Doctors for Safer Schools.org - this international Advisory Board is being formed. If you are a health professional, advocate, educator or parent, and concerned about this issue, please contact us via the contact form on this site.
the following in an excerpt from the book:
Government Regulations are "just plain wrong"
The environmental health physician, Dr David Carpenter, made that hard-hitting statement about government safety guidelines. Keep this in mind when you have concerns about the wireless Internet at your children's school, question the cell tower antenna nearby, or ask about cell phone safety. You may be dismissed with this assurance: "The radiation levels fall well within government safety guidelines." And public health officials may insist, "There is no clear evidence of harm." The industry also holds to these positions. Here are 7 questions you could ask an official or expert defending these guidelines. We have the right to know.
The 7 Key Questions that Demand Accurate Answers:
4. Have you, as an official/expert, taken steps, like many European countries, to do a thorough investigation of the science, re-evaluate these guidelines, and recommend precautions?
All over North America and Europe, community groups and progressive leaders are taking on the cause of reducing electro-pollution levels in their homes, workplaces and schools. Here are some fact sheets and letters that I hope will help in this important work.
Many people have asked me to post this document I wrote, which could be used at a public meeting on installations of cell tower antennas (masts). Most likely none of the officials would sign such a statement, their reluctance, however, would be of interest to people living in the area.
Statement of Accountability
This could be used at a public meeting. Most likely, no official would sign. Their reluctance, however, should be of interest to those residents and others who will be directly affected.
This is to confirm my stated position that the (cell tower/antenna (mast) that has been (proposed, approved) in/near (_______________________) is, in my informed opinion, safe. I am confident there are no significant health risks within ___________ (the proven safe distance in feet or meters) of this system.
I have been informed that adverse biological effects have been linked with the radio-frequency (RF) radiation emitted by this kind of technology, including increased rates of cancer and leukemia in people living close to cell tower antennas/masts; the research showing our children are most at risk; and that other countries have set restrictions on the placement of these RF transmitters/masts.
I acknowledge that existing government standards have not been not up-dated since the 1990s, are being challenged by many scientists as not accurate, not protecting us, and I am aware these regulations did not consider adverse effects on children. I have also been informed of the 2009 statement to the wireless industry by Dr. David Gee, one of the researchers in the BioInitiative Report:
They are forewarned now, and simply saying 'but we were in compliance with ICNIRP safety limits' will not be sufficient reason for ignoring the growing evidence.
And I have read the remarks by electrical engineer Alasdair Philips:
People living near masts (cell tower antennas) are experiencing increasing health problems, especially sleep disruption, headaches, tiredness, behaviour changes in children, epilepsy, nosebleeds, skin complaints (See published research at www.powerwatch.org.uk).
If you have seen a signed assurance of the health safety of this system from a medical expert, with recognized expertise in the health effects of RF radiation, please list his or her name and credentials:
The main reason(s) I have recommended this installation be implemented is:
I certify that ___________________________ (name(s) of individual, company, elected officials, government agency) do (does) not have any outstanding health and/or legal (claims, disputes) regarding this technology at this time.
Please note exceptions: ____________________________
This is to verify that any adverse health effects attributed to this installation will be covered by our insurance policy provided by:
Your name: (Please print)_____________________________
Your title and official position:
Today's date: _____________________________________
Your signature: ___________________________________
Witnessed by: ____________________________________
For your information, a list of the individuals who have been sent this letter has been sent to _________________________________________ (media names). As there is strong community interest in this issue they have been sent a copy of this letter and asked to follow up with you.
(This is available at: www.radiationrescue.org)
Wireless in Schools
This issue is a dilemma for schools. On the one hand, they're told that information technology gives students an educational edge for the digital age. There's also pressure to go wireless since it's cheaper to install than hardwired systems. On the other hand, what's true of cell phone radiation is equally true of wireless Internet: children are more vulnerable to the biological damage.
Dr. Martin Blank is taking the lead in alerting communities: There is enough evidence of a plausible mechanism to link EMF exposure to increased risk of cancer, and therefore of a need to limit exposure, especially of children. (Radio frequency) RF in any form — cell tower radiation, Wi-Fi networks, cell phones etc. — is potentially bad, especially if one is exposed for extended periods (e.g., asleep in bed at home, seated at a desk in school).
Many other eminent scientists including Dr. Gerd Oberfeld and Professor Johansson have written about the urgent need to remove wireless from schools.
Scientists' concerns about Wi-Fi in schools
"Open Letter to Parents, Teachers, School Boards. Regarding Wi-Fi Networks in Schools - May 5, 2009
by Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor, Trent University
I am a scientist who does research on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation and I am becoming increasingly concerned that a growing number of schools are installing Wi-Fi networks and are making their school grounds available for cell phone antennas.
You will be told by both the federal government (Health Canada and Industry Canada) as well as by the Wi-Fi provider that this technology is safe provided that exposures to radio frequency radiation remain below federal guidelines.
This information is outdated and incorrect based on the growing number of scientific publications that are reporting adverse health and biological effects below our Safety Code 6 guidelines (see www.bioiniative.org) and the growing number of scientific and medical organizations that are asking for stricter guidelines to be enforced.
For these reasons, it is irresponsible to introduce Wi-Fi microwave radiation into a school environment where young children spend hours each day.
Guidelines for microwave radiation (which is what is used in Wi-Fi) range 5 orders of magnitude in countries around the world. The lowest guidelines are in Salzburg, Austria, and now in Liechtenstein. The guideline in these countries is 0.1microW/cm2. See short video (http://videos.nextup.org/SfTv/Liechtenstein/AdoptsTh...) In Canada it is 1,000 microW/cm2! Why does Canada have guidelines that are so much higher than other countries?
Canada's guidelines are based on a short-term (6-minute) heating effect. It is assumed that if this radiation does not heat your tissue it is "safe." This is not correct. Effects are documented at levels well below those that are able to heat body tissue (Analysis of Health and Environmental Effects of Proposed San Francisco Earthlink Wi-Fi Network, 2007). These biological effects include increased permeability of the blood brain barrier, increased calcium flux, increase in cancer and DNA breaks, induced stress proteins, and nerve damage. Exposure to this energy is associated with altered white blood cells in school children; childhood leukemia; impaired motor function, reaction time, and memory; headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and insomnia.
A growing population is adversely affected by these electromagnetic frequencies. The illness is referred to as "electro-hyper-sensitivity" (EHS) and is recognized as a disability in Sweden. The World Health Organization defines EHS as: ". . . a phenomenon where individuals experience adverse health effects while using or being in the vicinity of devices emanating electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic fields (EMFs). . . EHS is a real and sometimes a debilitating problem for the affected persons, while the level of EMF in their neighborhood is no greater than is encountered in normal living environments. Their exposures are generally several orders of magnitude under the limits in internationally accepted standards."
Health Canada acknowledges in their Safety Code 6 guideline that some people are more sensitive to this form of energy, but they have yet to address this by revising their guidelines. Symptoms of EHS include sleep disturbance, fatigue, pain, nausea, skin disorders, problems with eyes and ears (tinnitus), dizziness, etc. It is estimated that 3% of the population are severely affected and another 35% have moderate symptoms. Prolonged exposure may be related to sensitivity and for this reason it is imperative that children's exposure to microwave radiation (Wi-Fi and mobile phones) be minimized as much as possible.
3. CHILDREN'S SENSITIVITY
Children are more sensitive to environmental contaminants and that includes microwave radiation. The Stewart Report (2000) recommended that children not use cell phones except for emergencies. The cell phone exposes your head to microwave radiation. A wireless computer (Wi-Fi) exposes your entire upper body and if you have the computer on your lap it exposes your reproductive organs as well. Certainly this is not desirable, especially for younger children and teenagers. For this reason we need to discourage the use of wireless technology by children, especially in elementary schools. That does not mean that students cannot go on the Internet. It simply means that access to the Internet needs to be through wires rather than through the air (wireless, Wi-Fi).
4. REMOVAL OF WI-FI
Most people do not want to live near either cell phone antennas or Wi-Fi antennas because of health concerns. Yet when Wi-Fi (wireless routers) are used inside buildings it is similar to the antenna being inside the building rather than outside and is potentially much worse with respect to exposure since you are closer to the source of emission.
Libraries in France are removing Wi-Fi because of concern from both the scientific community and their employees and patrons. The Vancouver School Board (VSB) passed a resolution in January 2005 that prohibits construction of cellular antennas within 1000 feet (305 m) from school property. Palm Beach, Florida, Los Angeles, California, and New Zealand have all prohibited cell phone base stations and antennas near schools due to safety concerns. The decision not to place cell antennas near schools is based on the likelihood that children are more susceptible to this form of radiation. Clearly if we do not want antennas "near" schools", we certainly do not want antennas "inside" schools! The safest route is to have wired internet access rather than wireless. While this is the more costly alternative in the short-term it is the least costly alternative in the long run if we factor in the cost of ill health of both teachers and students.
Advisories to limit cell phone use have been issued by the various countries and organizations including the UK (2000), Germany (2007), France, Russia, India, Belgium (2008) as well as the Toronto Board of Health (July 2008) and the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (July 2008). While these advisories relate to cell phone use, they apply to Wi-Fi exposure as well since both use microwave radiation. If anything, Wi-Fi computers expose more of the body to this radiation than do cell phones.
6. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
Even those who do not "accept" the science showing adverse biological effects of microwave exposure should recognize the need to be careful with the health of children. For this reason, we have the Precautionary Principle, which states: In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capability. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. In this case "States" refers to the School Board and those who make decisions about the health of children.
The two most important environments in a child's life are the home (especially the bedroom) and the school. For this reason it is imperative that these environments remain as safe as possible. If we are to err, please let us err on the side of caution."
"Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
May 22, 2009
Re: Health effects of cell tower radiation
As an active researcher on biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) for over twenty five years at Columbia University, as well as one of the organizers of the 2007 online Bioinitiative Report on the subject, I am writing in support of a limit on the construction of cell towers in the vicinity of schools.
There is now sufficient scientific data about the biological effects of EMF, and in particular about radiofrequency (RF) radiation, to argue for adoption of precautionary measures. We can state unequivocally that EMF can cause single and double strand DNA breakage at exposure levels that are considered safe under the FCC guidelines in the USA. As I shall illustrate below, there are also epidemiology studies that show an increased risk of cancers associated with exposure to RF. Since we know that an accumulation of changes or mutations in DNA is associated with cancer, there is good reason to believe that the elevated rates of cancers among persons living near RF towers are probably linked to DNA damage caused by EMF. Because of the nature of EMF exposure and the length of time it takes for most cancers to develop, one cannot expect 'conclusive proof' such as the link between helicobacter pylori and gastric ulcer. (That link was recently demonstrated by the Australian doctor who proved a link conclusively by swallowing the bacteria and getting the disease.) However, there is enough evidence of a plausible mechanism to link EMF exposure to increased risk of cancer, and therefore of a need to limit exposure, especially of children.
EMF have been shown to cause other potentially harmful biological effects, such as leakage of the blood brain barrier that can lead to damage of neurons in the brain, increased micronuclei (DNA fragments) in human blood lymphocytes, all at EMF exposures well below the limits in the current FCC guidelines. Probably the most convincing evidence of potential harm comes from living cells themselves when they start to manufacture stress proteins upon exposure to EMF. The stress response occurs with a number of potentially harmful environmental factors, such as elevated temperature, changes in pH, toxic metals, etc. This means that when stress protein synthesis is stimulated by radiofrequency or power frequency EMF, the body is telling us in its own language that RF exposure is potentially harmful.
There have been several attempts to measure the health risks associated with exposure to RF, and I can best summarize the findings with a graph from the study by Dr. Neil Cherry of all childhood cancers around the Sutro Tower in San Francisco between the years 1937 and 1988. Similar studies with similar results were done around broadcasting antennas in Sydney, Australia and Rome, Italy, and there are now studies of effects of cellphones on brain cancer. The Sutro tower contains antennas for broadcasting FM (54.7 kW), TV (616 kW) and UHF (18.3 MW) signals over a fairly wide area, and while the fields are not uniform, and also vary during the day, the fields were measured and average values estimated, so that one could associate the cancer risk with the degree of EMF exposure.
The data in the figure are the risk ratios (RR) for a total of 123 cases of childhood cancer from a population of 50,686 children, and include a 51 cases of leukaemia, 35 cases of brain cancer and 37 cases of lymphatic cancer. It is clear from the results that the risk ratio for all childhood cancers is elevated in the area studied, and while the risk falls off with radial distance from the antennas, as expected, it is still above a risk ratio of 5 even at a distance of 3km where the field was 1μW/cm2. This figure is what we can expect from prolonged RF exposure. In the Bioinitiative Report, we recommended 0.1μW/cm2 as a desirable precautionary level based on this and related studies, including recent studies of brain cancer and cellphone exposure.
As I mentioned above, many potentially harmful effects, such as the stress response and DNA strand breaks, occur at nonthermal levels (field strengths that do not cause a temperature increase) and are therefore considered safe. It is obvious that the safety standards must be revised downward to take into account the nonthermal as well as thermal biological responses that occur at much lower intensities. Since we cannot rely on the current standards, it is best to act according to the precautionary principle, the approach advocated by the European Union and the scientists involved in the Bioinitiative report. In light of the current evidence, the precautionary approach appears to be the most reasonable for those who must protect the health and welfare of the public and especially its most vulnerable members, children of school-age.
Martin Blank, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics"
Evidence of Harm From Cell Towers/Masts - Vini Khurana, MD et all:
Link to this study and more:
Study By Henry Lai, PhD and Blake Levitt - with comments by Madga Havas, PhD:
And some studies by Dr Neil Cherry: