Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BCCPAC Voted YES to Wi-Fi Resolutions at AGM 2012

Press Release on British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils

Citizens for Safe Technology Society
Press Release - May 28, 2012       
The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) passed two strong resolutions concerning microwave wireless radiation technology in schools at their May 26th AGM, designed to protect children and support parental rights and choice. 

Resolution 17 "calls on each Board of Education to have one public school at each education level (elementary, middle, secondary) that is free of Wi-Fi, cordless phones and cell phones. This school will only be equipped with wired computers and wired telephones for personal, educational and administrative purposes."

Resolution 18 calls on Boards of Education to "cease to install Wi-Fi and other wireless networks in schools where other networking technology is feasible.Both resolutions were passed with a clear majority (131-93; 130-77) and many attending members verbalized their support during the discussion period. 

These resolutions referenced the WHO classification of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as a Type 2B Possible Human Cancer Risk in May 2011, and Health Canada's subsequent warning for reduced microwave radiofrequency radiation exposure for children because "children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents."

There are more calls for protection of children from around the world, including the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which states, "Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.... Children are placed at particular risk for altered brain development, and impaired learning and behaviour." 

It also noted that "some students in different school districts have reported adverse biological reactions such as headaches, dizziness, rapid heart rate, fatigue, and impaired concentration when exposed to radiofrequency emitted Wi-Fi and wireless devices in the school environment." This condition is known as Electrohypersensitivity (EHS), which is recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. EHS students in BC, however, currently have no alternative to avoid such exposure while attending schools."

Peter Milne, owner of an IT consultant firm in Victoria, is convinced "innovative wired solutions can be achieved in a cost effective way. When parents demand safety first - the industry will respond with safer solutions."  Susan McFee from Langley pointed out that this is the first time in history a 2B carcinogen is being forced onto children. "Schools are taking the liability away from Wi-Fi manufacturers."

Michelle Wong of the Wi-Fi Subcommittee complained about Perry Kendall, Chief Medical Officer's advice to school boards. "He referenced radiation levels with a study sponsored by the Wi-Fi Alliance - companies that make and sell Wi-Fi products. They measured laptop radiation at distances of 1 meter and further from the laptop. That study does not assess near-field exposures to a user of the laptop itself." Using an audible microwave radiofrequency meter, Wong showed the attendees the strong and continual "near-field" microwave signals from an iPad. "It is comparable to cellphone (microwave radiation). We need to know what we are putting in the hands and laps of our children."

Ingrid Truow of Richmond District Parents' Association encouraged other parents "to consider the safety of these children who are affected by Wi-Fi as we do to the children who have peanut allergy." Gwen Giesbrecht, Chair of Vancouver's District Parent Advisory Council, felt strongly that "the present circumstances could really be detrimental to the next generation." Since it's a health issue, she preferred to cease the installation of Wi-Fi in all schools rather than creating only one wired school in the district.

BCCPAC represents a membership of 821, including Parent Advisory Councils and District Parent Advisory Councils from every school district in the province. Collectively, BCCPAC represents the parents of over 500,000 students in BC.

Media Contacts:
Una St.Clair, Executive Director, Citizens for Safe Technology Society
Susan McFee, Director, Citizens for Safe Technology Society