May 6, 2012

Maine’s Children’s Wireless Protection Act - A Brave Attempt to Introduce Prudent Legislation By Maine Congress Woman Andrea Boland




 

In 2010, Maine Congresswoman Andrea Boland, brought a Bill to prudently protect children and provide a warning for the potential adverse effects of cell phones: ‘The Maine's Children Protection Act’. Unfortunately but NOT surprisingly, the Bill did not pass. Anyone who voted against it betraying the public  trust. I wonder if those Congress members would have voted against the Bill if they did not have immunity, if they would have carried personal criminal and tort liability. I doubt it. Immunity for public officials is the source of all evil. It is time to reconsider this policy. This letter was written to the media in support of the Bill. Not surprisingly, not even one media source published it. I wonder why...

On March 2nd, Maine is going to be the first state to vote on legislation that warns the public of the health risks from cell phones. Congresswoman Andrea Boland’s introduced ‘Maine’s Children Wireless Protection Act’ hoping to inform the public of the harmful health effects of cell-phone use, and to label cell-phones similarly to the way we label cigarettes, perhaps better to say, to apply past lessons that the history of cigarette marketing provided humanity. I hope that this important effort to increase public awareness, and empower consumers to take the best-informed decisions with regard to their health and well being, will find its way to the headlines of your paper.
Until recently, I was one of those who preferred not to think about the harmful effects of wireless technologies. I was 36, an attorney with an MBA who was working on starting my own law practice and planning on having a baby. I was the embodiment of the current technology. I had 2 cell phones, I did not have a home phone and I spent hours using my cell phone/blackberry, despite the fact that like many others, many times I felt pain in my head, hand and pressure in my chest when using these devices. My laptop was my best friend. I was one of the first people to purchase cellular wireless Internet connection for my laptop, to ensure that I can have Internet connection wherever I am.
But 7 months ago it all changed. I was excited to get a new Mac laptop, but when I used it, I started feeling a tingling of electricity in my hands. I thought something was wrong with the computer after changing 5 computers in 3 weeks I figured that something is probably wrong with me not with the computer. While changing laptops, I noticed that everyday when I touch computers, I develop new symptoms. I started feeling pressure in my chest, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, headaches, my face would become red and hot, and I was nauseous. It took me 5 months and 10 non-helpful doctors to figure out that I suffer from a condition called electro hypersensitivity, a condition I never heard about before. It seems that living in an apartment with high EMF and within less than 1 mile from 5 (!!!) wireless towers and abusive use of cell phones clearly had a health toll on my body. The symptoms are growing worse and I feel pain even from a wall socket. Life has become very difficult and painful, and I probably will never have a baby because of the potential harmful effects to the fetus. I basically lost my life.
No, I am not a lunatic, I am actually a very rational person. I do not imagine pain, and believe me, in this era this is probably the one condition one does not want to suffer from. And yes, there is already significant scientific research to support the existence of this condition as well as quickly growing numbers of people worldwide who report exactly the same symptoms.  What we do not have is willingness from the government, from the media, and even from the public, to bravely deal with this information.
This technology is so exciting that we do not want to hear that it is harmful. Cellular companies keep on telling us that cell phones are not dangerous but although we do not want to admit it to ourselves, we do know that they lie and that cell phones are dangerous, but we choose to lie to ourselves because cell phones are so convenient and so much fun. I know I lied to myself for a long time. We seem all to suffer from an acute case of cognitive dissonance.
This technology is so profitable that the government prefers not to take action, as this multi trillion industry is a good source of income. It is astonishing to me that despite the growing and unprecedented increase in exposure to microwave radiation in the past 15 years and despite immense growing scientific evidence to the harmful effects of this technology the government did not take any serious initiative to examine the evidence in order to ensure public safety. Instead, through legislation it preferred to ensure that cell companies would be able to set up more antennas without interruption.
The media also seems to forget its role and prefer to enjoy the money from the cellular industry advertisers. It is not only does not do its job, but it is actually giving a hand to cell phone companies in misleading and misinforming the public. While independent scientific researches that find cell phones to be harmful is hardly reported, the cell industry financed, biased, contaminated and scientifically flawed research ‘findings’ find their way to the headlines.

No one holds these companies accountable and it is outrageous! While organizations that commercialize and promote wireless technologies indicate on their web sites that wireless technologies have no health effects, and “no reason for concern” (http://www.ctia.org/consumer_info/safety/index.cfm/AID/10371), the peer-reviewed scientific articles, published in prestigious journals, tell a different story. Ironically, those studies were, to a major extent, funded by taxpayers’ money, and instead of being used to help consumers make informed decisions beneficial for their health, they are disregarded and not even mentioned by these organizations nor the media. By analogy, a pharmaceutical company that does not disclose potential adverse effects about a drug, after these effects are published in the literature, would have to face significant public outcry and severe penalties and liabilities.

Mr. Editor, I hope you will decide that it is about time the media should resume its true role and report news responsibly without being affected by greed. We do not even ask that you take a side, just report accurate and balanced information. That is all that we ask. While journalists do not have the equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath, I want to believe that journalists understand the power they have and use it responsibly.

Congresswoman Andrea Boland initiative is one of immense importance and should find its way to the headlines. It is about time the public should learn the truth or at least should finally hear the whole story. We have a right to know and the media has a duty to tell.
Dafna Tachover