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Verizon and AT&T Provided Cell Towers for Senator McCain's Ranch (2008)
USA Created: 21 Jul 2017
Early in 2007, just as her husband launched his presidential bid, Cindy McCain sought to resolve an old problem - the lack of cellphone coverage on her remote 15-acre ranch near Sedona, Ariz., nestled deep in a tree-lined canyon called Hidden Valley.

Over the past year, she offered land for a permanent cell tower, and Verizon Wireless embarked on an expensive public process to meet her needs, hiring contractors and seeking county land-use permits.

Verizon ultimately abandoned its effort to install a permanent tower in August. Company spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said the project would be "an inappropriate way" to build its network. "It doesn't make business sense for us to do that," he added.

Instead, Verizon delivered a portable tower known as a "cell site on wheels" - free of charge - to the McCain property in June, after the Secret Service began inquiring about improving coverage in the area. Such devices are used for providing temporary capacity where coverage is lacking or has been knocked out, in circumstances ranging from the Super Bowl to hurricanes.

In July, AT&T followed suit, wheeling in a portable tower for free to match Verizon's offer. "This is an unusual situation," AT&T spokeswoman Claudia B. Jones said. "You can't have a presidential nominee in an area where there is not cell coverage."

Ethics lawyers said Cindy McCain's dealings with the wireless companies stand out because her husband is a senior member of the Senate commerce committee, which oversees the Federal Communications Commission and the telecommunications industry. He has been a leading advocate for industry-backed legislation, fighting regulations and taxes on telecommunication services.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his campaign have close ties to Verizon and AT&T. Five campaign officials, including manager Rick Davis, have worked as lobbyists for Verizon. Former McCain staff member Robert Fisher is an in-house lobbyist for Verizon and is volunteering for the campaign. Fisher, Verizon chief executive Ivan G. Seidenberg and company lobbyists have raised more than $1.3 million for McCain's presidential effort, and Verizon employees are among the top 20 corporate donors over McCain's political career, giving his campaigns more than $155,000.

McCain's Senate chief of staff Mark Buse, senior strategist Charles R. Black Jr. and several other campaign staff members have registered as AT&T lobbyists in the past. AT&T Executive Vice President Timothy McKone and AT&T lobbyists have raised more than $2.3 million for McCain. AT&T employees have donated more than $325,000 to the Republican's campaigns, putting the company in the No. 3 spot for career donations to McCain, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

"It raises the aura of special consideration for somebody because he is a member of the Senate," said Stanley Brand, a former House counsel for Democrats and an ethics lawyer who represents politicians in both parties.

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said that the senator is not a regulator and that Cindy McCain received no favors from Verizon or AT&T.

"Mrs. McCain's staff went through the Web site as any member of the general public would - no string-pulling, no phone calls, no involvement of Senate staff," Rogers said. "Just because she is married to a senator doesn't mean she forfeits her right to ask for cell service as any other Verizon customer can."

Verizon spokesman Nelson said. "I am not going to talk about individual customers and their requests."

Verizon navigated a lengthy county regulatory process that hit a snag on environmental concerns (see document). The request ultimately prevailed when a contractor for the company invoked the Secret Service after John McCain secured the Republican nomination.

After checking with Verizon and the McCain campaign, Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said an e-mail sent in May by the service's technology manager could be perceived as a request for temporary coverage under the service's contract with Verizon.

"This was something that was being addressed before we were out there," Zahren said. The agency could have made do with existing cell coverage in the area, he said, because it uses multiple layers of communication, including a secure land radio network. Zahren said the contractor was not authorized to invoke the Secret Service in dealings with the county.

Documents that The Washington Post obtained from Arizona's Yavapai County under state public records law show how Verizon hired contractors to put a tower on the property (see letter). At that point, many counted McCain out of the race.

On Sept. 18, 2007, a Mesa, Ariz., contractor working for Verizon surveyed the McCain property. Another contractor drafted blueprints (see document - note large file size) calling for moving a utility shed and installing a 40-foot tower with two antennas and a microwave dish, surrounded by a six-foot wooden fence.

Construction costs would be $22,000, records show. Industry specialists said the figure probably only covers the tower and fence because the antennas, the dish and power source would run the cost into the six figures. On Dec. 4, Cindy McCain signed a letter (see document) authorizing Verizon Wireless to act on her behalf to seek county land-use permits.

Coverage maps submitted by Verizon to the county show that the tower would fill gaps in unpopulated parts of Coconino National Forest and on about 20 parcels of land, including a handful of residences, and two small businesses open only by appointment. "We are not big cell phone users," said neighbor Linda Kappel, who runs a small gift shop.

"It is a fairly sparsely populated in that pocket along Oak Creek," said Kathy Houchin, the Yavapai County permitting manager.

Three telecommunications specialists consulted by The Post said the proposed site covers so few users that it is unlikely to generate enough traffic to justify the investment. Robb Alarcon, an industry specialist who helps plan tower placement, said the proposed location appeared to be a "strategic build," free-of-charge coverage to high-priority customers. A former Verizon executive vice president, who asked not to be named because he worked for the company, agreed with Alarcon, saying, "It was a VIP kind of thing."

Verizon spokesman Nelson declined to comment when asked if this had been considered to be a "strategic build."

Cindy McCain signed a contract with Verizon on May 6 (see document), granting free use of her property for a year in exchange for "the benefits of enhanced wireless communications arising from operation of the Facility."

Over Memorial Day, McCain hosted potential vice presidential running mates at the ranch, but the area still lacked coverage. Richard Klenner, then the wireless communications chief of the Secret Service, which had recently started providing protection, sent an e-mail to Verizon. "Is there any way of speeding up the process?" he asked, adding that he wanted Verizon to "explore every possible means of providing an alternative cellular or data communications source in the referenced area and provide any short-term implementation of any type as a solution in the interim."

Researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.
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Source: Washington Post, JAMES V. GRIMALDI, 15 Sep 2008

We Are All Lab Rats in a Massive Cell Phone Study
USA Created: 14 Jul 2017
The National Toxicology Program is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services - Formed in the 1970s, the program's stated mission is to identify chemicals or other agents that could pose a threat to public health.

The NTP is currently conducting a multi-year, multi-phase, $25-million rodent study looking into health harms associated with the kinds of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by your phone. In a surprise move last year, the NTP chose to publish "partial findings" after concluding the first phase of its study. In its summary of those findings, the report states: "These studies found low incidences of malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas in the heart of male rats exposed to RFR of the two types . . . currently used in US wireless networks."

Speaking to the media after his program published its report, NTP associate director John Bucher said, "Overall we feel that the tumors are, in fact, likely to be related to the [RFR] exposures." Bucher had to clarify this point several times because, after soliciting expert comment on his program's findings, some reviewers took issue with the study's design and conclusions.

"The results of our studies are far from definitive," he made a point of saying. But, he added, there have been a lot of "internal discussions" about the study within the NTP, and "70 to 80 percent of the people that look at this study feel that there is a significant association between radiofrequency radiation and the tumors."

At that time, the media coverage of the NTP's report tended to adopt one of two narratives: that the findings were confirmation wireless technologies are dangerous, or that the findings were flawed and not applicable to the way people use their devices.

Recalling all this a year later, Bucher says, "People took very different things from the same findings and the same call." He says this illustrates how strong the "biases" are when it comes to cell phones and human health, and that a lot of outlets covering the NTP's findings missed the point.

So what is the point? Many people in the "cell phones can't hurt you" camp have long argued that, because the kind of radiation a phone emits doesn't heat tissues or cells, there's no biological mechanism by which that radiation could cause you harm. Bucher says his group's findings, if they're validated with follow-up research, would kneecap this argument. "We need a lot more information to understand any effects on human populations," he says. "We'll use these findings to put together research programs to follow up on this."

Basically, he and his colleagues are trying to determine if Colonel Mustard's wrench exists. If it does, it'll be up to others to figure out if that wrench is capable of bludgeoning someone—or in the case of cell phones, tens of millions of someones.

If it surprises and dismays you to hear that, no, experts didn't conduct all this research before allowing tech companies to fill your life with their awesomely powerful, helpful, hopelessly addictive wireless devices, you've got a legitimate gripe. "We're in the midst of a grand experiment that's being performed without our informed consent," says Allan Frey, a (mostly) retired neuroscientist who spent decades studying the ways radio waves and human biology interact.

"The way I got into microwave stuff," Frey says, "is I was looking at it as a potential tool for understanding how nervous systems works." Back in 1975, he published research that demonstrated certain forms of microwave radiation could "open up" gaps in the blood-brain barrier. "This barrier exists to keep heavy metals and things like that out of brain tissue," he says. "So opening that barrier could lead to all sorts of neurodegenerative and developmental problems."

Since his pioneering work, others in Europe and the US have substantiated many of Frey's findings and added to them evidence that electromagnetic radiation could theoretically damage DNA, sperm, and otherwise disrupt the body's internal workings in ways that could cause or contribute to diseases of both the mind and body. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer looked at the evidence and chose, back in 2011, to classify radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a possible human carcinogen (note for context that there are 298 other things classified that way, and that this is a less-certain designation than the "probably carcinogenic" list, which includes the consumption of red meat and very hot liquids).

"The most compelling evidence of harm has to do with the brain and malignant and non-malignant tumors," says Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley. "But we have studies showing evidence of damage to reproductive health, neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring—particularly ADHD—liver damage, DNA damage."

Moskowitz says developing fetuses, newborns, and children may be most at risk, but most parents are oblivious and many school systems are moving ahead and installing powerful wireless networks and transmitters with little regulatory oversight, thanks in large part to the telecom industry's successful lobbying of the FCC and FDA. "We have radiofrequency safety standards that most of the independent scientific community thinks are meaningless, when we really need to be warning people about the risks and showing them how to protect themselves until we can do more research and adopt standards that are truly safe," he says. (If you want to dive into all of that, he thoroughly details all the latest research and regulatory issues on his blog.)

Frey backs up many of Moskowitz's claims. Frey also says the Cold War is partly to blame for having a chilling effect on honest scientific inquiry and study into the risks of radiofrequency radiation: "Back in the '60s and '70s and '80s, people had a lot of concern about radar and radiation, but the military needed to install radar towers for communication and to see incoming missiles and planes," he says. "So there was an organized, well-financed effort to block research funding and disprove or discredit any research showing that there may be biologic effects or harm from electromagnetic exposure."

The real tragedy, he says, is that there are almost certainly wireless frequencies and "modulations" that would allow us to keep all our gadgets without risk. "But in this country, the science on all this was not allowed to proceed in a normal fashion, and so we don't have an evidence basis for knowing what's safe and what's not," he says.

To be clear, many experts who have looked at the existing research don't think that there's reason to be concerned. "I think the scientific evidence showing a connection between electromagnetic radiation and tumors is weak or none," says Larry Junck, a neurooncologist at the University of Michigan. Junck points out that there hasn't been a surge in tumors or brain cancers since the advent and widespread adoption of wireless phones, and the studies he's looked at that suggest a risk tend to have "methodological flaws."

In the NTP's rat study mentioned above, for instance, experts pointed out that female rats exposed to cell phone radiation actually lived longer than female rats who were not exposed. "Yet no headlines blared that cell phones extend life," wrote Aaron Carroll, a professor at Indiana University's School of Medicine, on his blog. Other experts reacted similarly, as Fast Company noted after the findings were released.

That's not to say experts like Junck don't totally rule out the risk of harm. But, Junck adds, "of all the things we have to be concerned about as a society, I would not put this at the top of the list, especially since we don't have a demonstrated mechanism that could explain a connection [between cell phones and brain tumors]."

Frey says he hears this argument a lot. "I always say, well, we used aspirin for a hundred years before we understood why it took away pain," he says. "Just because we can't conceive of something with our current knowledge doesn't mean the thing doesn't exist."

On the question of whether we should now be seeing spikes in tumor and cancer rates if cell phones really were a problem, the NTP's Bucher says the "latency period"—or the time it takes for those types of health issues to emerge—depends on a lot of factors, but could be as long as 20 years—meaning it's too early to breathe easy.

"It's the nature of science and toxicology that we're always playing catch-up," he says. "We don't have a grasp of all the different modulations and frequencies and their effects, so we just need a lot more information to understand everything." As Frey said, it's all a grand experiment, and we're the lab rats.
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Source: Vice.com, Markham Heid, 07 Jul 2017

Letter: 5G legislation sounds like history of industry influence repeating itself
USA Created: 6 Jul 2017
Regarding “House bill could give faster 5G wireless networks green light” (5/31): I am a radiologist specializing for 30 years in MRI, which creates amazing pictures of the body using the non-thermal effects of radiofrequencies and electromagnetic fields. As a former member of the National Safety Committee for MRI and the Bioelectromagnetic Society, I investigated potential health effects and determined that there is no evidence for hazard from short-term exposures of patients in MRI to these frequencies and fields.

However, the same cannot be said for long-term exposure from 5G, as proposed on a massive scale with the HB310 bill. There is now scientific evidence for hazard from cellphones and 5G millimeter wave technology resulting in its classification as a 2B possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer due to increased risk of malignant brain tumors. Children are most sensitive to the effects of such radiation.

I’m afraid we are in danger of making a mistake with regard to millimeter wave long-term exposure safety. Children with brain tumors will not care if they can download videos faster. Scientific studies funded by industry are less likely to find evidence for hazard than those funded by public agencies. North Carolina is no stranger to the concept of such influence in its tobacco science legacy. Cigarette executives were aware of risks and covered them up, and I think there is reason to believe that the same holds true for this industry. Let’s make a responsible choice this time and evaluate the health implications of the H310 bill.

Larry Burk, MD, CEHP
Durham
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Source: The News & Observer, Larry Burk, 30 Jun 2017

California lawmakers must reject telecoms’ cell phone power grab: Editorial
USA Created: 28 Jun 2017
San Francisco has hundreds of them: slim cylinders and flat boxes strapped to utility poles that serve as mini-cell towers to speed up wireless service. The devices are essential for anyone carrying a smartphone or tablet, but the subject is breeding a battle over money and political control.

Telecom firms such as Verizon and AT&T are pushing Sacramento to pass a law that would essentially remove the control cities and counties now have over where the equipment goes and how much localities can charge. In San Francisco’s case, the loss could total in the millions, according to Supervisor Mark Farrell, an opponent of the measure, SB649.

His argument, backed by scores of other local jurisdictions, is about as basic as home rule gets. Cities, not Sacramento, should have the final say on what private industry can build in the public right of way.

The telecoms are selling the measure as a way to streamline approvals and improve coverage, an appealing idea to anyone who’s had a call dropped or Facebook session cut off. But these companies also want to curb the fees that local communities can charge to only a few hundred dollars per device.

In San Francisco’s experience, nearly all of the mini-cell towers are approved, making the argument about timeliness suspect. The existing rules give telecoms ready access to phone poles and utility posts as a way to fill in broader cell phone service that can be disrupted by tall buildings, thick walls or rolling landscape. Also, as wireless needs grow, more bandwidth to handle the traffic is needed. Cities have responded with lease agreements and worked out arrangements to put the wireless boxes in the right spots.

This bill would shred that process. The measure, which is showing up in nearly identical shape in other states, is about cutting expenses and avoiding local oversight. Health concerns about cell phone towers are not an issue in this dispute since that topic is governed by federal rules.

The bill has already shot through the state Senate and faces its first test before the Assembly’s Local Government Committee on Wednesday. That panel should heed the criticism from their home communities and stop a measure that subverts local control.
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Source: San Fransisco Chronicle, Editorial, 27 Jun 2017

'Health Exemption for Firefighters sends a Message to the World' by Susan Foster
USA Created: 26 Jun 2017
Trends often start in California, spread across the US and frequently around the world - And so it is with wireless technology and the policy advancing the now unchecked expansion of wireless infrastructure throughout our communities. The next few days may signal a policy shift tipping point from which there is no return, and firefighters – forever on the front lines when it comes to health and safety – have a message for all of us through their proactive stance.

A bill is pending in the California Assembly that will be heard in two separate committees on Wednesday, June 28th. If it passes and becomes law effective January 1, 2018, nearly all cell towers may be sited by telecom carriers without any local control. In a flex of corporate power and influence over the legislature, an amendment was added to the bill at the 11th hour to grant a pass to macro towers, allowing cell towers of multiple shapes and sizes to be sited without cities or local residents having any say in the matter. For all the connectivity people have come to wish for, no one wants to wake up with a tower beaming at or looming over their home.

*SNIP* Read the entire article via the source link below...
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Source: BRHP Blog, Susan Foster, 26 Jun 2017

French 'PhoneGate' -- Cellphone Users Say They Are Misled on Dangers
USA Created: 26 Jun 2017
Charges are flying in France that government safety tests on cellphone radiation failed to check where phones are mostly carried—in pants and shirt pockets - Nine of ten phones exceed safe levels in those places.

The French National Frequency Agency released the results this month as the result of a court order obtained by health advocates.

Dr. Marc Arazi, a medical doctor and radiation health activist, said “I am deeply concerned about what this means for our health and especially the health of our children. People have a right to know that when cellphones are tested in ways people commonly use them—such as in direct contact with the body—the radiation values exceed regulatory limits. This is a first victory for transparency in this industry scandal.”

Apple, Motorola, Samsung and Nokia were among the brands tested. When held close to the body, some phones emitted radiation three hundred percent as high as the manufacturers’ reported levels.

Arazi, Devra Davis, Ph.D., founder of the Environmental Health Trust, and other health advocates have coined the phrase “PhoneGate” and are comparing it to diesel emission tests that were conducted in laboratories rather than on the road.

Volkswagen cars passed in the laboratory but “emitted far more fumes” when tested on the road, said Davis.

“This is an enormous international scandal,” she continued. “This is not only about France and Europe but to all persons who use cellphones in every country. If phones were tested in the ways we use them, they would be illegal.”

Similar findings were obtained by a U.S. Federal Communications Commission certified laboratory as part of an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., she said.

Children at Risk—Davis

Theodora Scarato, program director, Environmental Health Trust, said the American Academy of Pediatrics has “repeatedly called on the U.S. government to update cellphone testing to reflect current use patterns.”
“I see children cradling cellphones in their laps as their mothers do grocery shopping,” said Scarato. “Teenagers are sleeping with cellphones on their chests or directly beside their heads all night long. Pregnant women put phones on wireless devices on their abdomens.”

She notes that France’s National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment and Labour, in a July 2016 report “Radiofrequency Exposure and the Health of Children” conceded that the public is largely unaware of instructions to keep a distance between cell phones and anyone’s head and body.

ANSES stated that it was “unlikely that people, especially children, are aware of the conditions of use close to the body, as defined by manufacturers.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) independent survey of more than 11,000 Canadians found that more than 80 percent were unaware of manufacturers’ recommended separation distance and 67 percent admitted they carry their phones against their bodies.

The newly released French data is also corroborated in the 2017 independently commissioned investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that tested popular cell phones in a US government certified testing laboratory and finding Specific Absorption Rate values surpassed the US and Canadian allowable safety limits when the phones were tested in body contact positions. In response to the CBC report, manufacturers stated they were fully compliant.

Flynn Sees Corporate Control

AT&T ($3.3B in ads), Comcast ($3B), and Verizon ($2.5B) are blocking press coverage of the dangers of Wi-Fi and other forms of radiation, says Jerry Flynn, retired Canadian Army officer. The three are among the top five advertisers. The only company with a bigger ad budget is Procter & Gamble at $4.6B. Ford also spends $2.5B in ads.

Flynn, who was involved in Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence, made his charge June 9 in an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“North America’s mainstream news media is now controlled by just a handful of multinational corporations who control what we see on TV, what we hear on the radio and what we read in newspapers,” said Flynn.

“Consequently, few people know the corruption that has taken place over the past 50 years – and is ongoing – which now literally threatens life on earth as we know it!” he said.

“Like all North Americans, Canadians are unaware that the wireless and telecommunications, and electric power industries control virtually all levels of government in North America! Only the Internet reveals that cancer clusters are not uncommon in jurisdictions around the world that have allowed cell phone towers!”

Major Players Back Wi-Fi

Sponsors of Wi-Fi and other wireless devices say that there is no evidence their use is harmful to users including adults, children and senior citizens. wi-fi.org says the safe use of radio waves has been studied for more than 60 years by independent scientists and "no adverse health effects have been found at or below recommended limits."

"Wi-Fi uses the same radio waves that are a common part of our everday lives," says wi-fi.org. "They provide TV, radio and an increasing array of mobile communications services."

The Mobile & Wireless Forum says the safety standards that it supports are based on “the best available scientific data.”

Members are Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, Hawel, LG, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Microsoft, Sony and Tet Mobile.

MWF says “Health and safety, particularly of children, are of paramount importance. Wi-Fi and other wireless products are subject to international exposure standards set by health organizations around the world and endorsed by WHO and other health organizations. The standards are science-based and developed to protect the public and include a substantial margin of safety, taking into account the elderly, ill, pregnant and children.”

Main Threat Ignored, Say Critics

Critics say wi-fi.org and mwfai.org ignore how cellphones and computers are actually used: children and others press them to their ears and mouth; carry them in pockets next to the body; sleep near them or near a cordless phone base, and place wireless “tablet” and "laptop" computers on their laps. Wiring computers, keyboard and the computer mouse is also a cheap and easy way to avoid danger that companies fail to advise, they say.

Ed Friedman of the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters said most government microwave radiation exposure standards for phones and other wi-fi devices are "obsolete and irrelevant." FCC standards in the U.S. date back to 1996 based on data from the mid 1980’s, he said. “They were meant to be protective only of heat-producing exposures and no consideration is given to non-thermal exposures which we encounter everyday with wireless technologies. Even the thermal standards were based on exposure to a physically fit 200 pound soldier, not children, the elderly, ill, pregnant or other sensitive populations."
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Source: O'Dwyers, Jack O'Dwyer, 26 Jun 2017

Life as a worker/slave at Apples secretive iPhone mega-factory in China
USA Created: 26 Jun 2017
Imagine going to work at 7:30 every night and spending the next 12 hours, including meals and breaks, inside a factory where your only job is to insert a single screw into the back of a smartphone, repeating the task over and over and over again.

During the day, you sleep in a shared dorm room, and in the evening, you wake up and start all over again.

That's the routine that Dejian Zeng experienced when he spent six weeks working at an iPhone factory near Shanghai, China, last summer. And it's similar to what hundreds of thousands of workers in China and other emerging economies experience every day and night as they assemble the gadgets that power the digital economy.

Unlike many of those workers, Zeng did not need to do the job to earn a living. He's a grad student at New York University, and he worked at the factory, owned by the contract manufacturing giant Pegatron, for his summer project.

*SNIP* read the entire article via the source link below...
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Source: Business Insider, Kif Leswing, 11 Apr 2017

Letter: Protecting ourselves from two-way microwave radiation
USA Created: 22 Jun 2017
Some may remember back in the 1990s when the first oncologist said his patient died of unusual tumors on the side of her brain that lined up with the antennas in her cell phone. Most folks today don’t realize that all wireless devices, from cell towers to routers, cell phones to tablets, baby monitors to gaming devices and wearables, all operate off of the same two-way microwave radiation.

For years, world scientists have been researching the effects of this low-level, non-ionizing radiation. Thousands of studies have been done, with the vast majority showing biological harm in the form of cancer, infertility, autism, Alzheimer’s, cognitive impairment, behavioral and learning issues, digital addiction, insomnia, headaches, skin rashes, racing heart, ringing ears, nosebleeds and more.

The U.S. National Toxicology Program is in the midst of a multi-year, $25 million landmark study on this type of radiation. In the first set of peer-reviewed findings, they discovered statistically significant DNA damage, and brain and heart tumors with none in the control group. More findings are expected at the end of this year.

Massachusetts is taking a leadership role in protecting the public. Ashland Public Schools has become the first in the nation to take measures while awaiting further instruction from state leaders. Ashland has posted signs in each classroom advising wireless devices be turned off when not in use, wireless access points be turned on only when needed, and as the manufacturers’ fine print indicates, never keep an active device on one’s body.

On Beacon Hill, five legislators have introduced bills to address wireless radiation and public health. The first two bills are scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, June 20, 1-4 p.m. Senator Michael O. Moore’s S.1864 will give residents the right to choose a non-radiation-emitting public utility meter (gas, electric, water, solar, etc.). Senator Julian Cyr’s S.108 addresses safe use of hand-held devices by children.

In the fall, additional bills by Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Cyr, Senator Donald Humason and Representative Carolyn Dykema will come up for public hearing to educate our doctors, schools and the general public on wireless radiation risks and safer technology practices.

Until these bills are enacted and/or biologically safe mobile technology is brought to market, there are simple but important measures we can all choose to reduce our radiation exposure: connect to the internet via hard-wired fiber optics and Ethernet cables, then turn off the wireless emissions at work, home, school and leisure spaces. When on the go, keep devices in airplane mode except when needed as this disables the radiation transmissions, and never give a child a wireless device in active mode.

Other best practices are to create radiation-free white zones, especially in sleeping areas so the radiation doesn’t disrupt our body’s ability to cell repair while we sleep. Distances of a quarter to a half mile (for those with health complications) minimum should be established from cell towers, including the street-level antennas being installed in neighborhoods to support 5G infrastructure.

More than 200 leading scientists and public health experts have submitted an International Appeal to the World Health Organization and United Nations seeking their leadership in bringing public policy in line with current scientific evidence of harm.

Following the lead from France, Israel, Russia and other countries, Massachusetts legislators are to be congratulated for taking important first steps to protect the commonwealth’s residents.

Those wishing to learn more and/or submit testimony for the bills are encouraged to go to http://tinyurl.com/MA-EMF-Bills

Cece Doucette lives in Ashland.
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Source: Metro West Daily News, Cece Doucette, 20 Jun 2017

Smartphones made his kids ‘moody’ and ‘withdrawn.’ Now he wants to ban them for preteens
USA Created: 21 Jun 2017
Colorado dad and Denver-area anesthesiologist Tim Farnum has always understood the intrigue of modern technology. Smartphones, tablets and unfettered Internet access connect us to faraway corners of the world and make life — and movie watching — all the more convenient.

But the father of five is not convinced these devices are beneficial for children, a conclusion he came to after his two youngest sons, ages 11 and 13, got smartphones last year.

“There were some real problems,” Farnum, 49, told The Washington Post. “If you tell them to watch the screen time, all of a sudden the fangs come out.”

As he tells it, his once energetic and outgoing boys became moody, quiet and reclusive. They never left their bedrooms, and when he tried to take away the phones, one of Farnum’s sons launched into a temper tantrum that the dad described as equivalent to the withdrawals of a crack addict.

So Farnum started researching the side effects of screen time on kids and found statistics that astonished him. Too much technology too soon can impair brain development, hinder social skills and trigger an unhealthy reliance on the neurotransmitter dopamine, a high similar to what drug and alcohol addicts feel.

Farnum read it all, then said he thought to himself: “Someone has got to do something.”

In February, he formed the nonprofit PAUS (Parents Against Underage Smartphones) with a few other medical professionals and began drafting a ballot initiative that, if passed, would make Colorado the first state in the nation to establish legal limits on smartphones sales to children.

Farnum’s proposal, ballot initiative no. 29, would make it illegal for cellphone providers to sell smartphones to children under the age of 13. The ban would require retailers to ask customers the age of the primary user of the smartphone and submit monthly adherence reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

The department would be responsible for creating a website portal for the reports and would investigate violations and collect penalties. The first violation would incur a written warning. A second would produce a $500 fine, and the amount would double with each subsequent incident.

The initiative has garnered “overwhelming” support from parents and grandparents who worry that too much technology can stunt imaginations and appreciation for the outdoors, he claims. But Farnum also faces opposition from others, including some lawmakers, who believe that it’s a parental responsibility, not one for government.

“Frankly, I think it should remain a family matter,” Colorado state Sen. John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) told the Coloradan. “I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the Internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk. I think ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk.”

Farnum told The Post he understands the pushback from those who see this as a parental responsibility and a law as an encroachment on parental power, but said his group sees premature smartphone access as a danger equivalent to smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or watching pornography.

“We have age restrictions on all those things because they’re harmful to kids,” Farnum said. “This is no different, in my opinion.”

The proposal also distinguishes smartphones from other cellular devices like standard flip phones that cannot access the Internet, because many parents just want to be able to contact their children for safety reasons.

Though the goal is to curb what Farnum described as the corporate interest of cellphone companies and app makers from latching onto the younger generations, he admitted that there is also an educational component his crusade. Many parents don’t know the dangers of excessive technology usage, he said, or the permanent damage it can do to their children.

Because iPads and tablets are even entering the classroom at an earlier age, Farnum said it is a “real struggle” for parents to feel like they have control over their children’s exposure to technology.

“Hopefully this helps and pushes the conversation forward,” Farnum told The Post.

The nonprofit has cleared some of the initial hurdles that come with proposing new legislation, but still has a long road ahead. PAUS will need to collect roughly 100,000 signatures over the next year and a half to get the issue on the ballot in the fall of 2018.

By the end of June, Farnum plans to have the official petition printed and ready for signatures. Colorado does not accept digital petition signatures, so Farnum and his group will have to collect support the old-fashioned way.

“It’s kind of ironic, perhaps,” he said. “We’re going to have to go knock on doors and sit outside grocery stores. It’s slowly gaining steam.”

Next week, Farnum, who characterizes his views as “fairly libertarian,” is meeting with the most liberal democratic senator in the state. But he is trying to keep the initiative away from partisan politics.

“I think it’s good that we’re all going to get to vote on it,” he said. “The parents all have to come together and do this.”

At home, Farnum’s two young sons no longer have smartphones — at least for now. They spent much of their second semester of the school year nearly technology free, and he says he saw a notable difference.

They laughed again and wanted to be outdoors.

One, Farnum recalled, even offered a striking admission: “’Hey dad, I really like reading now.’”
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Source: Washington Post, Katie Mettler, 19 Jun 2017

After 2 Children Diagnosed with Cancer, Kids and Parents Protest Cell Tower on School Grounds
USA Created: 10 Jun 2017
RIPON -- In a colorful protest, about two dozen Weston Elementary school kids in Ripon skipped class on Wednesday and demanded that the Ripon Unified School District remove what they believe is a cancer causing agent.

“Take down that cell tower,” Kyle Prime, a cancer survivor, said.

"Having a cell phone tower on a school ground, it's... in 2011 it was classified as a known carcinogen so that tells me that it shouldn't be around our children,” Prime's mother, Kellie, told FOX40.

Kyle, 11, was diagnosed with cancer last year.

"I had a Wilms' tumor in my left kidney,” Kyle said.

Another parent, Monica Ferrulli said her 10-year-old son, Mason, was diagnosed six months later.

"I had brain cancer,” Mason said.

Both mothers said it was devastating to learn of their sons' diagnoses. They believe the radiation from the communications tower, which was installed in 2009 on the school’s campus, may be the reason their sons got sick.

"It's there. It's very, very close to the buildings. The kids are there, six, seven hours a day,” Prime said.

The American Cancer Society said there is very little evidence that these towers cause cancer. Even so, Ferrulli said she has demanded answers from the school district only to remain in the dark.

"They don't know when it's tested, what the last radiation levels that were tested. How often it's tested,” Ferrulli said.

We’ve called, emailed the school board and even showed up to the superintendent’s office but administrators told us she wasn’t available. No one would comment. Now, both boys are cancer free but their parents, who are fighting to keep it that way, said they might have to transfer their kids to a different school for their health.

"At this point we just have to eliminate any possible factors that could cause it to come back,” Ferrulli said.
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Source: Fox40, Kay Recede, 31 May 2017

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