental and physical health reasons for reducing wireless radiation in classrooms as well as homes. He provides tips for families to reduce exposures in the home in this truly enlightening Video.
Insurance Companies Say Wireless Technology Is Not Safe: Why Don’t Schools?
Insurance companies typically do not insure harm from radiofrequency radiation (RFR), it is an exclusion in almost all policies. Special pollution insurance is required to cover this. The insurance industry keeps track of relevant emerging risk topics to make sound business decisions. Swiss Re is the second largest reinsurance company in the world. In their 2013 Swiss Re Emerging Risk profile they 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 health effects. In their 2019 New Swiss Re Emerging Risk Insights 5G is listed as an emerging concern in the high risk category within 3 years. Included in the high risk trends, are artificial intelligence and the existential threats of climate change.
The liability concerns prompted J.M. Pearce to write a peer reviewed article in 2020, “Limiting liability with positioning to minimize negative health effects of cellular phone towers”. He summarizes the current research on the negative human health effects from proximity to cellular phone base stations, current law, and recommends precautionary cell phone base station positioning. The author states,” “that deployment of base stations should be kept as efficient as possible to minimize exposure of the public to RFR and should not be located less than 500 m from the population,” highlighting the need for lower exposures near schools and hospitals.
Letter from Lawyers Committee on Wireless Radiation and Children’s Health regarding federal and state policies mandating safe learning environments in schools. Winter 2022. https://www.techsafeschools.org/_files/ugd/2cea04_9edd62aa69d7475d87fc4ef20d56348a.pdf
Letter to Portland Oregon Schools 3/23/19 Letter Portland Schools SB 283 3:23:19 from Cindy Russell,MD PDF
Dr. Ronald Powell has summarized this very well in his letter here- Dr. Ronald Powell 2015 Message on Wireless Technology in Public Schools. Other letters from physicians and scientists regarding Wi Fi in schools are here
Letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the FCC- AAP Letter to FCC regarding Reevaluation of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields and Safety Standards 2013
Letter from American Academy of Environmental Medicine 11/14/13 on Wi Fi in schools. AAEM letter Wi Fi in Schools 2013
Letter from Andrew Goldsworthy, PhD, on the Hazards of Wi Fi in schools. Nov 2011. Wi Fi in Schools 2011
Declaration of Andrew Goldsworthy regarding Portland Public Schools. 2011. United States District Court District of Oregon Portland Division
Reykjavik Appeal on wireless technology in schools states, “Supporting wired educational technologies is a safer solution than potentially hazardous exposures from wireless radiation. We ask you to follow the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle and Council of Europe Resolution 1815 to take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to RFR.”
Nicosia Declaration on electromagnetic Fields/Radiofrequencies Position Paper. Nov 2017. Cyprus Medical Association, Vienna/Austria Medical Association, Cyprus national Committee on Environment and Children’s Health.
Tech Safe Schools.org
A new resource for parents and educators is Safe Tech Schools, a nonprofit group that offers educational videos, letters, legal information and expert information reduce WiFi in classrooms.
Legal Obligations of Schools
*Letter from Lawyers Committee on Wireless Radiation and Children’s Health regarding federal and state policies mandating safe learning environments in schools. Winter 2022. https://www.techsafeschools.org/_files/ugd/2cea04_9edd62aa69d7475d87fc4ef20d56348a.pdf
Videos from Tech Safe Schools
The Case for Tech Safe Schools. February 21, 2021. Tech SafeSchools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kbRfL7IJfg
The Legal Imperative for Schools Regarding Wireless Radiation. March 10, 2021. Panel of expert attorneys. TechSafeSchools. . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntxqwl-nO-s&t=3s
The Science Behind the Safe Schools Project. March 15, 2021. Dr. Paul Heroux, Dr. Toril Jelter and Devra Davis,PhD, MPH. Tech Safe Schools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjMtSJ-w1OM
Reducing Wireless Radiation in Schools. March 29, 2021. Doug Wood and Mitch Marchand. Tech Safe Schools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UAReRZTP-Y&t=1s
Getting Through to Schools About Wireless Radiation. Patti Wood and Julian Gresser. June 4, 2022. TechSafeSchools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTLmV4bKZ6M
Do Your Own School Science Experiment on Wi Fi or Cell Phones!
Science Buddies Michelle Maranowski, PhD, and Sabine De Brabandere, PhD have developed a school science project that looks at cell phone radiation emissions. The goal is “To investigate if your cell phone emits electromagnetic radiation when making a phone call or sending a text message, and to determine the level of radiation at varying distances.” For details visit Science Buddies Science Project, Does Your Cell Phone Radiate? Measuring Cell Phone Electromagnetic Radiation? https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Elec_p068/electricity-electronics/measuring-cell-phone-electromagnetic-radiation
Pioneers of Sacopee High School Science
Video of Experiment in English. Sacopee Valley 8th grade science class tested the effects of Wi Fi radiation on seedling growth with time lapse video. Results are telling. They will do repeat experiments to validate the results. Video Uploaded Nov, 2019 . This was inspired by Danish teens who were wondering why they felt better and had better concentration when they did not sleep with cell phones next to their heads. They set up an experiment in 2013 looking at germination of cress seeds half of which were placed near Wi Fi routers versus controls and found that the seeds in the trays near the routers failed to grow. See also Environment and Wildlife Effects of RFR, including plants at https://mdsafetech.org/environmental-and-wildlife-effects/
- WiFi in Schools Full Compendium Letters prior to 2016–Wi Fi in Schools Letters
- Wi-Fi Health Effects Scientific Literature at Wi-Fi Health Effects Science
- Nervous System Effects of Wireless Radiation Scientific Literature at https://mdsafetech.org/nervous-system/
- National Toxicology Program on Cell Phones and Cancer 2018 at NTP Study on Cell Phones and Cancer or
- Cell Tower Health Effects Scientific Literature at PST Cell Tower Health Effects Science
- Addiction to Technology at https://mdsafetech.org/technology-addiction/
- Wi Fi In Schools: Are We Playing it Safe With Our Kids? Dr. Cindy Russell Wifi In Schools SCCMA Article
- WiFi In Schools, Health Risks And Solutions. Environmental Health Trust.
- Schools Removing Wi Fi and Reducing Exposure- EHTrust Schools removing Wi Fi
- Eye Effects of Digital Technology at PST Eye Effects of Digital Technology
- Environmental Health Trust at EHTrust.org
- Tech Safe Schools– https://www.techsafeschools.org/
- Wi Fi In Schools- Wi Fi in Schools.Com
- Wi Fi in Schooks UK- Wi Fi in Schools UK
- Parents for Safe Technology- Parents for Safe Technology
- Fairplay; Childhood Beyond Brands-Fairplay; Childhood Beyond Brands
- Children’s Screen Time Action Network- Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Continue to scroll below for a list of Research, Advisory Boards, Policies and Video Testimony regarding Wi-Fi in schools and cell towers in schools.
Why is Wi Fi in Schools a Concern?
Children’s Nervous Systems Are Not Fully Developed
This is a critical issue as children are not fully developed, especially with regards to their brain and nervous system connections. Children’s reproductive systems are also at risk with close exposure to wireless devices. Pediatrician, Dr. Lisa Thornton discusses health impacts and concerns with cell phones. Some schools, especially in Switzerland and Germany, are moving toward fiberoptic and wired systems to protect both the health of as well as the privacy of students. Many schools in the U.S. are beginning to prohibit cell phone use of students during school hours. Universities and law schools are banning the use of laptop computers in class due to distraction. Despite these efforts many K-12 schools in the United States embrace and are expanding wireless and online technologies, including in charter schools. The Environmental Health Trust has complied a list of government, health agency and school policies to reduce EMR exposure in public spaces. International Actions on Wireless Radiation
FCC Safety Guidelines for Wireless Radiation are Outdated
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for RF EMR are based on a short 30 minute exposure to a device and do not take into account cumulative long term health effects, additive effects of multiple devices, synergistic effects with other toxic exposures, and sensitive populations such as those with chronic illness or electrosensitivity. FCC safety guidelines are also based only on heat and not biological effects identified in research studies. Scientists worldwide who have studied radio frequency radiation have called for reevaluation of the outdated safety standards set by the FCC in 1996 with the passage of the Telecommunications Act.
Dr. Martin Pall has collected a list of 170 reviews showing non-thermal effects which are not considered relevant by the FCC, who determines harm only from thermal heating of tissue- here.
Cindy Sage (BioInitiative Report) has compiled another list of Low-level effects from RFR and listed effects and measurements of RFR- here.
Schools Average Radiation Levels Rather Than Considering Peaks
Schools such as those in New Zealand and Los Angeles have measured RF radiation and say the levels are far below government guidelines. They, however, average the RF levels, and have not considered peak “modulated” spiked pulsations, which are the most biologically harmful. Consider that a peak pulse can be like a fighters punch leading to brain injury. The duration of the punch may be short but the tissue injury is great and lasting. Averaging the time in the ring with small punches to the time the fateful punch was delivered makes it seem safe. These long term effects of constant pulsed (modulated) manmade radio frequency radiation on brain cells, our reproductive systems and metabolism have not been considered and averaging veils the true harm. The Los Angles Unified School District Radiofrequency Report written by URS dated February 2013 states that they recommend low EMF to “0.1 μW/cm2 taken as a whole-body, time- averaged value,” The issue again is that the peak values which are harmful are not conisdered or many ntimes not even measured.
LAUSD Radiofrequency Evaluation Reports: Office of Environmental Health and Safety . All Reports.
Brown vs Board of Education- Electrosensitivity Accomodation
Teacher Laurie Brown developed a broad range of electrosensitivity (EHS) symptoms in 2015 after Wi Fi was upgraded at Millikan Middle School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. These symptoms included “hronic pain, headaches, nausea, itching, burning sensations on her skin, ear issues, shortness of breath, inflammation, heart palpitations, respiratory complications, foggy headedness, and fatigue.” LAUSD allegedly refused to accommodate her in returning to the classroom in a manner that would reduce her symptoms thus she filed a lawsuit stating she has a “physical disability” under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) which was not accomodated. In February 2021 a California Appeals Court ruled in favor of Laurie Brown. JML Law who represented Laurie Brown stated that this lawsuit ,”Brown v. LAUSD , establishes that symptoms of ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ a.k.a. ‘Microwave Sickness’ could be deemed a ‘physical disability’ under the FEHA.”
Wi Fi on Buses: A New Business Opportunity or Long Term Health Hazard?
Google provided free Wi Fi on school buses in Denver in 2018, expanding their “Rolling Study Halls” to children who they state may not have access to unlimited high speed internet at home. For these programs districts provide laptops and a tutor during the commute.
Other businesses are now springing up to place Wi Fi “hot spots” on school buses, aiming to 1) Keep kids quiet and occupied 2) Do after school homework 3) Retain bus drivers. 4) Decrease bus behavior incidents. Kajeet, is one such company, founded in 2003 that offers schools Wi Fi on buses. They state on their website that it is a shared responsibility to keep kids connected to the mobile world. Although this sounds like a laudable goal, could there be psychological, health or privacy consequences to this move?
Health Impacts of Wi Fi on Buses
- Closer Exposure: Kids have these tablets on their laps with the wireless radiation close to sensitive developing reproductive organ systems, and not at a safer distance i.e. greater than the 20 cm from the body recommended by the FCC. There are not only biological effects of this radiation that passes through the body, but also unsafe heat effects.
- Higher Ambient Levels of Radiation: Wi Fi in a vehicle is much higher radiation levels. The metallic enclosure acts as a resonator. Studies have shown higher levels of RFR with cell phone use in a car. Similarly, use of a cell phone in an elevator (with metal casing) significantly elevates the levels of exposure due to reflection of the RFR. Many references discuss this issue of reflection of RFR from metal.
- Children are a Vulnerable Population: Because children bodies and brain are still developing they are much more sensitive to toxic exposures such as chemicals as well as Radiofrequency Radiation from phones or Wi fi sources.
- Development of Electrosensitivity: There is no consideration for those who may be electrosensitive or develop electrosensitivity with increased cumulative exposure. Like an allergy if one person has these symptoms (headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, etc then the Wi Fi and cell phones of students must be turned off.
- Technology Addiction and Psychosocial Development: As kids are increasing connected to the internet and wireless devices at school (and home), there is concern that this will cause psychological disturbances and contribute to depression, anxiety, personality changes, social phobia and poor interpersonal skills. It may also affect learning long term as described in Chicago Review Press of Screen Schooled.
- Excessive Screen Time and Impairment of Brain Structure and Function: Integrative Psychiatrist Dr. Victoria Dunckley shares research on brain studies of those who are internet addicted. Gray matter is reduced and there is loss of integrity of white matter in the brain. In addition, cognitive functioning is reduced and dopamine levels in the brain are altered.
- Excessive Screen Time and Eye Health: According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology , physicians are seeing an increase in dry eye symptoms in children due to excessive screen time. There has also been a dramatic rise in myopia. Computer vision syndrome with blurred vision from overuse of screens is another concern. They now recommend tips for children— *Alternate reading an e-book with a real book and encourage kids to look up and out the window every two chapters. *Avoid using a computer outside or in brightly lit areas, as the glare on the screen can create strain*Use good posture when using a computer and when reading.*Remind them to blink when watching a screen. This does not even consider the effects of lifelong RFR exposure on cataract formation or other adverse eye effects from digital technology.
- Children’s Privacy: Educational games such as Leapfrog have been exposed for the ease of hacking and threats to children’s privacy and security. The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has advocated for protection of children’s online data which has been commercialized and used inappropriately. Data Privacy Monitor tracks violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Violations have occurred with Google, Apple, Disney, Nickelodeon, Amazon and others.
Schools are Removing Wireless, Returning to Wired Connections and Banning Cell Phones
Many schools in Europe take a precautionary approach and have removed Wi-Fi. In France, Israel and Austria Wi-Fi is banned in schools in preschools and the younger grades. For a full list of schools visit EHTrust.org -Schools Removing Wi-Fi. In addition schools are also banning cell phones from schools and classrooms to remove distractions from learning and reducing psychosocial issues from excess use of cell phones. In 2018 French lawmakers passed legislation banning students from preschool to middle school from bringing smartphones and tablets to school. They are required to turn them off if they do have them. The law aims to protect students from addiction and distraction as well as to guard the learning environment. The Washington Post wrote this- France bans smartphones in school. The Guardian posted this article- France to ban mobile phones in schools from September 2018 .
A 2022 Public School Review noted that cell phones have been an increasingly negative disruption in schools. Parents objections due to safety reasons are inaccurate. They stated, “Ringing cell phones can disrupt classes and distract students who should be paying attention to their lessons at hand. Text messages have been used for cheating. And new cell phones with cameras could be used to take photos of exams, take pictures of students changing clothes in gym locker areas, and so on.”
Banning Cellphones In Wisconsin Classrooms Reduced Distraction
In the start of the 2018 school year in Wisconsin several school district began enforcing a ban on the use of cell phones on campus during academic school hours. Staff found it significantly reduced distractions and along with that the constant disciplinary issue. One teacher commented, “The phones are not their preoccupation. They know they can’t have the phones in the classroom. If that had been the case years ago, we wouldn’t have needed the policy.”
San Mateo California Use Magnetic Pouches to Quiet Cell Phones
The San Mateo School District in California decided to try a slightly different approach to enforcing a cell phone ban. In 2019 students were asked to turn off their cell phones and put them in a pouch with a magnetic lock closure. The students keep their cell phones with them and when they leave the classroom or in an emergency they simply swipe the phone over a magnetic dish and the pouch opens instantly. The Yondr device has been given a thumbs up by teachers and students.
California Law Bans Cell Phones in Schools in 2019
July 2019 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 272 which asks all county offices of education, and charter schools to come up with smartphone policies to limit or prohibit student use at school. Exceptions are made for emergency use, medical need or for specific educational need. New California Law Bans Cell Phones in Schools.
Safe Living Technology Explains Levels of Radiofrequency Radiation From a Tablet
Personal exposure to tablets have significant levels of Radiofrequency Radiation. Safe Living Technologies explains the levels of RF exposure at the FCC recommended distance of 20cm. Microwave Radiation Exposure produced by iPad 1080p
On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Non-Ionizing Radio Frequency Radiation:
The Case of Digital Technologies in the Home, Classroom and Society by Professor Thomas Butler, Cork, Ireland
Professor Thomas Butler from the University College Cork, Ireland, has written a short but powerful research review regarding WiFi in schools. He notes that the military knew well before the 1960’s that there were adverse non-thermal effects of this RF wireless non-ionizing radiation. Physicists have denied this arguing the mechanism from harm is not like ionizing radiation where electrons are removed from their orbit. This argument has been solidly refuted in the scientific literature. A growing body of research demonstrates other mechanisms of biologic harm with membrane effects, oxidation and resonance effects. Professor Bulter warns,“Parents, educators and governments should be alarmed, be better informed, and take immediate and appropriate action.” The paper offers practical advice on how the risks to children, and indeed adults, can be minimized by reducing exposure to RF radiation.
Wi Fi In Schools: Australia
Safe and Smart Technology for Your Kids
This short video from Wi Fi in Schools Australia explains the concerns for children and which schools have recommended removing Wi Fi in schools. They review the recommendations by ARPNSA, The Australia Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. They conclude “Let’s protect children from wireless until long term studies show this technology to be safe.” Safe and Smart Technology for Kids– https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=GJPTzaNkcUk&feature=emb_logo
Germany Recommended No Wi Fi in 2007
The Germany Ministry and its official radiation protection body advised citizens in 2007 to use conventional wired connections and landlines to avoid personal overexposure to Wi Fi. This supported Sir William Stewart’s report, warning on long term effects of wireless radiation, particularly for children. Mobile Phones and Health, Report of an Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones is available online at www.iegmp.org.uk
China Bans Cell Phones in Schools to Protect Children’s Eye’s
Because of the growing evidence for the risk of eye damage from digital screens and concerns with myopia China has banned cell phones from classrooms. See China Bans Smart Phones in Schools . The Ministry of Education and the National Health Commission has banned the use of cell phones and tablets in classrooms in Shandong province and asked parents and teachers to:
- Not rely on electronic devices for teaching and assignments and use written assignments
- Limit children’s use of electronic screens not more than one hour a day and not exceed 15 minutes in a single session
- Keep proper distance from eyes and screes
- Have correct reading positions
- Have sufficient backlighting
See Also Eye Effects of Digital Technology at https://mdsafetech.org/eye-effects/
France Bans Smartphones in Schools to Reduce Distraction
French lawmakers in 2018 passed legislation banning students from 3 to about 15 from bringing smartphones and tablets to school and if they have them they are required to be turned off. Officials have stated that this is to reduce distractions from the phones, help prevent phone addiction and protect students. of the new rule described the policy as a way to shield children from addictive habits and to safeguard the sanctity of the classroom. An employment law in France, passed in 2017, requires French companies with more than 50 employees to develop policies to limit work-related technology usage outside the office in order to reduce work-retalted stress..
Palo Alto Unified School District Opposes Cell Towers near Schools
A 2018-2019 Resolution by the Palo Alto Unified School District “opposes the siting of future cellular facilities on or in close proximity to schools to ensure individuals, especially children, are protected from the potential negative effects associated with radiation exposure; and…supports…establishing local municipal zoning setback rules of 1500 feet or more from an operating wireless transmitter and a school site.” The resolution can also viewed here – Palo Alto Unified School District Resolution on Cell Tower setbacks 2019.
The Collaborative for High Performing Schools Best Practices for Low EMF
In the United States, The Collaborative for High Performing Schools developed criteria and policies for schools to improve student performance through improved building design. This includes reduction of chemicals, low energy use, water reduction, along with a section on Best Practices for Low EMF in 2014. This well researched and well written policy document includes recommendations as follows:
- Provide wired Local Area Networks (LAN) throughout the school
- Disable wireless transmitters on all Wi Fi enabled devices
- Laptops and notebooks have ethernet port and switch to disable wireless
- Keep computers and tablets away from the body
- Hardwire all phones
- Prohibit cell phones and other personal wireless devices in the classroom
- Prohibit cell phone towers and base stations on school buildings or property
- Run conduits for future fiberoptic connections
New Jersey Education Association Advises Lowering EMF in Schools
The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) in September 2016 wrote guidelines for their schools explaining the potential harm from non ionizing radiation emitted from wireless devices and use of digital technology. NJEA offers precautionary advice. They include recommendations to minimize
- Repetitive Strain
- Neck and back Pain
- Blurred vision and headache
- Altered sleep patterns
- Radiation exposure from devices by hardwiring computers, printers, phones, projectors and boards classrooms
Ashland Public Schools “Best Practices for Mobile Devices”
Ashland Public Schools in Massachusetts adopted a “Best Practices for Mobile Devices” policy in 2015 after reviewing the research on EMR. The effort was lead by Cece Doucette who initially worked on funding to get Wi Fi and wireless devices in the school system. After learning of the potential health hazards she became an advocate to remove Wi-Fi in schools. Here is the Ashland poster placed in each school room Best Practices to Reduce EMR. The “Best Practices” policy includes the following recommendations.
- Turn off the device when not in use
- Turn Wi-Fi on only when needed
- Always place the mobile device on a solid surface
- Viewing distance should be a minimum of 12 inches from the screen
- Specific product information guides are available through the IT department
- Staff members should regularly remind and instruct students in using best practices in regards to mobile devices
Safe Tech for Kids: What to do about children’s increased use of technology during COVID-19
School will be starting online for most schools in the Fall of 2020 due to COVID. Do you have any concerns about your children using technology even more, now with the COVID -19 pandemic? Are you wondering how to protect children’s mental and physical health with digital and wireless technology? Here is a talk, Safe Tech for Kids, you may want to watch.
FACTS: Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxics Safety along with Environmental Health Trust and the Jonas Children’s Environmental Health Fund sponsored a talk in May, 2020, Safe Tech for Kids, on the increased use of technology during COVID-19, discussing precautions and recommendations to reduce risks, create healthy boundaries around screen time and promote safer use of technology for families to protect children’s mental and physical health. Nicole Warwick, an educational psychologist and environmental health advocate and co-founder of FACTS moderated the talk. Speakers include Cindy Russell MD, executive director of Physicians for Safe Technology, speaking on the adverse health effects of wireless technology and blue light; Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust, discussing regional and international policy on Wi-Fi in schools; Lendri Purcell co-founder of FACTS, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth, discussing best practices for technology use.
SPEAKERS for Safe Tech for Kids
Dr Cindy Russell’s talk begins at 5:09. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRplet6S4MM
Theodora Scarato’s talk begins at 26:40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRplet6S4MM
Lendri Purcell’s talk begins at 48.35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRplet6S4MM
RESOURCES for Safe Tech for Kids
Resources from the talk are at FACTS for Action and include the following:
Wi Fi School Toolkit- Environmental Health Trust– https://ehtrust.org/wifi-in-schools-tool-kit/
Burt Wolf Travels and Traditions – PBS Series- The Dangers of Wi-Fi Radiation. April 19, 20219. Burt and his family traveled around the world to look at the increased use of wireless technology from cell phones, to smart meters, to blood pressure monitors to pajamas. Despite the wonders of wireless technology he highlights WiFi’s negative effects on children, families and society and the promotion of this technology for profit without consideration of adverse effects such as digital addiction, neurologic effects,. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf-Efnk7g4k
Resources from talk
Book recommendation- “Screen Schooled” by veteran teachers Joe Clemens and Matt Miles, who have witnessed and document the changes in behavior and learning with the introduction of digital technology, recommending a more balanced approach to learning.
PST Safety Tips for Wireless Technology -English and Spanish
Physicians for Safe Technology Home Page
PST Executive Summary
PST Links and Resources (Books)
PST Scientific Literature on Eye Effects and Blue Light
PST Scientific Literature on Nervous System Effects
PST Scientific Literature on Electrosensitivity
PST Scientific Literature on Cancer
PST Scientific Literature on Reproductive Health
PST Scientific Literature on military and Government Reports
Resources shared by Theodora Scarato:
Dr. Moskowitz at UC Berkeley: Tips to REduce Wireless RAdiation
Environmental Health Trust Resources on Safe Technology
EHT How To Set Up A Low EMF Computer WorkStation
Harvard Press Investigation on Cell Phone Radiation
Resources shared by Lendri Purcell:
Jonas Philanthropies Children’s Environmental Health Grantees
Resources shared by Nichole Warwick:
American Psychological Association Recommendations Promoting Healthy Technology Use for Children
Psychology Today 9 Important Technology Rules for Children
Massachusetts Board of Health on Wi fi in Schools
CeCe Doucette, Founder and Communications Director for Wireless Education, Speaks at the Massachusetts Board of Health on Radio Frequency Radiation, June 26, 2018
Cede Doucette, former school technology officer, provides expert testimony at the Ashland, Massachusetts Board of Health, on health effects of wireless radiation emitted from a variety of devices we are now continuously surrounded by. She explains how she now promotes turning off the wireless technology during class to reduce children’s exposure to electromagnetic frequencies that have been shown to cause long term harm to biological systems. Ashland Schools now have a Best Practices protocol to reduce wireless radiation in the classroom in simple ways. Now Mz Doucette is asking to have Ashland schools remove Wi Fi entirely from Ashland schools and go to safer wired connections. She has created a web based training program on EMR for schools, businesses and the public at Wireless Education.org.
Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council
In December 2016 the MCEHPAC issued a “Wifi Radiation in Schools in Maryland Final Report”. This state agency is tasked with identifying environmental health issues that impact children and to protect them from exposure to environmental hazards. Under their state code Md. Code Ann., Health-General §13–1506, their responsibilities include
- Gather and disseminate information to the public, including the research and medical communities, community–based organizations, schools, and State agencies, on how to reduce, treat, and eliminate children’s exposures to environmental hazards to further the public’s understanding of the environmental hazards that may potentially affect children;
Recommend uniform guidelines for State agencies to follow to help reduce and eliminate children’s exposure to environmental hazards, especially in areas reasonably accessible to children…
After gathering abundant testimony, including that of former IARC member Dr. Anthony Miller, the Advisory Board for Marland Children’s Health and with transparent discussion the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council Report recommendations include
- Formally petition the FCC to revisit the exposure limits to wireless radio frequency radiation
- Consider using wired devices in those already wireless and design classrooms with wired connections.
- Have children place devices on desks to serve as barrier between the device and children’s bodies.
- Teach children to turn off WiFi when not in use.
- Consider placing routers as far away from students as possible.
San Francisco Educators Pass Resolution Calling For Safer Technology Standards For All San Francisco Schools
The United Educators of San Francisco passed a resolution on June 25, 2018 calling for precaution in use of wireless technology at their schools. A local educator, Sarah Aminoff, cited abundant research indicating a risk for neurologic harm from non-ionizing radiation we are now routinely exposed to.
The SF Resolution calls for:
- A discussion of the California Department of Public Health Guidelines
- Development of best practices for mobile devices to reduce exposures
- Distributing CDPH guidelines
- Posting RF guidelines in every classroom
United Educators of San Francisco Webinar on Technology Safety in Schools 2018
Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust, and Dr. Cindy Russell, Executive Director of Physicians for Safe Technology, held a webinar for the United Educators of San Francisco in November 2018 on the use of wireless technology in schools. They discussed not only the scientific evidence of harm from radio frequency emissions and overuse of technology but also wired alternatives used in other schools. International precautionary policies were reviewed and recommendations were given to * Hardwire classrooms *Ban cell phones in classrooms * Turn all wireless devices on airplane mode when not in use * Keep wireless devices away from the body * Reduce or eliminate white board use *Ban cell towers near schools * create a sleep sanctuary for kids without wireless devices. These measures will better protect the short and long term health of students and improve performance scores.
Epidemiology Answers show on Wi Fi in Schools with EH Trust Executive Director Theodora Scarato Epidemiology Answers- EMF’s and Children’s Health
Grassroots Environmental Education Guidelines for Safer Use of Wireless Technology in Classrooms
Grassroots Environmental Education, based in new York and dedicated to educating the public about a variety of environmental health risks, has developed a one page handout which clearly details several steps schools can take to reduce exposure and reduce risks to children. They base their recommendations on the Precautionary Principle. http://grassrootsinfo.org
Russian Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: Children and Teens
The Russian Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, whose scientists have studied and known the significant risks of radio frequency radiation for decades, published a report in 2008 with a dire warning for reducing exposures to protect future generations from harm- Summary- Russion Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection 2008 Report–
The researchers who contributed to this report provided a sobering discussion about the long term health effects, including cancer, especially in children who are continuously exposed to wireless radio frequency radiation.
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection states the following Health hazards are likely to be faced by children mobile phone users in the nearest future:
- disruption of memory
- decline of attention
- diminishing learning and cognitive abilities
- increased irritability
- sleep problems
- increase in sensitivity to the stress
- increased epileptic readiness
Expected (possible) remote health risks: brain tumors, tumors of acoustical and vestibular nerves (in the age of 25-30 years), Alzheimer’s disease, “got dementia”, depressive syndrome, and the other types of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (in the age of 50 to 60).
The members of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection emphasize ultimate urgency to defend children’s health from the influence of the EMF of the mobile communication systems. We appeal to the government authorities, to the entire society to pay closest attention to this coming threat and to take adequate measures in order to prevent negative consequences to the future generation’s health.”
The full report is here- “Electromagnetic Fields From Mobile Phones: Health Effect on Children and Teenagers” 2011.
The Council of Europe 2011: Resolution 1815 Calls for Precaution
In 2011 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed Resolution 1815 calling on governments to ‘take all reasonable measures’ to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields to preserve the environment and reduce environment-related health issues.
The European Council states, “The Assembly regrets that, despite calls for the respect of the precautionary principle and despite all the recommendations, declarations and a number of statutory and legislative advances, there is still a lack of reaction to known or emerging environmental and health risks and virtually systematic delays in adopting and implementing effective preventive measures. Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.”
The European Council Resolution 1815 is here “The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment 2011″
- Reconsider the scientific basis for the present standards on exposure to electromagnetic fields set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which have serious limitations, and apply ALARA principles, covering both thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation;
- Develop within different ministries (education, environment and health) targeted information campaigns aimed at teachers, parents and children to alert them to the specific risks of early, ill-considered and prolonged use of mobiles and other devices emitting microwaves;
- For children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises;
- Pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network
- In order to reduce costs, save energy, and protect the environment and human health, step up research on new types of antenna, mobile phone and DECT-type device, and encourage research to develop telecommunication based on other technologies which are just as efficient but whose effects are less negative on the environment and health;
- Make the transparency of lobby groups mandatory
Catholic English Teachers Association in Ontario
OECT calls for a ban on Wi-Fi in Schools (2012) Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association Urges Ban. After much deliberation their policy document was developed in 2012 to support removing Wi Fi from schools Position regarding health effects of non-ionizing radiation- Ontario Catholic Teachers Association(OECTA )
Cell Towers on or Near Schools
New 2019 Study Shows Nearby Cell Tower Radiation Harms Children’s Brains
A recent case controlled 2 year scientific study examining the neurologic effects of children, aged 13-16, in schools with a nearby cell towers revealed significant decline in cognitive scores when the radiation was higher but still at non-thermal levels. Students in School 1 (124 students) were exposed to cell tower radiation at 2.010 µW/cm2 at a frequency of 925 MHz for 6 hr a day, 5 days a week. Students at School 2 were exposed to cell tower radiation at 10.021 µW/cm2 at a frequency of 925 MHz for 6 hr a day, 5 days a week. Both groups had exposure for 2 years. Cognitive functions tasks were measured by the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Participants were excluding to remove confounding factors , i.e. those with any pre existing illness, on any medications, with history of anxiety or attention problems, frequent use of cordless or cell phones, use of Wi-Fi routers in their bedrooms, or those who lived near high transmission lines or cell towers.
The researchers found “a significant impairment in Motor Screening Task (MOT; p = .03) and Spatial Working Memory (SWM) task (p = .04) was identified among the group of students who were exposed to high RF-EMF produced by MPBSTs. High exposure to RF-EMF produced by MPBSTs was associated with delayed fine and gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention in school adolescents compared to students who were exposed to low RF-EMF. Most notable is that the current FCC safety “guidelines” for 30 minute exposure are 1000 µW/cm2.. This FCC limit is 100 times more RF than the students experienced in the highest exposure group that showed cognitive decline and with non-thermal effects. Study here-“Mobile Phone Base Station Tower Settings Adjacent to School Buildings: Impact on Students’ Cognitive Health. Mao SA et al. American Journal of Men’s Health. December 7, 2018. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1557988318816914
Antenna Search: BRAG Antenna Ranking of Schools
Do you know how many cell antennas are near your school? You can do a search on Antenna Search to find out how many and how close they are. Dr. Magda Havas was also curious and looked at the proximity of cell towers in 6,140 schools in 50 state capitols and Washington D.C. She found that only 35% were in the green category but the remainder were high enough to be of concern. You can view Dr. Havas’s slide presentation at Brag Antenna Ranking of Schools. Recommendations are below.
Do Cell Towers Belong on School Property?
Experts discussed the hazards of cell towers near schools at a Hempfield, Pennsylvania School Board Meeting after Approval of a Verizon cell tower. While a bioengineering professor claimed ““There is no particular evidence that this type of exposure is dangerous in any way,” Theodora Scarato, from Environmental Health Trust presented significant evidence of human health harms with a Power Point Presentation
- Do cell towers belong on school property? Experts weigh in at Hempfield school board meeting
- Radio frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposures in Kindergarten Children. (2017) Bhatt et al. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol.
- Spatial and temporal variability of personal environmental exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields in children in Europe. (2018) Birks et al. Environ International.
Schools Ban Cell Towers on School Property
West Linn-Wilsonville school in 2008 banned cell towers on their premises as a precaution stating that the cell tower radiation has not been shown to be safe. The article notes that 2 high schools in Lake Oswego bring in about $200,000 per year for the district who rents space from the school. In West Linn-Wilsonville the single tower brings in about $27,000 per year. West Linn-Wilsonville school board to unplug cell towers, and some income
In India, cell towers within a 50 meter radius of schools will be removed due to concerns about students exposure to harmful radiation. “The state urban development department had approved a state cellphone tower policy that bans installation of base station antennae near schools, colleges and hospitals.” A tax was also imposed on cell tower operators for installation. India-Zilla Parishad orders removal of cellphone towers near schools in district. The Times of India .Jan 6, 2015.
Cell Towers: GodSend or God- Awful? In a 2017 NPR News Article about cell towers on school property, Cell Towers At Schools: Godsend Or God-Awful? Author Julie Depenbrock underscores that cash strapped school districts across the nation are forming partnerships with telecom companies to allow use of their land in exchange for monthly fees, which can add up to $17,000 per year per school. PTA president Lisa Cline of Maryland, who was interviewed for the story, has fought school cell towers after her 1 year developed leukemia and died. She then began to wonder about silent toxins we are exposed to. After much research she states, “I started to see Wi-Fi as an environmental pollutant.”
LA Unified School District Bans Cell Towers on School Property
LAUSD 2000 Resolution: In order to protect the health and safety of students and employees, the LAUSD adopted a resolution opposing cell towers on or adjacent to school property until appropriate protective standards are developed. LAUSD 2000 Resolution Cell Towers
LAUSD 2009 Resolution: This resolution highlights restrictions placed on zoning authorities to deny sitings nears schools based on health and environmental effects written into the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The resolution notes the unprecedented proliferation of cell towers in residential neighborhoods and near schools without justification or proof that there is a demand for the service, that it is safe or that there is adequate oversight of cell tower emissions. This LAUSD policy on Wirless Telecommunications Facilities as key for 1) Timely notification of cell tower applications 2) Support fiberoptic broadband technology as a safer alternative 3) Support a resolution asking for revision of Section 704 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to allow consideration of health and environmental effects in the placement of cell towers. LAUSD 2009 Resolution on Wireless Telecommunication Facilities
Children Protest Vodafone in Ireland
Children in Ireland Singing Against Plan To Install Cell Tower In School (To Tune of Pink Floyd). Nov 30, 2019.
WI FI in Schools
National Institutes of Health Conference: Children’s Health Reducing EMFs and Wireless in Schools
The NIH Healthy Building Conference featured four expert panelists on EMFs and health as well as Wi Fi in Schools, July 20, 2018. Very informative and engaging. From https://ehtrust.org
- Dr. Martin Pall first discusses 8 distinct non-thermal effects of EMR including infertility. neurologic effects, cellular DNA Damage, apoptosis (programmed cell death), oxidative stress, endocrine effects, excessive intracellular calcium, cancer, in addition to probable effects of cardiac, early onset Alzheimers, ADHD and autism.
- Frank Clegg, former Microsoft Executive and founder of Canadians for Safe Technology, gives and Industry Perspective on Electromagnetic Fields. 9;20
- Peter Sullivan, of Clear Light Ventures, discusses Healthy Building Requirements for Technology. 17:45
- Theodora Scarato of Environmental Health Trust, discusses Low EMF Best Practices in Buildings and Schools and gives an example of a school that has wired its classrooms and removed Wi Fi. 24:45
Theodora Scarato of Environmental Health Trust on Wi fi in Schools – Solutions
Theodora Scarato concisely explains health hazards and policies in place to reduce exposures in schools for the protection of children’s health. She offers low cost simple solutions and underscores the need for more education in schools regarding long term effects of wireless radio frequency radiation.
Physicians Speak Out on Wi fi In Schools
Well known and well respected physicians who have studied the health effects of radio frequency radiation, Dr. Martha Herbert and Dr. David Carpenter, have long questioned the safety of cell towers and wireless networks in schools. They have advocated for safer wired networks. Others have joined them as more research is pointing to harm. For an extensive list of Physician Letters on Wi- Fi visit Environmental Health Trust Doctor Letters Wi-Fi and Cell Towers in Schools
See also Physicians Speak on this website for physician letters and more videos.
Dr. David Carpenter on Wi Fi in Schools
Dr. David Carpenter is a Harvard trained public health physician and Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at University of Albany. He has more than 435 peer reviewed publications. He discusses the need to remove Wi fi in schools to reduce their risk of cancer. Dr. Carpenter suggests wired connections for schools.
Parents and Children Speak Out on Wi Fi in Schools
Charlene Acres Describes Her Daughter’s Development of Electrosensitivity at School
Charlene Acres is a computer scientist and mother who clearly describes her daughter’s development of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) when at school. Her daughters symptoms were severe headaches and fatigue. They found that the cell towers near school and addition of wireless systems in school caused the symptoms. The levels of Electromagnetic radiation measured in the school were within the Safety Code 6 regulations. This is a compelling and useful story to help understand EHS which is well documented. Most physicians were not able to diagnose or treat this condition.
Dr. Ann Lee Testifies in California 2017 About Her Sons’ Electrosensitivity
Dr. Ann Lee and her son testify in Sacramento California against proposed 2017 SB 649 to streamline small cell antenna placement throughout cities and counties. Her son was found to be sensitive to wireless EMR from a cluster of antennas, reporting heart palpitations with near exposure. Extensive tests by his physician could not find any cardiac pathology. SB649 was vetoed by Governor Brown.
Children speak out on Wi Fi symptoms
Children and parents report symptoms of headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbances and other neurologic effects when Wi Fi was placed in the schools. Parents have taken their children to their doctor but no health issues could be found. Symptoms disappeared at home and/or when Wi Fi systems have been disabled.
7 News: Wi-Fi in School Causes Health Effects in School Children: Concern Growing
Student Georgia Pizzo developed Wi-Fi electrosensitivity after being exposed to a Wi fi router in school. She reported headache and fatigue. Concern is growing internationally with Germany Austria and Israel recommend only cables in schools.
“I get terrible headaches at school” Student at School Board Meeting
New York State student testifies at his School Board meeting that he has headaches daily when he goes to school as other classmates report was well. He asks that the computers be hardwired to prevent short term sickness in his fellow students who develop headaches and to prevent the long term effects of wireless radiation on brain function.
High School Student Tesifies About Wi Fi in School Health Risks
This Montgomery High School student gives clear testimony about what the science has discovered about the biologic harm of wireless radiation. She notes the association of Wi Fi radiation with cancer and infertility. She brought her own EMF meter to school and stated it remained on high throughout the day. She understands that students and teachers place themselves at risk with constant exposure.
Chaos of Cancer and Mobile Devices
A mother and cancer victim discusses the cancer she developed on her left thigh, that metastasized to the lung and which she believes could be caused by years of using her laptop on her lap. She eventually learned of the harms from wireless devices and gives a warning to schools and parents on the use of these devices for children.
Las Vegas News Report on WiFi in School Health Risk May 2016
In Las Vegas some parents have been requesting precautions for students with removal of Wi Fi systems in schools to protect the long term health of the students.
Sir William Stewart Discusses Wi Fi Health Effects with the BBC
Sir William Stewart BBC Panorama – Wi-Fi – A Warning Signal 3
Wi Fi In Schools: Are We Playing It Safe With Our Kids? Dr. Cindy Russell Wifi In Schools: Are We playing It Safe With Our Kids? SCCMA Article
Shallow Minds: How the Internet and Wi fi In Schools Can Affect Learning. Dr. Cindy Russell. Shallow Minds: How the Internet and Wi Fi in Schools Can Affect Learning SCCMA Article
Below is a list and links to research on Wi-Fi health effects followed by medical advisory agencies, education organizations and policies regarding children’s exposure to wireless devices and Wi-Fi.
Scientific Research: Wi-Fi Health Effects (partial)
For a full list go to MDSafeTech Wi-Fi Radiation Health Effects
- The effect of Wi-Fi electromagnetic waves in unimodal and multimodal object recognition tasks in male rats. (2017) Hassanshahi A et al. Neurol Sci. 2017 Mar 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28332042
- Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields From Wi-Fi in Australian Schools. (2017) Karipidis K et al. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2017 Jan 10. http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2017/01/10/rpd.ncw370.long
- Letter to the editor regarding Karipidis study Wi-Fi in Australian Schools . (2017) Bandara P, Johansson O. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. Aug 10, 2017. https://academic.oup.com/rpd/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/rpd/ncx108/4080174/Letter-to-the-Editor?redirectedFrom=fulltext
- Effects of prenatal exposure to WIFI signal (2.45 GHz) on postnatal development and behavior in rat: Influence of maternal restraint. (2017) Othman H et al. Behavioural Brain Research. 36:291-302. May 30, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28288806
- Postnatal development and behavior effects of in-utero exposure of rats to radiofrequency waves emitted from conventional WiFi devices. (2017) Othman H et al. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Apr 22;52:239-247. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28458069
- Thermal mapping on male genital and skin tissues of laptop thermal sources and electromagnetic interaction. (2017) Safari M et al. Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Aug 11. doi: 10.1002/bem.22068. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28799651
- Effects of long-term pre- and post-natal exposure to 2.45 GHz wireless devices on developing male rat kidney. (2016) Kuybulu AE et al. Ren Fail. 2016 Feb 24:1-10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26905323?dopt=Abstract
- Oxidative stress of brain and liver is increased by Wi-Fi (2.45GHz) exposure of rats during pregnancy and the development of newborns. (2015) Çelik Ö et al.J Chem Neuroanat. 2015 Oct 28. pii: S0891-0618(15)00074-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26520617
France: Law on Public Exposure to Electromagnetic Waves Adopted. Feb 5, 2015. The French National Library along with other libraries in Paris, and a number of universities had already removed all wi-fi networks. The current law includes the following:
- a prohibition on Wi-Fi installations in nursery schools,
- Wi-Fi turned off in schools when not in use
- yearly evaluations of EMR in public places to be available to citizens
- Wi-Fi hotspots to be labeled
- advertisements must recommend headsets
- annual electro-hypersensitivity report updated annually
- requires the National Agency for Health Food, Environmental and Work Safety to evaluate the risks and consequences of exposure to EMR
- asks that cell towers be turned to as low a power as possible to function. France Law EMR 2015 or French government bans Wi-Fi in schools
Ashland Massachusetts Public Schools in 2015 developed a policy to reduce Wi-Fi in schools. A “best practices” policy is posted in every room. Ashland Public Schools Best Practices to Limit Wi-Fi
Ashland Schools Best Practices to Reduce radio frequency Radiation. 2014. Here is the announcement posted Ashland Schools Best Practices Room Signage 8-27-14
The City of Haifa has ordered removal of Wi-Fi in all schools according to news report . 2016. City of Haifa Removes Wi Fi in Schools
Israel Shifts to Wired Connections in Schools. 2015. Israel Bans WiFi in Kindergarten
The Austrian Medical Association recommendations to the public in 2012 to use wired internet connections instead of Wi Fi as well as how to identify, diagnose and treat electrosensitivity. Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF- related health problems and illnesses (EMF syndrome)
The 2011 European Parliament Resolution 1815: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. The goals listed include setting preventable thresholds for long term exposure, raising awareness throughout the community, and protecting “early warning” scientists. European Parliament 2011
Israel Health Ministry Calls for Parents to Limit Kid’s use of cell phones. July 27, 2008. Israel Health Ministry calls for limiting cell phone use
India bans advertisements of pregnant women and children in mobile phone ads or near cell antennae. June 2008. India bans cell phone advertisements
Privacy at School
The Student Data Privacy Project works to protect private student data from exploitation and misuse. They issued a press release July 7, 2021 stating, “On July 9, 2021, parents of school-age children from Maryland to Alaska, in collaboration with the Student Data Privacy Project (SDPP), will file over a dozen complaints with the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) demanding accountability for the student data that schools share with Educational Technology (EdTech) vendors.Formed during the pandemic, SDPP is comprised of parents concerned about how their children’s personally identifiable information (PII) is increasingly being mined by EdTech vendors, with the consent of our schools, and without parental consent or school oversight. With assistance and support from SDPP, 14 parents from 9 states filed requests with their school districts under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) seeking access to the PII collected about their children by EdTech vendors. No SDPP parents were able to obtain all of the requested PII held by EdTech vendors, a clear violation of FERPA.” FERPA is a 1974 Act which states that parents have a right to know what information is being collected about their children, and how that data is being used. https://www.studentdataprivacyproject.com
Parents coalition MC, Maryland – https://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2021/07/arents-nationwide-file-complaints-with.html
Testimony Against Cell Towers and Wi Fi in Schools
Opposition to cell to school cell towers in Anne Arundel County in Maryland
Opposition to cell towers in Anne Arundel County Schools has received broad attention. The Baltimore Sun reported on the money schools would receive from placing 40 cell towers on their schools and also the deep concerns of parents. Cell towers at schools ignite debate in Arundel. They note Montgomery Schools no longer allow cell towers on school grounds. Parents question why a private company should benefit for the use of our public school land. Full testimony at the public hearing is here Full Public Testimony.
Parents Want Cell Tower Removed After 2 Children Develop Cancer
Parents, students and staff in Ripon, California call for cell tower to be removed near school after students develop cancer. They have over 3,300 signatures from local residents who support the removal of the cell tower. After 2 Ripon Children Diagnosed with Cancer, Kids and Parents Protest Cell Tower on School Grounds
16:9 Canadian Investigative Newsmagazine Investigative Program on Wi Fi in Schools
This 2010 Canadian broadcast interviews several children who experienced a variety of symptoms consistent with electrosensitivity after the school installed Wi Fi. These include heath palpitations, headaches, nausea and rashes. An industry consultant measures levels of electromagnetic radio frequency radiation. The levels were within the Safety Code 6 guidelines.
Schools Banning Cell Phones at School
This is a compilation of news stories regarding schools banning cell phones in schools during school hours. There is concern with cell phones used by students causing distraction, contributing to bullying and interfering with learning.
Cell phone antennas blamed for kindergarten cancer cases
Chicago Tribune reports on several cancers at Wayville school where clusters of cell towers are placed on a water tower. An attorney states that about 30% of teachers are sick due to cell antennas.
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