In TAC Bulletin Update 244 in May 2019 I reported that I had approached UK’s four children’s commissioners about harmful health effects to babies and children of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from smartphones and wi-fi gadgets.
My piece included:
In May 2018 I learned that the Northern Ireland’s Children’s Commissioner’s office had...added the issue to the agenda for the next meeting of the British Irish Network of Ombuds / Children’s Commissioners (BINOCC) for further discussion. This was indeed encouraging.
I was further encouraged to learn...that the next European Network of Ombudsmen for Children will be on the theme of Children’s Digital Rights and that ‘the issues you raise…will be relevant to bring to the attention of the European attendees for consideration as part of our deliberations.’
I have since learned that the meeting in September took a conference format (which I was not allowed to attend) and a scientist was invited to talk about dangers to children from this radiation. This was Dr Sarah Starkey, Neuroscientist, and her slides can be seen here.
I urge you to look at the slides. The dangers they describe are relevant to all of us in both our professional and family lives. Dr Starkey has put together a leaflet about online safety. Parents might want to ask their children’s schools to include this with their other advice about online safety.
I understand that some of the European children’s commissioners at the conference said they had not heard these dangers mentioned before. There is some optimism, now they are getting interested, they will discuss them again at their next meeting.
This paper came from the meeting, ‘Children’s rights in the digital environment: Paper for the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) on the evidence supporting the drafting of a statement on Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment.’ I have extracted paragraph 2.1 ‘Current issues across Europe’:
In Europe today, there are many organizations, associations and individuals dealing with the various negative challenges of the digital world. Children can find support on issues such as cyberbullying, extremism and radicalization, hate speech, online child sexual exploitation, as well as seek assistance regarding online sharing, digital reputation, footprints and identity. Many schools and children’s groups offer sessions on internet safety where children can open up about smartphone use, gaming issues and so forth.
This is an over-optimistic statement. I know of no public or voluntary organisation in England that a child or family can go to for help when they have concerns about EMR. Organisations that do not acknowledge the dangers and do not offer help include the Department for Education, NHS, Members of Parliament, all major charities...
The companies that make money from the gadgets have it all their own way. Children can read the advertising on the box but have no access to unbiased information about the dangers from the radiation.
As an example of how the dangers are covered up, I feel (almost 100 per cent) confident in guaranteeing TAC Bulletin readers will not have heard the subject mentioned on the BBC!