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Dear MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith- Time to Protect Students Not Promote Pollution

Dear Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith, I am writing to you on an important issue regarding our children’s hea...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

MCPS Needs To Inform Parents!

Parents Need To Be Fully Informed
Are You Being Told That Wi-Fi Is "Safe"? 

Lack of Safety Documentation: MCPS has been telling parents that WiFi is safe, but MCPS simply cannot make this claim.  The FCC admits there are no government developed safety standards and no medical group or organization has ever said that it is safe. If Wi-Fi is so "safe", why did France ban WiFi for young children and allow only limited use for older children? Why are over a dozen countries issuing protective policies? 

Continuous Exposure: MCPS parents should have been told that robust WiFi has been installed and that the WiFi will be on for the entire school day regardless of whether the students have a computer to use or not. They also have not been told that the radiation level is  stronger then the WiFi radiation children receive at home or probably in any other setting.  If you are an MCPS parent then your child is now exposed for the entire school day to microwave radiation without your consent.  You cannot see or feel WiFi, but that does not mean it is not a risk.

Health Hazard: MCPS parents have not been told about the serious possible risks from wireless radiation and that  ongoing research is still being done on long-term health effects.

WiFi may be everywhere, but we do not yet know the long term consequences of living in a 24-7 wireless environment.  Limiting the wireless as much as possible, until more is known, makes sense and our kids deserve nothing less.

If we are open with parents and inform them of the possible health risks of WiFi in a school setting with wireless devices for every child, we can have a dialogue and come up with the best solutions.  Safe Tech asked  MCPS Chief Technology Officer Sherwin Collette if we could form a joint committee with parents and MCPS to discuss Best Practices, whether it be wired internet access, or WiFi on for only part of the day, etc.  There are safer alternatives. Let's put the children's health as the top priority.   At the very least, given the benefits MCPS claims for WiFi, one might expect MCPS to ask parents to sign a consent form acknowledging and accepting the risks.

Here Is Information MCPS Needs To Share 

Here is a picture of what the access points at the schools look like.   The access points are super strong industrial strength routers that are emitting radiation the entire school day.  They have been placed on the ceiling, right above your children's desks.  It is also possible your child might be sitting above an access point on the classroom ceiling below.  The access points emit radiation for hundreds of feet and the radiation penetrates walls, ceiling,  and floors.

The most dangerous place to be is sitting is right under or above an access point because that is where the radiation is strongest.  When the laptops are used, that adds even more radiation that our children are absorbing.

Many parents have told us that they are requesting that there children be placed as far from the access points as possible.

“The IARC 2B classification (Wireless as a Class 2 B Carcinogen) implies an assurance of safety that cannot be offered—a particular concern, given the prospect that most of the world’s population will have lifelong exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.”

- Dr. Jonathan Samet, physician and epidemiologist, Chair of the World Health Organization’s EMF Working Group 2011. This statement is from his 2014 Commentary calling for more research. 

Watch Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe discuss the science on children and wi-fi radiation. 

Read Ten Facts About Wi-Fi in Schools Every Parent Should Know. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pediatric Occupational Therapist Cris Rowan's Open Letter to Schools who Use Wireless Radiation.

April 1, 2015 Open letter to all daycares, preschools, and schools who continue to use wireless radiation.

To All Principals, Staff, School Boards, Education Government, and Health officials,

In my capacity as a pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, speaker, and author on the subject of the impact of technology on child development and learning, I’m writing to you on behalf of students, teachers, and parents requesting the urgent removal of wireless radiation from all school environments. I ask that you please take into consideration the following guiding principles regarding wireless radiation, and make the decision to revert to Ethernet cabled only devices to ensure immediate and ongoing safety for your students and staff.

Guiding principles for the decision to remove wireless radiation from school environments:
  1. Minimize Risk and Maximize Safety.
    • Wireless radiation has not been proven safe (WHO 2011).
    • Recent research indicates wireless radiation causes harmful effects to adult
      humans (Avendano 2012, Hardell 2013).
    • Long term effects of wireless radiation on children are unknown at this time (AAP
    • Children have thinner skulls, more aqueous bodies, and have rapidly developing
      cells, indicating they are exceedingly more vulnerable to harmful effects from
      wireless radiation than adults (AAP 2013).
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society
      recommends no more than 1-2 hours total technology use per day, including educational technology. Many schools exceed these expert guidelines (AAP 2014).

  2. Weigh Risk vs. Benefit.
    • Education technology is not evidence based and is laden with conflict of interest e.g. manufacturers claims are financially motivated, and are not substantiated by university level research.
    • Traditional and standardized teaching methods have substantive research support and evidence, yet are being rapidly replaced with education technology. 
Risks associated with the use of technology by children are as follows: 

  • Sedentary nature of technology use is causally related to the recent rise in obesity/diabetes, developmental delay and learning difficulties (Tremblay 2011, HELP EDI Mapping 2009/13, Ratey 2008, PISA 2012). 
  • Isolating factor of technology use is associated with escalation in social impairments, mental illnesses (including adhd and autism), and self- regulation difficulties (Houtrow 2014).
  • Overstimulation from technology use is a causal factor in rise in attention deficit, aggression, sleep disturbance, and chronic stress from hyper- arousal of the sympathetic nervous system (Christakis 2004, Gentile 2009, Markman 2010, Bristol University 2010).
  • Neglect of students by teachers and support staff who are engaged in their own personal technology, is unfortunately common.
  • Consequently, the risks associated with using education technology far outweigh the dubious benefits.
3. When In Doubt, Act With Caution.
  • Existing research on harmful effects of wireless radiation on adults, indicates taking a cautionary approach when considering same radiation exposure to children (AAP 2014). Rapid cell turnover in children creates particular concern regarding potential DNA damage from wireless radiation, and consequent susceptibility to cancer. While rise in cancer incidence is becoming more apparent, rise in rates of cancer in children will not be observable until adulthood.
  • Removal of wireless radiation and reversion to Ethernet cabled devices, will ensure immediate and long term safety to all students, teachers, and support staff.
  • Defaulting to a remote authority regarding removing wireless radiation from schools, is not acting in the best interests of students and staff, and may not be defensible in a court of law.
  • The implications of failure of schools to act with caution now regarding wireless radiation, are horrific in both scope and magnitude, and constitute neglect of children. 
For additional research references regarding the impact of technology on children, please see below or visit www.zonein.ca, Fact Sheet under Info section. For any additional information, please contact Cris Rowan at info@zonein.ca or 1888-8zonein.
The following Globe and Mail article by Sheryl Ubelecker on May 12, 2015 “Experts urge caution with use of wireless device” provides current status of government initiatives in the area of addressing growing wireless radiation concerns. 

Cris Rowan, BScBi, BScOT, SIPT, AOTA Approved Provider
CEO Zone’in Programs Inc. and Sunshine Coast Occupational Therapy Inc.
6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt, BC CANADA V0N3A4
604-885-0986 p, 604-885-0389 f, 604-740-2264 c,
crowan@zonein.ca email Websites: www.zonein.ca, www.suncoastot.com, www.virtualchild.ca
Blog: www.movingtolearn.ca
Book: “Virtual Child – The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children”

Friday, June 5, 2015

Upcoming Lecture at George Washington University on Wireless Radiation

We hope that MCPS and PGCPS Officials will attend. 

"Ongoing Research from the Indian Medical Research Council
 on Wireless and Health"
Review of epidemiology and toxicology
George Washington University
The Milken Institute School of Public Health - 
950 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20052 
Tuesday, June 09th, 2015 – 11:30 AM
Lawmakers across our globe are developing safety rules for wireless technologies similar to laws around seat belts, lawn-pesticides, second hand smoke and tanning beds. These laws are designed to protect the public from potential harm. Emerging research shows harm at low levels of exposure to microwaves used by today's technology. Many people are unaware that wireless devices use microwaves, the same as your microwave oven. So your cordless phone, Wi-Fi, smart meter and the cell tower outside your window are in effect functioning as low-level microwave transmitters.  
Dr Davis will discuss the underlying science, her recent presentations to the Canadian Parliament and the Indian government and policy around the world including India, Canada and France. US municipalities are taking action as well such as the 2015 historic unanimous passage of Cell Phone Right to Know Ordinance, by Berkeley City Council, defended by Harvard Law Prof. Lawrence Lessig. Dr. Sharma will be reviewing recent research on wireless radiation and how Indian policy is changing in response. Can we be doing more? 
Meet the panel: 

  • Dr. R.S. Sharma, Senior Deputy Director General & Scientist – G, Indian Council of Medical Research. A leader of the Indian federal government research on environmental health research. 
  • Dr. Devra Davis, PhD MPH – Founder of the Environmental Health Trust,  former Clinton Presidential appointee, founding Director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Academy of Sciences and award-winning author of Disconnect--the Truth About Cell Phone Radiation and National Book Award Finalist for When Smoke Ran Like Water

For more information, contact Janet Vasquez at 212-645-5498

About visiting scientist Dr. Sharma: Dr. Sharma is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Medical Science, India, the World Health Organization and the Rockefeller Biotechnology Career. Aside from supervising the work of physicians, engineers and other medical professionals, Dr. Sharma is a government  expert in the effects of RFR (Wireless radiation) on Health, Development of Male Contraception, Infertility and Assisted Reproduction. He has published approximately 125 papers in National and International Journals and edited ten books in related areas.

In his lecture at George Washington University, Dr. Sharma will be sharing important new Indian research showing biological effects from wireless radiofrequency radiation on bees, human DNA, the male and female reproductive and nervous systems. Dr. Sharma is currently co-ordinating the country’s largest epidemiological study on cell phones and their possible impact on neurological disorders, reproductive dysfunctions, cardiovascular disorders, hearing, memory, sleep patterns, reaction time and cancer.