Memo to Phillips Exeter Academy Trustees re: Open Letter to Phillips Exeter Academy, etc.

Dear Trustees,
Below are documents and videos of presentations that were issued/occurred in the last few weeks in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand re: the health, legal, and other implications of using Wi-Fi (and other wireless technologies) in schools, public places and other settings.

My Open Letter to Phillips Exeter Academy explains why there is a problem and how to fix it; I write here to formally request that the trustees review the enclosed documents and videos and adopt the recommendations made in the conclusions of my letter and Camilla Rees’ critique of the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) “Statement Regarding the Potential for Biological and Health Effects to Children from Wireless Radiation Transmitters (WiFi) in Schools”.

I want to stress that that even the lower end of Wi-Fi exposures which occur at about 200 μw/m^2 (.02 μw/cm^2) falls within the range of “severe concern” identified by the U.S.-based International Institute for Building-Biology and Ecology, whose standards are based on levels at which harm has been documented in scientific research and in clinical reports.  Many locations in a Wi-Fi’ed school will fall into the range of “extreme concern”.

Bau Biologie  RADIOFREQUENCY RADIATION (High Frequency, Electromagnetic Waves)

Power density in microwatts per square meter μW/m²
< 0.1 no concern
0.1-10 slight concern
10 – 1000 severe concern
> 1000 extreme concern
Note as well, that the Toronto Women’s College Hospital Symposium (video below) was organized by Frank Clegg, the former head of Microsoft Canada, and his organization, Canadians for Safe Technology.  I have also enclosed the links to the wireless briefing papers and FAQ sheets from Environmental Health Trust’s September newsletter, my article, “Legal and Public Health Problems of the Wireless Age”, that was picked up by two well-read legal blogs, the Bioinitiative Working Group letter to wireless CEOs and a presentation at a Waldorf School by a lawyer in New Zealand which emphasizes the points in the other documents and presentations.
Finally, I have enclosed a letter from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) granting accommodation to a teacher who is sensitive to Wi-Fi; the Wi-Fi is shut off in the vicinity, the use of the iPad is discontinued and the students are using hard-wired terminals in this person’s classroom.  LAUSD did what is legally required (per the comments by the United States Access Board in the Federal Register) to accommodate employees in the workplace who are sickened by this radiation and can perform in the relatively clean electromagnetic environment that preceded the recent rollout of these technologies and the removal of hard-wired infrastructure.

The enclosures in this email define and document the scope of the problem; while those requiring accommodation because they cannot tolerate this neurotoxic exposure are a set of people for whom institutions that have chosen to use Wi-Fi have current legal obligations; another statistically significant number of children and adults exist who are affected by the public health problem created by this policy choice.  These realities can only continue to be dismissed or wished away by institutions with a “most places are using Wi-Fi, so it must be okay if we do, too” for so long.

I want to close by echoing Camilla Rees’ comment to NAIS that by taking this public health issue very seriously, they “would also model for schools, and their students, the critical thinking that is necessary in leadership as well as the importance of courage on issues that matter.”

Deborah Kopald ’91

 1. Open Letter to Phillips Exeter Academy About Wi-Fi:
Deborah Kopald, ’91
August 31, 2014
2. Critique of the National Association of Independent Schools’ Statement:
Campaign for Radiation Free Schools/ Camilla Rees, MBA
September 7, 2014
3. Legal and Public Health Problems of the Wireless Age: (published in both the Consumer Law and Policy Blog and Prawfsblog):
Deborah Kopald, MBA
September 7, 2014
4. Symposium on Health Issues Associated with the Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields and Microwave Radiation

World Health OrganizationHeld for Canadian Medical Doctors and Health Care Practitioners
Presented by C4ST and Women’s College Hospital
Toronto – September 12, 2014

 5. Wi-Fi in schools: the science, legal position, policy, and health and safety obligations
Sue Grey, Esq., New Zealand
August 7, 2014
 6. Schools and Safe Technology briefing papers
Environmental Health Trust/ Dr. Devra Davis
September 2014 Newsletter

 7. Los Angeles Unified School District letter of accommodation

LAUSD Division of Risk Management and Insurance Services
September 18, 2014

 8. Bioinitiative Working Group Letter to Wireless CEOs

Cindy Sage, MA, Dr. David O. Carpenter, co-editors and 27 other scientists
September 22, 2014