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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

A Bonanza of WiFi Trumps Our Children


The fifth Annual Southern Vermont Educators Symposium was held recently at the Maple Street School, Manchester, to discuss the theme Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Of course, educators want to facilitate their student's access to an incredible resource like the internet that puts the world at our fingertips. At issue is how students access that information, through wired or wireless technology.

WiFi has become commonplace, along with an automatic assumption of its safety. Its use has expanded, unchecked and unquestioned, from coffee shops to public spaces, work environments, home, libraries and now our schools. This expansion is driven in part by industry innovators churning out devices like iPads compatible only with WiFi, and by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in tandem with wireless carriers, whose intent is to create a captive wireless market.

In February, President Obama announced his ConnectEd initiative to provide 15,000 schools with high speed internet, via WiFi in classrooms. The FCC is contributing $2 billion, with U.S. companies like Apple, Microsoft, Verizon and AT&T adding another $750 million worth of free internet, iPads and programming.

Superficially, this appears to be a win-win situation; students receive pricey tablets initially subsidized by IT companies and high speed internet, while the FCC pursues its wireless agenda, which ultimately includes abolishing land-lines. Per a recent article by Bruce Kushnick in the Huffington Post, 23 states have already begun the process of abandoning the copper-wire landline and fiber-optic infrastructure, despite the fact customers continue to pay millions in fees for maintenance and upgrades.

If the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is any indication of what the future holds in terms of keeping our landlines, we’re in trouble, and not just by the creation of a mega-monopoly."The real sea change in Wi-Fi came when the wireless operators started charging for data consumption around four years ago," said Craig Moffett, senior analyst at MoffettNathanson, a telecommunications and cable research firm. "Suddenly, there was a huge economic incentive to rely on Wi-Fi whenever it was available, and you started to see the consumption of Wi-Fi go through the roof."..."Last month, Comcast agreed to acquire Time warner Cable for $45.2 billion, which, if approved by regulators (FCC), would give it access to about one third of cable and Internet subscribers nationwide. Leveraging the equipment it has placed in those homes to develop a national Wi-Fi network is efficient, feasible and a lot better for users than a patchwork of coffee shops, according to Moffett. "The Utopian ideal of a massive, free Wi-Fi network has been around since the early days of Wi-Fi, but there was never an economically viable path to deliver it." Moffett said. "Comcast has a better shot at it than just about anybody else". (Robert Channick, CST, March 5, 2014)

The new FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, was formerly President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) from 1992 to 2004. Chairman Wheeler is the ultimate insider with extensive industry ties, which makes this revolving door especially disturbing. The FCC is not a health agency, but its purview includes regulating exposure levels of non-ionizing radiation, the type emitted by cell phones, WiFi routers and "smart" meters.

To independent scientists and researchers, the phrase "FCC Guidelines" is a joke, synonymous with out-dated exposure levels and zero enforcement. The BioInitiative Report 2012, a compilation of studies by world experts concludes: "Bioeffects are clearly established to occur with very low exposure levels (non-thermal levels) to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation exposures". These effects occur at levels exponentially lower than what FCC standards allow; pulsed radiation, like the kind emitted by smart meters, is even more problematic. With the proliferation of all things wireless, the cumulative effects of radiation coming from multiple sources is overlooked and exposures can exceed FCC guidelines.

The FCC is a government agency wearing two hats: expediting wireless at breakneck speed while retaining control over obsolete, non-protective guidelines that should be regulated by a legitimate environmental-health agency, once the domain of the EPA. It's time to examine the symbiosis between industry and government when it no longer serves the public good, and may directly contribute to the public harm.

Utilities, wireless carriers and IT companies have taken advantage of this regulatory void. The industry is not interested in finding the truth about non-ionizing radiation because it serves its interest to manufacture doubt. This trend has been covered for years. For example, in Christopher Ketcham’s 2010 article in GQ about cell phone health hazards, he wrote, "In the mid-1990s, a biophysicist at the University of Washington named Henry Lai began to make profound discoveries about the effects of such frequencies not only on the blood-brain barrier but also on the actual structure of rat DNA. Lai found that modulated EM radiation could cause breaks in DNA strands—breaks that could then lead to genetic damage and mutations that would be passed on for generations. What surprised Lai was that the damage was accomplished in a single two-hour exposure.” In the wake of a Florida lawsuit alleging causality between cell phones and brain tumors, the telecom company Motorola proceeded to attack Lai and "war-gamed" the science. Invariably, industry-funded studies negate causation from non-ionizing radiation, while independent scientific studies tend to support it.

A battle is now brewing over this issue between government agencies. The U.S. Department of the Interior attacked the FCC this past February, citing failure to protect migratory birds and wildlife from cell tower radiation: "The electromagnetic radiation standards used by the FCC continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today." If the government is concerned about wildlife, why isn't it concerned about our children? The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF as a 2B (possible) carcinogen, along with mercury, lead, formaldehyde and DDT. The American Academy of Pediatrics represents 60,000 pediatricians, and recommends protecting pregnant women and children from wireless radiation. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine advises against WiFi.

Here's the latest inconvenient truth: WiFi is an industrial strength microwave radiation, especially when used for powering a classroom full of computers. In America today, we are willing to subject our students to daily immersion in radiation that damages DNA, leads to neurological disorders, causes headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, insomnia and heart arrhythmia. It impairs students ability to focus and learn. Emissions from a classroom of iPads add to the ambient levels and these devices are often used in unsafe ways, by being held on children’s laps. This is involuntary exposure on a massive scale, involving millions of our children.

Meanwhile, other countries are taking steps to protect their children. Ex-CEO of Microsoft Canada, Frank Clegg, quit a lucrative career to focus exclusively on removing WiFi from schools in Canada; see "Invisible Threat", Vitality Magazine. Switzerland is removing WiFi from schools. France has removed WiFi from its national library in Paris and is recommending removal from schools and requiring its removal for Pre-K. The UK and New Zealand governments are shifting liability to school districts if they decide to install WiFi. The Israeli Supreme Court is hearing a mountain of evidence on WiFi in schools. Top liability expert A. M. Best says radio-frequency radiation poses significant risk to insurers. A report by insurance firm, Swiss Re SONAR indicates insurance coverage for harm from electromagnetic radiation over the next decade would be "high". Most companies already have disclaimed coverage and warn of large losses from "unforseen consequences" of wireless technologies.

Astronomical profit drives this industry, and the threat of astronomical loss through litigation may halt it, or at the very least, slow the frenzy. The precautionary principle is warranted here. Isn't the commonsense solution to wait before we let an industry bonanza jeopardize humanity, the health of today's children and future generations? Let's put the world at our students' fingertips, but let's do it safely with hard-wired technology.

Martine Victor
Manchester, VT

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I'm pretty sure people said

I'm pretty sure people said the same thing about Radio a hundred years ago and broadcast television 70 years ago, and cellphones 20 years ago. The fact is that you're being exposed to a lot of electronic "bandwidth" as it is in the air. I think Wi-Fi is the least of your problems in this word. There's far more dangerous things in the world.

 
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Radiation Risk

I didn't think the kind of radiation emanated by phones, wifi, or smart meters would affect my body either, but about 3-4 months after getting smart meters installed on our building, I started to wonder why my body seemed so messed up -- jitteriness, major tinnitus, occasional heart flutters, etc. I looked up my symptoms, such as they were, and everything was pointing to wifi and smart meter radiation. Since then, I've researched more and it seems that cancer (yay!) is on the list of things I risk from my ever increasing exposure. From what scientists who have studied this say, I would be even more vulnerable if I was a kid, an elderly person, or a pregnant woman.

Here's one reason why I think my new symptoms are caused by wifi and smart meters -- when I'm away from the meters and wifi, my ears stop ringing. When I spend days in a row in my radiation infused apartment, my ears ring off the hook. This is new.

In the last few weeks, we started unplugging the wifi at night, as the least we could do. When I wake up in the morning, I feel much more normal and my ears ring much less. I would love to get rid of the smart meters because evidence from other states seems to indicate that the pulsed radiation they emit is more harmful -- unfortunately, that's up to my neighbors and like you, David, they think this kind of radiation is harmless .

Before dismissing something as harmless, I think it would be helpful to do some research on both sides of the issue. I have and I don't think this kind of radiation is harmless. If anything, I'm expecting an explosion of cancer in the coming years.

Radio was the only signal being broadcast a hundred years ago and it's not the same kind of radiation as wifi and smart meters. Today we're awash in various kinds of radiation. I find it hard to believe that's safe, based on the physical impacts of electromagnetic radiation that are known.

 
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Radiation Risk

Something is profoundly wrong if we're forced to compromise our health, privacy and pocketbook in order to receive a basic service like electricity, or one we don't want to begin with, like WiFi.

Lise's experience illustrates why an opt out isn't the ultimate solution to this environmental disaster. A person can opt out (thankfully with no fee in VT) but they will be subject to radiation from their neighbors meters, meters in public spaces etc.. That's how a wireless mesh network works. VT utilities chose wireless to piggyback on VTel's broadband expansion/cell tower construction, to leverage it's commercial applications ($$$). 4GLTE/ statewide WiFi?! NO THANK YOU!! More unwanted, involuntary radiation exposure in addition to smart meters.

Utilities continue to install smart meters despite numerous, documented, serious health complaints. I think the legal term is gross negligence. And there will always be a percentage of people who are more sensitive to environmental toxins (canaries in coal mines), but that doesn't give the rest a free pass. This kind of constant, pulsed RF radiation affects you whether you're aware of it or not, as demonstrated in the documentary Take Back Your Power.

If you are experiencing any health problems related to the installation of a smart meter, the person to contact is: Tamera Pariseau, Chief of Consumer Affairs & Public Info
tamera.pariseau@state.vt.us
802-828-5262
and Matt Levin at Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE): matt@vce.org
Re WiFi - good idea to turn off a WiFi router at night, it's what experts recommend, but it's preferable to hard-wire with Ethernet cables.

 
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It's not the WiFi

"Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) is a descriptive term for symptoms purportedly caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields.[1] Other terms for IEI-EMF include electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), electrohypersensitivity, electro-sensitivity, and electrical sensitivity (ES).

Although the thermal effects of electromagnetic fields on the body are established, self-described sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity report responding to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (or electromagnetic radiation) at intensities well below the limits permitted by international radiation safety standards.

The reported symptoms of EHS include headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin symptoms like prickling, burning sensations and rashes, pain and ache in muscles and many other health problems. Whatever their cause, EHS symptoms are a real and sometimes disabling problem for the affected persons.

The majority of provocation trials to date have found that self-described sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity are unable to distinguish between exposure to real and fake electromagnetic fields,[2][3] and it is not recognized as a medical condition by the medical or scientific communities. Since a systematic review in 2005 showing no convincing scientific evidence for it being caused by electromagnetic fields,[2] several double-blind experiments have been published, each of which has suggested that people who report electromagnetic hypersensitivity are unable to detect the presence of electromagnetic fields and are as likely to report ill health following a sham exposure, as they are following exposure to genuine electromagnetic fields.[4][5][6]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_hypersensitivity

I suggest tinfoil hats.

 
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Tinfoil won't work with phones

Don’t overlook the effects of mobile phones. Ever more dangerous because we hold them next to our heads. The transmitters are so powerful that phones work INSIDE the steel walls of the elevators in my apartment house. Many of them still transmit and receive information when they are turned off. GPS permits Big Brother to know where you are 24/7. (The only way to prevent this is to remove the battery).

 
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Interesting findings

“several double-blind experiments have been published, each of which has suggested that people who report electromagnetic hypersensitivity are unable to detect the presence of electromagnetic fields and are as likely to report ill health following a sham exposure, as they are following exposure to genuine electromagnetic fields”

Reminds me of Australian studies on “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, which produces similar symptoms.
One commentator stated that WTS is caused by a virus, and that the virus is spread by word of mouth.

 
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Nocebo Effect

I find the strongest correlation involves where the "harmful effect" fits into the person's ideological framework.

 
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Some things should be uninvented....

Good article from a real expert.

I remember many 'scientific' advances that were supposed to be safe....nuclear power, hexachlorophene in baby soap, HRT, Fosamax, agent orange, GMOs, nanoparticles,cyclamates.....

 
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Second order consequences

I remember many 'scientific' advances that were supposed to be safe....nuclear power, hexachlorophene in baby soap, HRT, Fosamax, agent orange, GMOs, nanoparticles,cyclamates.....

Rosemary, you’re careless when you make such generalities.
For example, nuclear power isn’t NECESSARILY unsafe. However, the technology we (and most others) have exploited IS inherently unsafe. We embarked on this path for a couple of reasons: The Navy (military) needed a source of power that would move their ships (subs & carriers) long distanced without refueling. The boiling water reactor (BWR) did the job. Civilian reactors followed that model because that’s what we knew how to build.
There are perhaps hundreds of models that are safer, but they mostly exist in labs. Fluidized beds using thorium show much promise, but nobody wants to spend the money to test them out.
Another reason why we went to BWRs is that their residue (AKA spent fuel) is useful for making bombs.
Nanoparticles are another area we know very little about. Already some have been determined harmful to health. But there’s a whole world out there that has to be explored. One new development is in grid scale energy storage which could hasten the elimination of fossil fuels. (These are devices, not something we will be eating or breathing).
We have to have regulations in place ensuring that corporations don’t rush products to market just to make a profit, without carefully considering all potential hazards and consequences (as happened with GMOs).
Speaking of which, GMOs don’t have to be “bad” either. I don’t think a goat-human hybrid would be of much use to anybody, if such a thing would even be considered moral or ethical. But there are plant varieties which show promise in enhancing agriculture in many ways.
Unfortunately, unethical corporations, exemplified by Monsanto, are only interested in profit and use GMOs to achieve monopoly status.
There may be a perverse poetic justice for these guys. Some of their proprietary pesticides seem to be breeding races of “superbugs” that are resistant to their own poisons.
I don’t think Agent Orange was ever supposed to be safe. It was designed to kill vegetation in a military setting, which it did very well. We didn’t care if it harmed humans – they were the “enemy” anyhow. We failed to notice that our pilots who were spreading this poison were being exposed as well. My good friend Col. Bob Bowman just succumbed to a rare form of cancer attributed to his activities in Viet Nam.

It’s not what we do; it’s how and why we do it. We have a lot to clean up here (if it’s not too late already).

 
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Couple corrections

Navy ships do NOT use boiling water reactors (BWRs) they use pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Big difference.

BWR/PWR spent fuel makes for a lousy bomb material, mainly due to all the Pu-240 it contains which causes all sort of problems for bomb makers. Special plutonium production reactors at Hanford, WA were used to create weapons grade plutonium for the US weapons program.

 
 #

My mistake

Thanks for the corrections. However, neither of these models is intrinsically safe.

What did they use for feedstock at Hanford? I looked it up and didn't get an answer.However, what I did get is deeply disturbing.

Re; Hanford (From Wikipedia):
Many of the early safety procedures and waste disposal practices were inadequate, and government documents have since confirmed that Hanford's operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the Columbia River, which still threatens the health of residents and ecosystems. The weapons production reactors were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, but the decades of manufacturing left behind 53 million US gallons (200,000 m3) of high-level radioactive waste, an additional 25 million cubic feet (710,000 m3) of solid radioactive waste, 200 square miles (520 km2) of contaminated groundwater beneath the site and occasional discoveries of undocumented contaminations that slow the pace and raise the cost of cleanup. The Hanford site represents two-thirds of the nation's high-level radioactive waste by volume.
HANFORD IS CURRENTLY THE MOST CONTAMINATED NUCLEAR SITE IN THE UNITED STATES and is the focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup. (Emphasis mine).

My sister lives close by Savannah River. The local news frequently reports the discovery of radioactive snapping turtles emerging from the facility,

How about “Depleted” Uranium, which I think is a byproduct of power generation.

 
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Plutonium production

It all comes from U-238 capturing a neutron and eventually decaying to Pu-239.

The longer it stays in the reactor, the more of the Pu-239 turns into Pu-240 which is why LWRs are poor Pu-239 producers.

 
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Smart Meters provide free WiFi

What's in store for VT? What does it mean for Jim Porter to say let's slow down and see how things "evolve"?
http://vtdigger.org/2014/04/14/state-senators-want-mothball-vermont-tele...

Some smart meters have a component that can provide free WiFi.

March 27,2013
The city of Santa Clara flipped on a big Internet switch this week, becoming what it says is the first in the country to use wireless, digital "smart meters" on homes as channels for free citywide outdoor Wi-Fi.

"This is just one of the major benefits our community will enjoy as a result of our advanced metering technology," said John Roukema, director of Silicon Valley Power, the community's utility provider. "Now our residents, visitors, and local workforce can get Internet access while waiting for a train, shopping downtown, getting their car washed, or relaxing in their yard."
"Being online is no longer the luxury that we once considered it to be. It's essential. Society at large requires an Internet connection," said Zach Leverenz, chief executive officer of Connect2Compete, a national organization that joined with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week to roll out a nationwide initiative called "Everyone On." Their goal is to provide free digital literacy training, affordable Internet service, and low-cost computers to the 100 million people nationwide who do not currently have Internet access at home.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0327/Santa-Cl...

 
 #

radiation/public health is not the only concern

I would recommend parents and educators read Nicholas Carr's book, "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains." There has been precious little discussion of the effects of digital technology on our schools, our children and ourselves. Nicholas Carr's book is a well researched discussion of the effects of digital technology on our minds.

Did the "Annual Southern Vermont Educators Symposium" discuss the educational ramifications of all these devices in our childrens' hands - or did it assume the more technology, the better?

 
 #

artificial radiation

In the history of our world and its inhabitants, the high levels of artificial radiation encountered today are unprecedented
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt and Dr. Karl Maret ascribe many of the conditions and chronic infections they see to this barrage of radiation, including the rise of autism.

▶ "Smart Meters" & EMR: The Health Crisis Of Our Time - Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_wxM6IAF1I

Commonwealth Club January 28, 2014 “The High Road to a True Smart Grid”, Karl Maret, M.D., Eng. on Vimeo
http://vimeo.com/87023780

 
 #

Antibiotic abuse

Dr. Martin Blaser, chairman of the department of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center suggests antibiotic abuse may permanently change the beneficial bacteria that we're carrying." Blaser hypothesized that the overuse of antibiotics may even be fueling the "dramatic increase" in many illnesses, including type 1 diabetes, allergies and inflammatory bowel disease by destroying the body's friendly flora, or protective bacteria.

Dr. Cesar Arias, assistant professor of infectious disease at University of Texas Medical School, wholeheartedly agreed. "These drugs affect what we're colonized with, particularly the digestive tract," said Arias. "If you alter your flora, you can promote certain superbugs to colonize in your gut and get into the boodstream."

Prevention is the key," said Dr. Richard Colgan, associate professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "The best way to avoid antimicrobial resistance is to be judicious in using antibiotics.

While part of the answer is to reduce antibiotic intake when possible, Blaser said he speculates and fears that humans have already lost some "ancestral organisms" that help protect us.

Antibiotic abuse is not limited to our medical intake. Because it has been shown to enhance growth in animals, antibiotic overuse is rampant in our food supply.

 
 #

Fiber-optic broadband, NOT WiFi

Interestingly, this a.m. I heard an interview re: broadband on VPR. Jim Porter, head of Telecommunications, said "Fiber-optic is expensive" and VT doesn't have jurisdiction over what the 2 commercial carriers provide - and one is Comcast. So reading between the lines, I think they're waiting for the Comcast/Time Warner merger to go through (a pox on it) and there will be some federal regulatory mandate or initiative to blanket the state with WiFi. Just the other day, I encountered a bear having trouble streaming Netflix in its den...
We should take our cue from many European countries, and believe it or not, Russia, that have RF exposure standards 100 to 1000 times lower than ours.
WiFi is a dangerous, greed driven choice so let's prevent it for the sake of all VT's inhabitants. If you want to provide broadband, do it safely with fiber-optic, or don't do it at all.

 
 #

Excellent article re: corruption of science by industry

Great article:

FEATURED EXPOSÉ — WHO Knew: The Elephant in the Room | TBYP
http://www.takebackyourpower.net/news/2014/03/31/who-knew-the-elephant-i...

 
 #

David Carpenter MD - sworn testimony

A sworn declaration and explanation of dangerous health effects posed by WiFi in the Schools by David Carpenter MD-a public health physician, educated at Harvard Medical School whose current title is Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences within the School of Public Health. Formerly, he was the Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Albany.

Health Effect Dangers of WiFi In Schools-David Carpenter, MD
http://www.smartvoter.org/2014/06/03/ca/state/vote/mottus_k/paper2.html

 

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