On Saturday October 10th, the Wireless Technology and Public Health Summit was held in the heart of Silicon Valley at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. The event was sponsored by the Santa Clara Medical Association Alliance Foundation. Doctors, researchers, and public policy experts in the field of wireless health impacts joined together for the first time in the heart of Silicon Valley and declared that there is more than enough evidence to reign in wireless technology, particularly in schools and other locations where sensitive populations spend time.
The summit was held the day after California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed all six bills that would have reigned in a corrupt CPUC, and would have taken mild steps to subject it to greater judicial oversight in the midst of ongoing criminal investigations of the agency. The day after the conference (to add insult to injury) Brown signed legislation (AB57) that shifts the burden of defending against unwanted cell towers to local governments and “deems cell towers approved” by the state, if a local government takes too much time in the planning process.
The summit was completely sold out- an indication of the burgeoning interest in the subject in the Bay Area- and an overflow crowd gathered at video monitors in the lobby to hear what each speaker was saying.
Here is a summary of the key points made at the summit:
- Autism has increased in recent years from an incidence of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 68, and increasingly it appears that environmental, not genetic, factors are to blame.
- In a recent paper, Dr. Pall describes the mechanism for action of non-ionizing radiation on cells, affecting calcium channels and flow between cells. This is linked with the formation of free radicals in the body.
- Autism has increased 1200% since 1987
- Genetics can not change that rapidly
- Fraternal and identical twins have been found to have the same rates of autism, another indication that the cause is environmental
- Children with Autism and ADHD have elevated Cortisol, a stress hormone, and their cells are responding as if they were in danger (which they are)
- Impacts during development can affect children their entire lifespan
- Peter’s sons started exhibiting symptoms of Autism early in their schooling.
- Following interventions and reduced exposure to wireless, both of his sons are doing well now with successful careers
- “We created (the wireless) problem. We can uncreate it.”
Dr. Toril Jelter has been a strong and outspoken ally of our movement. She is featured on the left of our Stop Smart Meters! homepage banner, holding a sign that says ” Pediatrician for a Smart Meter Moratorium.” She became interested in the link between health and environment after the Chernobyl meltdown of 1986 rained radiation down on her native Norway.
Dr. Jelter specializes in treating children suffering from Autism and related disorders.
Here are some of the case studies she described:
- 4 year old boy with terrible insomnia for 2 years, could not sleep and kept parents awake. Dr. Jelter recommended a two-week trial, turning off wi-fi and cordless phones in the house. Within a week, the child and the parents were all sleeping soundly.
- 9 year old boy with insomnia. PG&E smart meter was found to be installed on bedroom wall at the head of his bed. Parents got smart meter replaced with an analog and he was able to sleep immediately.
- 10 year old boy with autism and exhibiting aggressive behavior, had never said a sentence in his life. Tried the two week no wireless in home test, and within three days he had spoken his first full sentence: “Mom pass me the scissors.”
Personality changes observed from wireless exposure:
– greater inflexibility
– ethical values and empathy lost
These observations are confirmed by peer-reviewed epidemiological studies, such as Divan et al who found that pre-natal exposure to cell phone radiation is linked with higher levels of hyperactivity.
Dr. Jelter summed up her presentation by urging us to ask the question:
“Is my desire to talk to anyone anywhere more important than children’s ability to speak at all?”
She suggests that continued societal inaction on this issue constitutes child abuse.
Victoria Dunkley, MD Board certified Integrative Child Psychiatrist, Author of Reset Your Child’s Brain
Dr. Dunckley has focused on “screen time” reductions in helping children cope with increasing levels of psychological disorders.
- There has been a 40,000% increase in bipolar disorder
- Obesity, high blood pressure were only very rarely seen in kids- this has changed and become common.
- Typical exposure is 5-7 hours per day of screen time, sometimes more.
- The belief that computers help learning is a myth that leads to unnecessary technology proliferation in schools
- Handwriting beats laptop note taking in terms of recall, integration, and test scores, according to research.
- The nature of tech is at odds with basic developmental needs for nature, engagement in one’s environment, etc.
- Multitasking impairs cognition, puts kids into “fight or flight” mode, reduces empathy and understanding, and at extremes can result in paranoia, hallucinations, etc.
- “Wii” video games are being linked with social phobia, PTSD, and panic attacks
- Kids are being medicated unnecessarily, when a 3-4 week “electronic fast” helps reset the brain
- Wired only access not only reduces EMF’s- it also reduces screen accessibility.
- “Ultimately this is a human rights issue.”
- Symptoms are messages to be heeded- that something is out of balance
- The data centers that our tech depend on use the equivalent of 30 nuclear power plants.
- If data centers around the world were a country, it would rank #5 in energy usage. Cell phones, smart meters, etc. are NOT green.
- The science is clear: EMF’s affect health, particularly the most vulnerable among us.
- Those living within 150 feet of power lines are at increased risk of serious disease
- Utilities and telecommunications companies know these facts but obtain “obscenely obsessive profits” from this technology and are in a “desperate scramble” to set regulations in stone before public awareness increases and reforms are widely demanded.
- Health and environmental costs from wireless tech are “externalized” to society at large
- At this point, we are lucky if regulators are ignorant about this issue. More often they are co-opted and corrupted.
- “Smart grid” and “smart meters” are a “lucrative boondoggle” approved by the CPUC.
- CPUC says “pay me and I’ll give you what you want” in secret backroom deals- a classic case of corruption and bribery, revealed in e-mails.
- CPUC has become a “rogue agency” essentially controlled by corporations (which is what we have also been saying for five years!)
- This has made a mockery of due process, and Michael Peevey, former CPUC President , has acted as if the CPUC were his own personal playground.
- CPUC has allowed utilities to cut corners, skip safety regulations, etc.
- A parade of former CPUC Commissioners now work for the utilities- the so-called “revolving door.”
- The smart meter roll out was plagued with problems, and the only way regulators approved it was that they have “drunk the kool-aid.”
- The $2.2 billion+ cost of smart meters and the smart grid came about because of a secret deal between Peevey and the utilities, and the costs have been borne by ratepayers.
- Analog meters are “simple, accurate, and reliable.” There was no need to change them out. The only reason they were replaced with smart meters is that the utilities were not profiting off them any longer- they had “fully depreciated.”
- Utilities have entered the “big data” game and using and profiting from your private electric usage data. Protecting the privacy of our home has become harder and harder.
- She is optimistic even though she has “seen the sausage made” because the science is so strong. She sees a change in public policy coming within 5 years, and urges us to educate the legislature, as you never know when you will find an intrigued official (though most are corrupt).
- We need to continue educating the media about the facts (i.e. the John Oliver Tom Wheeler “dingo” segment really raised awareness)
The event was a credible and informative presentation of the damage being caused by wireless technology, especially to our precious and developing next generation. It was also an inspiring call to action and a boost to the growing movement to address and eliminate the blind proliferation of wireless technology. A significant reduction in exposure can take place through personal decisions to wire technology in the home, whereas involuntary exposures (cell towers, wi-fi in schools, smart meters, etc.) require a coordinated policy response.
Greater public awareness is key to both. Thank you to Keynote speaker Joel Moskowitz, and to Cindy Lee Russell, MD, Vice President of Community Health, Santa Clara County Medical Association, who organized the event. The slides for the presentations are available online and a video will be available shortly. Check SaferEMR.com for details.
Dec. 22nd 2015 update: slides and videos have now been posted for most of the outstanding presentations outlined here. Spread the word!