Dear Anne Longfield, Children are in need of your protection from electromagnetic radiation - an open letter to the Children’s Commissioner for England
This is a seven-point open letter to Anne Longfield, England’s Children’s Commissioner for UK Government. I appeal for her help in protecting children from the health dangers brought by electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from smartphones, wi-fi laptops, sat navs, etc. International evidence shows serious dangers to mental and physical health. Some countries are addressing the dangers. England is not.
From Peter Limbrick
September 28th, 2015
To Anne Longfield
England’s Children’s Commisssioner
Re: Your important role in saving children from radiation damage as they use iPads, laptops, tablets, phones and other gadgets.
I sincerely welcome the iRights  initiative that you have launched to protect children online. But it will do less than half the job if it does not consider the health dangers to children from electromagnetic radiation (EMR). The technology experts you intend involving in iRights must include scientists who have researched these dangers independently of government and the telecommunications industry.
The radiation that carries information between masts, routers and gadgets is designed to pass through bodies, brains and buildings with ever increasing penetrability. There is no evidence that it is safe. There is a growing mountain of evidence that it is not.
Children need champions to protect them from the so-far unstoppable pressure from the international telecoms industry. England’s government betrays children by expecting schools to use wi-fi without giving children any choice. My efforts during the last couple of years to find organisations in England to champion children have included appeals to previous Children’s Commissioners  and to the CEOs of 20 major children’s charities  I have met a stubborn refusal to look at the evidence.
It seems the issue is a political hot potato. The sad fact is that children are expendable when protecting them would endanger profits or ask people of influence to move out of their comfort zone. We should be ashamed.
There is no evidence to show long-term exposure to pulsed EMR is safe for anyone. But we like the gadgets so we turn a blind eye with our fingers crossed. We gamble with our children’s lives when we use wi-fi baby alarms, iPads in nurseries and then wi-fi in classrooms – and, when away from school, we subject them to exposure from smartphones, baby alarms, cordless phones and laptops at home and sat navs in the family car. The telecoms industry in England seems to have free rein to do what it likes to our children without effective safeguards or precautions.
Other countries have woken up to the dangers and are prepared to put children before profits. A report ‘Radio frequency, electromagnetic radiation and the health of Canadians’  by the all-party Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, was released in June 2015 (following public hearings into Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guideline on human exposure to electromagnetic energy). It makes 12 recommendations three of which are as follows:
No. 8: That an independent scientific body recognized by Health Canada examine whether measures taken and guidelines provided in other countries, such as France and Israel, to limit the exposure of vulnerable populations, including infants, and young children in the school environment, to radiofrequencies should be adopted in Canada.
No. 9: That the Government of Canada develop an awareness campaign relating to the safe use of wireless technologies, such as cell phones and Wi-Fi, in key environments such as the school and home to ensure that Canadian families and children are reducing risks related to radiofrequency exposure.
No. 12: That the Government of Canada and manufacturers consider policy measures regarding the marketing of radiation emitting devices to children under the age of 14, in order to ensure they are aware of the health risks and how they can be avoided.
If countries including Canada, France and Israel are showing concern for their children why are we doing absolutely nothing in England?
From a wealth of research about the dangers I want to mention just two recent examples.
The research of neurologist Martha Herbert from Harvard Medical School indicates that radiation from cell phones penetrates deep into children’s heads and can damage cells. Her research has also indicated a likely link between autism and RF [radiofrequency] field exposure. She has co-written a paper  on this.
A paper by ML Pall in the Journal of chemical neuroanatomy, (2015) entitled ‘Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression’  states at the end of its Abstract:
In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs (voltage-gated calcium channels) in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects.
If you decide, Anne, to explore the research yourself you will find EMR links to brain tumours, leukaemia and other cancers as well as damage to ovaries and sperm reducing human fertility. Perhaps you have already become aware of these concerns in your private life.
The Good Childhood Report 2015 , which closely examined how happy 10 and 12-year-old children are in 15 diverse countries, found that children in England are unhappier with their school experience than those in 11 other countries including Ethiopia and Algeria — only faring better than children in Germany, South Korea and Estonia. They found that more than a third (38%) of 10 and 12 year olds in England had been physically bullied in the last month, and half (50%) had felt excluded.
ML Pall in the paper quoted above suggests exposure to this radiation can cause ‘sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG changes.’
Parents are right to wonder if there is a link between wi-fi in classrooms and anxiety and depression in their children. My own reaction to an overdose of this radiation is to become irritable, suffer strange headaches and then lose the ability to think and express myself clearly – and then strange sensations as I sleep. When it first happened I thought it was the start of dementia.
Anne, would you agree with me that iRights should immediately explore links between irritability, bad temper, bullying, depression, victimhood and EMR? Surely there is enough evidence to suggest classroom w-fi could be a contributory factor?
A report  commissioned by Alzheimer’s Research UK (2015) estimates that 32% of people born in the UK in 2015 will suffer debilitating mental illness. This means children, teenagers, adults and elderly people – now and in the future. Why do we seem so content to accept this dreadful situation? Every parent’s and professional’s effort to keep children out of that 32% must include reducing their exposure to EMR as much as possible from birth.
You have the authority and resources, Anne, to champion England’s children in this. Your iRights initiative shows you already have some serious concerns about the gadgets. Please add EMR to your concerns now. Can I suggest the first step is for you to allocate staff time to explore the independent research (while being aware that the telecoms industry produces its own pro-EMR research)? The next step could be the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in England alerting children and families to the dangers. After that you could work with other organisations to establish information and support services for children and families who are anxious about this radiation or already made ill by it. Alongside these measures you must help persuade the government to produce precautionary guidance and regulations to protect babies, children and teenagers.
There are questions about trust. Can we trust the telecoms industry to protect our children? Can we believe what they tell us? The answer has to be ‘No!’. We are learning this month that VW has been cheating all of us on a massive scale about exhaust emissions. The result is increased danger to everyone’s health – and bigger profits for them. The telecoms industry is vastly richer, cleverer and more powerful than VW. Any parent or professional would have to be extremely naïve to believe assurances from the telecoms industry that the radiation is safe. I am quite sure you are not so naïve. Perhaps you already take measures to protect your family.
Can we trust government to protect our children? No, not in my view. Ministers won’t legislate to properly control the telecoms industry until they are forced to. Remember the campaigns around asbestos, smoking and secondary smoking? Remember the assurances that British beef posed no threat to the public? Government only reacted when it was put under pressure it could not withstand.
Lastly, none of us can pretend to be ‘for children’ without taking a stand against the excessive EMR exposure they are subjected to from technology at home and at school. The telecoms industry is rampant. Our for-child response must be to reduce children’s exposure to an absolute minimum while allowing them the great benefits the technology brings. It can be done. Will you lead the way?
At the moment there is no established organisation in England that will stand up for children in this.
With respect and all good wishes,
2. My first approach to the Office of Children’s Commissioner is referred to in NCB & England's children's organisations – editor's open letter to you about protecting children from microwave radiation
3. Please see my 2-part report: A story: 'Nine fortress children's charities and a very hot potato.' Interconnections Appeal about EMR – End of Year Report Part I
The Search for Children's Champions. Interconnections Appeal about EMR – End of Year Report Part II
5. Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24095003
7. Please see my comment on this report: Where is attendance compulsory? Just prisons and schools. But aren’t schools supposed to make children happy?
8. Report: https://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2015.pdf