21 OCTOBER 2011
The Wireless Safety Summit took place on Capitol Hill in Washington DC from 5-6 October 2011. The Summit was organized by the Center for Safer Wireless. Activists and individuals attended, including many by computer from other parts of the United States, Canada, Israel, South Africa and Switzerland.
On the first day, there were presentations from scientists and medical professionals on the health effects of electromagnetic fields, cell phone research, effects of microwave radiation on the heart, wireless safety standards, and smart meters. Speakers included Dr. Devra Davis, Executive Director of the Environmental Health Trust (and author of “Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family”) who talked about the latest developments on cell phones and children, and Dr. Martin Blank, Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center, who spoke about the health effects of electromagnetic fields.
The second day was devoted to a briefing on how to talk to Congressional staff and Committees and then actually meeting with these persons. Jim Turner, a seasoned Washington, DC insider who worked with activist Ralph Nader, provided guidance before scheduled meetings with Congressional staff. Participants in Washington DC went to Congressional offices to share their perspectives in meetings.
Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) gave an excellent speech about placing human health above profit when we see a danger, or even a potential danger to human health.
Individuals and 26 activist organizations came together to express their concerns during the Summit and delivered a core message to Congressional staff.
“On behalf of the American people, we request that the Congress and the Administration take
three actions immediately to ensure greater health and safety protection from electromagnetic radiation hazards for precautionary reasons:
1. Convene Congressional hearings to feature testimony from scientific experts and public advocates regarding the experimental, clinical and epidemiological evidence on human health and environmental effects of electromagnetic radiation.
2. Ask the U.S. Surgeon General issue a report and call for precautionary warnings on the use of cell phones, Wi-Fi, and other radiofrequency/microwave emitting devices, including transmitters that are creating chronic, involuntary exposure conditions. The report should be accompanied by a public health advisory, supported by a review of similar advisories and policies, that have been issued world-wide, recommending greater health and safety protection, especially those that relate to children, pregnant women, people who wear surgically implanted electronic or metal devices for medical reasons, people who are mildly to severely electromagnetically hypersensitive, people who work under more intensive radiofrequency/microwave exposure conditions, and other major risk factors. It should also include special consideration of recent independent evaluations, such as those issued by the International Agency on Research on Cancer for the World Health Organization, the U.S. President’s Cancer Panel Report of 2009-10, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Report on radio frequency radiation, of 2008.
3. Place an immediate moratorium on Federal funding intended to further deploy the smart grid infrastructure pending an independent review of how the goals of connectivity, speed and accuracy can be met with technologies that do less harm and do not endanger national security and individual privacy.
There are eight actions we ask Congress and the Administration to take in 2012 to further
provide health and safety protections for the American people:
1. Repeal federal laws and regulations that preempt state and local control over the siting
and management of cellular antennas, smart grid and wireless broadband infrastructure to
permit local control over antenna placement, setting up buffer zones, reduce the number of
multiple carriers and require pooling of services, monitoring of emissions with full public
disposure and enforcement, and require transparent, federal interagency procedures for
setting public health based electromagnetic field human exposure standards.
2. Initiate a federally sponsored, sustained and independent EMF research program to focus
on the biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields. The mission of this program
would be to conduct, sponsor and review research; to review proposed technologies for
their potential impact on health and the environment; to develop biologically based
standards; and, to make policy recommendations that protect health and safety.
3. Direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to adopt lower, interim Specific Absorption
Ratio (SAR) standards for wireless communications devices, pending development of
biologically based data.
4. Expand the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection’s mission and staffing to
participate in the development of safety standards, including interim electromagnetic
radiofrequency human exposure guidelines for transmitting antennas pending development of biologically based guidelines.
5. Direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the radiological properties of
consumer products that emit microwave-level radio frequency radiation, including cell
phones, personal Wi- Fi, baby monitors, cordless phones, smart utility meters, children’s
6. Reestablish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s capability to test electromagnetic
radiation emissions from antennas, to monitor and report emissions from antennas, and
inform citizens about what they are being exposed to, and to recommend mitigation
techniques at no or low cost.
7. Provide federal incentives to encourage local zoning that permits low EMF zones that do
not have wireless transmitters or power lines where people can choose to live and work.
8. Ensure current Federal disability and civil rights legal protections are available to people
who have surgically implanted electronic or metal devices for medical reasons, or who are
electromagnetically hypersensitive, and to assist these people to gain equal access to health
care, housing, jobs, transportation, education, and other public services, and have their
needs fairly accommodated.
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