To the Editor: I'm a retired teacher from the RI School for the Deaf, and I've been an advocate for public school students since retiring in 2011. In the past few years, I've become aware of a threat not only to schoolchildren, but to all of us, as well
To the Editor:
I’m a retired teacher from the RI School for the Deaf, and I’ve been an advocate for public school students since retiring in 2011. In the past few years, I’ve become aware of a threat not only to schoolchildren, but to all of us, as well as to the flora and fauna we share our environment with.
That threat is the pulsed radiofrequency/microwave radiation emanating from handheld devices as well as the “small cell” antennas that are going up in neighborhoods across Rhode Island to enable 5G and the “Internet of Things.”
New Hampshire has already undertaken a thorough examination of the biological effects of wireless radiation on humans and the environment. In their invaluable report released on Nov. 1, 2020, the majority of those on the commission “acknowledged the large body of peer-reviewed research that shows that the type of RF-radiation generated by wireless devices can have a deleterious effect on humans, especially children, as well as animals, insects, and vegetation.” The report’s “15 Recommendations Include Reducing Public Exposure to Wireless, Radiation Measurements, Reducing Radiation from Cell Phones and Protection of Trees and Bees.”
The safety guidelines put in place by the FCC in 1996 were already misguided and inadequate, since they dealt only with thermal effects, and not biological effects. Since then, the use of wireless devices – from baby monitors to smart phones, to tablets and laptops, to “small cells” for 5G – has exploded. Yet the FCC has stubbornly refused to even consider revisiting the guidelines.
In order for all Rhode Islanders to have access to broadband internet that is safe, as well as reliable, secure, and affordable, that access must be via wired fiber-optics to the premises rather than wireless. Rhode Island is in an excellent position to utilize fiber-optics to residences and businesses, since it already has more fiber-optic cable per square mile than any other state.
We must question the right of private, for-profit telecom companies to endanger us with an inferior product. We must abandon the notion that wireless 5G is the only means to provide internet access. The safe, reliable, affordable, and secure means to do so is fiber to the premises.
Smart doesn’t necessarily mean wise. Rather than creating “Smart” cities, we have the responsibility to apply human wisdom and foresight toward the protection of our residents and of the natural environment on which all of us in the Ocean State depend.
The author is the co-founder of 5G Free RI.