June 18, 2015 KSTI Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Update
(10 minute delegation)
a) Update - Brief listing of the latest Wi-Fi safety-related developments in this field from June 2014 to the present. These include:
1. July 2014 - Submissions by over 50 Canadian MDs and over 50 international scientific experts calling for more protective Safety Code 6 guidelines. http://www.c4st.org/HCSubmissions
2. Dec 2014 - The Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) issues stern warning: giving children cellphones and other wireless technology devices carries enormous risks. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/12/11/cellphones-fry-young-brains
3. Jan 2015 - Taiwan makes it ILLEGAL for parents to let children under two use electronic gadgets. http://www.parentdish.ca/2015/01/27/screen-time-for-kids-taiwan-law/
4. Feb 2015 - France bans Wi-Fi in nurseries, schools, kindergartens and childcare centres across France that cater to children under the age of six. http://www.connexionfrance.com/france-wifi-schools-ban-children-six-nurseries-daycare-kindergartens-homes-electromagnetic-waves-16637-view-article.html#sthash.tpAVjG2U.dpuf
5. Feb 2015 - The National Association for Children and Safe Technology are calling for a "Turn it off 4 kids" initiative requesting all children's health and cancer prevention organizations make the issue of children's health and exposure to wireless radiation in educational settings an immediate priority for 2015. http://www.prlog.org/12421346-researchers-conclude-wireless-radiation-causes-cancer-after-latest-scientific-findings-announced.html
6. Feb 2015 - Lloyd’s of London Insurance now has a standard liability exclusion clause that excludes any compensation for injury from long-term exposure to non-ionizing radiation/electromagnetic fields. http://www.joneakes.com/jons-fixit-database/2235-lloyds-of-london-bails-out-of-the-cell-phone-health-debat. AVIVA Insurance has a similar policy http://www.aviva.com/reports/2012cr/strategy-governance/risk.
7. Mar 2015 - OSBIE was asked by KSTI and a coalition of Ontario parents about whether liability lies with OSBIE or with School Boards. Two months later, despite followup emails and calls, OSBIE has not responded. This is crucial information that School Boards and parents need to know. OSBIE's failure to disclose its policy to concerned citizens is concerning. Does OSBIE cover emf injury claims or are School Boards/Province/taxpayers liable?
8. Mar 2015 - Oregon bill would disclose wireless technology health risks to school staff and parents http://www.saferemr.com/2015/05/oregon-cell-phone-wi-fi-safety-warning.html
9. April 2015 - Health Canada now acknowledges that biological effects occur at levels lower than they have previously stated. The upper maximum safety limit of SC6 for Wi-Fi frequencies has been reduced. This is a reflection of increasing evidence of health harm from exposure. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/consult/_2014/safety_code_6-code_securite_6/final_finale-eng.php
10. Apr/May 2015 - Safety Code 6 was investigated by HESA, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, which held 3 days of hearings to listen to scientific experts, Health Canada (HC) and telecom industry representatives. HESA recommendations are expected shortly. In response to the hearings, The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) reports Health Canada's wireless limits are "A Disaster to Public Health"; and notes that HC SC6 scientist James McNamee also co-authored academic papers with scientists who openly accept payments from the wireless industry. Scientists and safety advocates at the hearings stated that Heath Canada's Rationale and Safety Code 6 are outdated, incomplete, and invalid. Expert presentations were made concerning the flawed process Health Canada used to update Safety Code 6, and the scientific evidence it ignored. The HESA committee then ordered ... Health Canada to provide detailed information in the form of a full scientific monograph on the reasons for acceptance or rejection of 140 studies on EMR submitted by Canadians for Safe Technologies with regards to Safety Code 6....
11. April 2015 - California Medical Association calls for stronger wireless communication standards http://www.saferemr.com/2015/04/california-medical-association-calls.html
12. April 2015 - Correspondence received from Health Canada clearly shows that School Boards are not governed by Safety Code 6: “As you are aware, Safety Code 6 only has direct application in federal workplaces and locations though provisions in the Canada Labour Code... It is incumbent on other government departments, agencies, provincial governments or school boards to determine whether they wish to implement more restrictive measures than those specified in Safety Code 6 in areas within their jurisdiction.” (April 27/15 email to C4ST)
13. May 2015 - International EMF Scientist Appeal - 190 scientists from 39 nations submit a United Nations appeal for more protective non-ionizing radiation exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. "The various agencies setting safety standards have failed to impose sufficient guidelines to protect the general public, particularly children who are more vulnerable ..."http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20150511005200/en/#.VVFcNVph018
14. Sept 2015 - Ontario School Boards - New Oversight Rules, state that as ofSeptember 1st, 2015, the public will be able to complain to the Ontario Ombudsman about school boards. http://www.ombudsman.on.ca/Newsroom/Press-Release/2015/Ombudsman-oversight-coming-soon-to-municipalities,.aspx It is KSTI's hope that this Board will take prompt action to minimize wireless exposure in schools so that a complaint to the Ombudsman will be unnecessary.
b) Recap - A brief recap of KSTI's concerns and actions taken to date
c) Recommendation - KSTI makes a final request, before pursuing this matter with the Ontario Ombudsman, that the KPR Board err on the side of caution and minimize wireless exposure in schools.