The Growing Movement Against Electromagnetic Contamination

A global movement challenging the increasing presence of electromagnetic (EMF)/ radiofrequency (RF) radioactive contamination via “smart” gadgets and meters, antennas, Wi-Fi, and WiMAX is indeed afoot. Yet it resides in the shadows of popular awareness because the public communication media — who might, but do not report on the effort — are largely owned by the same corporate entities perpetrating the contaminating technologies, and they are motivated to not reveal the health and ecological dangers of wireless technologies. And so welcome to an unheralded, but vastly important, movement that is growing every day:

2000.

* An international gathering of scientists issues the Salzburg Resolution — proclaiming that no low-end threshold for safe exposure exists for electromagnetic and radio-frequency radiation.

2001.

* In Cyprus demonstrators pour into the streets and fight police to protest Britain’s planned military communications towers and demand the release of their prime minister — in jail for doing civil disobedience atop a 160-foot mast.

2002.

* Thousands of medical doctors and healthcare practitioners sign the Freiberg Appeal — calling for tougher guidelines for EMF/RF exposure.

2003.

* After witnessing the biggest-ever protest meeting of a village in northern New Mexico, the local school board cancels an already-signed contract to erect cell towers on its schools.

* The Catholic Church in Italy calls for cell phone antennas to be removed from bell towers, branding them dangerous to human health and spiritually “out of keeping.”

* In England and Ireland outraged citizens bulldoze down cell towers ?- as many as four in England and four in Northern Ireland each week.

2004.

* The International Association of Firefighters calls for a moratorium on citing cell-phone antennas on fire stations.

2006.

* Citing health concerns, Ontario University in Canada bans Wi-Fi from campus.

* The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety releases the Benevento Resolution. Signed by 31 scientists, it calls on governments to impose stricter exposure limits.

2007.

* A BBC Panorama investigation finds that Wi-Fi ports can emit three times the signal radiation of a cell tower.

* In Spain citizens hold International Day Against Electromagnetic Pollution to publicize the effects of exposure to high-voltage power lines, electric power substations, mobile telephony aerials, radio lines, and telecommunications systems like Wi-Fi and WiMAX.

* Germany’s Environmental Ministry issues an unprecedented national warning to citizens: avoid exposure to EMF/RF emanating from Wi-Fi and WiMAX ports in caf?s, schools, public “hot spots, and private homes.”

* The European Environmental Agency demands immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from mobile phones, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and antennas.

* When cancers are shown to increase around antennas, angry protestors in an Israeli village rip down a mobile phone mast.

* After only five months of the newly installed Wi-Fi system in Paris’ libraries, the union wins a moratorium on wireless ports due to health effects evident among clerks and workers.

* A group of researchers produces the BioInitiative Report, documenting 2000 studies showing health effects of low-frequency EMF and calling for biologically-based exposure limits.

2008.

* For fear of exposure, thousands of Chinese demonstrators take to the streets to protest the extension of a radiation-emitting magnetic-levitation train through Shanghai.

* Cell phone antennas in Tudela, Spain, are ordered removed when damage to citizens’ health is revealed.

* After learning of health impacts, the Sebastopol City Council in California breaks an already-signed contract to install citywide Wi-Fi.

* The National Library of France dismantles its entire Wi-Fi system.

* The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board of Portland, Oregon, unplugs already-operating cell towers and cancels all leases for WiMAX.

* The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety issues the Venice Resolution — claiming that current standards for citizen protection are inadequate; recognizing a growing incidence of electro-hypersensitivity; and urging limits on further dissemination of wireless technologies.  The document is signed by scientists from Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Brazil, Austria, Australia, Russia, and the U.S.

2009.

* Scientists and medical doctors sign the Porto Alegre Resolution — expressing concern that ongoing exposure to electromagnetic fields may increase the risk of cancer and chronic diseases; that exposure levels established by international agencies are obsolete; and that wireless technologies are threatening the health of children, teens, and pregnant women.

* The U.S. National Safety Council calls for a nationwide ban on cell-phone use while driving, citing a Harvard study that links use to 636,000 crashes and 2,600 deaths each year.

* In France the Versailles Court of Appeals orders the dismantling of a relay antenna, establishing legal recognition of health risks.

* The European Parliament proposes publicly displayed maps warning of EMF-exposure areas and distance requirements between antennas and schools.

* The U.K.’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers calls for suspension of Wi-Fi in classrooms.

* Portland, Oregon, challenges the U.S. Telecommunications Act’s refusal to consider health effects in the placement of wireless routers and base stations. The Los Angeles Unified School District — then the L.A. County Board of Supervisors; then Pima County, Arizona; Sebastopol and Glendale, California, do the same.

* The government of the state of Rajasthan bans the installation of new mobile towers.
2010.

* Arlington, Texas, sues the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to disband fast-tracking of cell towers.

* San Francisco, California, passes a resolution to challenge the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that forbids health concerns as a factor in placement of wireless facilities.

2011.

* The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection releases a resolution calling for greater concern for the health effects of mobile telephones.

* The Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe releases Resolution 1815 on the dangers of electromagnetic fields on the environment.

* The World Health Organizationand the International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassify EMF/RF fields as a Class 2B Carcinogen.

* Public outrage against “smart” meters takes the form of consumer opt-out campaigns, calls for moratoriums, lawsuits against states, and legislative appeals for hearings on health effects.  In Bolinas, California, citizens physically chase utility workers out of town, and in Rohnert Park a grandmother is arrested for blocking a truck carrying the devices.

Chellis Glendinning is the author of five books, including When Technology Wounds, Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economyand Chiva: A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade.  She is Writer-in-Residence at Asociaci?n Jaka?a in Cochabamba and may be contacted via www.chellisglendinning.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Chellis Glendinning is a psychologist and the author of numerous books, a folk opera and a poetry book, as well as hundreds of articles and essays in newspapers, journals, and magazines. Her latest book is In the Company of Rebels: A Generational Memoir of Bohemians, Deep Heads, and History Makers. She lives in Bolivia.

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