Princeton University Pulls WiFi Safety Assurances
March 20, 2015
Ivy League powerhouse removes position statement on wireless safety from website after letter writing campaign by concerned parents.
Parents For Safe Technology Princeton University administrators removed its position statement on wireless safety from their website after concerns were raised that Princeton’s information was “outdated and inaccurate”. Starting in early 2014, a parent, Thea Scarato, wrote the radiation safety officer detailing point by point why Princeton’s website needed to be updated to accurately reflect the state of science on health risks from wireless radiation. By August of 2014, Princeton had pulled down all information related to wireless radiation.
The website came to the attention of Scarato after she raised concerns about the safety of the WiFi in her children’s elementary school. The Princeton position statement was presented to her as validation that wireless networks were “safe”. “I decided to write a letter because decisions impacting my children’s health were being made based on Princeton’s outdated information,” Scarato said. “I would hope Princeton now gives this issue the due diligence it deserves. Why is Wifi being rolled out when so many scientists are calling for caution around the world?”
In February 2014, Scarato first wrote a letter to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Princeton University asking that Princeton update the information on wireless. The letter critiqued the information on the Princeton website, provided documentation for each point and called the website data “outdated and inaccurate.” Scarato noted that the “New” Study was actually from 2007 and did not include the 2011 International Agency for the Research on Cancer’s Class 2 B Carcinogen classification nor the growing body of research showing neurological, immune and reproductive damage.
She followed up with several letters and phone calls. Other parents wrote including those representing National Association for Children and Safe Technology. By August 2014, Princeton had removed the wireless information. The now retracted Princeton Position Statement on Wireless was also used by the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS) as a reference in their 2014 NAIS Non-Ionizing Radiation: Literature Review. NAIS serves over 1,700 schools. As Scarato remarked, “I have heard from parents in other states whose children’s schools also referenced the outdated Princeton site to support the WiFi rollout. Does Princeton realize just how many schools were relying on their site?” In the final email exchange Princeton staff stated that recent reviews “affirm that RF exposure from WiFi-based devices does not pose a hazard to the general public.”
“How can a Class 2 B possible carcinogen that ‘needs more research’ be called safe by Princeton? How could I, as a mother, just ignore the research showing brain damage at levels thousands of times below our governments regulations ? It might take decades to prove -just like asbestos did, but what about the years my children will have been exposed? We won’t be able to turn back the clock,” Scarato said. “If that is their position, then why doesn’t Princeton place this safety assurance on their website and provide us with the up-to-date scientific documentation backing such a stance?”
The changes to the Princeton University website are vieweable on the Parents For Safe Technology website which has posted Before/After screen shots and the email exchanges. The website shares information on wireless to parents so they can take simple, actionable steps to increase their children’s health and well-being.