Wireless History

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With thanks to all the people working towards positive change!

1953

to 70’s

The US government secretly studied effects on US Moscow embassy workers being irradiated by Russia until revealed in 1976. Wireless exposures were less than today, legal in the US but illegal in Russia. The US government is accused of concealing health impacts including upon mood, fertility, and large increases in cancer.
c.

1975

Dr. Robert O. Becker and Dr. Andrew A. Marino each testify directly on the dangers of high-voltage power lines in a 4-year proceeding, drawing public attention. Dr. Becker, as a public figure, is invited on the respected television show 60 Minutes to speak about the Navy’s Sanguine antenna, which Dr. Becker opposes.
1978 U.S. General Accounting Office releases report “Efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency To Protect the Public from Environmental Nonionizing Radiation Exposuresnoting exposures are a national concern, increasing, and health impacts controversial.
1980 The Pave Paws radar installation to detect missiles is established near Bourne, Barnstable County, on Cape Cod and uses ultra-wide band technology. In a 2002 public meeting on the subject, Dr. Richard Albanese appears to suggest that the government has studies indicative of brain cancer risk from the radar installation that he cannot discuss — Dr. Richard Albanese and Kurt Ougstun have both engaged in research on the qualities of ultra-wide band technology (UWB). Oughstun says the UWB has unusual properties and unusual strength, or a Brillouin precursor. Many residents are concerned, but studies find ‘nothing’. Yet, in 2006 a professional engineer, Bernie Young of Dennisport, finds 10 residents with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare cancer, are all in locations in direct line of site at high elevation on a plateau. (Source: MicrowaveNews.com)
1984 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepares an initial report, “Biological Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation” and plans to further investigate non-thermal exposures.
1993 EPA says the FCC’s exposure standards are “seriously flawed” in FCC Docket ET 93-62, on guidelines for evaluation of electromagnetic effects of radio frequency radiation
1993 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states FCC’s standards are flawed because it “is based on only one dominant mechanism—adverse health effects caused by body heating.”
1993 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in comments to the FCC 10 November states: “FCC rules do not address the issue of long-term, chronic exposure to RF fields.”
1994 Report to the New York State Board of Regents on the Environmental Quality of Schools is published by the Regents Advisory Committee and recommends prudent avoidance of electromagnetic fields (e.g. fields from electricity and wireless communications).
1996 The EPA’s public wireless research is defunded by appropriations bill S. Rept. 104-140 – the EPA never finishes creation of “interim” guidelines. The FCC, lacking medical or scientific experts, is passed control of exposure limits.
1998 The Body Electric, by Dr. Robert Becker, is published and becomes a cult classic as it describes the ‘body electromagnetic’ in layman’s terms and how Dr. Becker’s scientific career is destroyed for speaking the truth about corruption in science and about non-ionizing radiation (Dr. Becker had received awards until then). Another book, Cross Currents, is also easy to understand.
2000 T-Mobile commissions a report, “Mobile Telecommunications and Health Review of the current scientific research in view of precautionary health protection” by the ECOLOG-Institut which acknowledges harm.
2002 The US Access Board states in a final rule: “The Board recognizes that multiple chemical sensitivities and electromagnetic sensitivities may be considered disabilities under the ADA if they so severely impair the neurological, respiratory or other functions of an individual that it substantially limits life activities.” Federal Register/ Vol. 67, No. 170/ Tuesday, September 3, 2002/ Rules and Regulations; 36 CFR Part 1191 [Docket No. 98-5] RIN 3014-AA16; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; Recreation Facilities; Action: Final Rule, Page 56353.
2002 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, classifies AC magnetic fields (emissions from electricity) as a 2B possible carcinogen.
2002 More than 1000 physicians signed the German ‘Freiburg Appeal’ and in 2012 began anew leading to approximately 3000 signatures. Many more such appeals exist.
2002 The California Department of Health Services (CDHS) releases a report finding increased miscarriage, child leukemia, brain cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and suicide linked to electric and magnetic fields from power lines and electrical devices.
2003 Swisscom files a patent to limit WiFi transmissions to only when needed, so when a signal from devices is received the WLAN antenna responds – and is currently in Swisscom phones.
2004 International Association of Fire Fighters sets policy against fire station antennas.
2004 The REFLEX study, an EU-funded study by 12 institutes and 7 countries, finds wireless and other electromagnetic frequencies damages certain, not all, types of cells. A professor of biology with industry ties, Alexander Lerchl, launches a smear campaign against scientists and a lab assistant, ignores court orders to stop, and in 2021 is ordered to pay court costs and a fine of $250,000 each time he violates the order.
2005 Switzerland has among the most stringent wireless exposure limits, freely hard-wires schools, and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment recognizes and provides education on reducing wireless exposures.
2005 The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and US Access Board in a joint report on Indoor Environmental Quality state on p. 11: ‘For people who are electromagnetically sensitive, the presence of cell phones and towers, portable telephones, computers, fluorescent lighting, unshielded transformers and wiring, battery re-chargers, wireless devices, security and scanning equipment, microwave ovens, electric ranges and numerous other electrical appliances can make a building inaccessible.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) notes that scientific studies have raised questions about the possible health effects of EMF’s. NIOSH recommends the following measures for those wanting to reduce EMF exposure – informing workers and employers about possible hazards of magnetic fields, increasing workers’ distance from EMF sources, using low-EMF designs wherever possible (e.g., for layout of office power supplies), and reducing EMF exposure times’

By 2013 the Access Board website also lists accommodations.

2007 The Bioinitiative Report, consisting of reviews of peer-reviewed science by world experts, is first published and show most studies find effects at levels below FCC guidelines, which recognize only thermal, or heating, effects. US exposure limits remain set for just 6 minutes of exposure and are thousands of times higher than that in countries like Italy and Switzerland.
2008 National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Report documents critical research gaps in long-term wireless effects on children and pregnant women.
2008 US Congressional Hearing on Cell Phone Health Effects by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
2008 The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection publishes a declaration: “Children and mobile phones: the health of the following generations is in danger.” (Scroll down for English version)
2009 The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority recommends restricting children’s mobile phone use for safety.
2009 European Parliament publishes resolution of concerns which calls on member states to follow the example of Sweden in recognizing electromagnetic sensitivity and more.
2009 The President’s Cancer Panel provides cellphone radiation presentation and says risk is high – its’ 2008/2009 report alludes to cancer risk and gaps in research
2009 Senate Hearings on Cellphones and Health, led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
2010 Epidemiologist Sam Milham publishes Dirty Electricity, sharing research that diseases of modern civilization arose in conjunction with the distribution of electricity. Milham continues to put forward research that certain types of electricity are more harmful, including surges, transients, and harmonics.
2010 Israel adopts policies to reduce electromagnetic and wireless exposures in schools.
2010 The Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association recommends ending blanket WiFi, stating online WiFi free schools should be available, minimal or non-use within elementary schools, etc.
2011 Dr. Franz Adlkofer, who worked on the EU REFLEX study, speaks with Harvard lawyers about corruption in institutions that imperils science and public right to know.
2011 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe issues Resolution 1815 ‘The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment’ emphasizing protection for children.
2011 The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concludes wireless is a possible carcinogen, category 2B, in the same class as lead, the herbicide 2,4-D (herbicide), and chloroform, after examining recent tumor research.
2012 US Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduces The Cell Phone Right to Know Act H.R. 6358 strongly supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (c. 60,000) & other organizations.
2012 More than 50 international experts sign a letter on the hazards of ‘smart’ utility meters. Note: ‘smart’ utility meters have had name changes, with ‘Advanced Metering Infrastructure’ now common, along with abbreviations like AMI.
2012 The Austrian Medical Association releases its’ guidelines for the treatment of electromagnetic sensitivity.
2012 The American Academy of Environmental Medicine releases detailed position papers on damaging effects of emissions from wireless and electricity (radiofrequencies and electromagnetic fields). In 2013, another is released on effects in schools.
2012 29 independent scientists release summary reports and charts of peer-reviewed science in the Bioinitiative Report as a response to industry influence on the WHO, continuing over time.
2012 The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association releases a detailed Position Statement to prevent a potential hazard from wireless through wired classrooms.
2012 The U.S. General Accountability Office publishes critique of FCC wireless testing and exposure guidelines (GAO 12-771).
2012 After filing an injunction and strong evidence from expert witnesses, parent David Morrison still loses a suit against Portland Public Schools’ WiFi use for the US District of Oregon Judge Michael Mossman decides the FCC alone has jurisdiction (power to decide). Many others go on to testify against school exposures: Dr. Martha Herbert,
2013 A series of expert wireless presentations are freely available from the Corporate Interference with Science and Health conference in New York City
2013 The European Manifesto in support of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) supports ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable), ALATA (As Low As Technically Achievable), & more.
2013 Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Michael Carlberg publish a paper arguing evidence points clearly to a need for IARC Group 1 classification: carcinogenic to humans.
2013 November 27th the Supreme Court of India upholds a decision of the High Court of the State of Rajasthan to remove all cell towers from the vicinity of schools, colleges, hospitals and playgrounds because of radiation “hazardous to life.”
2013 FCC opens docket 13-84, recieving 1,200+ comments on its guidelines. Many request safer technology including numerous experts, sensitive individuals, the California Brain Tumor Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Environmental Working Group, American Academy for Environmental Medicine, municipalities, etc. The docket is closed in 2019, when the captured agency denies scientific concerns.
2013 City of Mumbai, India requires resident approval before rooftop antennas are installed (70% of the residents of an apartment or condominium building, and 100% of the residents of the top floor) and prohibits cell towers or antennas placed upon or directed towards schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages, and juvenile correction homes.
2013 Canadian Teacher Federation releases briefing “The Use of Wi-Fi in Schools” that recommends continuing to hard wire schools and mitigation public education.
2013 The cities of Boston and Philadelphia file in 13-84 to say that disability and electromagnetic sensitivity remain unaddressed and that some citizens clearly suffer.
2013 Section C-19 of the National Education Association’s 2013-2014 Resolutions states educational facilities must be safe from electromagnetic hazards – and is alone missing from the Internet Archives.
2013 Olga Julinska and Sergei Kniazev win a million dollars from a VT jury after expansion of a cell tower on an easement makes the home uninhabitable. and reduces property value.
2014 January 4th the High Court of West Bengal, India orders cell tower removal for “The radiation of the said tower is dangerous to the life of human beings and also flora and fauna causing severe imbalance to the wholesome environment which is emancipated as one of the basic fundamental rights included with right to life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
2014 A letter from the US Department of the Interior (DOI) to the National Telecommunicatons and Information Administration (NTIA) states FCC guidelines are 30 years out of date and inapplicable, and raises concern about environmental health impacts on wildlife.
2014 The Collaborative for High Performance Schools publishes mitigation advice in its 2014 US-CHPS Criteria: New Construction and Renovation
2014 The Resolution “Hazards of Wireless Radiation Emission” is passed by the New York State Teachers Union and guidelines for best practices issued.
2014 Suffolk County, NY, labels all routers in county buildings with a notice of wireless use.
2014 Willie R. Taylor, Director, of the Department of Interior Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, writes for U.S. Department of the Interior a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration stating FCC guidelines are outdated.
2014 The Greenbelt Maryland City Council voted unanimously to warn citizens about fine print warnings and potential risks of cellphones and other wireless devices, to oppose cell towers on school grounds, and write the FCC chairman.
2014 At the same time, the FCC is embroiled in a scandal of losing testimony from actual persons while recieving substantial fake testimony on net neutrality.
2014 The California Medical Association (c. 50,000 physicians) passes a resolution for safe wireless exposure limits and sets up a task force to identify safe limits.
2014 After protesting WiFi in his kid’s schools by climbing a sculpture in Belfast, Stephen Clark is held 4 months in prison and 3 months in a psychiatric unit where he is force-medicated with the drug Ablify, which has numerous side effects. In December he is released from prison without charge: no prison or psychiatric record. He had protested because in a marital breakdown, apparently related to his WiFi concerns, he also sought to speak on the issue to the judge who refused, ignoring the common law ‘motu proprio’ that people have a right to speak on their own behalf and, in his case, for custody of children. After being arrested for climbing the sculpture, he asked to speak to a judge, but was never given the opportunity.
2015 The Federal Office of Radiation Protection in Salzgitter, Germany, warns that children especially should be protected from WLAN networks (like WiFi).
2015 Harvard Press Investigative Report, by Norm Alster, is published: Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is Dominated by the Industries it Presumably Regulates
2015 Scientists of the International EMF Scientist Appeal state ample evidence exists of harm, including to fertility, to public and environmental health, and requests the United Nations and WHO act.
2015 Underwriter of Lloyd’s of London refuses to cover electromagnetic exposure liability (page 8). Wireless companies warn shareholders of liability.
2015 France bans WiFi in nursery schools, limits school use, and takes other steps to reduce exposures. Many other countries take various steps to limit exposures – currently the best listing is available online at the Environmental Health Trust.
2015 A 15-year-old girl, Jenny Fry, suffering from electrosensitvity, not only physical pain but disbelief from her teachers who give detention when sits away from the router or leaves the classroom to find a place where she feels better, commits suicide.
2015 The US Job Accommodation Network updates a fact sheet on accommodations for electric sensitivities. As of 2022, a JAN web page discusses the disability.
2016 Dr. Magda Havas, a Canadian environmental health researcher, presents on sensitivity at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ((NIEHS) in the talk ‘Electrosmog, the missing link as it relates to cancer, reproductive problems and electrohypersensitivity’.
2016 A WiFi moratorium is called for by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.
2016 The New Jersey Education Association publishes mitigation advice in its journal.
2017 Cyprus bans WiFi in kindergarten, halts school deployment, removes in elementaries – later statements include concerns on screen light and fields from electricity and an educational campaign in 2019.
2017 Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council issues a report with a final recommendation of mitigation and biannual review following a mandated review (Chapter 585, Acts of 2000).
2017 Dr. Lennart Hardell, a member of the original IARC committee, accuses the WHO EMF Project, which is to prepare a report on the 2011 IARC finding and take action, of conflicts of interest due to dominance by industry-friendly ICNIRP members. By 2020, many scientists (EMFcall.org), Investigate Europe, and others agree.
2017 A review of research by Dr. Manya Prasad and others reveals that evidence linking brain cancer to >10 years of cellphone use is proven in high quality studies, in contrast to poorly-designed studies and studies with industry funding. Other researchers have similar findings, like Dr. Andrew Marino, who notes 87% of brain research is funded by industry.
2017 After a lawsuit led by Dr. Joel Moskowitz, the California Department of Health releases a final cellphone fact sheet on mitigation of potential risks that was revised 27 times since 2009 and omits previous mention of cordless phones and some other recommendations.
2018 United Educators of San Francisco, representing 6000 employees, passes a Resolution on Safer Technology.
2018 The U.S. National Toxicological Program reports in rodent studies unexpected DNA & heart damage, and tumors in the brain and heart from wireless exposures akin to cellphones. Results indicate stronger effects from higher exposures. The respected Ramazzini Institute finds similar heart tumors and damage from much lower exposure levels, likly a hidden cause of heart disease and infertility.
2018 September 27th the FCC preempts many local regulations and fees with the “Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order” [FCC 18-133, 83 Fed. Reg. 51,867 (Oct. 15, 2018)] to push through cell tower antennas in residential areas. More than 30 cities sue the FCC, but lose though Commissioner Rosenworcel called the order ‘extraordinary federal overreach’.
2018 Maryland city of Montgomery files suit against FCC, charging the FCC has failed to close and address docket 13-84 or exposure guidelines and health impacts.
2019 Massachusetts has 16 bills filed to reduce non-ionizing radiation, many prepared by Kirstin Beatty.
2019 Cable and telecom buy media outlets and entertainment along with wealthy individuals invested in the same.
2019 Swiss Re, world-wide insurer for insurance, calls 5G a major riskprevious reports reiterated wireless warnings in 1996, 2004, etc. Other insurers have similar reports.
2019 Paper by Om Gandhi finds cellphones exceed FCC guidelines as much as 11 times; Chicago Tribune releases separate report with similar findingsa class action ensues.
2019 An advisory group to the International Agency for Research on Cancer recommends assessing new research evidence on harm from wireless frequencies.
2019 San Francisco’s and Berkeley’s right-to-know ordinances to keep cellphones at distance from the body, survives challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court – but loses on remand to lower court for ‘over warning’ and for educating where only the FCC is allowed. Attorney fees settle the case, appeals rejected, but posters, info kept online.
2019 The FCC denies need to alter its wireless exposure limits and closes docket 13-84, rendering moot court challenges charging negligence on this docket.
2020 After more than 2 dozen are evacuated from the Cuban Embassy due to strange sounds and debilitating effects, radiofrequencies are called the cause in a government report by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee to Advise the Department of State on Unexplained Health Effects on U.S. Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies. Dr. Beatrice Golomb contributed to the decision through a Feb. 24th briefing to the committee and a published 2018 paper.
2020 Municipalities start passing resolutions to stop 5G, some following a model provided by Americans for Responsible Technology: Hawai’i County; Easton, CT; Keene, NH; and Farragut, TN, Coconut Creek, FL; Washington, DC, Advisory Committee (2018); Greendale, Wisconsin; Oak Brook, IL; Jersey City, NJ; Carmel City, IN (2019); et cetera.
2020 After passing a bill establishing a New Hampshire commission to investigate 5G technology, a November 1 final report recommends steps to reverse harmful exposures: warnings, limiting transmissions, mapping and labeling cell towers, and adopting policies to hard-wire communications – many of these ideas were already put forward in Massachusetts in bills written by Kirstin Beatty, but had not passed.
2020 Tips to reduce wireless radiation exposure for school study are published by an arm of the Russian Ministry of Health and the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Russia bans WiFi and cellphones for remote learning.
2020 A petition that challenges the constitutionality of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is made to and ignored by the U.S. Supreme Court.
2021 The DC Court of Appeals rules that the FCC failed to consider evidence of harm on the docket as result of a consolidated lawsuit brought by the Environmental Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense in Environmental Health Trust, et al., v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America.
2021 A formal petition is filed with the FDA to declare exposures an imminent hazard and inform the public. You can still comment on harm online via the FDA-2021-P-1347 docket.
2021 The Court of Appeals of California rules that the Los Angeles Unified School District must engage in good faith accommodations for teacher Laurie Brown, who is sensitive to WiFi.
2021 Mark Lenzi, who suffered Havana Syndrome and was pulled from the Cuban Embassy, files suit against the state department for disability discrimination, including failure to accommodate, retaliation, and disparate treatment .
2022 The FCC is allowed to continue use of single-owner private ‘TV’ or satellite antennas, bypassing permitting for powerful antennas providing communications for anyone, even though the statutes clearly specify otherwise. As to the harm from blanket, unpermitted, residential cell tower strength antennas, the DC Court of Appeals decision rules that individual appeals of harm are acceptable on an ‘as-applied’ basis, but not a ‘facial’ or overarching challenge as the court states this should be raised with the FCC instead (Children’s Health Defense v. Federal Communications Commission and the United States).

 

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Kirstin Beatty