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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...

Monday, October 31, 2016

Adele Speaks Out on Wi-Fi Health Risks "It will kill our insides."

Adele Speaks Out on WiFi Health Risks

Read the article in Vanity Fair here 

Montgomery County Candidates for Board of Education Respond on Wi-Fi in School Health Issues

Candidates for Board of Education responded to Dr. Powells inquiry about their interest in "curbing the mandatory irradiation of our children in the MCPS schools." 

October 28, 2016 Letter from Ronald Powell PhD

Dear Colleagues,

Please share this message with anyone you wish who lives in Montgomery County, Maryland.

You may know that the current policy of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is that all students must submit to mandatory irradiation by the radiofrequency/microwave radiation emitted by Wi-Fi, wireless laptop computers, cell phones, and cell towers if present on school grounds, throughout their many years of schooling, or forfeit their right to a free public education.  As far as I can tell, this mandate applies to Special Needs Children as well as to other children.  Also, teachers and staff at the schools must submit to such irradiation to work in the schools. 

However, the international biomedical research community has shown that such radiation is harmful to health in multiple ways.  But the MCPS managers have ignored the extensive evidence of this fact, despite the pleas from concerned parents and the written solicitations from leading scientists around the world to stop the irradiation.

We have a chance to change this tragic state at the upcoming General Election on November 8.  In that election, three of the eight seats on the Montgomery County Board of Education will be filled, providing an opportunity to elect new members who are sensitive to the concerns about the impact of such mandatory irradiation on the health of our children, and who will bring those concerns before the Board.  (The other five members are serving terms that extend beyond this General Election and thus will continue as members.)

For each of the three seats for which candidates are being considered, two individuals are competing.  Here are the three seats and the candidates competing for each one, as they appear on the ballot for all registered voters of Montgomery County, Maryland.  Shown also are their responses to my inquiry about their interest in curbing the mandatory irradiation of our children in the MCPS schools.  My inquiry was made either at the time of the Primary Election or just recently:
Candidates for Board of Education - One "At Large" seat
Jeanette Dixon - Responded with interest about the mandatory irradiation of our children.  Ms. Dixon provided the response given below at the time of the Primary Election and granted her permission then to quote that response:
"Dear Dr. Powell---thank you for sending this information along and educating me on the urgency of this issue not just in MCPS but all over.  As a 16 year breast cancer survivor I am concerned about carcinogens and anything that would put the health of others, especially our students and staff at risk.  I think we can fund our technology initiative so that our students can  have the skills they need to be competitive in the 21st century but we can and should do so in a manner that does not put their health at risk.  If I am elected to the BOE I will bring up, and seek to educate the larger MCPS community and work towards the replacement of the wireless wifi systems in MCPS. It seems to me this is a no brainer.  You should know that when I say I will do something I follow through.  
Best regards,
Phil Kauffman - Did not respond.  He is the incumbent.
Candidates for Board of Education - District 2
Brandon Orman Rippeon - Responded with interest about the mandatory irradiation of our children.  Mr. Rippeon provided the response given below, which is quoted here with his permission:
"Good morning Ronald.

I agree with your position. This is a topic I too have been concerned with for many years. There are also cell phone towers placed at MCPS locations (the leases on these towers are a big revenue source for MCPS and another example of the school system putting dollars before the health of the students).

If elected I would work to institute the necessary changes to protect students' health.


Rebecca Smondrowski - Did not respond.  She is the incumbent.
Candidates for Board of Education - District 4
Shebra Evans - Did not respond.

Anjali Reed Phukan - Responded with interest about the mandatory irradiation of our children.  Mr. Phukan provided the response given below, which is quoted here with her permission:
"I completely agree with you.
I will vote conservative, but I think the solution others will go for will be having some wi-fi free schools where kids with relevent diagnosis or doctor vouchers be allowed to attend. Maybe even voucher schools.
WiFi is everywhere, even my house and I don't even have TV, cable, internet, or phones (the electric company uses it for the thermostat for energy savings days and such).
I will vote no on cell phone towers on MCPS property for sure."


In summary, Jeanette DixonBrandon Orman Rippeon, and Anjali ("Anj") Reed Phukan responded with interest about addressing one or another of the aspects of the mandatory exposure of our children to radiofrequency/microwave radiation from the wireless technologies used in our schools.  If elected, they will all be new members of the Board of Education.

The other three candidates did not respond to my inquiries.  Two of the three who did not respond are incumbents:  Phil Kaufman ("At Large") and Rebecca Smondrowski (District 2).

The views of all of the six candidates on the ballot about a variety of other issues relating to our schools may be important to your choice.  Please see pages 18-20 of the League of Women Voters' Guide for questions posed by the League and the responses provided by the six candidates: 
Composition of the Montgomery County Board of Education

The Board has eight members.  All eight serve on a non-partisan basis.The eight current members of the Board of Education are described here:
Five members of the Board of Education are associated, one each, with the five districts into which the County is divided.  Those five districts are shown on the map provided here:
Each of the five members associated with a given district must live within the district that he or she represents.  The seats occupied by members from District 2 and District 4 will be addressed in the upcoming election.

The Board also has two members that represent the entire County.  They are the "At Large" members.  One of the "At Large" seats will be addressed in the upcoming election.

Finally, the Board has one student member.  That seat will not be addressed in the upcoming election.

All Board members are elected by all registered voters living in Montgomery County.  That is why all registered voters in Montgomery County will be voting for the members for District 2, District 4, and the one "At Large" seat in the upcoming election.

Documentation of the health risks of the wireless technologies used in the Montgomery County Public Schools

For documentation about wireless devices, including Wi-Fi, in schools, please see attached document.
Message to Schools and Colleges about Wireless Devices and Health

For documentation about cell phones and cell towers, please see attached document.
The Health Argument against Cell Phones and Cell Towers

Thank you for listening.

Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Best Practices to Reduce Wireless Exposure

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Minimizing Exposure to RF
Given the lack of scientific consensus on the potential health risks from these sources, attention is often focused at minimizing exposure.  Below are common recommendations and include those for both cell phone and non-cell phone sources:
Use wired communication devices instead of wireless devices
  • Consider a wired Local Area Network (LAN) instead of wireless, and wired connections to computers and other individual devices.
  • Use a wired landline instead of a cell phone for everyday calls
Limit children’s use of cell phones except for emergencies
  • Don’t offer the phone as a toy.
  • If your children use a phone to play games, switch on airplane mode. A phone in airplane mode will stop RF (radio frequency) transmission but still have some magnetic field exposure.
Keep cell phones and other sources at a distance
  • The strength of the RF emission or exposure is one fourth lower at a distance of two inches and fifty times lower at three feet. 
  • Whenever possible, use the speaker-phone mode or a plug-in headset rather than holding a phone to your ear. 
  • A wireless “Bluetooth” headset can have less exposure than a cell phone, though data seem inconsistent on how much less exposure.
  • While on a call, keep the phone away from your body (e.g., on a table in front of you instead of your pocket).
If using wireless devices like computers, laptops, tablets, and printers, place the wireless router away from where children and adults usually spend time.
  • Store your cell phone and other devices like routers away from your body.
  • Don’t store your phone under your pillow or clipped on your belt, especially if you are pregnant. 
  • Switch the phone to “airplane” or “off-line” mode when not using for communication such as for some other function like as an alarm clock.  Power phones 100% off before you carry them near your body to avoid all exposure.
Turn off routers when wireless devices are not in use.
  • Text when possible
  • Texting emits less radiation than voice calls.
  • Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train.
  • These types of use automatically increase power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.  Radiation levels are significantly higher when your signal is poor.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

California Medical Association Doctor Confirms Wireless Harm

To: Federal Communications Commission
From : Cindy Lee Russell, M.D.
Re: 5G Release Spectrum and Review of Radiofrequency Health, Proceeding 13-84

Dear FCC Staff and Board Members:

I am writing with regards to the recent FCC ruling to release next generation 5G technology and networks which would soon create an explosion of new untested microwave radiation that will be widespread in our environment with likely dire consequences. I strongly disagree with this decision and strongly recommend postponing any rollout of new telecommunications frequencies until adequate studies have been done and the entire issue of reevaluating the FCC safety standards to include not just thermal but biological and health effects has been agreed to.

I also believe the Environmental Protection Agency or other independent scientific panel needs to have authority to look at all telecommunications safety issues for non-ionizing radiation including long term and biological effects for all spectrums. This would mean repealing portions of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to allow health monitoring, research and open discussion with regards to all telecommunications frequencies.

As a physician who has worked on a wide range of public health, environmental health and toxics issues for over 25 years I believe the rollout of 5G is not only premature but also dangerous to both humans and the environment.

As you know the FCC considers safe any microwave radiation that does not burn the skin or cause acute thermal damage. Until 1996 the Environmental Protection Agency had the jurisdiction to research and propose guidelines for chronic exposure to the non-ionizing radiation from cell phones, cell towers and other EMF devices until this responsibility was removed.

As you also know the 1996 Telecommunications Act specifically exempts cell towers from environmental review, review of health effects or monitoring for such in the construction or placement of cell towers. The FCC to my knowledge does not have any physicians, biologists, scientists in EMF on their staff. They depend on other input for their decisions but to date have not considered the overwhelming evidence of harm by our modern telecommunications device that are in increasingly in our workplaces, schools and homes.

For decades people did not understand that non-ionizing radiation could be harmful. The accumulated science of harm from wireless microwave radiation however has confirmed adverse biological and clinical effects. The biological and cellular effects include damage to DNA and mitochondria, stress protein synthesis, cellular damage to neurons, immune dysfunction, creation of reactive oxygen species, reduced melatonin, alternation of nerve cell junction.

Studies have linked similar microwave EMF from cell phones, cell towers, Wi Fi routers to cancer, endocrine disruption and reproductive harm. Science is not perfect but the weight of evidence including clinical studies of electrohypersensitivity has now confirmed there is no doubt of harm from wireless EMF radiation.

The most recent and compelling evidence has come from the 2016 National Institutes of Health, National Toxicology Program. Called the NTP Toxicology and Carcinogenicity Cell Phone Radiation Study, the 10 year $25 million research has shown conclusively that there was a harmful effect from cell phone microwave radiation. This is similar to other wireless devices we commonly use. The studies were robust, collaborative, well controlled and with double the number of rats required to be significant. The preliminary results of the study showed that RFR caused a statistically significant increase in two types of brain tumors, gliomas and schwannomas. These were the same two types of tumors shown to increase in human epidemiological studies.
Ron Melnik, PhD, Senior Toxicologist and Director of Special Programs in the Environmental Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and designer of the study states,

“The NTP tested the hypothesis that cell phone radiation could not cause health effects and that hypothesis has now been disproved. The experiment has been done and, after extensive reviews, the consensus is that there was a carcinogenic effect.” 

 It is notable that this study does not address the chronic health effects to the reproductive organs and immune system seen in many other studies.

Considering the widespread use and exposure to wireless technology the evidence points to a major emerging public health issue.

Mammalian cells signal through very weak electromagnetic fields which trigger binding of hormones, antibodies and neurotransmitters to their specific binding sites. Calcium channels are also involved in this (Adley 1993). As one could imagine, after review of physiologic and biologic systems, even low level non-ionizing radiation could cause havoc in mitochondria where energy is transformed and stored, in DNA or on fragile signaling proteins required for functioning of our very complex systems. Indeed studies have shown adverse effects at levels well below current FCC standards.

Biology will always be more complicated than technology. Our bodies can be put in harms way by a variety of toxins and this includes non-ionizing microwave radiation from wireless devices.

We know how convenient out wireless devices are. Like cigarettes safety was questioned for decades until enough science could show harm. We are in the same situation with wireless technology. We have the science in front of us. We must now stop further increases in exposures of non-ionizing radiation from telecommunications (especially those untested), begin to reduce EMF exposure- especially to vulnerable and sensitive populations and put our focus on individual and population safety. Convenience should not take precedence over public health.

Respectfully submitted
Cindy Lee Russell, M.D.

Adley, WR. Biological effects of electromagnetic fields. J Cell Biochem. 1993 Apr;51(4):410-6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8388394

Bioinitiative Report http://www.bioinitiative.org/

Belyaev I. EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses. Rev Environ Health. 2016 Sep 1;31(3):363-97.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27454111

Belpomme,D. Reliable disease biomarkers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a unique pathological disorder. Rev Environ Health. 2015;30(4):251-71. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26613326

NTP- Update on NTP Toxicology and Carginogenicity Studies of Cell Phone Radiation Frequencies.

Kaszuba-Zwolinsk J. Electromagnetic field induced biological effects in humans. Przegl Lek.2015;72(11):636-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27012122

This letter was submitted to the FCC and can be acessed athttps://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1001076789440/FCC%20letter%205G%20New%20.docx

WiFi In Schools
Are We Playing It Safe With Our Kids? Dr. Cindy Russell
The Santa Clara County Medical Association Bulletin 
March/April 2015

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Worcester Massachusetts School Board Explores Health Risks of Wi-Fi in School

Worcester school board hesitant but curious about possible WiFi health risk
The School Committee plans to continue wading into the controversial topic of the potential health effect of wireless internet in schools, despite some hesitance from a few members.
Brian O’Connell, chairman of the committee’s Teaching, Learning and Student Supports Standing Committee, said Thursday night that the committee, at its meeting Monday, agreed to a number of motions concerning “radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation,” including asking the district to consider expanding wired internet instead of wireless where possible in buildings, provide instructions on how to turn off wireless internet, and post on the schools’ website two documents dealing with WiFi safety.
The standing committee took up the issue after hearing concerns from local residents, and will continue, at its next meeting, in December, to look into measures the district could take.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

NBC: Are Kids at Risk? Scores of Chicago-Area Schools Allow Cell Towers on Their Buildings, Grounds

NBC News: Are Kids at Risk? Scores of Chicago-Area Schools Allow Cell Towers on Their Buildings, Grounds

Parents, citing unknown risks, want more testing on potentially-harmful radiation levels in classrooms

Dozens of schools across the Chicago area are leasing their property to telecom companies to erect cellular towers and antennas on school buildings and grounds, NBC5 Investigates has discovered. Until now, radiation from cell towers has not been considered a risk to children, but a recent study raises new questions about possible long-term, harmful effects. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016) 

NBC5 Investigates filed Freedom of Information Act requests with 409 public school districts across the Chicago area, and found that 139 local schools rent space on their grounds, buildings and smokestacks for cellular antennas. Over 90 of those are Chicago Public Schools – most of them elementary-level -- where kids may attend for as many as nine years. CPS reaps about $5 million in rental fees from those towers every year.

“Our kids are sitting in these classrooms for seven hours a day for nine years, 180 days every school year,” he notes. “Nobody knows what happens if you get a very low dose for nine years.”

The Beverly parents were especially alarmed by news of a recent study from the National Toxicology Program, which seemed to show a direct link between cell phone RF and cancer. Fagan said no parent would allow a Starbucks to be located in the school offering free coffee, if it would mean constant exposure to caffeine.

“Parents would descend on that school with torches and pitchforks,” he said. “I don’t know why microwave radiation gets a free pass when there’s way more evidence to support that it causes disease than caffeine does.”