Home Page

Share this school board profile with your neighbors, friends and families as well as other concerned parents.

ON, Peel District School Board

Summary

Beginning in 2012 the Peel District School Board (PDSB) approved a $7 million investment in technology that included a plan to install WiFi in all Peel schools, elementary to secondary by the end of the 2012/2013 school year. The plan also included a roll out campaign directed at students to BYOD — “Bring Your Own Device” to school in order to save costs on having to purchase devices for each student. Since then parents, students, teachers unions, and concerned organizations have called upon the PDSB to engage in dialogue and work towards safe use of wireless devices. Instead parents and concerned teachers have been ridiculed and told to take the issue up with Health Canada and Peel Health.

Recent Twitter Comments From PDSB Director Of Communications Regarding The Growing Wireless Concerns at PDSB

PDSB Director of Communications Instructs Peel Principals to Keep WiFi Issue Off of School Agenda (Internal Email)

From: Woodland, Brian

To: Principals All (Including Acting) - DL


Cc: Senior Admin - DL; Trustees Services - DL;
Communications Officers - DL


Subject: wifi questions
  
 
Good morning. I know the last thing you want right now is to hear about wifi safety -- and yet here it is !

Yesterday, C4ST, the anti-wifi group, held and event about wifi in Peel schools. They referenced our wifi testing a couple of years ago and said parents should pressure schools, get on the school council agenda, hand out 
information etc. because the testing was done with only four devices operating in the school. Therefore, according to them, the testing is not seen as valid because it was not during the regular school day .

This is  actually 100 per cent untrue.  As it said in our report to board on the testing--and on our website :

The Peel board retained G2S Environmental Consulting to complete electromagnetic radiation (EMR) testing at 25 
schools. The list is a mix of north and south, elementary and secondary, and older and newer schools. Testing occurred both during and after the regular school day, and reflects the total levels, including any background emissions from nearby sources such as cell towers.​
 
In other words, our testing happened during the school day, with all school and personal devices on.  I have communicated this to C4ST, three times, but they have not changed their message .

Most likely, the only schools who will have questions are those who have had C4ST supporters contact you in the past. The process, in all cases, is to direct them to the web site for more information, forward any questions sent to you by email to me for official response and refer any questions about health concerns to Peel Health.

Do your best to avoid this topic appearing on your school council agenda, do not allow information to be distributed on school property and refer media to me If you wish, and feel free to correct the misperception about testing by saying "the board has said the testing happened during the school day with devices on -- visit the board web site for more information".
 
As a reminder, the results of the testing was : total, 551 locations were measured. All measurements were well below federally established Safety Code 6. The federal government recently reviewed and reaffirmed Safety Code 6 limits of 
10 W/m2. In looking at comparative maximum average results by location, the percentage ranged from a low of less than two per cent of maximum established to a high of just under six percent of Safety Code 6 requirements. In fact, 19 of the 25 results are less than five percent of the allowable limit.

The website address to send parents to for more information is :  
http://www.peelschools.org/aboutus/21stcentury/byod/wifi/Pages/default.aspx 
 
If you have any particular issues or concerns please let me know


Brian Woodland,
APR
Director of
Communications and Community Relations
Peel District School Board
Brian.Woodland@peelsb.com


(905) 890-1010, ext. 2812

PDSB Chair Janet McDougald Correspondence With C4ST

Unfortunately the PDF cannot be displayed in your browser... click here to download.

PDSB Chair Janet McDougald's Response

Dear Mr Clegg

Thank you for  your letter of November 3, 2015 and your follow up calls. I am pleased to reply on behalf of the board. 

To begin with, we take issue with your allegations regarding our director of communications, Brian Woodland. He has replied to countless tweets from C4St, generally on his own time. There have sometimes been ten or twenty tweets in a row from your organization. They have often been repetitive  and sometimes, unkind. Yet he has responded to each. 

Regarding your concern about the memo to school councils. The board was fully aware of the memo and we were copied on the distribution. The memo reflected the discussion that I was part of at our Executive Committee. We stand behind that direction. 

The event referred to was hosted by a student who is the Youth Riding Representative for C4ST in Peel. Your organization also paid for and distributed the news release about the event on CNW and was listed as the media contact. It is, therefore, disingenuous to say it was not a C4ST event—it was exactly that.  Here is the release http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/students-discover-microwaves-from-wifi-in-ontario-schools-may-cause-infertility-529065371.html

At our direction, director Woodland followed up with C4St to correct what we assumed was an error on your part regarding the testing and the four devices. He did so, provided the official report to board that showed that the testing was done during the school day with all devices in operation and asked your media relations person to correct the news release 

He provided the following from the official, approved, report to board 

“as I have said, the report to board, which is the official public record of the testing, clearly says 

The Peel board retained G2S Environmental Consulting to complete electromagnetic radiation (EMR) testing at 25 schools. The list is a mix of north and south, elementary and secondary, and older and newer schools. Testing occurred both during and after the regular school day, and reflects the total levels, including any background emissions from nearby sources such as cell towers.

This is also the preamble to the link to the two reports on our site . 

I reconfirmed this information with Health and Safety staff today. “

Despite this, the news release was not corrected, and your organization shared information it knew to be untrue—and continued to do so. It would not have been possible for director Woodland to share the detailed summary—that is not information collected. But we clearly shared that testing was done during the school day—and with all devices in use at the time. 

I know that he also shared this official statement from our external independent consultant—posted to our site as part of an addendum report :  “Testing was conducted during the regular school day and reflects all devices in use at that point” . The board would appreciate a correction to your site. 

The direction to school councils does reflect our position as a board. The results of the testing were from May, 2014. They were presented at a public meeting, reported by media, and shared with schools. There was  ample opportunity for legitimate discussion at a school council. There is no reason for a school council discussion now featuring  a chart produced by C4ST that is misleading and alarmist.  

As well, referencing a specific tweet is not a useful exercise. As I mentioned, Brian has replied to dozens of such tweets. What I know is in almost all cases, there has been a link back to the official board information on www.peelschools.org/byod.  While you may not agree with that information—and that is your right—it still reflects the view of this board. 

That would include quotes such as this one from Peel Public health—“The available scientific evidence indicates that exposure to Wi-Fi in schools is not harmful to the health of students and staff. In assessing the evidence, Peel Health staff evaluated a number of expert panel reviews and other peer reviewed literature. The quality of the evidence was assessed so that studies of higher quality were weighted more heavily. As part of this assessment, the study methods and design were considered, including sample size, participation rates, nature of the exposure to Wi-Fi and sources of potential bias.”. 

You have stated your  concern about Safety Code 6. In your voice mail you also indicated you had research to share. I suggest this information  is best communicated to the Peel Health Unit. They provide us with advice on medical issues. I have copied the Medical Officer of Health on this message. 

We will, however, not share your report with councils or the board. You may be interested in the updated report on our website from our independent consultant that reviews the testing results in light new limits in Safety Code 6. 

That report shows “Although the 2015 exposure limits are more stringent than the 2009 values, the addendum report indicated that all measurements for the 25 schools were well below the Safety Code 6 (2015) limits. In fact, the maximum spatial average results by locations, ranged from 2.63 per cent to 8.75 per cent of the electromagnetic radiation exposure limit provided in Safety Code 6 (2015)”. This should provide an additional measure of confidence to our schools and communities. 

You also express concern about director Woodland’s response around devices purchased by parents for use by students. He is correct—that is the role of parents—not the school. 

Finally, let me reinforce that the Peel board relies upon legitimate, official independent health organizations for health advice. We also take student health and safety seriously. That is evidenced by the fact that we voluntarily chose to conduct testing of wifi levels and reported that publicly. 

Like virtually every other school board in Ontario we have full wifi access. Of course, that is now true of many public places including colleges and universities, hospitals, children’s hospitals and more. 

While you do not agree with this, we are far below the stringent levels determined as safe by Health Canada and continue to experience the support of Peel Health for our approach. 

Again ,we have responded to your concerns. And we would encourage you to address your research and findings to Peel Health for their review. We are sure they will give it the attention it deserves. 

Regards, Janet.

 

PEEL’S students call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly to step in to prioritize and act immediately on the 2015 HESA Recommendations

"I did not consent to this level of risk," said the high school student in Mississauga. "The School Board has been informed that our WiFi system puts us at risk of infertility and breast cancer but it's choosing not to protect us," she said.

The student is part of a group of female high school students lobbying for safety standards to be tightened since microwave radiation from WiFi and cell phones is now considered a Class 2B Carcinogen on the World Health Organization's Cancer watch list, and they are exposed to it daily at school.

"PM TRUDEAU WE REQUEST YOU PRIORITIZE THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE HESA REPORT. IT IS URGENT FOR THE HEALTH OF EVERY STUDENT IN CANADA, AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF CANADIANS."

 

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health (HESA) tabled its report in the House of Commons June 17, 2015. The HESA Committee made 12 recommendations that demonstrate that Safety Code 6 does not protect Canadians

 

Other Concerns That PDSB Refuses To Address

  • All wireless device manufacturers have warnings with their devices on the appropriate distance to keep them from their bodies and vital organs.
  • These warnings that guard against excessive exposure are being ignored by a Peel board BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy that encourages students to bring in their own wireless devices without addressing any required precautions.
  • Estimates are that at least 3% of the population suffer immediate reactions (headaches, rashes, heart palpitations etc.) See The Letter From the American Academy of Environmental Medicine to PDSB.
    • Over 5,000 Peel students and 500 teachers could be reacting to Wi-Fi without knowing the root cause
  • January, 2015 France passed the following articles into law:
    • A ban on the use of Wi-Fi in day care centers and nurseries
    • Restrictions on Wi-Fi in schools with children less than 11 years of age
  • Canadian Teachers Federation has publicly stated their concerns, requested an education program and the ability to turn off routers when not in use.
  • Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario put out a media release on their position on WiFi in Schools and Safety Code 6
  • All wireless radiation has been classified by the World Health Organization as Class 2b, possible carcinogen. The Class 2b List of possible carcinogens also includes Lead and DDT. These are potentially harmful substances and agents that we now limit in the presence of children

See How Wireless Exposure Levels At Different Peel Schools Approach Unsafe Levels

Peel Yes

Unfortunately the PDF cannot be displayed in your browser... click here to download.

Peel Media Newsletter

Unfortunately the PDF cannot be displayed in your browser... click here to download.

Canada's Largest Teacher's Unions Appeal to HC re Safety Code 6

PDSB Conflicted 2014 Electromagnetic Radiation testing in 25 Schools

In May 2014 The Peel District School Board commissioned GS2 Environmental Consulting Inc to conduct Electromagnetic Radiation testing in 25 Peel schools to measure the emissions from WiFi and other wireless devices within the schools. The electrical engineer that GS2 commissioned to conduct this testing was Dr Natalia Nikolova who C4ST believes has clear conflicts with the wireless industry as seen below in her bio working with companies heavily invested in the proliferation of wireless technologies such as Research in Motion (Blackberry), Com.Dev International, Faustus Scientific, and Quantic EMC.

 

PDSB Statements to Wi-Fi Concerns - C4ST Reponses

Peel Region: WHO has not concluded that Wi-Fi is a carcinogen.

C4ST: The Peel District School Board statement is misleading to teachers and students in its schools. Wi-Fi is 100% part of the WHO cancer warning list. In May, 2011 the World Health Organization classified radiofrequency radiation as “Class 2B possibly carcinogenic”. This was confirmed by the Chair of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Dr. Jonathon Samet, who made the recommendation.

Peel Region: Health Canada’s position is that no precautionary measures are needed.

C4STIn October, 2011, Health Canada issued a cell phone use warning for children under 18 years of age. Health Canada “encourages parents to reduce children's RF (radiofrequency radiation) exposure from cell phones since children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents”.  Peel District School Board’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is contrary to Health Canada’s suggestions for reduced exposure to cell phones and wireless devices in order to protect children from potential harm.

Peel Region: Research has not been able to provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and self-reported symptoms, or electromagnetic hypersensitivity.”

C4ST: In a letter to Mr. Tony Pontes, Director of Education, Peel District School Board, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine warned that “To install this widespread wireless internet access system in Peel District schools risks a widespread public health hazard that the medical system is not yet prepared to address. Statistics show that you can expect to see an immediate reaction in 3% and delayed effects in 30%, including teachers.”

Read More »

Is Wi-Fi Included in the IARC/WHO’s 2B Classification of RF-EMF?

Is Wi-Fi included in the IARC/WHO’s 2B classification of RF-EMF?

Yes. In May of 2011, the IARC (International Association for Research on Cancer) declared radio frequency radiation as a possible cause of cancer. Click here for official document. Since then Federal, provincial, and municipal health authorities in Canada have made the FALSE claim that the IARC declaration of RF as a possible human carcinogen refers ONLY to mobile phones. This is not and has never been the case. Wi-Fi and all EMF emitting devices are included in this grouping.

Why the confusion?

IARC does not classify devices, they classify exposures. The 2B designation therefore applies to all RF-EMF exposures, regardless of the source. It isn’t the physical source that is being evaluated; it’s the type of emission that exits from any source, that is being evaluated.

Confirmation from IARC

In this video clip (click here) Dr. Jonathan M Samet, MD, University of Southern California, Chairman of the Working Group, states at the 3.12 minute mark “the designation of class 2B RF-EMFs is unspecified as to source, class 2B has broad applicability to sources that emit RMFs".

Confirmation from Dr Robert A Baan PhD, Responsible Officer, Monograph 102 on RF-EMF, The IARC Monographs, IARC, Lyon, FRANCE

“many other devices emit the same type of RF radiation, e.g.,base-station antennas, radio/tv antennas, WiFi stations, smart meters, etc. Therefore, all these fall under the same broad evaluation of “Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.” Click here to read.

 

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment. If you haven't already registered, please click here. Alternatively you may login using one of the methods below.

Your Language:
English French Spanish
C4ST Public Safety Message
(Click here to view)
Final-HESA-Report
(Click here to read the HESA report)