Tuesday, 11 March 2014

BC Chief Medical Officer offered False Assurance of Safety based on Erroneous Radiation Data from Industry Study

Dr. Perry Kendall's letter to the Ministry of Education and School Districts in 2010 stated that Wi-Fi is safe because WiFi exposure is "less than 1% of what is received during typical cellphone use."
Dr. Kendall cited a study called Foster (2007). This study was sponsored by Wi-Fi Alliance (companies that manufacture and sell Wi-Fi products) and has nothing to do with classroom exposure, for children. The locations measured (coffee shops, train stations, hospitals etc.) were chosen by the Wi-Fi Alliance members.

This is Foster's 2007 study: http://www.medfordumc.org/celltower/wifirfexposure.pdf

"No attempt was made to provide a statistically valid sample of RF energy from WLANs in all environments in which a person might be located, however that may be defined.' 
"If there were a scientific need to obtain a statistically valid sample of all WLAN fields in the environment, that would require a study of different design than the present survey.” 

When measuring laptops, Foster stated:
"All of the present measurements were conducted at distances of approximately 1 m or more [1 meter / 3.3 feet; maximum distance not specified] from the client card in a laptop computer... The user of a laptop would be exposed to stronger fields than reported here, particularly if the antenna in the client card were close to the user’s body. No attempt was made in this study to assess near-field exposures to a user of the laptop itself.” 

"if the AP or client card were transmitting with a high duty cycle, its output would be comparable to that of a mobile telephone in use." 

(1) This study was not conducted with children in mind and (2) was not designed for a classroom scenario where there are laptops and iPads often in students' hands and or on their laps. Students are certainly not sitting 3.3 feet or further from their devices. 

(3) The Foster study only presented "average" measurements. They did not mention any peak level radiation. This is similar to a person stabbing someone with a knife, but claims that the force of the knife - averaged over 6 minutes - is weak and harmless. This study is an industry-sponsored and designed study to let the industry advertise that Wi-Fi emission levels are very low. Foster's reported figure is about 700,000 times lower than the peak radiation levels detected from an iPad with WiFi antenna turned on. (4) Foster's study is not applicable to the exposure which our children in schools are subject to, in a 21st Century Learning setting where each student uses a laptop/tablet and 20-30 students are accessing the network simultaneously in the classroom. Foster's study doesn't not offer any assurance of safety to the users (our children) which the Chief Medical Officer is supposed to protect. 

Health Canada and WHO statements on WiFi 

Health Canada's webpage "Safety of WiFi Equipment" states:
"Unlike cellular phones where the transmitter is in close proximity to the head and much of the RF energy that is absorbed is deposited in a highly localized area, RF energy from Wi-Fi devices is typically transmitted at a much greater distance from the human body. This results in very low average RF energy absorption levels in all parts of the body, much like exposure to AM/FM radio signals."
Note: Unlike AM/FM radio which is one-way communication, Wi-Fi is TWO-way communication. A tablet or laptop (just like a cellphone) is a “transmitter is in close proximity to” the user's body. 

The World Health Organization's "Base stations and wireless technologies Fact sheet N°304" states:
The strength of RF fields is greatest at its source, and diminishes quickly with distance. Access near base station antennas is restricted where RF signals may exceed international exposure limits." http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs304/en/index.html
Note: A tablet or laptop (just like a base station) is the “source” where “RF fields is greatest at”.

According to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, "an average smartphone uses 35 times the bandwidth of a regular cellphone, while a tablet uses up to 121 times the bandwidth."   http://goo.gl/QHYpS                                                                                                              (Posted by: Safeinschool.Org)

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