In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Glastonbury Why Wi-Fi Campaign

Posted by seumasach on July 26, 2009

Contact us via: Glastonbury Natural Health Centre,1 Hanover Square, Silver st. 01458 833382 or Email link

The  Glastonbury Why Wi-Fi campaign launched on May 15th in response to Somerset County Council’s installation of a wi-fi service using 6 base stations that create an internet zone over Glastonbury Town Centre.

(click here for a map of where they are)

We believe they have acted in what they believe to be the best interest of Glastonbury but have not been well informed. If they had we don’t believe they would have taken the actions that that they have.

Protest

The Glastonbury Why Wi-Fi campaign asks:
What effect is this having on our children’s health and our own health?
Are we willing to take the risk given that:

  • The current safety guidelines are based solely on thermal effects (heating of body tissue) with an assumption that non-thermal (biological) effects do not exist (although there is much peer-reviewed research to prove it does). We do not think this is good enough when considering the complex living systems that make up the human body.
  • The safety levels set by the International Convention on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) are among the highest in the world.
  • The Swiss & Italian governments have set the safety levels 100 times lower than in the UK.
  • A Spanish study undertaken by 4 international universities recommends a safety level 10 million times below those recommended by ICNIRP. These standards have now been adopted in Austria by the Public Health office in Salzburg whose director, DR Gerd Oberfeld, is one of the authors of the study.
  • The Bioinitiative Report which is the work of leading scientists who have reviewed over 2000 reports on Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMFs) and health states:
    “The existing public safety standards limiting radiation levels in nearly every country of the world look to be thousands of times too lenient. Change is needed”
    Report: available at www.bioinitiative.org Title: BioInitiative: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF) Contact: E-mail – info@bioinitiative.org
  • The French National Library has abandoned its planned Wi-Fi System due to health concerns. Read More
  • Thorold closes down its Wi-Fi pilot scheme-Yet another city switches off the wi-fi! The Canadian city of Thorold is one of a growing number of towns and cities to switch off their wi-fi system.Read more
  • Norway’s Environmental Safety Association has reported the council of Stavanger to the police for breaking planning and building laws by introducing a Wi-Fi  system into the town centre without public consultation .

The Why Wi-Fi campaign asks Somerset County Council to adopt

The Precautionary Principle
The principle and the main components of its implementation are stated this way in the 1998 Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle:
“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.” – Wingspread Statementon the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998


Electro-Sensitivity

Electrosensitivity/ Electrohypersensitivity (ES/EHS) is a “functional impairment caused by environmental triggers” as stated by a world-leading expert in ES/EHS, Professor Olle Johansson, of the renowned Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

  • The UK HPA has issued a statement acknowledging that ES is a genuine condition but that the source(s) remains unrecognised. It is not “scientifically proven” yet but there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of people in the UK alone who have found out by trial and error which technologies affect them. All recover if they can find respite/protection from them.
  • Swedish studies have shown that approximately 3% of the population suffer from this condition.
  • The Canadian Human Right Commission has approved a policy on Environmental Sensitivity which includes ES as a disability.
Short term symptoms experienced in by ES sufferers are:
Problems with Concentration/Memory loss; Mental Confusion; Dizziness; Flu-like symptoms; Depression;Nausea; Headaches/Muscle/joint pain; Unusual fatigue/Apathy; Eye irritation/pain; General Skin problems/ rashes; Warmth/redness/ burning sensation in areas of the body; sleep disturbance; behavioural changes.

The potential long term health effects are much more worrying especially when we consider that our children are especially vulnerable due to the fact that they have thinner skulls, immature immune systems and soft bones allowing stem cells in the bone marrow to absorb microwaves (Cherry 1998)

Legal issues
Glastonbury Why Wi-Fi campaign asks whether it’s actually legal for a council to impose a possible unsafe technology on a community with so little consultation.(see aarhus convention http://ec.europa.eu/environment/aarhus/)

Considerable debate exists as to who is responsible in law for any adverse health suffered as a result of emissions and this is unlikely to be resolved until the issue is tested in court.

  • Last summer the Alaskan Supreme Court upheld an award for RF radiation injury below thermal exposure level. This sets a legal precedent.

The complete text of Alaska Supreme Court OPINION No. 6139 ? July 6, 2007 is found at:
www.emrpolicy.org/litigation/case_law/index.htm

  • Appeal decision APP/U1105/A/04/1137356 is significant because Mr Jarvis refused a transmitter owing to the likely effects on the health of the local population.

Further information/interviews (for the press)

Glastonbury Wi-Fi would like to thank Barrie Trower (Scientific advisor to the Radiation Research Trust and H.E.S.E and author of the Tetra report for the Police Federation of England and Wales) for his help in gathering this information. He is available for interviews. We would also like to thank Doctor Andrew Goldsworthy (see links to his paper) and Professor Cyril Smith.

We would also like to thank the charity ES-UK which has also helped to gather this information. They are happy to give statements to the press and can be contacted on: 0845 6439748 (an ansaphone with a list of contacts to call for advice/help with ES).

We are gathering a list of local people who suffer from Electrosensitivity and have been adversely affected by the Wi-Fi installation. Contact us for further details.

Contact us via: Glastonbury Natural Health Centre,1 Hanover Square, Silver st. 01458 833382 orEmail link

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