Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

04 October 2015

Message to Public Libraries about Wireless Devices

[Wish my neighborhood library in Geneva did NOT have
Wi-Fi.  It has an extensive children's section, and the adult
reading room is saturated with Wi-Fi.]
Message to Public Libraries about Wireless Devices 
by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D., 20 August 2015

If wireless devices, such as Wi-Fi, are used in your libraries, then the health of your staff and your customers can be at risk. But this problem can be successfully addressed, and with benefit to all.

Background: Wireless devices transmit information using radiofrequency/microwave radiation. The international biomedical research community has been studying the impact of such radiation on biological systems for decades, but more intensely in recent years. The vast majority of the thousands of peer-reviewed research publications of this community, when funded independent of the wireless industries, are finding biological effects of concern. Further, these biological effects occur at levels of radiation far lower than earlier understood. Simply stated, a worldwide health crisis is emerging and is becoming a hallmark of the 21st Century. The international biomedical research community is trying to warn us; but, as a society, we are not yet listening. I hope that this message will help to change that.

As a scientist, I urge you to look into the health impact of the radiofrequency/microwave radiation produced by wireless devices. Examples of wireless devices of concern in our environment are Wi-Fi in all of its forms; cell phones and cell towers; cordless phones; wireless computers, whether desktop, laptop, or tablet models; wireless baby monitors; wireless smart electricity meters; emerging wireless smart appliances; and microwave ovens (which leak radiation).

This crisis is the consequence of many factors. Here are some of them:

- All living things are bioelectrical in nature. That is why electrocardiograms and electroencephalograms work. They, of course, measure the tiny electrical signals that operate the heart and the brain. The critical tasks performed by these tiny electrical signals, and so many other electrical signals in all living things, can be disrupted by radiofrequency/microwave radiation.

- The levels of manmade radiofrequency/microwave radiation in our environment are increasing exponentially and already exceed, by many orders of magnitude, the levels at which all life on Earth evolved. Simply stated, we are drowning in a rising sea of manmade radiofrequency/microwave radiation.

- The invisible nature of radiofrequency/microwave radiation leaves the public and the decision-makers unaware of the rising levels of radiation around them.

- The genuine usefulness of wireless devices promotes denial of the risks.

- The intense advertising, the economic power, and the political power of profitable wireless industries enable them to dominate the public dialogue and to hold sway over government regulators and legislators.

- Current Federal standards for limiting the exposure of the public to radiofrequency/microwave radiation are outdated and overly permissive. Those standards are based on thermal heating alone. In effect, the Government claims that if you are not cooked too much by the radiation, then you are fine. Those Federal standards ignore the many biological effects that occur at much lower levels of radiation, leaving the public unprotected.

- Federal and state governments are advocating unlimited expansion of wireless technology, and are even co-funding such expansion and mandating the acceptance of wireless technology by the public. Such Page 2 of 6 actions reflect a widespread lack of understanding of, or willful blindness to, the underlying science and its consequences for public health.

- Some of the more serious consequences of exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation (such as DNA damage, cancer, and infertility) are especially nefarious because they give no early warning signs.

- Other consequences of exposure do give early warning signs (such as sleep disruption, headaches, fatigue, ringing in the ears, memory loss, dizziness, heart arrhythmia, and many others); but those signs are too often dismissed because they can have other causes as well, complicating identification of the true cause.

- The absence of routine training of physicians in the biological effects of radiofrequency/microwave radiation makes it difficult for physicians to identify the causes and to provide responsive guidance.

- Even aware individuals cannot control their exposure in any environment shared with others, because the radiation around them, much like second-hand smoke, is forced on them by unaware individuals. Only governments can effectively solve this problem, and they are currently part of the problem. For now the public will have to protect itself, and that will require public education.

Fortunately, many of the services that wireless devices offer can be realized with much safer wired devices. The wired devices achieve connectivity with fiber-optic, coaxial, or Ethernet cables. The wired devices are faster, more reliable, and more cyber secure. They are, however, less mobile, often less convenient, and somewhat more expensive to install. But those drawbacks pale in comparison to the benefits of good health.

Simply stated, libraries can protect their staff and their customers from the health risks posed by wireless devices, including Wi-Fi, by converting to safe wired connectivity, using shielded Ethernet cable. Further, customers can learn from the libraries’ example of the safe use of technology and can take that information home to protect their families.

As a suggested starting place in exploring the concerns about radiation from wireless devices, I have appended an “Annotated List of References” and an “Annotated List of Videos”. Please view, especially, video (1) called “Wi-Fi in Schools, the Facts”, made in Australia, on page 6. Library and school environments are very similar.


Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.
20316 Highland Hall Drive
Montgomery Village, MD 20886-4007
Telephone: 301-926-7568
Email: ronpowell@verizon.net

My background 

I am a retired U.S. Government scientist (Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1975). During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For those organizations, respectively, I addressed Federal research and development program evaluation, energy policy research, and measurement development in support of the electronics and electrical-equipment industries and the biomedical research community. I currently interact with other scientists and with physicians around the world on the impact of the environment – including the radiofrequency/microwave environment on human health.

[This paper is followed by an extensive list of resources]:

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