Slingshots at Goliath
From Chapter 9 of An Electronic Silent Spring
by Katie Singer
Published by Rudolph Steiner books 2014
Here’s a partial list of actions taken by international government agencies and professional organizations in response to concerns about the health and environmental effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation:
In official comments to the FCC about guidelines for evaluation of electromagnetic effects of RF radiation (FCC Docket ET 93-62, November 9, 1993), The Environmental Protection Agency found that the FCC’s exposure standards are “seriously flawed.” emrpolicy.org.
The Food and Drug Administration commented to the FCC on November 10, 1993 that “FCC’s rules do not address the issue of long-term, chronic exposure to radiofrequency fields.” emrpolicy.org Exhibit 46.
In 1999, the Radiofrequency Interagency Work Group wrote a letter to IEEE SCC28, in which they identified fourteen issues that “need to be addressed to provide a strong and credible rationale to support RF exposure guidelines.” http://tinyurl.com/btfpae2.
In 1994, in comments to the FCC, the Amateur Radio Relay League’s Bio-Effects Committee (ARRL) wrote that “The FCC’s standard does not protect against non-thermal effects.”
In 2003, the American Bird Conservancy and Forest Conservation Council sued the FCC because millions of migratory birds were disoriented by microwave radiation emitted by cell towers–and they were crashing into the towers. ewire.com/display.cfm/Wire_ID/1498.
In 2007, The European Environmental Agency, Europe’s top environmental watchdog, called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts. eea.europa.eu/highlights/radiation-risk-from-everyday-devices:assessed
In 2008, public libraries in Paris, France removed Wi-Fi from their buildings because of librarians’ health concerns. accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-35451555_ITM.
In 2008, the Progressive Librarians Guild recommended against wireless technology in libraries. http://libr.org/plg/wifiresolution.php.
In 2008, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report, “Identification of Research Needs Relating to Adverse Health Effects of Wireless Communication.” nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12036.
In 2008, The International Commission on Electromagnetic Safety (comprised of scientists from 16 nations) recommended limiting cell phone use by children, teenagers, pregnant women and the elderly. icems.eu/resolution.htm.
In 2008, the Russian National Committee for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection warned that cell phones are unsafe even for short conversations. Children under 16, pregnant women, epileptics, and people with memory loss, sleep disorders and neurological diseases should never use cell phones. radiationresearch.org/pdfs/mcnirp_children.pdf.
In 2008, the University of Pittsburg’s Cancer Institute warned that children should never use a cell phone except in an emergency. post-gazette.com/pg/08205/898803-114.stm.
In November, 2009, an international team of physicians and scientists met in Seletun, Norway and created the Seletun Scientific Statement to urge new, biologically-based public exposure standards to protect public health worldwide regarding electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation. (Fragopoulou et al, “Scientific Panel on Electromagnetic Field Health Risks: Consensus Points, Recommendations and Rationales,” Reviews on Environmental Health, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2010.)
In 2009, more than 50 scientists from 16 countries signed The Porto Alegre Resolution, an urgent call for more research based on “the body of evidence that indicates that exposure to electromagnetic fields interferes with basic human biology.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urged Congress to investigate the potential relationship between wireless devices and bee colony collapse in May, 2009. http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetichealth-blog/emf-and-warnke-report-on-bees-birds-and-mankind/.
The government of Frankfurt, Germany stated that it will not install Wi-Fi in its schools until it is proven harmless. magdahavas.com/wordpress/
In 2010, France prohibited pre-K through high school students’ use of a mobile phone during school. France Environmental Law, Article 183.
In 2010, municipalities in California, Hawaii, Maine and Maryland passed resolutions creating moratoriums on “smart” meters. For updates, check emfsafetynetwork.org or stopsmartmeters.org.
The World Health Organization classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a possible carcinogen on May 31, 2011. Also that month, the WHO added multiple chemical sensitivity and electrohypersensitivity (EHS) on its International Classification of Diseases.
In May, 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) released a resolution, “Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment.” It states “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. //assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?link=
In January, 2012, The American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for an immediate moratorium on “smart” meters until “serious health issues” related to their installation are resolved. See the appendix.
In January, 2012, the Santa Cruz, California Board of Supervisors voted to continue a temporary moratorium on “smart” meter installations in the county, accepting the Public Health Department’s report that “smart” meters harm health.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) expressed concern in February, 2012 about Wi-Fi in the workplace. magdahavas.com/ontario-english-catholic-teachers-association-wi-fi-in-the-workplace.
In March, 2012, four Vermont communities rejected “smart” meters: Bennington, Dorset, Manchester and Sandgate. www.wakeupoptout.org.
The Austrian Medical Association created guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses in March, 2012. aerztekammer.at/documents/10618/976981/EMF-Guideline.pdf.
In June, 2012, Women’s College Hospital in Toronto stated that family doctors must learn to detect symptoms of exposure to radiation from wireless devices–including disrupted sleep, headaches, nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, memory problems and rashes. womenscollegehospital.ca /news-and-events/connect/the-effects-of-invisible-waves.
Following a report from a committee formed by India’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, India decided, in July, 2012, to reduce its limit on radiation emitted by antennas tenfold. Currently, India’s radiation exposure limit for antennas is 9.2 w/m2 (watts per square meter). Russia’s limit is 0.2 w/m2. China’s is 0.4 w/m2. In the USA, Canada and Japan, the exposure limit is 12 w/m2. With the new ruling, India will lower its standard to 0.92 w/m2. (Telecom operators claim that reducing antenna power means that mobile devices will have to work harder and thereby, they will increase users’ exposure. To provide sufficient coverage, the companies claim that they’ll need to install more antennas.) http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-07-18/news/32730933_1_radiation-exposure-mobile-towers-emf.
In July, 2012, The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state’s Public Utilities Commission had not adequately addressed safety concerns about “smart” meters installed by Central Maine Power Company. Maine regulators will now investigate the meters’ health and safety issues.
In August, 2012, Israel’s Ministry of Health called for a ban on Wi-Fi in schools. norad4u.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/this-is-translation-to-english-of.html.
In November, 2012, the High Court of Rajasthan, India’s largest state geographically, ordered all cell towers removed from the vicinity of schools, colleges, hospitals and playgrounds because radiation is “hazardous to life.”
On July 5, 2013, India’s Supreme Court upheld this decision.
In December, 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the Cell Phone Right to Know Act because of its “emphasis on examining the effects of radiofrequency (RF) energy on vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women.” See the appendix.
In February, 2013, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of the Australian Federal Court legally recognized the health effects of electromagnetic radiation in a workplace compensation case. Because his employer required his trial use of electronic equipment, Dr. Alexander McDonald’s health suffered. austiii.edu/au/au/cases/cth/aat/2013/105.html.
In February, 2013, Belgium’s Public Health Minister announced that sales of mobile phones to children under seven will be prohibited, as will advertisements for mobile phones during children’s TV, radio and Internet programming. expatica.com/be/news/belgian-news/TMag-Mobile-phones-to-be-banned-for-children_259994.html.
In a February 8, 2013 letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District, Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, a pediatric neurologist at Harvard Medical School, wrote, “EMF/RFR from wifi and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function. This will make it harder for some children to learn, particularly those who are already having problems…. I urge you to step back from your intention to go with wifi in the LAUSD, and instead opt for wired technologies…. It will be easier for you to make a healthier decision now than to undo a misguided decision later.”
In March, 2013, the Los Angeles, California Teacher’s Union passed a resolution to ensure safety from hazardous electromagnetic fields in schools, including from emissions from wireless technologies. nea.org/assets/docs/nea-resolutions-2012-13.pdf.
In March, 2013, Australia’s Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency advised parents to limit children’s use of mobile and cordless phones and to keep monitors at least a meter away from babies’ beds in order to minimize their exposure to EMR. perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/technology/parents-urged-to-limit-childrens-use-of-mobiles-cordless-phone-under-new-health-warnings/story-fn7bsi10-1226589473040.
In June, 2013, British Airways announced in the Daily Telegraph that its new aircraft will not have Wi-Fi.
In August, 2013, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, representing 76,000 teachers, recommended to all school boards that cell phones be turned off in classrooms to protect students’ and teachers’ health. It also voted that all Wi-Fi transmitters be clearly visible and labeled as part of a hazard control program. c4st.ca.
Cole County, Missouri Judge Patricia Joyce put an indefinite hold, in August, 2013, on the Uniform Wireless Communications Infrastructure Deployment Act. This state act exempts cell towers from virtually all local zoning regulations. Six cities claimed that the law violated the Missouri constitution. Judge Joyce agreed, ruling: “The implementation, enforcement, application or assertion of any provision of HB 331 or HB 345 will subject the plaintiffs to the unwarranted burdens of unconstitutional laws and immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result in the absence of relief and preservation of the status quo.” Matt Kalish, “Cole County Judge Shoots Down Attempt to Limit Cell Phone Tower Fees,” Eldorado Springs Sun, 9.5.13.
In August, 2013, Mumbai, India‘s most populated city, voted to prohibit antennas 1)in the vicinity of schools, colleges, orphanages, child rehabilitation centers and nursing homes; and 2)from being directed toward such buildings. The city also voted to prohibit installation of antennas on residential rooftops without the consent of every person on the top floor as well as 70% of residents below the top floor. The city intends to dismantle 3200 illegal rooftop antennas. prd34.blogspot.com/2013/08/reminder-comments-to-fcc-due-this.html.