Executive Summary: Wireless Technology and Public Health

Digital and wireless devices have provided many benefits, however, we are now realizing that the rapid adoption of this novel technology has not been accompanied by adequate regulation, monitoring or safety precautions.

Widespread use of digital media and near constant exposure to wireless devices has caused increasing concern among scientists, health care professionals, psychologists, educators and the public who are now considering this is not only a public health issue but a looming public health crisis. (11,108) It appears that we are at the same point of emerging science similar to early recognition of health impacts associated with tobacco, asbestos, coal dust and lead. (119) These concerns are amplified by industry proposals for a massive expansion of wireless infrastructure and connectivity.

Through both science and observation, we are learning that there are significant adverse health, psychosocial, environmental, privacy and security issues associated with the use of this modern technology. This raises many challenges and questions for physicians and other health care professionals, patients and our society regarding the development and use of this technology. To date digital technology has not been addressed in the U.S. from a public health, individual health or environmental perspective.

The abundance of peer reviewed science showing harm coupled with obsolete radiofrequency safety guidelines that fail to address long term health effects and non-thermal biological effects indicate that a precautionary approach is essential to reduce potential harm to the public and the environment. (11, 14, 20) Relevant factors which are also not considered in exposure standards include critical windows of development, genetic variability/predisposition, age, individual health status, combined toxic exposures and simultaneous exposure to multiple frequencies.  Several countries and cities around the world have recently adopted policies which reduce exposure, limit advertising of digital devices to children and increase transparency regarding measurements of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and documented health effects. (119)

Executive Summary: Wireless Technology and Public Health

The use of wireless devices and general use of technology is convenient and useful but can have significant health impacts on children, adults, the environment and our society at large. It poses a threat to all living organisms. There is significant scientific evidence that this technology should be considered as another health risk behavior with precautions advised. There are currently insufficient regulations or guidelines for safe use. The Physicians for Safe Technology website will present the scientific evidence, rationale and recommendations for the safer use of digital technology.

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