Environmental Health Trust, August 2018
SAN FRANCISCO EDUCATORS PASS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR SAFER TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS
FOR ALL SAN FRANCISCO SCHOOLS
The United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) has approved going forward with a resolution for safer technology next semester at a joint health committee with the San Francisco Unified School District.
The resolution became official as of May 23rd, 2018 and the Resolution and press release be found on UESF website.
(SAN FRANCISCO) – San Francisco educators closed the school year with the passage of a safer technology resolution that aims to provide simple steps to reduce exposure to radio frequency (RF) wireless energy for children, adolescents and educators in San Francisco schools.
While the science pertaining to technology safety is still evolving, a 2018 RF study by the US National Toxicology Program found exposed rodents developed malignant gliomas, a type of brain cancer, as well as heart tumors and DNA damage. This raises concern regarding long-term exposure to wireless technology and high use of cell phones.
Sarah Aminoff, a San Francisco educator who presented the resolution to the Executive Board of the United Educators of San Francisco, states, “Published and peer-reviewed research has found cell phones and Wi-Fi can impact the brain, the Cleveland Clinic recommends reducing exposure due to their research that found impacts to the reproductive system. This is not just about our educators, what about our students whose physiology is still developing?”
The resolution draws upon both the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) cell phone guidelines released in December, and other best practices being established for public schools.
The CDPH fact sheet indicates, “Children may be more at risk for harm from exposure to RF energy.” The CDPH Director Karen Smith stated, “Simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”
Since 2016, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council has advised schools to reduce RF to “as much as feasibly practical, without negatively impacting education.”
UESF acknowledges its responsibility to “Improve the terms and conditions under which adults and children work and learn.”
The resolution, expected to be on the Labor-Management Health and Safety Committee agenda for review and planning of next steps, calls for:
- A discussion of the CDPH cell phone guidelines
- The development of best practices for mobile devices to reduce RF in San Francisco schools
- Publishing the CDPH cell phone guidelines through various outlets for all San Francisco educators and parents
- Posting RF safety guidelines in every classroom
United Educators of San Francisco represents more than 6,000 employees of the San Francisco Unified School District including teachers, nurses, paraeducators, counselors, instructional aides, substitutes, psychologists, therapists, social workers and speech pathologists throughout San Francisco.
United Educators of San Francisco Resolution on Enhancing Technology Safety in San Francisco Unified School District
WHEREAS, cell phones emit radiofrequency energy when they send and receive signals to and from cell towers, and
WHEREAS, cell phone usage in the United States continues to increase, especially among children, and
WHEREAS, the science surrounding the emission of radio-frequency energy from cell phones has not reached a level of consensus within the scientific community, and
WHEREAS, current research is suggesting long-term high usage of cell phones and the concomitant exposure to the energy emitted by those cell phones may impact human health, and
WHEREAS, the developing brains of children and adolescents may be more affected than others by cell phone use, and
WHEREAS, the California Department of Public Health, in December of 2017, issued guidelines on reducing exposure to radiofrequency energy from cell phones, including (1) keeping cell phones away from your body, (2) reducing or avoiding use of cell phones when it is sending out high levels of RF energy, (3) not sleeping with the cell phone in your bed or near your head, (4) removing a headset when not directly on a call, and (5) do not rely on “radiation shields” or other products claiming to block RF energy, electromagnetic fields or radiation from cell phones, and
WHEREAS, the science in this area is still evolving, enough concern exist that implementing simple steps can reduce exposure for children, adolescents and adults, and
WHEREAS, the public school district in Ashland, Massachusetts, through its own review of the matter, has instituted district-wide “best practices for mobile devices” aimed at reducing wireless radiation exposures, and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that UESF place this matter as an agenda item for discussion in the UESF/SFUSD Labor-Management Health and Safety Committee at the first meeting of the committee following passage of this resolution, and
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said agenda items will include (the discussion of the CA DPH guidelines for reducing exposure to RF energy from cell phones, (2) the development and dissemination of SFUSD best practices for the reduction of RF energy, (3) recommend that all students and families have access to the CA DPH guidelines via the SFUSD Student/Family Handbook, and the posting of the CA DPH guidelines in every classroom (see attached) and (4) encourage the use of Ethernet connections (via adaptors, not WiFi) when possible, in our schools, and
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UESF publicize to its members, via e-mail blast (including a link to the CA DPH guidelines) and via publication with the union’s newspaper, the CA Department of Public Health guidelines for reducing exposure to RF energy from cell phones, and
THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that UESF urge its members to follow the CA DPH recommendations in their personal and professional use of devices emitting radio frequency energy.
This Resolution can be found on UESF website at http://www.uesf.org/san-francisco-educators-pass-resolution-calling-for-safer-technology-standards-for-all-san-francisco-schools/
Read more about the precautionary policy on EMF in the USA and worldwide.
California Department Of Health Advice On How To Reduce Cell Phone Radiation
Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC) Advice to the Department of Education
New Jersey Education Association “Minimize health risks from electronic devices” PDF of Recommendations
2014 National Education Association Section C-19 of the NEA 2013-2014 on EMF
New York State Teachers Union Press Release, Guidelines for Safer Use of TechnologyWebinar: Risks of wireless technologies and protecting children and staff in schools.
Resolutions and Actions Passed by US Unions Regarding Cell Phone, Wireless and Health
Physicians for Safe Technology: Wireless Technology and Public Health
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association Position Statement on Wi-Fi
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools Low EMF Criteria School Best Practices
BabySafe Project Resources: BabySafe Project, Reduce Your Wireless Exposure” English Brochure, Spanish Brochure, Press Conference
Downloadable PDFs: Safe Tech Do’s and Don’ts, What Parents Need to Know About Safe Technology American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, More Printable Resources, Spanish EMF Resources,
EMF Points of Confusion vs. Fact: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnx1bmRlcnN0YW5kaW5nZW1mc3xneDo3ZmM1NWViNjQyNTc0NzNl
The resolution became official as of May 23rd, 2018 and the resolution and press release be found on UESF website.