RadLimits Hardwiring Institutions – Your Ideas

The following are excerpts of content from the 2022 RadLimits petition initiative on hard-wiring certain public anchor institutions. If you have suggestions for improvement, please share. Your comments may not be posted as discussed here. However, just in case, please insert an asterisk (*) in front of your comment if you would like to have your comment publicly posted.

Utilities were omitted from the below proposal in part because of expected intensive opposition from utilities and the lack of time to craft something that might work in time for deadline.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall limit non-ionizing radiation from technology in anchor institutions where under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth’s towns or municipalities. Anchor institutions mean schools, higher education entities, government entities, public safety entities, medical centers, libraries, and public housing.

(a) All relevant state and municipal agencies, boards, quasi-public agencies with jurisdiction of these public anchor institutions shall, within their respective jurisdiction to the public anchor institutions:

(1) recommend limiting non-ionizing radiation exposures from technology;

(2) provide easily accessible guidance, training, education, and information on how best to reduce and monitor exposures, including with respect to both wireless and wired services, or provide this information by referencing this information as provided by an agency or agencies of the Commonwealth;

(3) set quality control requirements for a graduated program to reduce and monitor existing non-ionizing radiation exposures, while still ensuring access remains where needed for telecommunications and broadband services;

(4) where feasible, require migration from wireless to wired services;

(5) adopt a preference for bids, products, and processes that minimize non-ionizing radiation from wireless, and further specify this preference in contractual negotiations;

(6) where feasible and when useful to minimize incidental non-ionizing radiation exposures, create new systems, regulations, evaluations, standards and procedures that rely less on technology; minimize trivial technology use; and minimize trivial data collection;

(7) set requirements for visible, clear notification of hotspots and other indoor and outdoor wireless antennas which lack fencing; and

(8) choose practices that most quickly provide wired access that minimize non-ionizing radiation, such as wiring only areas that need access or creating communal rooms for wired connectivity and choosing connectors and equipment that minimize leakage and disruption of power quality; and

(9) when migrating to wired services or minimizing wireless non-ionizing radiation, adopt the ALARA principle, as low as reasonably achievable, and the ASARA principle, as safe as reasonably achievable, with regard to all non-ionizing radiation exposures.

(b) To assist with the process described in subsection (a) of this section, the governor shall form a small team of experts who have significant experience in the field of reducing non-ionizing radiation from wireless and are qualified to provide support with training and efforts to reduce exposures.

(c) Without setting limits on above subsection (a), the Commonwealth shall further explicitly require the following take place promptly and expeditiously, with a focus on reducing exposures from wireless non-ionizing radiation in a way that best reduces all non-ionizing radiation exposures:

(1) Public higher education institutions shall insure that wireless connectivity, including for entertainment and other than infrared remotes, in dormitories is substituted with wired alternatives that best minimize non-ionizing radiation exposures, and after this proceed to provide the same wired service across the rest of the campus.

(2) Public preK – 12 schools shall be required that (i) if using WiFi, WiFi is only to transmit when in use and within elementary schools only in the administrative areas; (ii) paper-based testing be preferred over computer testing, including for state-mandated tests , except where a disability requires use of a computer; (iii) mandates for student technology use be limited to opt-in, extracurricular courses in secondary education, such as computer programming or work force software training; (iv) the Secretary of Education work with the legislature to prepare a plan to most cost-effectively provide wired services where needed that best minimizes non-ionizing radiation.

(c) ENFORCEMENT – please see this blog post.

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Kirstin Beatty