Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
14 July 2010
No Class at Clark Elementary School?
I am very disappointed to learn that you deem it necessary and fair to charge me for the six hours SDHC employees have spent researching, compiling, and copying the wireless technology information I had requested months before finally removing my two youngest children from Clark Elementary School. Furthermore, I am truly surprised it took only 6 hours to fulfill my request in light of the fact that it has taken 6 months for that information to be made available to me.
While waiting for your reply and in the year before my formal request to you, I have provided the school district with volumes of scientific evidence and opinion that microwave and low frequency radiation--such as that emitted by SDHC's wifi system, wireless laptops, SmartBoards, cell phones, and cell towers--has been scientifically demonstrated to be hazardous, especially to the health of children. SDHC's demand of payment from me, a tax-paying citizen, seems unfair, in the first place, because I already compensate you with my taxes.
In addition to my taxes, over the last year and a half, I have spent literally more than a thousand hours of my own valuable time researching microwave/radiofrequency radiation studies regarding health effects (non-thermal, biological), writing to and collecting letters of recommendation from scientists who are experts in this field, consulting with a public health advocate who is an expert in this field, as well as researching municipal decisions worldwide to prohibit wifi and/or cell tower deployments on school campuses. I have shared that information--free of charge--with SDHC administration, Clark Elementary School teachers, the librarian, and parents. I have offered to bring a public health advocate to speak to the Clark Elementary PTA, at my own expense, to inform them of the health risks associated with this type of radiation exposure; the Executive PTA Board refused my offer. At my own expense of $500, I have purchased a radiofrequency radiation meter and taken readings at Clark Elementary to further document the radiation levels there. Much of the information I have requested, that for which you are charging me $178, is necessary to fulfill the very requirements Mr. Fiallos, who represented the School District in our meeting of January 22, 2010, has made of me.
From Mr. Fiallos's letter of January 25, 2010: "Mrs Rubin was advised that for us to effectively coordinate with her for any classroom measurements she would need to provide a written Scope of Work that defined what she needed in terms of a test environment, proposed dates, test methodology and instrumentation to be used including lab certification of the instrumentation." (email attached, emphasis mine)
Please remember, Mr. Fiallos has requested that I provide SDHC with a list of details regarding my proposal to measure the microwave/radiofrequency radiation levels at Clark and other SDHC schools, including one with a cell tower and wifi system in use. He also insisted I provide a written Scope of Work before SDHC would cooperate and I could formally proceed with my proposal to the school district, including the methodology I would use, etc. I need specific information from SDHC to best determine that methodology and was hoping for the cooperation Mr. Fiallos had assured me from the start of our meeting: "At the opening of the meeting, Mrs Rubin was advised that the District's posture was to be fully cooperative and that we took her concerns seriously and that she would be given every opportunity to have her concerns heard in a fair manner." (email attached, emphasis mine.) I do not believe SDHC has been cooperative or fair.
So, to sum up, much of the information I have requested is necessary for the Scope of Work Mr. Fiallos advised me to present to SDHC. Mr. Fiallos did not mention that I would be compensated for my time, nor do I expect or require such compensation. My work has been done gratis for the sake of the children and the community. For the record, I did send a notarized letter answering and rebutting Mr. Fiallos email of 1-25-10 (attached). My letter most emphatically states that Mr. Fiallos has seriously misrepresented one of my statements on the public record, as I have never actually considered, "the idea of providing her [my] children with cranial shielding." I can not speak to his motives for making such a pointed and inaccurate allegation. My full response to Mr. Fiallos and the school district, sent certified mail and dated February 2, 2010, should be part of the public record as I requested it be and is also available by request from me.
Mr. Hegarty, I ask you to reconsider charging me for the public information I requested through the Florida Statute 119. This information is necessary for me to proceed in the very manner in which the school district has asked me to do, regarding my position that wireless deployments at Clark and other SDHC schools are hazardous to the children's health. Past and current research is indicating that this is the case, and I believe this matter must be examined further. My ultimate goal is to return my children to public school and to make the school a safer environment for all children.
Deborah M. Rubin
19160 Dove Creek Drive
Tampa, FL 33647
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 16:57:16 -0400
Subject: Response to Your Most Recent Request
Mr. Smith and Mr. Fiallos have spent a great deal of time researching the answers to your questions - the most recent ones and previous ones.
Before I send you the answers to your most recent questions, I must inform you that because the nature and volume of requests has required "extensive" work on the part of school district staff, we will charge you for the labor costs, as provided under Florida Statutes Chapter 119.
Here is the relevant section of the statute:
If the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected or copied pursuant to this subsection is such as to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the agency involved, or both, the agency may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special service charge, which shall be reasonable and shall be based on the cost incurred for such extensive use of information technology resources or the labor cost of the personnel providing the service that is actually incurred by the agency or attributable to the agency for the clerical and supervisory assistance required, or both.
We have estimated that our staff members have spent in excess of six hours working on your request. Because we have some latitude in determining the special service charge, we will charge you for four hours (not six hours) multiplied by the hourly rate for the staff member who spent the most time working on your request. At an hourly rate of $44.50, that comes to $178.
I will be happy to send you an invoice and then to provide you the answers and attachments that respond to your most recent questions. Please let me know how you would like to proceed.
Hillsborough County Public Schools
901 East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Fl. 33602-3507
Wi Fi in schools, news from four years ago.
Health fears lead schools to dismantle wireless networks
November 20, 2006
Yesterday we published an article containing Cindy Sage's article on INTERPHONE. Cindy has forwarded this 'companion piece' which was written shortly after the first.
The Day after INTERPHONE
Culling through the more than 1100 news headlines generated in the last few days, you would not be alone in wondering what the bottom line is from the 10-year, 13-country INTERPHONE study of cell phone use and brain tumors.
An interesting trend emerged over the course of 24 hours the day before the study was officially released. If you wondered how there could be so many opinions in the press days BEFORE its release, its because selected people got the report last week. Ignoring IARC pleas for a complete embargo on jumping the media gun, many did.
Science News Janet Raloff, and the Los Angeles Times fairly ranted about having to observe IARC's media embargo, while watching the not-so-compliant issuing torrents of opinion pieces.
Those who know the media cycle know you only have a few hours to get your work out there and covered, and these stories can heavily influence the message the public gets. You miss the 24-hour news cycle, and it is gone.
In the major UK news coverage as early as last Friday, headlines ran: "Landmark study set to show potential dangers of heavy phone use" (UK Telegraph) and "Heavy mobile users risk cancer" (UK Times). The Scotsman read "A major international study has found a link between mobile phone use and certain brain tumours."
Then, a big shift. CNN's television crawler at 7 am Monday morning said "study finds no risk of brain tumors with cell phone use."
An avalanche of press quickly followed with the over-riding message mostly saying "study finds no risk" or "no proof of mobile phone cancer link".
By mid-day on Monday, May 16th, over 600 media stories were listed. Most were sketchy on detail, but seemed to be influenced by conservative views such as the Mobile Manufacturers Association (MMA), a European telecom lobby group. The majority at that hour had flipped the message from 'yes, there is a risk' to 'no, there is no risk at all'.
MMFs press release said:
"The INTERPHONE project is the biggest study of its kind ever undertaken in this field and provides significant further reassurance about the safety of mobile phones. The overall analysis is consistent with previous studies and the significant body of research, reporting no increased health risk from using mobile phones."
By late afternoon, the emphasis clearly shifted back to headlines reflecting more moderate views and better interviews with key people (researchers, reviewers, knowledgeable public health people).
CNN replaced its "no worries" crawler with one reading "cell phone study inconclusive", which is marginally better than the earlier assertion that the study found no risk at all.
Headlines released between about 4 pm and 8 pm PDT were mostly variations of "mobile phone cancer link inconclusive" and "calls for more cancer research".
One notable one was from msnbc saying "No answer, just fuzz, from cell phone study".
One of the best was Frank Jordans Associated Press coverage. HIs tempered headline read "Cancer from mobile phone use uncertain". His story delved more deeply into the statistics, and the meaning of early but significantly elevated glioma risks.
Much of the following press seems to have been influenced, at least in part, by this and a few other key media articles. Jordans quickly dismissed the view that the study established no risk, or reduced risk. He showed these findings were based on little exposure, short latency and other dilution factors. And, he undercut the industry spin.
He first quoted the telecom industry's Jack Rowley's comment that:
"The overall conclusion of no increased risk is in accordance with the large body of existing research and many expert reviews that consistently conclude that there is no established health risk from radio signals that comply with international safety recommendations"
He undercut it by then quoting Elizabeth Cardis, the principal author of the study:
"The users in the study were light users compared to today," said Prof. Elisabeth Cardis of World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, which organized the study.
The highest risk found was for tumors on the same side of the head asusers held their phone, particularly for tumors in the temporal lobe closest to the ear, Cardis told reporters in Geneva on Monday. This is the region of the head which receives the most exposure."
She concluded that ""Until stronger conclusions can be drawn one wayor another it may be reasonable to reduce one's exposure," said Cardis. One way to do this would be to make calls using a handsfree device."
The debate on Larry King Live at 6 pm PDT showed remarkable agreement among what should have been the 'bookends' of opinion. Ron Herberman and Devra Davis argued the inconvenient and factual findings on increased risk, and gave good public health interpretations about what they may mean. Otis Brawley the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society and Daniel Krewski of the University of Ottawa, and an INTERPHONE participant known to be on the 'no worries' side, seemed to be drug by the facts into suprisingly frank admissions that this study does, in fact, have some worrisome findings.
In the end, we are left wondering - the day after INTERPHONE - what kind of action this level of corroborating evidence warrants. There won't be any more large studies of this kind for years.
This is it for now.
The INTERPHONE final report is a major milestone. It finds risks for a deadly brain tumor that - even if you disagree on every other point in the study - is reported at 10 years and longer use - and even at this early date shows a 40-96% increased risk for healthy adults...... and, if Louis Slesin and Michael Kundi are right, there is explosive data hidden from view in Appendix 2 that must come to light.
Either way, it should be more than enough evidence to justify some big changes.
The hard part now is deciding what to ask for. This column asks you to think about what we should ask for now. What is the right response by our government, and our health agencies? What should we do next?
Please read Louis Slesin's excellent coverage at www.microwavenews. You can also read the BioInitiative Working Group's press release either at
or at www.healthandenvironment.org.
In Finland, Dariusz Leszczynski, a noted researcher, has a running blog with sensible, if conservative views that are of value.
Submitted by Cindy Sage
Panel Discussion on Radio Frequency Standards
Maybe of interest to WEEP readers, another historical perspective:
From Electromagnetic Interaction with Biological Systems ('89, Lin, ed.) in Part III, "Panel Discussion on Standards" (Raytheon's Osepchuk, moderator):
[after mentioning the now late Dr. Ross Adey's referring to findings where "intermittent exposures may be more effective than continuous exposure", Adey:]
"Therefore, the question of time constants cannot be discussed simply on the comfortable notions of Schwan and others that we're going to take a look at the question of where and how quickly the body heating occurs and how quickly it cools off. That is frivolous, trivial and irrelevant."
[Polish expert] Dr. Korniewicz [...] stated the original objective of standards as the protection of workers during 45 years of work from injury to the workers or their progeny. This is basic and must be enforced during a lifetime and not just for a few years. The threshold of highest permissible dose derives from ideas on maximum levels of exposure to chemicals. In the field of electromagnetics the analogous level is that of thermal effects. Time averaging is in many cases inappropriate - e.g., 6 minutes is too long for pulse fields.
The next idea is to consider a "dose" not just for 6 months but for a long period. In Poland there is a trend to use dose limits in RF exposure standards. It is the opinion in Poland that the approach with dose rate limits by IRPA and western countries is unwise.
Another concept accepted in Poland is the time for restitution. After 8 hours of exposure it is desirable to have at least 10 hours of no exposure before the next exposure. [...]
The resonance theory inherent in western standards is oversimplified according to Dr, Korniewicz. Though average SAR is higher at resonance the distribution of absorbed power is fairly uniform inside the body. At much higher frequencies, however, the SAR is concentrated in the skin and body averages are somewhat meaningless. Clearly microwave standards should match those of infrared at the highest micowave frequencies.
An anonymous speaker (audience) then spoke up to insist that there remain large differences between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. because U.S. limits apply not only for 6 minutes but for unlimited duration of exposure. He asked if standards-setters account for environmental temperatures and physical stress.
An anonymous speaker (audience) then opined that SA and SAR concepts may be irrelevant if recent indications on existence of "windows" in biological effects are established.
[the editor, Lin: ] One should not overreact to the criticism by Dr. Adey. Many factors go into standards-setting of which practicality is a leading example. A Standard for man is not a standard for the rat. The published standards generally do not extensively describe the details of conservatism resulting when animal data are extrapolated to man.
Now consider fro Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health ('08, David Michaels)
[internal memo from beryllium manufacturer:]
"If beryllium is deternmined to be a carcinogen [...] Loss of invested savings for stockholders [is a real suffering that has] to be equated against the hypothetical nature of an unproven health hazard [...]"
Excellent resources/links below.
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