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It’s Time to Slow Down and Re-evaluate High Speed Wireless

Early in June, we saw a bevy of articles extolling President Obama’s pitch for a five year plan of the installation of $18 billion in high speed wireless networks throughout the United States including into 99% of the country’s schools.
First outlined in the President’s State of the Union address, this ambitious plan is designed to keep America competitive and at the cutting edge, ready and poised to compete globally.

While meritorious in its objectives, numerous scientific studies suggest that wireless connectivity is harmful to living tissue.  This should be a red flag particularly to any planned installation that involves the participation of children.  Numerous countries, such as France, the U.K., Israel, and Russia, have put the brakes on Wi-Fi in schools and libraries and cell phone use for children.  Their logic is simple:  Many studies show alarming effects due to non-ionizing radiation exposure and as such, the jury is “still out” as to safety and long term consequences.
Perhaps the European Community’s Mobi-Kids study will help shed light on the effects of non-ionizing radiation on children’s health.  This ambitious 5 year project, involving several countries partnering with their European counterparts, seeks to study wireless communication devices and their effect on certain increasing childhood pathologies, specifically brain cancer and brain tumors.  Expected results are due by 2016.

As we await the results of the European research, where might we find data today to help us evaluate the wisdom of the quest to install Wi-Fi in 99% of U.S. schools?  Dr. Martha Herbert, PhD, MD, a board certified neurologist at the Harvard Medical School, has shed important light on the topic of Wi-Fi and the dangers it poses to children’s health.  In her February 8, 2013 letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District titled “Wireless vs. Wired Classrooms,” Dr. Herbert carefully outlines some of the science which should make us all reconsider the wisdom of wireless networks. 

Specifically, Dr. Herbert states:

“There are thousands of papers that have accumulated over decades – and are now accumulating at an accelerating pace, as our ability to measure impacts become more sensitive – that document adverse health and neurological impacts of EMF/RFR [Electromagnetic Frequencies / Radiofrequency Radiation].  Children are more vulnerable than adults, and children with chronic illnesses and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities are even more vulnerable… Current technologies were designed and promulgated without taking account of biological impacts other than thermal impacts.  We now know that there are a large array of impacts that have nothing to do with the heating of tissue.  The claim from Wi-Fi proponents that the only concern is thermal impacts is now definitely outdated scientifically… EMF/RFR from Wi-Fi and cell towers can exert disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function. This will make it harder for children to learn, particularly those who are already having problems in the first place.”

So before we rush out and spend $18 billion on nation-wide Wi-Fi installation, let’s hope that the decision making folks in Washington will take a moment to speak with Dr. Herbert and her colleagues.  It seems that slowing down, re-evaluating and perhaps re-considering the merits of further Wi-Fi installations at this time would be prudent.

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Cell Phones For Kids This Holiday Season: Think Again

Most folks do not know that cellular phone purchases for children are strongly regulated in many countries. For instance, back in December 2008, the city of Lyon in France advertised against the purchase of cell phones for children to “protect their health.” In the U.K., warning signs at point of sale are now required to alert consumers as to the dangers of cellular radiation. And both India and Israel now require radiation warning labels on cell phone packaging. The gift giving season these days pulls parents so often towards the array of tech gadgetry that our children are pining for. In the U.S., parents ready to please and provide, can find themselves drawn to the latest cell phone device. Before you make that purchase commitment, please consider safer alternative gift ideas. In addition to avoiding harmful radiation and the addictive potential of cell phone use, boundless gift possibilities exist which can be both stimulating and rewarding for your children. Let’s take a moment and think outside the box.
Recent nationally syndicated articles lamenting the demise of cursive writing in schools is but one topic which can stimulate interesting gift ideas. The best part here: Any such gifts springing forth are safe as there is no radiation danger with handwriting! The art of formal writing in cursive and pen is not only beautiful but it also stimulates the fine motor skills, encourages patience, enhances concentration, and most importantly, can instill a sense of pride at the accomplishment of having achieved the art of hand writing. To shift our thinking as parents to shop for tools instead of toys at this time of year can seem conflicting but if we stop and think about it, the possibilities are endless in terms of meaningful and useful gifts. For example, instead of a cell phone or video game player, how about a calligraphy set and fountain pens, an instrument and music lessons, a small backyard chicken coop, gardening tools and bare root fruit trees..? The choice is ours as we look towards the future. What kind of people do we want our children to evolve into? Think wisely this holiday season. Practice purposeful parenting and give them gifts which can last them a lifetime. Give them tools instead of toys.

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Tampering with Eve

Most of us who have studied basic biology are aware that our genetic history and DNA integrity is passed through the female mitochondria DNA.  In fact, the study of the genetic code in this area allows researchers to analyze and map human lineage through observation of the mitochondrial code.  This has led to the concept of the Mitochondrial Eve reaching back to the beginning of human origin.

What happens when the mitochondrial code becomes damaged?  Mitochondrial disease and corresponding disorders have been associated with numerous conditions including anemia, dementia, hypertension, lymphoma, seizures and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Environmental causes have been blamed on mitochondrial damage.  Recent studies have demonstrated that electromagnetic radiation causes damage to the mitochondrial DNA after prolonged exposure. Modern wireless technology such as Wi-Fi, cellular emissions and Smart Meters are all broadcasting using EMF radiation.

It’s hard now to find a school, home or shopping center not bathed in Wi-Fi emissions.  Pregnant women and those planning on having a family should be aware that the DNA of their offspring is at risk of potential damage.  Girls in schools using Wi-Fi may be inadvertently exposing their mitochondria DNA (located in the ovaries) to potential mutation.  Genetic damage would then be passed to future generations without the possibility of repair.

To help protect yourself and loved ones, remember to use Wi-Fi sparingly and turn it off at night.  Additionally, keeping cellular devices away from the body complies with the manufacturer guidelines and reduces your exposure to potentially harmful emissions.

Exposure to 1800 MHz radiofrequency radiation induces oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA in primary cultured neurons