Monday, February 27, 2017

What You Need To Know About Wireless Radiation and Your Baby

The BabySafe Project: What You Need To Know About Wireless Radiation and Your Baby by Patti Wood in the February/March 2017 issue of The Green Gazette.
The BabySafe Project is an initiative to educate pregnant women about wireless radiation and the steps they can take to reduce wireless exposure to their baby.

Parents Testify To Stop Cell Towers in Prince George's County Schools

"Stop Installing Cell Towers on Our Schools" Testimony to the Prince George's County School Board February 2017

"How Wireless Tech Is Harming Our Youth And What Parents Can Do Right Now"

"The Kids Are Not All Right. How Wireless Tech Is Harming Our Youth And What Parents Can Do Right Now" by Alison Main

Paleo Magazine. February/March 2017.

First State In The Nation: Maryland State Advisory Council Recommends Reducing School WiFi


First State In The Nation: Maryland State Advisory Council Recommends Reducing School WiFi

Children’s environmental health experts respond to new US study linking wireless radiofrequency radiation to cancer after the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reducing radiofrequency exposures.




After reviewing new and growing evidence on health risks of wireless radiation, the Maryland State Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC) issued a Report advising the Department of Education to recommend local school districts reduce classroom wireless radiation exposures by providing wired—rather than wireless—internet connections. CEHPAC’s health experts include Governor appointed pediatricians, Maryland State House/Senate appointees and representatives of the Department of Education and Department of Health. The Council cited the recent US National Toxicology Program (NTP) findings of increased rates of rare malignant cancers in animals, as well as children’s unique vulnerability to the radiation.
For years, Devra Davis PhD, MPH and Theodora Scarato MSW of the Environmental Health Trust have presented testimony to the Council alongside dozens of parents and health advocates from across the state.  Several countries, such as France, Israel and Cyprus, already have such protective measures in place, this action to issue recommendations to reduce classroom wireless exposures is the first by an expert state body in the United States.


The Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council recommends:
  1. “The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems consider using wired devices“ “WiFi can be turned off” and instead “a wired local area network (LAN) can provide a reliable and secure form of networking...without any microwave electromagnetic field exposure.”
  2. New construction and renovations: “If a new classroom is to be built, or electrical work is to be carried out in an existing classroom, network cables can be added at the same time, providing wired (not wireless) network access with minimal extra cost and time.”
  3. The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems use strategies to minimize exposures: “Have children place devices on desks to serve as barrier between the device and children’s bodies; Locate laptops in the classroom in a way that keeps pupil heads as far away from the laptop screens (where the antennas are) as practicable; Consider using screens designed to reduce eyestrain; Consider using a switch to shut down the router when it is not in use”.
  4. “The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should provide suggestions to the public on ways to reduce exposure: Sit away from WiFi routers, especially when people are using it to access the internet. Turn off the wireless on your laptop when you are not using it. Turn off WiFi on smartphones and tablets when not surfing the web. Switch tablets to airplane mode to play games or watch videos stored on the device.”
  5. “The General Assembly should consider funding education and research on electromagnetic radiation and health as schools add WiFi to classrooms.”
  6. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should “ask the United States Department of Health and Human Services to formally petition the FCC to revisit the exposure limit to ensure it is protective of children’s health and that it relies on current science.”
  7. The Report should be shared with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Communications Commission, Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland General Assembly


“While this report focused on WiFi radiation in schools, there are additional concerns about mobile phones and cell phone towers. CEHPAC plans to take a look at these broader issues over the next year,” the Report states.


Referring to the fact that US wireless public exposure limits were set in 1996, without testing for long term safety, the CEHPAC Council Report also stated that “decades-old standards need updating in light of new science.” Such statements are in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has also called for a regulatory review and states that children’s brains are less mature and can absorb proportionately twice the wireless radiation as an adult because of children’s thinner skulls that contain more fluid.


“If you plan to watch a movie on your device, download it first, then switch to airplane mode while you watch in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure, ” recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In response to the 2016 NTP study findings of a cancer link, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Reports,  Obstetricians and several Medical Associations  have issued recommendations to reduce cell phone and wireless exposures to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also called on the United States government to strengthen wireless exposure regulations to protect children and pregnant women.


“Our children’s healthy future rests on the responsible actions of today,” stated Theodora Scarato MSW, of Environmental Health Trust, who brought the issue to the Council in Spring of 2014. “21st century learning should include 21st century science,” Scarato points out about research showing wireless alters brain development in addition to cancer. “Corded non-wireless connections in school are an important part of a safe and healthy school environment, respecting not only our children but also the teachers and staff.”


The Council heard testimony from health organizations and from parents who reside in multiple counties in the State of Maryland, including Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Howard County. The Council also received hundreds of pages of expert scientific material and comments prior to the final Report, which the Council has posted on their website.


“Parents have a right to know if there is an environmental hazard in the classroom and actions that can be taken to reduce exposure. The stakes are so high for our children, yet we are way behind what has been happening around the world. Over 20 countries have taken steps and in some cases passed legislation to protect their youngest and most vulnerable citizens and it is time we do the same for ours,” stated Montgomery County parent Laura Simon, pointing to countries like France, Cyprus and Israel.


Scarato described the process of how she brought the health issue of children’s exposures to wireless in schools to Maryland State agencies almost three years ago by first writing letters of concern about the school radiation exposures. “I was shocked to learn no government health agency had reviewed the issue from a health and safety standpoint considering how fast WiFi was being installed in schools across the State.” Dr. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, initially responded to Scarato’s concern, “It is fair to say there are legitimate questions about the long term health implications of microwave radiation” and that the Department of Health “would be interested in the advice and counsel of groups such as the Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council.”


Scarato pointed out that the Education Department representative on the Council voted in favor of the CEHPAC recommendations to reduce wireless exposures.” The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) also had responded to Scarato’s initial concerns by referring her to CEHPAC which “exists for the purpose of identifying environmental hazards that may affect children’s health and recommending solutions to those hazards.”  


In 2017, Maryland lawmakers will consider a bill to to create uniform screen safety guidelines for public schools “to protect children from the documented health hazards posed by daily use of digital devices.” Medical researchers are pointing to an array of psychological, emotional, and health issues screens pose to children at the same time that schools are integrating wireless networks and one to one device initiatives into classrooms. In response to these health concerns, many schools worldwide are replacing wireless systems with wired systems, limiting time children spend on screens and developing policy to address health concerns posed by school wireless networks.  

FOR MORE INFORMATION


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)







Never Miss a Post! Subsrcibe to this blog to stay up to date. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

CBS Local: California State Refuses to Release Records on Cell Phone Radiation

"Releasing it would cause panic" California State argued.

CBS Local: California State Continues To Refuse To Release Records 
On Cell Phone Radiation
Published on Feb 26, 2017
Julie Watts follows up on investigation into the state Department of Public Health not releasing documentation on cell phone radiation (2-26-2017)


Saturday, February 25, 2017

HB 866: Maryland State Bill To Develop Medical Safety Guidelines For Digital Device Use In Schools


Maryland State Bill To Protect Children From Health Effects of the Overuse of Screens
Watch Videos of the Incredible Testimony Here And Thank You To ALL !


House Bill 866 would require the Maryland department of health to develop and implement health and safety guidelines and procedures for the use of digital devices in public school classrooms. Given the documented myriad of health risks for children, it is critical that schools have age-appropriate guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools.

Watch parents, PTA leaders and Doctors testify about the harmful effects on the eyes, addiction, psychological effects, social effects, physical effects and radiation effects in the videos below.

Want more details from more experts?
Watch Dr. Lissak's Lecture on the Psychological Issues related to Screens



Watch A Lecture on Worldwide Action on Screens and Children featuring Baltimore County Schools

Check out Safe Tech's past blog posts on the health issues posed by the overuse of screens in schools 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

MD House Ways and Means Committee to hear classroom digital device safety bill

House Ways and Means Committee to hear classroom digital device safety bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 23, 2017
(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) The House Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland General Assembly will hear legislation on Friday, February 24th at 1:00 that directs the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to craft safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in Maryland public schools.

Delegate Steven Arentz (R-District 36) has sponsored the legislation, House Bill 866, "Primary and Secondary Education - Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures - Digital Devices." The bill has 25 co-sponsors and broad bi-partisan support. An identical bill has been cross-filed by Senator Steve Hershey (R-District 36), co-sponsored by Senator James Brochin (D-District 42) and Senator Susan Lee (D-District 16). It has been referred to the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB866 aims to protect Maryland students from the health hazards that medical experts have for many years associated with daily use of digital devices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had regulations governing the use of computers for office workers since the 1990s, but schools have no medical oversight.

"More and more experts are proving that there are serious risks to our kids' health because they spend every day on a digital device," Delegate Arentz said. "Maryland students need to get the most out of this technology, so we want medical professionals to lead us in a safe direction."

Researchers have shown that many of the same health issues addressed by OSHA are now facing students who use digital devices every day in school. Retinal damage from blue light emissions, myopia, sleeplessness, muscle and joint pain, headaches, blurred vision, obesity, anxiety and addiction have all been associated as health risks facing students because of daily digital device use.
The bill has substantial support from the state's medical community. The Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), which represents all of Maryland's doctors, voted to support the legislation at their most recent meeting, according to Gene Ransom, MedChi's Executive Director. One of the co-sponsors, Delegate Clarence Lam, is a physician who leads Johns Hopkins University's preventative medicine residency program.

Believed to be the first of its kind, the Maryland bill also has the attention of several large health groups across the country. The nation's leading vision health organization, Prevent Blindness, supports the Maryland bill. Senior Vice President Jeff Todd wrote a letter commending Maryland's "efforts to ensure children’s vision, eye health and safety is at the forefront of any statewide effort related to childhood development."

Optometrists from around the country have also sent support to the General Assembly urging passage of this legislation, including J. Scott Sikes, O.D., a NC Optometric Society Education Trustee and Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, OD, FAAO, an Associate Professor at the Illinois College
page1image24464 page1image24624
of Optometry and an attending optometrist in the Pediatrics/Binocular Vision Service of the Illinois Eye Institute.
“Protecting eyesight when it comes to the progressive use of digital technology and screen time addiction in young people is our number one priority” said Justin Barrett, CEO of Healthe, a company that creates products "to reduce exposure to harmful digital UV and High-Energy Visible (HEV) blue light emitted from such devices." "We hope the lawmakers will pass this important legislation to set a precedent for other states in the protection of all students."

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, PhD, LCSW-R, a nationally recognized addiction expert and author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids, writes: "I commend the screen safety effort in Maryland and strongly encourage the General Assembly to pass HB 866 and SB 1089 to mandate medically sound classroom regulations."

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is a national advocacy organization with nearly 50,000 members, including 1,000 in Maryland. The group has asked Maryland lawmakers to give HB866 their "complete endorsement." In a letter to the Ways and Means Committee, CCFC Executive Director, Josh Golin, writes, "It is critical that medical professionals develop clear, research-based, age-appropriate guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools."

Citing its 30-page research document released in August, Parents Across America (PAA) is another national advocacy group endorsing HB866/SB1089. PAA notes that it "has prepared extensive materials about the harmful effects on children's academic, intellectual, emotional, physical and social development when digital devices are misused and overused... We applaud the Maryland lawmakers who have responded quickly and appropriately to this critical situation."

Maryland parents have rallied to support the classroom screen safety bill as well. Leslie Weber, Co-Founder of Advocates for Baltimore County Schools (ABCSchools), the largest public education advocacy coalition in the county, says, "This bill is greatly needed, especially in Baltimore County, where one of the nation's largest 1:1 digital initiatives is underway. Children as young as 5 are in front of screens most days -- objective guidelines from the DHMH are needed to ensure the safety of these students."

Janis Sartucci, a member of the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, said, "This bill is long overdue. Our children need to be protected from a variety of health risks that could affect them for a lifetime. We must get DHMH involved to be sure kids aren't hurt."

Queen Anne's County parent, Cindy Eckard, has testified and written extensively about the need for medical oversight of classroom digital devices. Her Op Eds have appeared in both the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. During a recent radio interview Ms. Eckard told WBAL Radio reporter Robert Lang, "Of course we want our kids to master technology; we just don't want them harmed in the process."

Ms. Eckard also noted that teachers have a legal duty of care to protect students from known hazards in the classroom. "This bill will help teachers too, giving them statewide, uniform safety guidelines, from medical professionals and specialists at DHMH."

page2image25632

Links to medical research; recorded General Assembly testimony; a screen safety press conference held in Annapolis with actress/comedian Paula Poundstone, and detailed information regarding the legislation are available on the website www.screensandkids.us or email Ms. Eckard at screensandkids@gmail.com.
page3image2624 page3image2784