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

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Does the state of willful ignore exempt you from liability?" Silicon Valley Philanthropist writes Montgomery County Schools

February 25, 2016
To the Montgomery County Board of Education:

My wife and I love to empower children and are proud to help fund education here in Silicon Valley. Our first large grant to education 12 years ago was used to buy new computers and upgrade the wireless network at our local public school.

So it may come as a surprise that I now believe that was a mistake. Obviously, we are still big supporters of education, but I believe the role of wireless networks (as opposed to wired Ethernet networks) needs to be carefully re-evaluated.

With the same goal of empowering children in mind, I am also an environmental health funder. I look at factors like toxic lead exposures that can undermine intelligence and the ability to learn. After researching wireless for the last 5 years and connecting with researchers who have spent over 30 years on the topic, I now have some grave concerns. I was surprised by how much evidence of harm has been published, not just recently, but for more than three decades.

This brings up some basic questions for educators:
  • Does wireless exposure impact attention and learning?
  • Do current wireless safety standards protect children? 
  • What are the safety limits of other countries compared to the US?
  • Why is school funding for wireless discussed in an ethics paper from Harvard?
Finally, there is the issue of liability. Will your Wi-Fi vendor or cell tower carrier be liable, or have they already exempted themselves from liability for health in their contact? If you find there are health concerns, can you get out of a cell tower contract with a wireless carrier? If you don’t look at the research after being informed about it, does the state of willful ignore exempt you from liability?

Like most people, I assumed this had been fully tested and failed to do adequate due diligence on this topic.

Please don’t repeat my mistake.

A short video version of this letter can be watched here: http://bit.ly/wirelessEd

Peter Sullivan Founder and CEO Clear Light Ventures

Download the letter here. 

Alster, Norm. Captured agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates. Cambridge, MA: Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. 2015. Read it here. 

Who is Peter Sullivan? 
Peter Sullivan is founder of Clear Light Ventures whose mission is to improve human health and performance by removing widespread environmental health threats.  He has spent the last 15 years successfully recovering his two sons from autism and sensory issues. 

Read about his work in Autism Magazine. Click here to read
Over the last 10 years, he has funded efforts to reduce mercury and other toxic metals from the environment. He funded roughly half of the National Resource Defense Fund’s mercury program, and in 2008, they successfully sued the EPA to close the cement industry’s exemption from the Clean Air Act. This victory resulted in an annual healthcare savings of approximately 6.7 billion dollars.
Today he is one of the leading funders in the country in EMF research, funding work at Harvard, Stanford, University of California, Berkeley and several leading environmental health non-profits. Peter speaks about autism and environmental health at conferences throughout the United States and abroad. Previously, he was a software designer for Netflix, Inc., Interwoven, Inc., Excite@Home, and Silicon Graphics. Prior to working in high-tech, Peter was an Executive Officer and pilot in the United States Navy. He has a B.A. in psychology from University of Detroit and an M.S. in computer science from Stanford University.
Peter's work has been featured in the book "Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World", the book The Out of Sync Child Grows Up: Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in the Adolescent and Adult Years, and will be featured in the 2016 season of CNN's Inside Man with Morgan Spurlock. 
He has an excellent blog Clear Light Ventures and readers may be interested in this recent post on college: Campus Safety: How to Survive and Thrive in the Wireless Era

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