Legal and Public Health Problems of the Wireless Age

Guest post by Deborah Kopald

[Deborah Kopald (BA, Harvard; MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management) is an environmental health and public policy consultant and author who has developed and overseen the passage of legislative initiatives and has served as a guest expert at various media outlets.  In 2013, she organized and moderated The Conference on Corporate Interference with Science and Health in New York City.  The conference proceedings were published in Reviews on Environmental Health.]

The use of Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies has created problems.  “An Open Letter to Phillips Exeter Academy about Wi-Fi”, which I wrote to my alma mater, details the public health problem Wi-Fi has created and some legal ramifications of its use.

Some people who lived too close to TV broadcast and radar towers developed symptoms of Microwave Sickness, a condition observed in military and industrial occupational settings during the Cold War.  The next wave of microwave-emitting infrastructure, cell towers, lived up to the billing of their military and industry-owned cousins with subsequent studies (none were commissioned in the United States) showing elevated numbers of people within 1,500 feet experiencing symptoms of Microwave Sickness.  (Twenty-one years ago, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had recommended siting towers away from schools and hospitals; some municipalities used their zoning rights under the 1996 Telecom Act to create setbacks from these institutions as well as residences, places of worship and recreation areas in the name of protecting property values.)

Today, Microwave Sickness is known as Electro-hypersensitivity (EHS).  Symptoms can include but are not limited to extreme pounding headaches, blood pressure and heart rate changes, and muscular weakness in the presence of Wi-Fi and commensurate exposures.  In Sweden, the government acknowledges that the problem, which it terms a functional impairment, is affecting 3% of its population and provides accommodation in the form of hospitals without Wi-Fi, wireless-free transport, schools and workplaces and wired and shielded housing to accommodate people.

Microwave Sickness accelerated as warnings and recommendations were ignored and transmitters were placed closer to living and working environments; radiation exposure is driven more by proximity to the transmitter than by its total power output which is why a Wi-Fi’ed area can expose people to more radiation than if there were a cell tower on the premises.  (If being certain distances from a cell tower created problems, obviously getting even higher radiation doses continuously would be more problematic.) People used to be able to move away from a cell tower or shield their homes to an extent; not so with Wi-Fi, which is ubiquitously indoors…and increasingly outdoors in the public square with rollouts in parks and city streets.  Therefore, what was formally a problem of geography has turned into one of public health.  Wi-Fi has a much shorter range than a cell tower, but someone who is sensitive to microwave radiation must keep a wide berth from the routers.

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) in conjunction with the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the United States Access Board) put out a report in 2005 that stated that for a building to be accessible, Wi-Fi should be avoided in favor of fiber optic connectivity; if used, Wi-Fi was to be confined by foil-backed drywall or equivalent barrier.  Instead, Wi-Fi is spilling out into the indoor building environment — in schools, hospitals, doctors offices, libraries and municipal buildings, many of which are completely inaccessible to those with EHS (if the transmitters aren’t shut off in the areas that must be used).  Institutions in the U.S. which refuse accommodation to those with severe electromagnetic sensitivities are engaging in unlawful behavior; this is a frequent occurrence.  Sweden and other countries figured out that there is something very wrong with not providing medical care (and other necessary services) to part of their population; U.S hospitals are still getting the memo while simultaneously putting in more microwave-emitting MBANS (Mobile Body Area Networks) thanks to a partnership (rife with conflicts of interest) between the FCC and GE Healthcare. 

I explain in my letter to Exeter how many Americans are misdiagnosed, so they don’t even know that they can be asymptomatic by practicing avoidance to certain exposures and that they could safely  access buildings (not having symptoms triggered) by exercising their civil rights.  Notwithstanding a media blackout in the US, Americans eventually may figure out what some European governments and officials openly acknowledge; continuous exposure to certain levels of microwave radiation is impairing peoples’ health.  As with sensitivities and other allergies, the effects occur on a continuum; some experience varying degrees of imminent impairment and un-wellness, while some will develop disease over the longer-term; studies of microwave radiation link exposures that are commensurate with those created by current use-age patterns to the development of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. 

While Murray v. Motorola Inc., 982 A.2d 764 (D.C. 2009), prohibits lawsuits on brain tumors caused by cell phones manufactured after 1996 and the U.S. Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) managed to get the City of San Francisco, see 2012 WL 390068 (9th Cir.), to retract a city law that would have mandated point-of sale disclosure of radiation emissions to the head and body from cell phone use by claiming the government couldn’t “compel speech” from corporations, the links between cell phone exposure and brain tumors are accepted in both European medical circles and the judiciary.  Other impediments to litigation were created by Cellular Phone Taskforce v. FCC, 205 F.3d 82, 90-92 (2d.Cir. 2000), which deemed the adoption of federal safety guidelines set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), an industry association, the functional equivalent of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.

In contrast, the German government recommends its citizens not use Wi-Fi; the Swiss government acknowledges that biological effects occur below international guidelines; and members of the international medical and scientific community, including some U.S. government agencies and agency representatives (the Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Access Board, NIBS, and the Interagency Working Group on Radiofrequency Radiation) suggest that U.S. guidelines which are for 30 minutes of exposure should not be extrapolated for continual exposure past that time period.  A point that has been lost on most is that many people are getting more cumulative radiation from working in a Wi-Fi’ed environment than they are getting from their cellphones.  Putting aside the aforementioned accessibility issue for a moment, CA has a law on the books that restricts use of toxic substances in schools for K-6 and mandates warning labels for other grades.  While one person’s toxic substance is apparently another person’s convenience, a WHO-designated Group 2B (possible) carcinogen that is a known neurotoxin should mandate warnings for Wi-Fi routers, laptops and tablets.  In April, the Israeli Supreme Court indicated that more than warnings may be needed when it filed a conditional injunction that would prevent the use of Wi-Fi in schools by the Ministry of Education.

In addition to Wi-Fi and cell phones, the roll out of wireless utility “smart” meters on homes has brought high-powered transmitter infrastructure in closer to areas people inhabit, creating even greater radiation exposures.  (See my article, “Rise of the Machines”, which compares Wi-Fi and smart meter exposure, and Karl Maret’s, MD, Eng. presentation at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, which compares smart meter and cell tower emissions.)  In May, HUD forced a conciliation agreement with a municipality to remove wireless water meter infrastructure that was making a resident sick.  (Saskatchewan, Canada has been more aggressive — announcing the removal of all 105,000 wireless utility meters from their province a few weeks ago.)

Last year, the FCC put out a request for comment on wireless standards, and many experts weighed in stating that the standards are inadequate.  Also, notwithstanding the Murray holding, this month 29 lawsuits from plaintiffs who allege cell phones manufactured before 1996 caused brain tumors entered the discovery phase.  Judge Frederick Weisberg of the D.C. Superior Court ruled that independent experts could testify about causation and, in what could be interpreted as a rebuke to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (that deferentially allowed industry to set its own standards), stated that “Federal law is the supreme law of the land, but there is no constitutional provision that says federal facts are the supreme facts of the land. Federal law can preempt state law, but it cannot preempt scientific fact. The scientific truth, whatever it may be, lies outside of the FCC’s regulations about what is 'safe' or 'unsafe.'"

Yannon v. New York Telephone, 86 A.D.2d 241; 450 N.Y.S2d 893 (App Div., 982), a case which identified Microwave Sickness as a compensable disability, revealed an inconvenient truth early on that the wireless industry continues to deny.  Courts in Germany, Spain and Australia have since made similar rulings.  The difference between most contemporary sufferers of EHS and the Yannon victim is that they are developing the sickness from publicly allowable exposures in non-occupational settings, not merely having pre-existing conditions exacerbated by these exposures.  The EU acknowledges that the number of people developing EHS is growing exponentially.  Perhaps having learned from tobacco, lead, chlorofluorocarbons and asbestos, insurance companies have sounded warnings and declined to provide re-insurance; they are not planning on being one of the parties left without a chair when the music stops.

The Israeli Supreme Court issued its conditional injunction on the basis of the report that 8.5% of students were exhibiting symptoms of sensitivity to microwave radiation in the classroom (as well as on the basis of expert scientific testimony).  While the remedying of public health issues tends to have a calculus that is inversely proportional to the power of the industry creating them and the popularity of (or addiction to) the product causing the issue in question, at first blush, assuming that the strength of the Wi-Fi in schools in Israel and the U.S. are similar, these numbers would suggest that most school districts are violating public endangerment statutes, such as N.Y. Penal Law §120.20. 

 The current proposal by the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT) to turn 7,500 payphones in New York City and 2,500 additional locations into high-powered wireless hotspots would cause the city to engage in systemic violations of its own code.  The New York City Human Rights Law offers reasonable accommodation to persons with many medical conditions including pregnant women (as of January, 2014).  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) issued recommendations in 2012 stating that people with most medical conditions would benefit from avoiding electromagnetic and radiofrequency radiation exposure, and epidemiologist Devra Davis stated that pregnant women should avoid proximity to wireless routers at a press conference in New York City in June, 2014.  Today, pregnant women and people with many medical conditions can assert reasonable accommodation by getting routers turned off indoors; once the hotspots, which are much higher powered than a router, are rolled out, the sidewalks will become inaccessible to some; others will not be able to follow doctors’ orders if they must go to the city of New York and simply walk on a street.

 The FCC’s claims of safety cannot negate these legal realities.




0 thoughts on “Legal and Public Health Problems of the Wireless Age

  1. Hugo Schooneveld says:

    In the Netherlands the problem of EHS is as serious as in other countries. There is no formal acceptation by authorities, although some research is being done to find out if electrosensitive people can ‘feel’ the presence of EMFs if they are exposed to EM fields of their own preference. That occurs in their own homes, with portable EMF emitting machinery: in double-blind experiments. Volunteers are being asked now to register as a candidate. Our EHS Foundation has been asked by the scientists to provide addresses of electrosensitive people who might be willing to be tested in this setting. We wonder …
    Hugo Schooneveld

  2. Dianne Wilkins says:

    Like Ed Friedman, I have had a front row seat to Central Maine Power’s (CMP) business dealings in our state.
    The so-called expert testimony in the wireless smart meter safety case before the Maine Public Utilities
    Commission (MPUC) was provided by Exponent, Inc, a consulting firm that works exclusively for industries
    who have to go into overdrive to defend their claims of safety.
    The world has caught on to Exponent’s lack of credibility and their “sham” scientific reports:
    a) 5/20/10 The New York Times, Lawmakers Cast Doubt on the Report That Toyota Called Independent:
    Toyota aggressively promoted a 56-page report by the firm, Exponent, to rebut contentions by
    safety advocates who said that electronic systems in the automaker’s vehicles were to blame for
    They touted the report as a broad, independent study, when in fact lawmakers and the government’s top
    safety regulators concluded that Exponent was not contracted to conduct a broad independent study.
    …It’s troubling, because Exponent and Toyota said they were taking a comprehensive look,”
    Representative Bart Stupak, a Democrat of Michigan, said at a hearing of a House Energy and
    Commerce subcommittee.
    b) 5/20/10 USA Today, Toyota Investigator Exponent Often Defends Automakers:
    Exponent… is part of a thriving industry of firms that do research and scientific and engineering
    analysis for hire…for companies facing product disputes, government regulation and lawsuits.
    Critics claim Exponent will go to any length to get test results favoring its client.
    c) David Michaels, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and author of Doubt is Their
    Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health:
    Exponent, Inc., began its existence as an engineering firm, calling itself Failure Analysis
    Associates…assisting the auto industry in defending itself in lawsuits involving crashes…. I
    have yet to see an Exponent study that does not support the conclusion needed by the corporation
    or trade association that is paying the bill.
    …They…go through the motions… salting the literature with their questionable reports and
    studies. Nevertheless, it is all a charade. The work has one overriding motivation: advocacy for
    the sponsor’s position in civil court, the court of public opinion, and the regulatory arena.
    Michaels gives many examples of Exponent’s defense of industry’s bogus claims of safe products:
    * asserting the safety of MTBE, the hazardous gasoline additive that has contaminated drinking water
    across the U.S., when hired by the manufacturer of the methanol used in making MTBE
    * asserting the safety of amusement park rides that expose people to G forces higher than astronauts get,
    in response to the Annuals of Emergency Medicine recommending physicians consider these rides ‘‘a
    possible cause of unexplained neurologic events in healthy patients.’’ The press release on the Exponent
    report for Six Flags Inc. was ‘‘Roller Coasters, Theme Parks Extraordinarily Safe.’’
    * asserting that the number of beverages consumed from school vending machines ‘‘does not appear to
    be excessive.’’ in a 2005 study paid for by the American Beverage Association
    * asserting that perchlorate, a rocket fuel component produced by Lockheed Martin wasn’t dangerous in
    response to the National Academy of Science’s conclusion that it causes thyroid disease in infants
    * after numerous studies appeared in prestigious scientific journals that linked pesticide exposure to
    Parkinson’s, Exponent’s report for the trade association of pesticide producers stated ‘‘the animal and
    epidemiologic data reviewed do not provide sufficient evidence to support a causal association”
    * asserting that asbestos exposure is far less dangerous than previously believed when hired to defend
    the asbestos companies
    (see: Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health, Chapter 5, pg
    46 & 48)
    Many scholars and scientist worldwide have studied the issue of useless, biased scientific conclusions that are
    only favorable to the funder’s who paid for the research, studies, or reports and have uniformly concluded there
    is significant funding bias in many fields of research, including the radiofrequency radiation safety research:
    • “Do Conflicts of Interest Bias Research?: An Inquiry into the Funding Effect Science, Technology & Human Values”
    • “Science on trial: conflicts of interest jeopardize scientific integrity and public health.” (pg. 4-5)
    • “Source of funding and results of studies of health effects of mobile phone use: systematic
    review of experimental studies”
    • “Secret ties to industry and conflicting interests in cancer research.”
    • “Mobile telephones and cancer: Is there really no evidence of an association”
    Another book, which also documents the industry strategies to use funding biased studies in RF research to convince and mislead governments along with consumers, is by Robert Kane PhD electrical engineer and author of Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette, A Historical and Scientific Perspective.
    Dr. Louis Slesin,PhD, publisher of the well known and respected Microwave News, wrote the article “Radiation research and the Cult of Negative Results” which depicts the problems created by bad science being promoted and paid for by industries to protect their unsafe product profits.
    How long are we going to allow the fox to guard the chicken coop and let industry buy its own science and
    product safety assurances? The stakes are at an all-time high with government forced consumption and
    exposure to unsafe RF products in our homes, public places, and our schools.

  3. Sissel Halmøy says:

    Fantastic to see the American blogosphere picking up this topic. About the author’s comment “transmitters placed closer to living and working environments”, I wish to say more about this. Antennas are being put right into consumer products that touch the body like watches, undergarments and even cars — the tires now send out the same amount as a cell phone call to update users on how much tire pressure is left etcetera. As well, the cars have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and cars will be turned into hotspots blaring out signal past the boundaries of the car. The metal is certain to create hotpsots outdoors and in the vehicle, too. Many cars now cannot be driven by people who have developed sensitivity to microwaves and they have to get old models. If this trend continues, some will have to discontinue driving to prevent triggers to their condition. We understand that the US’s Transportation Ministry proposes that cars broadcast location, speed and direction Besides the radiation implication of such “vehicle to vehicle communications” this sounds like a crazed scheme from the pages of George Orwell. If this is allowed to happen in America, it will be an excuse for the European Union to do the same.
    We in Europe have benefitted from the wonderful work of Ralph Nader, the founder of Public Citizen, on the issue of car and transport safety. We hope to see leadership in the United States on these issues of great importance. The news article above has a link to the rulemaking: We intend to make comment but it is of course best if the US government department hears from Americans about the absurdity of this proposal.
    I am sad to say, that Norway is not any better. We are the early users of all this new technology.
    Thank you for this excellent article!

  4. Ed Friedman says:

    Excellent Guest Post by Deborah. Thanks Deborah and thanks to Public Citizen for beginning coverage of this topic which many of us consider the most toxic threat of our time.
    Speaking as a lab rat exposed without my permission to an ever-increasing dose of radiofrequency radiation [RF] I point out the outstanding breach of ethics on the part of utilities, telecommunication companies and of course government regulators for allowing this, nay, encouraging it. I’m shocked [Not!]. Unfortunately it remains our duty, of necessity, to rise up and squash this uncontrolled experiment.
    As spokesperson for the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters and lead complainant in a several year old proceeding before the Maine PUC to study health and safety effects of smart meters, we have submitted as evidence some of the best peer-reviewed science out there and testimony not only from a bevy of experts but from many lay witnesses whose lives have been destroyed by the non-carcinogenic effects of RF from smart meters. For carcinogenic effects, we will need to wait for the 10-15 year latency period to fully appreciated the damage done [although we are just starting to see cell phone/brain tumor effects].
    One of our evidentiary submissions was the most complete survey to date of smart meter health effects. A few main conclusions were: 1. 42% of respondents began suffering symptoms concurrent with or after meter installation but well before they realized the meter had been installed, and in many cases knew anything about the issue [so much for the psychosomatic argument by utilities]; 2. About 50% of respondents who had used cell phones, computers and wifi without apparent sensitivity, became EHS sensitive after smart meter installation; 3. About 50% of respondents who were already sensitive to RF became more sensitive and 4. Smart meters are clearly acting as a trigger, initiating EHS in many people. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism of injury in order to demand these RF emitting and detailed information-gathering devices be removed and replaced with tried and true electro-mechanical analog meters.
    References have been made in the Guest Post and comments to the outdated and irrelevant FCC guidelines on RF. Washington DC District Court Judge Weisberg wrote in a recent preemption order [8-14-14] in Murray, et al v Motorola, et al:
    Federal law is the supreme law of the land, but there is no constitutional provision that says federal facts are the supreme facts of the land. Federal law can preempt state law, but it cannot preempt scientific fact. The scientific truth, whatever it may be, lies outside of the FCC’s regulations about what is “safe” or “unsafe.
    All of our testimony and evidence is available on our website as a public service. Hyperlinks are provided below to those pages.
    Having focused here on health and smart meters I close by pointing out the privacy and constitutional issues with smart meters. While no one has yet brought these issues to court, violations of the 4th amendment [warrant-less search and seizure], 5th amendment [illegal takings], and probably some others, are taking place now at a smart meter near you.
    Aside from “hack-ability”, RF meters easily discern discreet appliance usage within the home and are capable of providing a very detailed view of your activities to anyone with the software to parse it out. Furthermore, utilities in the case of mesh network RF systems have put their detailed information gathering transceiver on the side of your building without permission or compensation. This wouldn’t work if it were a cell tower on your lawn!
    Opt outs for smart meters only protect EHS folks if there is enough room between neighbors. Opt outs are an unsatisfactory solution in medium and high density dwelling areas. Being forced to pay an opt out fee to avoid harm or threat of harm is extortion as defined by the federal Hobbs Act. Unfortunately with the demise of most citizen grand juries, it takes a prosecutor to bring criminal charges. The same prosecutor for whom gathering your personal information from a smart meter has been described as a “wet dream.” The solution unfortunately will be people in the streets.
    Thank you.
    Ed Friedman
    Intervener Filed Evidence by Category:
    Expert and Lay Witness Testimony:

  5. Desiree Jaworski says:

    This an excellent article and it truly raises the question of why other countries are doing more about this than the United States. The Center for Safer Wireless receives phone calls from people and/or meets people seeking help from “microwave sickness” every week. The symptoms are usually one or any combination of these: tinnitus, heart palpitations, headache, toothaches in teeth with mercury fillings, and insomnia. They receive some relief from eliminating, to the extent possible, wireless radiation. This is a health crisis and one that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by our government. The fact that the schools are adding all the wifi routers and wireless devices to the classrooms and hallways without any testing being done on how this may compromise the health of the students and teachers is outrageous and negligent. The Center is in the process of trying to educate the local school boards and parents about the harm this can do to their children. We are very committed to getting this message out to the public.

  6. Justin Padgett says:

    Wonderful article Deborah! We have had hundreds of people contact us at in regards to the “microwave sickness” that you reference in your article. We are being bathed in frequencies daily. Some frequencies are harmonious with life, cells and our bodies; however, many frequencies are not compatible and are harmful to us. There is much to be known in this area. Thousands of studies have already been performed and the information needs to get out there and this is a fantastic platform. Thank you so much for taking the time to discuss this.
    Justin Padgett

  7. Daryl Vernon says:

    “(Saskatchewan, Canada has been more aggressive — announcing the removal of all 105,000 wireless utility meters from their province a few weeks ago.)”
    While seemingly a good opportunity to push for examination of deeper issues regarding smeters, their accompanying inquiry will be restricted to fire safety and process issues:
    “the health aspects referred to in the Terms of Reference are those that relate to fire. This review was ordered following eight fires that appeared to be connected to SaskPower’s new smart meters. In the interest of public safety, SaskPower is removing the new meters and CIC is investigating the cause of the fires. The review also includes examination of contracting procedures and determination of any avenues for compensation from the manufacturer and/or installer of the meters. Any other investigation would be outside the scope of this review.” –
    Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan

  8. Anton Fernhout says:

    The post by Deborah Kopald gives a good overview of the alarming situation created by the uncontrolled development of RF technologies. It is hard to understand why our decision makers are so slow in promoting alternative technologies which are more compatible with living beings. I am not only thinking about cable or fiber optic connectivity but also about promoting the new Li-Fi wireless technology.
    Our association is lobbying for the establishment of experimental public Li-Fi hotspots in a medium size city in West Switzerland. Unfortunately, as always, things develop very slowly in our country. May be the USA is more daring in embracing new technologies which are safe for our health?
    Anton Fernhout
    Membre Comité de l’ARA
    Association Romande Alerte aux Ondes Electromagnétiques

  9. Iris Atzmon says:

    In Israel, since the National Parents Leadership filed the lawsuit to the Supreme court against the Ministry of Education about Wi-Fi, the awareness is growing slowly. The more alert the parents become, the more they find worrisome reality: in two cities so far, it has been found that the municipalities have hidden information from the public about the results of radiation measurements taken in schools. In one city, 35 schools have been found to exceed the recommended levels of radiation. On TV it was lately revealed, that in one school (in the same city), three girls got leukemia in the same class within one year. One of them died, and her mother understood that 3 in the same class within a year is not a coincidence, and told that also the school principal died of cancer this summer. Since the mother has another daughter in the same school, she is worried but the authorities do not allow her to bring a person to measure the radiation in the school. In another school in the same city, the municipality sent a person to measure radiation and when he came to the school he said he was ordered to measure radiation only in the arts room and he was not ready to do the measurement in the rest of the school. Following these developments, in another city there is a strike in a school, initiated by parents. This is the second city where parents launched a strike (no studies) because of antennas. The parents are asking more questions now, getting involved and some of them are becoming very angry. I believe this trend of growing awareness that we start to see now, will get stronger with time.
    Iris Atzmon
    Israel, author of:
    The cellular, not what you thought!
    הסלולרי לא מה שחשבת!

  10. Camilla Rees says:

    “Critique of the National Association of Independent Schools 1-Page Statement on WiFi ‘Safety’ in Schools by Camilla Rees of and Campaign for Radiation Free Schools. Includes overview of the science showing risks, ways in which other countries are limiting WiFi in schools, and wireless devices for children, known biological effects that impact learning,and recommendations for “20 Elements of an Electromagnetically Clean and Conscious School.”

  11. Terri Keller says:

    Excellent article, Deborah. I’m so glad you mentioned the flaccid FCC guideslines on radiofrequency radiation. Since my area of speciality is “smart” meters, I’m pasting my comment as it pertains to “Spy and Fry” meters and those ridiculous guidelines:
    What irresponsible power companies that put up “smart” meters won’t tell you is that the FCC guidelines don’t cover “non-thermal” damage. What does that mean? Non-thermal damage is done via non-ionizing radiation. What kind of damage? DNA breakage, leaks in the blood/brain barrier, and chromosomal damage.
    So what kind of mechanism does the FCC cover? THERMAL damage. In other words, it measures the radiofrequency radiation (RF or RFR) emitted from a “smart” meter, and sees how HOT it makes a target. What does this mean? Well, you all know that cell phones are causing brain, ear, eye, and breast cancer (women sometimes put their cell phones in their bras). That is certainly not being caused by how HOT the cell phone makes your brain, eyes, etc. It’s because the RFR is damaging your cells! And “smart” meters can emit over FORTY TIMES MORE RFR than a cell phone (!
    I would not suggest continuing to rely on the power companies, who have done NO STUDIES ON HUMAN SAFETY for “smart” meters. Rely on doctors and scientists who have studied the subject for years. Don’t put your family and home (“smart” meters start fires, too) in jeopardy – please study the subject. When you find out how dangerous “Spy and Fry” meters are, go to to find out how to get yours off your home ASAP – your famiy’s lives may depend on it!
    Btw, if you do have a safe analog meter still on your home, please put a sign below it that says “DO NOT REPLACE METER. We refuse the ‘smart’ meter due to healthy, safety, and privacy issues.” Stick that in a gallon ziplock and place it below the analog where both can be read. You can also find more ideas about how to protect your analog at Thank you and God bless.

  12. Susan Foster says:

    For all the reasons listed in Deb Kopald’s brilliant analysis of the disconnect between our current laws and public policy favoring the telecommunications industry over public health, this should be Public Citizen’s number one focus.
    In 2003 I organized a brain study of six California firefighters who lived with a cell tower 9′ from their fire station. They were experiencing profound neurological symptoms such as disorientation, memory loss, sleep disruption, cognitive impairment and severe mood swings. Gunnar Heuser, MD, PhD conducted the study using SPECT brain analysis and T.O.V.A. testing. We found brain abnormalities in all six firefighters, though one was significantly less affected than the others. This firefighter was a captain who had the ability to schedule his time away from the station as much as possible.
    We found delayed reaction time, lack of impulse control, and measurable cognitive impairment in all six men. Each one of these men had been through rigorous physical and cognitive testing before being hired. Even though the towers have been decommissioned, all the men still complain of memory loss.
    Considering firefighters are the “strongest of the strong” among us, this small pilot study may serve as a warning for what lies ahead for humanity if unchecked proliferation of microwaves under the creative advertising guise of “faster and therefore smarter” is not taken on as Public Health Threat #1.
    Susan Foster, MSW
    Adviser, EM Radiation Research Trust
    Author, Res. 15 passed by the IAFF – 2004
    Honorary Firefighter, San Diego Fire Dept

  13. Eileen O'Connor says:

    The insurance industry are also highlighting concerns regarding this very real and urgent situation. A report by Swiss Re SONAR on Emerging risk insights released in June 2013 provides the following statement:
    Unforeseen consequences of electromagnetic fields Potential
    impact rated as HIGH and likely to hit the casualty area of insurance business.
    Concerns about potential implications for human health, in particular with regard to the use of mobile phones, power lines or antennas for broadcasting. Over the last decade, the spread of wireless devices has accelerated enormously. The convergence of mobile phones with computer technology has led to the proliferation of new and emerging technologies. This development has increased exposure to electromagnetic fields, the health impacts of which remain unknown.
    Liability rates likely to rise in next 10 years
    Eileen O’Connor
    EM Radiation Research Trust
    Sent from a hardwired computer
    The EM Radiation Research Trust is an educational organisation funded by donations. An independent Charity Registered No. 1106304 © The EM Radiation Research Trust 2003-2004

  14. Deborah Rubin says:

    Over the past five years, I have encountered the same resistance to information that you write about above from the School District of Hillsborough County (8th largest in US), the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health when questioning them about the health consequences of Florida’s Education Technology Modernization Initiative which mandates seamless wireless connectivity throughout the schools and encourages the children to bring their own devices. Perhaps the latter is an attempt to relieve themselves of some future liability; the devices will have belonged to the children, not the school system. Inexplicably to me, over those same 5 years, the microwave radiation exposure in my children’s schools has increased exponentially–this is the first school year with the new routers, 3 antennae each in many of the classrooms. Never once has the health information been publicly discussed; the district has never explained how they have come to the conclusion that wireless radiation is safe for children in spite of the links to thousands of studies and many expert opinions I have given them which clearly show harm. These, our Educators, refuse to do what they are allegedly teaching our children to do: to think critically for themselves; to grow into caring, responsible citizens and people; to be brave and ethical; to be leaders into a better future. Common Core, the new public school paradigm, is supposed to be based on “evidence” and “higher order thinking skills.” It is ironic to me that the Core requires an infrastructure [microwave] that will harm our future higher thinkers, despite the journals and journals of evidence that it is contraindicated for children, and that our Educators will not acknowledge the harm or question the Core–even for the sake of the Children, the most vulnerable among us.
    Similarly there is no impetus to educate the students or the community, as the Public School usually would, regarding other health topics: hygiene, drugs, diet, reproduction, other disease prevention. I have to wonder why.
    And most disturbing of all, our Educators simply do not want to know. For that matter, nor do the PTA’s from my experience, and nor do most parents. But who will Teach them?
    So, after spending these last 5 years trying to inform and wondering why the teachers and administrators refuse to acknowledge the evidence I have put right under their noses, I have no answer. But I think I have identified the condition: Willful Blindness.
    Margaret Hefferman brilliantly wrote about this all too common human condition, apparently affecting even our academics, in her book, Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril. I highly recommend the book to all School Administrators, but will leave you with a few pithy quotes and an appeal for the children and your staff:
    “Since they could have known, they were responsible.”
    “the central challenge posed by each case was not harm that was visible — but harm that so many preferred to ignore”
    “”conscious avoidance”, and “deliberate indifference”. What they all have in common is the idea that there is an opportunity for knowledge, and a responsibility to be informed, but it is shirked.”
    “sheer utility of willful blindness that sucks us into the habit in the first place”
    “That willful blindness is so pervasive does not mean that it is irretrievable. Some of the most inspiring people in this book are those who have had the courage to look — a fierce determination to see. That is what makes them remarkable. They aren’t especially knowledgeable, powerful or talented. They’re not heroes; they’re human. But their courage in daring to see reveals a central truth about willful blindness: We may think being blind makes us safer, when in fact it leaves us crippled, vulnerable, and powerless. But when we confront facts and fears, we achieve real power and unleash our capacity for change.”

  15. Teri Bloom says:

    As a resident of NY City and a certified EMF & Wireless Shielding Consultant, I’m extremely concerned about:
    1) the density of the city’s wireless infrastructure in the form of cellphone towers and public wifi
    hotspots, all of which emit constant radiation and 2) the complete absence of governmental oversight in regulating the permissible amounts of wireless radiation that our cities, towns and schools are bathed in.
    To add in 10,000 wifi hotspots to NYC’s existing telephone booths is the very worst of ideas as more and more people would likely get radiation-related disease or sensitivities. Because wireless radiation is invisible, people have no idea that this technology is harmful to health because everyday exposures are cumulative. Electrically sensitive people are already reacting to lower levels of wifi in public areas, so by adding industrial strength wifi on the streets we can expect to see more people developing sensitivities.
    Independent medical science has deemed wireless radiation a health risk for all as evidenced in
    the BioInitiative Report, This report compiles 1800 medical and scientific studies by 24 doctors and scientists around the world, delivering the verdict that all wireless technology is problematic in multiples of ways for our health, and even worse for fetuses and children. This report should be read by all medical doctors and health researchers.
    Fortunately there are a few solutions to implement for those that are concerned:
    a) A building biologist or a wireless shielding specialist such as myself can measure indoor wireless radiation and use shielding materials to block out most of the radiation.
    b) People can relocate to a more remote area if they can’t tolerate the outdoor levels in cities.
    c) Citizens should press for proper laws to be put in place to eliminate wireless in public places to protect people sickened by microwave radiation so they can freely participate in society.
    d) The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) should send out a memo to all employers introducing the concept of Electrical Hypersensitivity (EHS) and explain that many people are sensitive to wireless radiation and that they must be accommodated on demand. If workplace devices were hard-wired there would be greater workplace productivity as workers would be more alert and less fatigued. So many people sit close to routers or have one in a drop-ceiling above their head, which can be very tiring.
    Finally, our medical doctors must learn about the extreme and compounded health effects of wireless radiation, because so many patients are presenting with fatigue, insomnia, headaches, tinnitus, infertility, and neurological symptoms that can’t be connected to a biological cause. Doctors could help so many people that are healthy but suffering from EHS… and avoid putting these folks through extensive testing and giving them medicine that they may not need. Doctors should be advising patients to turn off wireless routers and devices when they are not in use and especially before bed.
    It was heartening to see Public Citizen covering this topic and am hopeful that mainstream media will begin reporting on this subject. I really hope that other forums like yours will follow with like-minded articles. Thanks so much!

  16. Josh del Sol says:

    Very good summation of this emerging health crisis and what is at stake. I have great concern that a former senior lobbyist for the cellular telecom industry (Tom Wheeler) has been planted to run the FCC, an organization whose “safety” guidelines for microwave radiation have been identified as “inapplicable” by the US Dept of Interior, NIOSH, EPA, Amateur Radio Relay League Bio-Effects Committee, and even FDA (back in 1993). These guidelines actually permit 100x more radiation than countries such as China, Poland and Russia.
    And in June, CDC broke ground and publicly posted a cell-phone use precaution on their website, only to redact it in August amidst apparent pressure from the wireless industry following the information going somewhat viral amongst groups aware of what appears to be a greater cover-up.
    For the past 3 years, I have been researching the issue of health harm from wireless technology, as part of making the investigative documentary “Take Back Your Power” (, which exposes a panoply of issues brought about with the deployment of “smart” meters. The meter deployment has been incentivized through $11B of stimulus funds, by what appears to be a corporately-run government also keen to illegally snoop on in-home activities and move in the direction of sweeping austerity measures throughout the utility industry.
    There are literally thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies which demonstrate either the biological harm (directly) or the plausibility of harm from the types of microwave radiation which are being deployed throughout the US and most western countries.
    On an increasing basis, I feel agreement with a growing number of PhD whistleblower scientists and physicians, including Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt who identifies this particular story as, “the great issue of our time.”
    Josh del Sol
    Producer and Director,
    Take Back Your Power: Investigating The “Smart” Grid

  17. Sandra says:

    I am glad that there is people trying to do something about this problem.I am sensitive and my life is a mess due to the symptoms that I have since I have been exposed to wifi.My question is how can I do to protect myself for the electromagnetic field comming from my neighbors connections? I can not stay in my apartment for 2 days in a row without starting to feel the pain,fatigue or imsomnia.This is a big problem. Wifi is everywhere and I don’t have a place to live or work. Please help!

  18. angela says:

    As a former librarian, now sensitized, I submit that a public library cannot be public if they go wi fi. You can get internet without going wi fi and be a public information source and not discriminate.

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