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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...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Back off the promotion of Wi-Fi." Harvard Press on the Health Risks of Wi-Fi in School

Harvard Press published an expose entitled Captured Agency How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates detailing how unchecked industry influence has tainted an honest look at the health risks of cellphones and Wi-Fi. 

See below an excerpt. 

A Modest Agenda for the FCC 

Nobody is proposing that cell phones be banned. Nor does anyone propose the elimination of the Universal Service program or other radical reforms. But there are some steps—and most are modest—that the FCC can take now to right some of the wrongs that result from long years of inordinate industry access and influence: 
  1. Acknowledge that there may be health risks in wireless communications. Take down the dismissive language. Maturely and independently discuss the research and ongoing debate on the safety of this technology. 
  2.  In recognition of this scientific uncertainty, adopt a precautionary view on use of wireless technology. Require prominent point-of-sale notices suggesting that users who want to reduce health risks can adopt a variety of measures, including headphones, more limited usage and storage away from at-risk body parts. 
  3. Back off the promotion of Wi-Fi. As Professor Lennart Hardell has noted, there are wired alternatives that do not expose children to wireless risk. 
  4. Petition Congress for the budgetary additions needed to expand testing of emissions on antenna sites. It was Congress after all that gave industry carte blanche for tower expansion so long as they comply with FCC standards. But there is evidence of vast non-compliance and Congress needs to ensure that tower infrastructure is operating within the law. 
  5. Acknowledge that children and pregnant women may be more vulnerable to the effects of RF emissions and require special protection. 
  6. Promote cable debundling as a way to lighten consumer cable bills, especially for those customers who don‘t care about high-cost sports programming. 
  7. Apply more rigorous analysis to properly assess the value of technology in education. Evidence continues to pile up that technology in education is not as valuable as tech companies claim. Pay less attention to tech CEOs—pay more attention to the researchers who‘ve actually studied the impact of trendy technology fixes on learning 
  8. Take over enforcement of personal privacy rights on the Internet. Of all the basic suggestions here, this would require the most courage as it would involve challenging many of the entrenched powers of the Internet.

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